E-mail From pastor Nicu Gavril in Campulung, Romania:
We’re having a pretty normal winter so far – cold and with pretty much snow. But everything is well, and we thank God for that.
I wanted to tell you some of the plans we have for this last month of December. In Romania, and I think everywhere, people are more opened to a lot of things during Christmas and the New Year. And we hope they’ll be more opened to the Gospel too, so we’re trying to take advantage of that. We’ve planned for a biblical contest that will include all the kids that go to school from 1 st grade to the 8th grade. Basically, what we’re planning to do is to speak to all the school directors in the town, and with their approval to organize this contest with questions from the Bible (especially about Jesus’ birth). We’re planning to get everyone involved, from every class in every school.
The first stage of the competition will be held in every classroom. Then, the best 5-10 children in every class will go further to a next stage. Eventually we will have a number of children from every school that we’re going to bring to the House of Culture, where the final stage will be held. Here we’re planning to award prizes to the kids that will get this far. Also, we’ll have a small concert with carols and a specific message.
I think this is a pretty good opportunity to reach kids but also their parents. They will be invited too at the House of Culture and maybe, seeing their own kids on the stage, and seeing them happy and involved in a Christian activity, they’ll have some second thoughts about the Gospel. We really want you to pray for this, because it is a pretty complex and difficult project. We will have to get the approval of a lot of people, and we want God to work in their hearts, so that they won’t be an obstacle for us. And we want it to be successful, by bringing as much people to God as possible. Also, we want you to pray for us for the financial part of this project. We are planning to give some prizes, but because of our current state with the church building, we will need a lot of God’s blessings. So, please keep on praying for us!
Also, as we do every year, the youth are going to go caroling. But this time, we’re planning to go in a near-by village where we have some both Christian and non Christian friends. And they’re planning to carol as much people as possible, maybe the mayor and the orthodox priest too. Hope this will have a positive effect on them.
I’ll finish here, and I’m praying that God will be with you, your family, and your church.
God bless, Nicu
My dearest brother and friend Nicu,
It is with a heart longing to see you that I write this letter. You and the work in your country have been heavy on my heart these last several days. I know it is because God is at work there in a powerful way. I also pray that it will be in His will that I might return there this summer.
Our family is doing well. We all are sad that my mother is not with us during the Christmas season. But this is a jealousy for she is experiencing Christmas daily now. We long for those who are so dear a part of our lives and separated while at the same time rejoicing in their kingdom eternity. It is still hard as things like the first Christmas without mother remind us of the finality of a precious earthly life.
The cancer support ministry at Prestonwood Baptist church has begun. Praise be to God! I have already made several contacts and many people are excited to be a part of sharing God’s love with those facing this battle we call cancer. I am reading a couple of great books that deal with cancer from a Christian perspective. This is such a ripe time to speak with people about not only the hope they have in treatment but the greater hope they have in Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior.
I am excited to here of the work you are doing in Campulung. You have become quite the evangelist my friend and I rejoice with you in hearing of the support you receive from the church and especially the community. Remember that God’s Word will never return void and it is but your duty to proclaim it. It blesses my soul to hear how you know have others supporting this ministry in your church and community. I shall pray that the Holy Spirit prepares you all for the harvest.
It is not much at all but I have sent a small gift to support your ministry you via Western Union. ******
Please express to your family my love and desire to see them all soon. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and pray that God will use you all not to point people towards the birth of His Son, but instead to the life of His Son.