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MAGAZINE Autumn 2013

The Mission Possible team visit Roma villages throughout the year, see pages 6 & 7.

JESUS PREACHES TO ME SUMMER DREAMS ROMANIA AND CROATIA UPDATES AUTUMN PRAYER DIARY

www.transformeuropenow.org

MIRACLES

HAVE STARTED


EUROPE TODAY: 1 IN 4 ARE AT RISK OF POVERTY OR SOCIAL EXCLUSION

HUMAN TRAFFICKING INCREASED BY 18% BETWEEN 2008 AND 2010

AS LOW AS 0.1% EVANGELICAL CHRISTIANS IN SOME COUNTRIES

100% UNEMPLOYMENT IN MANY CONGREGATIONS

THE LOWEST CHURCH GROWTH RATE OF ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD

OFTEN NO SALARY AND DESPERATE LIVING CONDITIONS FOR CHURCH LEADERS

THIS IS WHY WE BELIEVE GOD WANTS TO

TRANSFORM EUROPE NOW Please contact the TEN office if you would like to know the sources for these statistics.


WELCOME

H

vala, Tak, Merci, Efharisto, Achiu, Obrigado, Multumesc, Grazie. Thank you. It’s one of the first words you learn when getting to grips with a new language. It’s usually the first I use whenever I visit another country, and typically at passport control when being handed back my passport. I always hope it will draw a reassuring smile. It never does. It’s a word we use an awful lot here at TEN, and for good reason. We are thankful for all the wonderful partners we have the privilege of serving. We are thankful for the news we often get of breakthroughs and transformed lives. We are thankful for the privilege of being involved in such an exciting work. And we are so thankful for you and your amazing support and all that it enables. You may recall that in our last newsletter I talked about discovering new opportunities and asking for guidance and wisdom as to who to support and where the finances would come from. I had visited some amazing people in Bulgaria and Croatia and I really felt that TEN should be getting behind them. Well, at the recent TEN conference a very generous offering raised almost £7,000. On top of that other people came forward to specifically support church planters, and in the end it meant that, with everything tallied up, we could support every single person we felt called to get behind. Praise God for that and for all the support that comes from so many people and places to enable the 70 projects across 15 countries TEN is involved in. Something heartfelt, sincere, warm and joyful is in order: Thank you,

CONTENTS 4

TRANSFORMING LIVES – ONE LIFE AT A TIME Jesus preaches to me

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TRANSFORMING LIVES – ONE LIFE AT A TIME Hungry sparrows

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MAKE SUMMER DREAMS A REALITY

Can you really change a child’s life in a week?

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PRAYER DIARY

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YOU AND EUROPE

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CHURCH PARTNERSHIPS – AN INSIDE LOOK

September – November 2013

Where has God called you?

The Constanta of tomorrow

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WHAT’S GOING ON IN...

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PARTNERSHIPS – AN INSIDE LOOK

Romania and Croatia

60 Seconds with Louise Baptista

TRANSFORM EUROPE NOW 1 Holdenhurst Road, Kingswood Bristol BS15 1HL

CONTACT Tel: +44 (0)117 961 5161 Fax: +44 (0)117 935 2127 Email: info@transformeuropenow.org EDITORIAL TEAM Andy Drake Sally Bertram DESIGN Simon Petherick Graphic and Web Design

Andy Drake CEO Transform Europe Now

Transform Europe Now is the operating name for Eurovangelism. Registered Charity No. 1140592 and Company Limited by Guarantee No. 7507682.


“ .” TRANSFORMING LIVES – ONE LIFE AT A TIME

JESUS PREACHES TO ME

Mirco Andreev leads the Skopje Evangelical Church in Macedonia. He tells us about one lady in the church:

T

hrough our social work, which was developed in our church, we have helped many people. One lady has a prominent place, due to her life problems. She has four children, of whom the two youngest have severe physical and mental challenges. They are teenagers, but they

look as though they are five years old. They need all day long attention and care. On top of that they have epilepsy. The two other daughters are okay, if one can say so. The second one has consequences of cerebral palsy but her mind is extremely capable. The oldest has

Nada and Mirco Andreev of Skopje Evangelical Church.

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TRANSFORM EUROPE NOW / AUTUMN 2013


TRANSFORMING LIVES – ONE LIFE AT A TIME

The lady featured in the story with one of her daughters.

