“How do you feel about going on a Mission?” I must have been asked that question a dozen times prior to our departure. “Terrified and excited in equal measure” was my reply. For me and most of the group going, this was our first experience of doing street evangelism, home visiting strangers, drama, standing up in a foreign country to preach, give a testimony, or visiting an old people’s home, and everything being done through interpreters.
On 1st May the seven fledgling disciples met with Clive, Ann and Grace McIntyre (who run Barnabas Outreach Trust) at Terminal 5, to fly to Bucharest, for our 5 day Mission.
Our prayer requests included, good weather whenever we were out doing God’s work,- the only time it rained on us was on the last evening when we were walking back to our rooms; that nobody would get ill or have any accidents,- we were all fine; and that when opportunities arose, we would have the right words to speak about the love of God, and of our certainty of going to Heaven. We all had chances to talk about Jesus and our faith. It was amazing.
We were based in Rossiorri, a small town about 2 ½ hours drive south west of Bucharest, and were working with the local Baptist pastor, Vorill, who introduced us to his satellite church in Baalaci on our first morning. Here we walked through the village and spoke to local people over their garden walls, in the streets and were invited into homes. We had many requests for prayers for healing, both of body and mind, and at the service that afternoon, when Angus Drummond spoke and Vanessa Cope gave her testimony, several of those we had met came to the church. Sandra Faccini was one of those asked to pray the prayer of salvation with one of the ladies.
On the next morning, Dan Stevenson, Pat and Mary Ryan, several interpreters and young people from the main church, went to the park to sing, and invite teenagers to attend the church for a Youth meeting that afternoon. It was a lively 4hour service, at which Dan preached and Sandra gave her testimony. Many of those contacted earlier, attended. Once again prayers were being answered.
Sue Peterkin, Sandra, Angus, the McIntyres and Vanessa went to a home for the elderly. We had a bag of food “goodies” for every resident, bought with some of the money raised at the Chocolate Quiz night. We visited every resident in pairs, and were asked to pray for each individually. We talked about Salvation, and God’s love for each of them. It was a very special time.
Sandra, Sue, Angus and Vanessa then were requested by a church member to visit and pray for her mother and family in their home. They were delightful and welcoming Gypsies, and literally lived on the other side of the track. We climbed up the embankment over the rail lines, and down the other side into a different world of abject and grinding poverty. It was very humbling. Wonderfully, the whole family came to church the next day.
The Sunday morning service lasted over 3 hours, and three of us led the Sunday school for an hour of music, craft, and stories. There were 26 kids, most of whom were from the local orphanage, and of gypsy decent. They were fabulous, and so enthusiastic.
Pat and Mary led the evening service, and were joined by a singing group from Bucharest. At the end, there was time for prayers and goodbyes. This was most poignant for Orelle (the local police chief), who had committed his life to the Lord at the previous Barnabas mission, and had become friends with us. He was ill with cancer, and was to be baptised the following Sunday. A very special man.
I could write a book about the fun and laughter we had, the meals, the plumbing, and the loos! However, the certain knowledge that the Lord was with us, guiding and protecting us in every situation, would make me say, if he can use us, he can use you too. If you can go on a Mission, GO, you’ll be fine.