Maranatha Grace’s MG Reach missions ministry sent a team to Romania this week to serve alongside a missionary family we partner with. Please continue to pray for the team as they continue to serve and make their way back to the states, and pray for the Istrates as they continue to faithfully serve their church and neighbors.
Continue reading for an update from Pastor Jon Anzardo on behalf of the team.
After 13 hours of flying and about 5 hours of driving, our team — Tom and Noah Yuen, Dong Seo, Sarah Kim, and I) arrived safely to Romania last Friday evening. Since then we have been moving at the speed of sound. So, we apologize for not writing an update sooner. Know we have been warmly welcomed and have been enjoying long days of wonderful ministry partnership with the Istrate family (Dan, Ana, and Adora)!
After a little sleep Friday night, we enjoyed a look about Cisnadie, the town where we are staying. This little town is just outside of the city of Sibiu. During our walk about we visited a church and fortress built in the 13-14th century. We got to climb up to the top of the clock tower, which provided an incredible view of Romania’s beautiful countryside. After a big Romanian lunch, we headed off to our first ministry event in Jina.
Jina is located an hour away from where we are sleeping and is a town of roughly 4,000 people. It is situated on the top of a mountain and has picturesque views all around. The town is culturally and ethnically split between Romanians and a people group called Roma, a gypsy group. It is to the latter that the Istrates primarily minister at Bethany Baptist Church.
During our first gathering, Dr. Tom Yuen gave a helpful and informational session on healthy living and disease prevention/detection. All that attended were encouraged and helped by Tom’s talk. This has certainly paved the way for success of the medical clinic we have been hosting through the week, but I am getting ahead of myself. We arrived home late and we were all quite tired, while at the same time energized knowing that we were just getting started.
Sunday was another very full day. We spent the whole day in Jina. We enjoyed worshipping with the saints in both their morning and evening gatherings. All five members of the team served in one way or another (singing, giving testimony, preaching) in each of the services. In between services, we were welcomed into the home of Nicoli and Nicoleta, a dear couple from the church. We were so welcomed and well-feed it was a bit hard to move after the meal!
Finally these last two days have been filled with medical clinics in Jina during the morning and afternoon. Over the past two days, Dr. Tom has seen more than 80 patients. We also have a prayer room where we are able to talk with, share the gospel, and pray will almost everyone who comes through for care! During this time we have also had the help of a sweet sister in the faith, Rebeca. She is in her early 20s and is currently in Bible college, as well as another school. She has a hunger for God’s word and a sincere desire to serve the Lord.
At 4:30 pm we all transition to welcome kids —5 years old through 8th grade — to join us for VBS. Joining us are two missionaries (Sue who is from America but spent 16 years in Romania before retiring back to the States, and Margret who is from Germany but lives in Romania and works with many churches in the area) who have helped tremendously with pre-VBS games and crafts. On Monday we had close to 40 children, while today we saw almost 60 kids come to join us! Together we’ve been learning about the story of Abraham and how he believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.
Tomorrow is the last day for both the clinic and VBS. We expect both to have the largest numbers of the week. Please pray for endurance and stamina to finish both well! Pray also for the gospel to take root in the lives of the people to whom we minister.
We miss you all and have been regularly praying for you!
Grace and peace,
Jon for the team