Evangelistic event run by the church.

no physical challenges but she was hit by a lorry and has constant headaches. The woman is not alone. She has a husband who developed diabetes and completely lost his sight. When we met them they were homeless. The little that they had was taken unjustly by some of their relatives. However, God gave me love and capability to help them and to build for them first one room, and later a little house, which was fixed up relatively well. One afternoon I was in my office and the Lord put on my heart to pray for that woman and her family. I thought, it was good that we were helping them, but did her heart know the Lord? She came from a Muslim background. She is illiterate, but strange enough she speaks three languages: Macedonian, Gypsy and Turkish—all different one from another. Yet, she is not able to write her name. I am not sure if she understands my sermons. No one at the Theological

Seminary taught me how to preach to the illiterate people. I was sad once I acknowledged that. Then, the phone rang! It was her on the other end of the line. Never before had she called me. She wanted to ask me something very important. She came together with her second daughter, and asked me if she could be baptised in water! I said of course, but I wanted to know if she knew anything about Jesus. Then she started to talk and for the next 20 minutes I heard the best evangelistic sermon ever in my life. She said something I was not expecting at all, she said “Jesus preaches to me every night in my dreams!” Well, it was obvious that she knew so much, even though she was unable to read. When the time for baptism came, she and her daughter were baptised. God reminded me that He cares more than I do for His children and where I am limited, He is not. Hallelujah!

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TRANSFORMING LIVES – ONE LIFE AT A TIME

HUNGRY SPARROWS Mission Possible Bulgaria run soup kitchens with literacy classes in Roma suburbs and villages every winter. Roumen Ivanov, Director, writes:

L

ast winter our soup kitchen in Belopopci opened its doors again for the hungry children from the village. The first cold days of winter brought severe and lasting hunger to the Gypsy homes, and again the economic crisis hit the poorest families first. Most of the parents have been unemployed for years, and the seasonal work they had managed to find in the summer was long over. The children in front of the soup kitchen seemed to be unaware of this fact as they inhaled the sweet aroma of hot soup. They looked like a flock of hungry sparrows—jostling, jumping around, laughing and crying all at once. If this story was made up, it could be funny. When I saw them for the first time five years ago, Traicho and his three sisters looked like characters from a story by the Brothers Grimm. Pretty, shabby, with marks of dried up tears on their cheeks; Kali was five then, Boggy four, and Duda three. Traicho, their brother, had just turned eight and proudly stalked around them. The parents, coming from afar, were touring the villages nearby in search of work as wood choppers in the mountain. Their belongings 6

consisted of what they had on their backs: a pot, a few plates, and misery as their constant companion.

Children at a soup kitchen.

TRANSFORM EUROPE NOW / AUTUMN 2013


TRANSFORMING LIVES – ONE LIFE AT A TIME

Children from a soup kitchen.

Today the situation for this family is different. They are not richer, but being sure that they will find food and safety for the children in the winter made them permanently settle in the village. To begin with they were attracted to the believers, not just for the food they provided but, by and by, also for the Word preached in the church. And the miracle started happening. The parents started looking after their children better, maintaining better hygiene, dressing them better and sending them to school! The children are as cute and chatty as before, but one can see the influence of God’s Word in their lives. They come to church even when their parents don’t, they sing to the Lord at the top of their voices, they pray sincerely and know how to behave, as if they were raised in a French school. 2 A month ago I met them again. They were again walking around together, as if glued to each other—Traicho, the elder brother, and the three sisters, joyful and carefree. Who would believe that these children were like Brothers Grimm’s characters at the beginning, and now look like the children around Jesus, about whom He said: “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to 3 such as these” (Luke 18:16). We want to say a big thank you for all your generous Harvest for the Hungry donations that make stories like this possible (and it’s still not too late to arrange a Harvest service at your church—just call us to find out more!).

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Kali and Boggy.

Both this story and ‘Jesus Preaches to me’ on pages 4-5 can be found in Tenacious, along with 98 other incredible testimonies of God’s amazing love. See back cover for more details.

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ANNA IS JUST LIKE ANY OTHER GRANDMOTHER: WARM, KIND AND COMPASSIONATE. UNFORTUNATELY, ANNA’S LIFE IS VERY DIFFERENT TO WHAT WE MIGHT WANT ANY GRANDMOTHER’S TO BE.

