Saturday, September 30: Our time in Lebanon went very well. The students were wonderful, intelligent, passionate and eager to learn. We had a wonderful time together. These believers are courageous. One told about God leading him to go and preach to the Hezbollah. He was hesitant to do so but did and found them “hungry for God.” Another traveled extensively in Syria, in areas where ISIS still operates, to visit churches and encourage them. Most of the pastors in the area had fled to safer regions and the churches had no leadership. Our hosts, Ben and Burgi, are also wonderful and are courageous people themselves, giving themselves wholly to the work of the Lord and to their students in a difficult part of the world.
I found the week to be of great benefit to me. It has been awhile since I have had the privilege to teach systematically through a section of Scripture. Spending 4 days working through Romans 1-8 was wonderfully refreshing to me. I realized I need to find more opportunities for that in the local church. Our church in Colorado, which was a church plant, closed last month. When we return we will have to begin to look for a new one. Teaching and ministry opportunities for Edie and myself will be high on our list to evaluate.
We went from our hotel to the airport at 12:30 am, flying out at 4:30 am. We arrived in Bucharest at 10am, obviously quite tired. Then we had a 2-hour drive to our host’s home. Thankfully, we had a one-hour nap before lunch as we kept dozing off in the car. Then we traveled to a nearby Roma village to “do ministry” but we did not know what that meant. A group gathered at the house of a Christian where they hope to plant a church, and gathered a crowd from the neighborhood. They had Gypsy singers come and asked myself, another pastor who was there from Canada, and the lead singer to “say a few things” (which meant preach the gospel). We did and a number of people responded, although we are not really sure what was happening since it was all in languages we do not understand. It was a bit “Pentecostal” for Edie and I, but the Lord knows exactly what went on and will do His will. We were exhausted when we finally reached bed after supper around 9:30pm. We both got 9 hours sleep, a new modern record for me, and felt much better this morning.
We had Gypsy barbecue at a church member’s home today and it was wonderful. We had good conversations in a relaxed atmosphere. Tomorrow after church, we will travel to the first training location. This afternoon, we do not know what we will be doing. That has become the norm for this trip, but God enables us as things develop. I do not know what is coming but I am sure it will be interesting.