SCROUNGING

IN BINS FOR SUSTENANCE AND RELIANT ON THE KINDNESS OF THOSE AROUND HER, ANNA’S LIFE LACKS SECURITY. ALL SHE WANTS IS AN

ORDINARY LIFE!

ONE RAY OF HOPE ARE THE

FOOD PARCELS

GIVEN TO HER THROUGH THE

HARVEST FOR THE HUNGRY PROJECT.

YOU CAN HELP PEOPLE LIKE ANNA BY SPONSORING A FOOD PARCEL —

£10 CAN MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE! WWW.HARVESTFORTHEHUNGRY.ORG.UK

A PROJECT OF HARVEST FOR THE HUNGRY PROVIDES FOOD PARCELS FOR THOSE LIVING IN POVERTY IN EUROPE


PRAYER DIARY

PRAYER DIARY

SEPTEMBER – NOVEMBER 2013 SEPTEMBER 2013 1 / Pray that many churches and schools will take up the challenge of raising funds to enable food parcels to be given out to families in need across Europe this harvest time. 2 / Please pray for generosity in giving towards our Harvest for the Hungry project. 3 / Dr Sebastian Vaduva from Emanuel University, Oradea, Romania is in Bristol today discussing student sponsorship and ‘business as mission’. Pray for fruitful meetings. 4 / Pray that Dr Vaduva’s meetings in Bristol will strengthen relationships between Bristol and Oradea, enabling a beneficial partnership going forwards. 5 / Josip Pastor, Bitola, Macedonia. By now, the new church building in Bitola-Bair, led by Tefik Musoski, should be up and running. Pray that it becomes a place where God is known and where lives are changed. 6 / Thank God for the work that Josip has done in overseeing the new church build, and pray that God will use both Tefik’s and Josip’s churches in this large town to reach many. 7 / Pray that those who attended the Alpha course in Bitola this year will want to continue learning about about God and knowing Him. 8 / Please pray for TEN Ambassadors Terry Wood and

Andrew Macpherson, both speaking about Harvest for the Hungry today. Terry is at Hillfields Park Baptist Church, Bristol, and Andrew is at St Bartholomew’s Church Wick, in Gloucestershire. 9 / Pray for unemployed church members in Bitola struggling to provide for their families. Ask God to help them find reliable work. 10 / Pray that the families of children who attended the summer school will want to find out more about God for themselves. 11 / Dragan Manev, Veles, Macedonia. The puppet show team work to reach children and adults in schools, churches and restaurants with the gospel. Pray for opportunities to extend this work. 12 / The team want to produce a professional CD of their show that can be widely distributed. Pray that all the elements involved in this will come together to make it happen.

Macedonian Global Leadership Summit in November will go well and that it makes a big impact on those attending. 16 / It is now more than six years since the tragedy in Kumanovo. Please pray for a renewed sense of peace and patience for Pastor Sasho, who is still awaiting trial. 17 / During the summer, the firstever conference for single people was held in Berovo. Pray that the 50 or so people who attended will be encouraged and strengthened in their faith. 18 / Jane Jones will be speaking about Harvest for the Hungry today at the Unity Chapel ladies’ meeting, Bristol. 19 / Emanuel Hospice, Oradea, Romania. Pray for wisdom for the staff as they try to help as many new patients as they can, juggling both financial and staffing resources.

13 / Ask God to protect and inspire all of the puppet show team as they work hard to bring their vision into being.

20 / Marinela and Damaris will be making regular visits to Baptist and Pentecostal communities in Oradea over the next few months. Pray for inspiration from God as they share the vision of the Hospice.

14 / Evangelical Church, Macedonia. Led by Mirco Andreev. Pray that those who heard the gospel during the summer outreaches in Stip and Kumanovo will be challenged to pursue God for themselves.

21 / Pray that the team from Christ Church Clifton, Bristol, helping with renovation work in the homes of patients this week will be a huge help and will really encourage those whose homes they visit.

15 / Pray that all of the preparations for the first

22 / Another ‘Voices for Hospice’ concert is being organised for next

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PRAYER DIARY

Josip

Dragan

month. Pray that this will raise funds and also raise the profile of the Hospice. 23 / Pray that each member of the Hospice team will clearly convey God’s compassion to each patient they work with. 24 / Please pray for Ruth Richardson, speaking about Harvest for the Hungry today at Chelsea Christian Fellowship ladies’ meeting, Bristol. 25 / A team from St Botolph’s, Kettering, are in Sarajevo visiting Slavko Hadzic’s church. Pray that the team will be an encouragement to the church members. 26 / Evangelismo En Accione, Spain. Pray for Benjamin Martin as he seeks the finances needed to produce new literature and study material, especially material for children and teenagers. 27 / A year ago the Alora area in Spain suffered serious flooding, and EEA have regularly helped families who lost homes and belongings since then. Pray that their work will have a lasting impact. 28 / Pray for Zdenka, one of the ladies who has received help, and who gave her life to Christ in the summer. Pray for encouragement in her new life in Christ. 29 / Pray for the church in Vitoria in Basque country, currently feeling the economic pressures.

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Mirco

Marinela

Benjamin

They need to rise to the challenges being faced, and continue to be a clear witness for Christ in this area. Also, Tom Harflett will be speaking about Harvest today at Radipole URC, Weymouth. 30 / Andy Drake and Carl Beech are visiting Novi Sad Christian Fellowship to discuss setting up Christian Vision for Men in Serbia, with the aim of reaching men with the gospel across Serbia.

OCTOBER 2013 1 / TEN will be at the SWAN (Southwest Agencies Network) meeting today. 2 / Pray for God’s wisdom as Andy, Carl and Bera (Novi Sad Christian Fellowship) consider how best to reach more men with the gospel in Serbia. 3 / The TEN team are at Birmingham CRE (Christian Resources Exhibition) today. Pray we will have lots of conversations and opportunities to introduce many to our work in Europe. 4 / Sally Bertram and Chris Hill will be in Albania this weekend to visit Erion Cuni’s new church facility. Pray for good fellowship and encouragement for Erion. 5 / Slavoljub and Snezana Randjelovic, Lebane, Serbia. Pray for all those currently attending the Alpha course—that a number will come to faith in Christ.

TRANSFORM EUROPE NOW / AUTUMN 2013

Slavoljub

Daniel

Jovica

6 / Ask God to encourage Slavoljub, Snezana and their family. Pray particularly that their children, starting a new school, will be able to adjust well. 7 / Nesa and Vesna Radeka, Novi Sad Nexus Church, Serbia. Ask God for wisdom, perseverance and financial support for Mirko and Slavica, leaders of the new churchplant for the Roma. 8 / Ask God to supply a house needed as a women’s refuge for this church-run ministry. 9 / Rachel Lee will be speaking about Harvest for the Hungry today at Southfield Church, Nailsea. 10 / Daniel Stracinski, Bar, Montenegro. A seminar for parents of children with autism is planned for this week. Pray this gives hope and encouragement to many who are struggling. 11 / Pray that Isabel Black, leading the above seminar, will be inspirational in how she teaches and what she teaches. 12 / Pray for those from the church doing street evangelism with Swiss bible school students next week. Pray for many conversations and that people will want to know more about Christianity. 13 / Andy Drake is speaking today at Bless Community Church, London.


PRAYER DIARY

Teddy & Didi

Mission Possible

Andrei

14 / Jovica Bacvanski, Podgorica, Montenegro. Pray for the ongoing work with refugees in Berane and ask for God’s wisdom for Jovica as he decides who and how to help. 15 / Pray that the practical help the church brings to these refugees will give them some hope and encouragement. 16 / During the summer, Jovica attended a pastoral conference in Stuttgart. Please pray that the spiritual refreshment received from this will remain with Jovica as he gives his time and energy to sharing God’s love in Montenegro. 17 / About 150 believers attended the annual conference in Montenegro this year—the largest number yet. Pray that God will continue to multiply the number of believers in Montenegro. 18 / Teddy and Didi Oprenovi, Sofia, Bulgaria. The next year or so should see the church building completed after nine years of work. Pray that there will be no hold-ups or problems with this goal. 19 / Pray for Didi Oprenova and her work with an anti-trafficking in Europe group. Ask God to help her provide inspirational input into this group. 20 / Church members help feed 70 homeless people in a Sofia park, six days a week. As the economic pressures affect everyone, pray for the resources to continue this much needed work.

Metin

Galina

Sergey

21 / Church services are transmitted live twice each week. Pray that this will be a means of reaching many new people for Christ. 22 / Mission Possible, Bulgaria. ‘The Hem of His Garment’ seminar for women at risk of abuse is running this week at Home Dobromirka. Pray that many will be encouraged through this. 23 / Pray that Mission Possible’s new book of poetry by Christian writers will be welcomed in secular bookshops and provide an opportunity for the gospel. 24 / Pray for Sunday School teachers who attended Mission Possible’s conference last month. Pray that what they learnt will be a continual inspiration. 25 / Soup kitchens will be opening at the end of October to give hot meals and literacy help to Roma children. Pray for the staff and the preparations being done. 26 / Pray for the churches who will be hosting soup kitchens in Ihtiman, Rozino, Pevcite, Hristo Danovo, Slatina and Belopopci. 27 / This week a team from Hillview are going to help run the soup kitchens. Pray that the team will be a tremendous help to Mission Possible. 28 / Andrei Ghedeon, Burlacu, Moldova. Every Friday a teenagers club takes place. Pray for teenagers to bring unsaved friends

Danijel

Hervin

along and for the teenagers to develop maturity in Christ. 29 / Pray for the nearby town of Taraclia de Salcie, where mission work is taking place. Ask God to help the Burlacu church to be effective in its outreach. 30 / Pray that all those who attended summer camps this year will never forget what they learnt about Christ and that some will go on to real faith in Him. 31 / Pray for God’s wisdom and encouragement for Andrei and his team in their planning and church activities.

NOVEMBER 2013 1 / Metin Mintaz, Uskudar, Turkey. Although small, the church wants to reach out to a particular area of Istanbul nearby which has no Christian groups. Ask God to guide them in achieving this. 2 / They also feel this is the time to increase links with another city, where they have maintained contact with a Christian there for a number of years. Pray that a church may be built there one day. 3 / More mature Christians are needed in order to meet the above goals. Ask God to draw strong future leaders from those who have been working through a discipleship course recently.

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PRAYER DIARY

4 / There is a need for a longterm church building solution as the owner has plans to demolish the building they currently meet in. 5 / Pray for peace and stability in Turkey, where widespread unrest was sparked off this summer over development plans for Taksim Square. 6 / Pray for protection and perseverance for Christians in Turkey. Our partners tell us that less than 1 in 10,000 know Jesus. 7 / The TEN Board of Trustees meet today. Pray for God’s wisdom and guidance in decision-making. 8 / Compassion Ministry, Moscow, Russia. Pray for Galina Dzhuzenova, Director, who plans to continue overseeing the work beyond the official retirement age in Russia. Give thanks for her and ask God to continue to direct and inspire her. 9 / Pray for the Compassion teams who visit those in hospital. Pray that they will be known for their compassion and love for those who are suffering. 10 / Sergey Obidenny, Prokhladni, Russia. Pray for Sergey and his family, that his children may grow in their dedication to God. 11 / Pray that the different ethnic groups in Russia may come to Christ, such as the Kabardarians, Gypsies, Armenians and Chechnyans. 12 / Pray that many will come to maturity in Christ through the Correspondence Bible School. 13 / Pray that the prison ministry work in Sovetskaya Prison will continue to make an impact on the young people there.

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14 / Danijel Vuga, Zagreb, Croatia. Danijel is working to set up the ‘House of Hope’ homeless shelter, the only one of its kind in Zagreb. Pray that any details still needing to be finalised will be done efficiently and effectively. 15 / Danijel wants the ‘House of Hope’ to be a new church plant, too. Pray for God’s guidance in the fulfilment of this. 16 / Pray that the three staff members employed by the shelter will quickly adjust to their new roles and will be a huge asset to this work. 17 / Pray that Danijel may constantly lean on God and hear from God as he develops the shelter and church plant. 18 / Pray that ‘House of Hope’ will become known as a place where God’s limitless love and practical care transforms lives. 19 / Hervin Fushekati, Tirana, Albania. Hervin has recently finished a Masters course, which means he now has more free time for family and church. Pray that he will use this time wisely. 20 / Hervin currently pastors the River Bank Church of God in Bathore, the shanty town on the outskirts of Tirana; this is in addition to his main church in Tirana. Pray for a leader for River Bank to be raised up, so that Hervin can be released from this extra duty. 21 / River Bank Church has slowly started to reach the men in the local community, a fantastic development in the previously all women and children congregation. Pray that the presence of men will encourage yet more men to attend, and more importantly, that they will become

TRANSFORM EUROPE NOW / AUTUMN 2013

strong disciples of Jesus. 22 / Pray today for the growing youth work at River Bank Church of God, and that many will be impacted through this ministry. 23 / Pray for Fitije, who helps with all the church ministries and also runs several home Bible studies amongst the ladies. 24 / Andy Drake is speaking today at South Park Chapel, Ilford. 25 / Tomek and Damaris Otremba, Silesia, Poland. Pray for the Otremba family, for good health and stamina. Pray that their son may be encouraged in his walk with God following his baptism this summer. 26 / Pray for wisdom for them as they develop relationships with non-Christians in their local area. Pray that trust and communication will continue to grow deeper. 27 / Pray that the TEN team will have lots of opportunities to share about the work of our partners today at the Edinburgh Christian Resources Exhibition. 28 / Pray for stamina for the team as they talk and hand out lots of information at CRE. Pray that significant contacts will be made there today. 29 / Pray that the vehicle God provided for Tomek and Damaris this summer will be a great help in their work. Pray that it will give them many years of problem-free service. 30 / Pray that the Otrembas may receive encouragement and support in their work from fellow Christians and will not feel isolated or discouraged.


YOU AND EUROPE

WHERE HAS GOD CALLED YOU? You don’t have to travel to be a missionary, you just have to care. Acts 1:8 reads, ‘But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.’ For those of us living in the UK, ‘Jerusalem’ is our home town or city, ‘Judea’ is the UK, ‘Samaria’ is Europe, and the ‘ends of the earth’ is the rest of the world. Transform Europe Now works across 15 European countries in over 50 projects. If you or your church wishes to make a difference in Europe then you don’t have to go it alone. Church partnerships, short-term teams, special church services, volunteering, targeted prayer and financial support—there’s something for everyone, and we’d love to help you attain your mission aspirations. Check out www.transformeuropenow.org for more details!

Countries we operate in include:

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CHURCH PARTNERSHIPS – AN INSIDE LOOK...

THE

CONSTANTA OF

TOMORROW

The port city of Constanta lies on the south-eastern coast of Romania. At just seven hours’ drive from Turkey it boasts all the diversity you might imagine, from the influence of tourism that its Black Sea beaches still occasionally attract to the encroachment of minarets across the skyline.

U

nlike much of the rest of Romania— especially the North—Constanta has not enjoyed large scale church growth. The evangelical Christians who live there are in a marginalised and sometimes persecuted minority; church planting here takes a particular type of courage and determination. Even the architectural history of the place undergirds this adversarial atmosphere. As you head out on the main road toward Bucharest you cross the Cernavoda Bridge, its impressive span across the Danube also a gallery to forgotten Christians. Shipped to the river decades ago to perform hard labour, and often dying in the process, they dared to believe that Jesus was real, and paid the ultimate price for their faith. Today the totalitarianism is no more but still Christians of remarkable tenacity can be found. They are that rare breed that asks ‘not what God can do for them, but what they can do for God’. They seek to serve in a place of discomfort, difficulty and challenge simply to share the love of He 14

who loved them first. One such couple are Traian and Elena Pascalau. When I met them recently I again was deeply impressed by their godliness, dedication and fruitfulness. They lead Biserica Buna Vestire (The Good News Church), a congregation involved in church planting, working with street children, a drop-in centre for vulnerable adults, reaching the Roma and Turkish communities and Alpha courses (in fact Elena is the national coordinator) amongst other things. It is almost impossible to overestimate how much of a difference they are making. The church currently meets in a theatre on Sundays and enjoys lively worship and

Shipped to the river decades ago to perform hard labour, and often dying in the process, they dared to believe that Jesus was real, and paid the ultimate price for their faith.

TRANSFORM EUROPE NOW / AUTUMN 2013


CHURCH PARTNERSHIPS – AN INSIDE LOOK...

Photos: The church meet in the city’s cultural house (left); children in church (right).

a healthy mix of people from the region. Of course, if it were in the UK it would not only be full of life, but full of resources too. The working members in the congregation would be able to contribute to the needs of supporting the church leaders, and they in turn would be able to focus on taking the work forward, and not worrying, for instance, about how to put food on the table. But this is Constanta, in Romania, and Traian and Elena need outside support. Much of their congregation is either unemployed or on very low and erratic pay. Their work is incredible, but its sustainability is vulnerable. TEN has been able to support them—both from its strategic fund and direct gifts from supporters—but we need those who have cared for them once, and those who might care for them anew, to stand alongside Traian and Elena to enable them to continue their work. We were able to capture a video of them speaking about their sense of calling, and you can easily find it on the internet by going to vimeo.com/33404562. If you feel that you would like to support their ministry you can simply use the enclosed form, mentioning that the support is for them specifically (as always, direct giving goes 100% to the people or project in question), or call us on +44

(0)117 961 5161. This will then go toward enabling them to continue their ministry in Constanta. Please remember to pray for them and their work, and do know that all of your support, both prayerful and financial, is making a real difference. For here at TEN we believe there is a new and better bridge, built between brothers and sisters in the UK and those in Europe, and it carries hope and a vision for the future. The Constanta of yesterday doesn’t have to be the Constanta of tomorrow. Andy Drake

Traian and Elena Pascalau +44 (0)117 961 5161 / www.transformeuropenow.org

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WHAT’S GOING ON IN...

...ROMANIA

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e have two main areas of operation in Romania – Oradea in the northwest, and Constanta in the southeast. In Oradea, we work with the Emanuel University of Oradea. The university specialises in sending students out into highcalibre secular jobs, having had the theological input to enable them to serve as witnesses for Christ in their workplace. It was university students who created CASA Grace (an organisation providing social care, advocacy and training for those living in desperate poverty) and, later, the Emanuel Hospice (caring for terminally ill patients and their families in the local community and currently building an inpatient unit). TEN’s Lindsay Davey recently took a small team to the Hospice, to introduce pampering ministry to the Hospice team and patients currently under care—this was very much appreciated! 16

The Constanta region has a very different feel to Oradea, with strong Turkish Islamic influences evident in every town and village. Traian and Elena Pascalau, church leaders and planters, Alpha coordinators and social care advocates in this region, have steadily introduced us to many new partners over the years! We continue to support Traian and Elena, as well as their Heart to Heart Old People’s Project; and we also partner with Project Romanian Rescue (outreach and care for street children, as well as getting them off the streets where possible). We have recently been able to provide funding for a new church building in the region, where Pastor Beni serves, and it is hoped this project will be completed by September. We also love the work of Rock of Ages Prison Ministry, who devote their time to reaching prisoners across Romania (with much success). All this work is so

TRANSFORM EUROPE NOW / AUTUMN 2013

“Thank you very much for your love for Emanuel Hospice. Thank you for sharing God’s love with the Romanian people experiencing their last days. On behalf of our patients and the entire staff of Emanuel Hospice we thank you!” Marinela important, and each project so relevant to its local community – it’s a joy to be partnered with each of them!

Photos: Top: The local community at the new church building with Pastor Beni. Bottom: Lindsay introducing pamper ministry.


WHAT’S GOING ON IN...

...CROATIA

O

n the 1st July Croatia became the 28th country to join the European Union, a move favoured by 66% of Croats. However, amidst the joy comes some uncertainty about the future. Danijel Vuga, a new contact of TEN based in Zagreb, shares: “Unemployment is growing all the time and needs grow daily—mainly young people are without jobs. Joining the EU may mean more factories move south, away from Croatia where cheaper labour is available.” Danijel is setting up a homeless shelter, which is well on the way to becoming fully functioning. The intention is that the homeless will receive not only practical help, but also

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spiritual and moral support. TEN partners with several churches across Croatia: The Split Evangelical Church, planted and led by Danijel and Eva Mrsic with Assistant Pastor Ico Matulic, continues to seek to reach residents of that city. The church provides spiritual and social support through pastoral work, humanitarian aid and also has a centre for the rehabilitation and resocialisation of drug addicts. Antun and Marija Koprivnjak planted the evangelical church in Vukovar. Antun continues to lead the church and spends his spare time praying for the country. He is concerned that Croatia has fallen outside of God’s blessing and particularly prays that people will

3

“First of all, we want to thank you, the TEN team and all the supporters for the prayers and support, which are of an indescribable help and encouragement to us.” Danijel and Eva

turn back to God and that the rising tide of Islam will be stemmed. Marija and daughter, Elizabeta, regularly travel the country, leading women’s evangelistic meetings, publishing magazines, and a whole host of other events aimed to reach into and transform lives. Tomi and Helena Mogus also live in Vukovar, and lead the church plant in the nearby village of Ilaca.

Photos: Top: Zagreb, Croatia; 1. Eva and Danijel Mrsic; 2. Antun and Marija with daughter, Elizabeta; 3. Helena and Tomi.

+44 (0)117 961 5161 / www.transformeuropenow.org

17


PARTNERSHIPS – AN INSIDE LOOK...

60 SECONDS WITH…

LOUISE BAPTISTA LONG-STANDING SUPPORTER

Louise reflects on her travels for TEN: “In the late 70s I spent two weeks working at The Lar children’s home in Portugal. Despite being well cared for the children regularly fell behind on starting school, through no fault of their own, simply on account of their backgrounds. I speak Portuguese and was able to go and assist the programme preparing groups of children for school life. The first challenge was how to encourage the children to sit still, listen and concentrate! Through a variety of activities the children learnt routine and discipline so they could cope better at school. “In 1989 I took a van with three girls into Romania, to take food packages to people in desperate need. This was before the Berlin Wall came down, so going there was risky. We bought food as cheaply as possible and went in via East Berlin. My second visit was in 1990, when borders were open, so food and Christian literature could be taken more easily; this time we went in via Hungary and met with pastors and Christian groups in south Romania and Transylvania. Romanians were still not used to seeing Westerners and their vans, so on one occasion someone had to stay overnight in the van to keep it safe. The people were in dire need. “Meeting Christians experiencing 18

Louise Baptista

such difficult circumstances and yet so committed to their faith and God’s work was life-changing for me. It felt an amazing honour to take Bibles and literature to people who had suffered so much for being Christians. My own faith and walk with the Lord were dramatically challenged by these experiences and I encountered a depth of life with God previously unknown. “TEN has adapted what they do to the changes that have taken place in Europe, so their help is as relevant today as ever. UK church support is still vital for this work.” Recently-retired, Louise looks forward to whatever new challenges lie ahead of her. If you would like to find out more about short-term visits that make a long-term difference, please phone us on +44 (0)117 961 5161 or visit tenteams.weebly.com

TRANSFORM EUROPE NOW / AUTUMN 2013


A PARTING GIFT

Use the final gift of your Will to give the next generation the best start.

During our lifetime many of us invest time, energy and financial resources in supporting the expansion of the Kingdom of God, but how much do we invest in ensuring that what may be our largest financial gift is used in the same way?

A gift to Transform Europe Now in your Will ensures resources are passed on to the next generation of people who are shining God’s light across Europe, continuing the work you dedicated your life to support through your gifts and prayers.

For further information on how to leave a legacy to TEN, please call Lindsay Davey on +44 (0)117 961 5161 or email us at info@transformeuropenow.org

Gifts with a value, not just a price

Give an essential gift to help to transform a life. We hope you enjoy the enclosed catalogue. If for some reason you don’t have one, or would like more, please call us!

www.transformeuropenow.org


Have you ever felt that God may have let you drift, let you down, let you go or left you behind?

TENACIOUS is the encouragement every Christian needs. Packed with 100 true-life accounts of God never letting go, it’s guaranteed to galvanize faith and reignite hope! Only

£5.95

or two for £10 (plus P&P)! Call now to order on:

+44 (0)117 961 5161

“The testimonies in Tenacious are amazing… An encouragement to keep going and to trust God, and so full of His grace and power.” Natalie

“Tenacious is packed with inspiration for both new and old Christians alike—I’m recommending it to everyone in my church!” Rev. Tim Silk, St Philips and St Jacobs, Bristol

CHURCH/SMALL GROUP LEADERS Ask about our special package that includes the six week ‘TALKING TENACIOUS’ study course—the small group resource with a big heart for mission!

“The group definitely felt challenged, but actually seemed to enjoy grappling with the questions raised. As a group we have been moved to action!” Andrew Macpherson, small group leader

Transform Europe Now | Magazine – Autumn 2013  
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