The Lord's Work, Romania

Autumn 2016
Written by Paul and Sue Williams - Romania

Warmest greetings in our Saviour's Precious Name. Once again we write to thank you for your faithful prayer support and practical fellowship during the last 13 months. We have been encouraged and strengthened by your emails and letters as we serve in a society which is rapidly changing as we wait for His Son from heaven".

Six believers baptized late May in Pietrisu
on the Romanian/Bulgarian border.
A wonderful opportunity in the gospel with 175 people present.

Items sent out have been greatly appreciated and bring joy and happiness to those who receive them. People living in isolated villages have asked us to thank you for your care and practical interest, as well as for all the hard work put in on their behalf. May God bless and encourage you as He alone is able is their prayer.
An unexpected thing happened at the beginning of the year. Paul received a phone call from a Christian radio station asking him to be ready within an hour to speak about the Romanian Bible Exhibition. The short question and answer session went well. Another phone call came, asking us to take the Bible Exhibition into an international school in Brasov where the pupils speak varying degrees of English. It was a challenging experience as the age of the children ranged from 4-18 years, but, we all had an interesting and enjoyable time. We have been into local schools and after School with items from the Bible Exhibition. Teachers, parents and children are always interested in what they see and hear. Plans are to respond to requests to take the Exhibition to different areas especially to reach the younger generation with the truths of the Word of God.

Towards the end of last year, 80,000 calendars arrived in good time to be distributed for evangelistic purposes throughout Romania and also in countries where there are Romanian-speaking assemblies. As one believer wrote, "We pray that through the messages printed on these calendars and through the words spoken by those who give them out that the Holy Spirit will work in the hearts of those who receive them".

The gospel tent work began in May 2008 and brought new opportunities each summer. This year the first tent was pitched on 11th April in Pesteana, County of Hunedoara. Already in this County, a tent has been used by a dedicated evangelist in 36 villages. If, like as last year, we have a warm autumn he hopes to continue until early November!

Gospel tent meetings for children and adults
in the gold mining village of Certeju de Jos, County of Hunedoara.
Ideal position surrounded by eight blocks of apartments.

During the 9th summer of this gospel ministry, tents have been used in 110 villages and small towns [in 21 Counties] with at least 230 people professing faith in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; nearly 14,500 children and over 17,000 young people and adults [believers and unbelievers] have attended these tent meetings. In some villages, good numbers of people listen on roadways, in their homes or gardens, as the gospel is preached through the loudspeaker system!

Gospel tent pitched on a private market in
Baleni Romani, County of Dambovita.
300 people listening to the great message of salvation.

It is a great privilege to work alongside local assemblies and with local evangelists consolidating the work they do contact people in their areas on an ongoing basis and encouraging them in their labours for the Lord. Please pray for them and believers in local assemblies as they follow up the many people contacted as a result of the tent work. Personal highlights of the summer tent ministry include:

  • Pitching a tent near blocks of apartments in the town of Motru (County of Gorj) and preaching the gospel.
  • Preaching at baptisms in a tent in Pietrisu with 175 people present.
  • Preaching with a dedicated gospel worker in tents pitched in Otelu Rosu, Certeju de Jos and Magura (Counties of Hunedoara and Caras Severin). In Certeju de Jos there is a gold mine and the tent was surrounded by eight blocks of apartments.
  • Preaching with an elder from our local assembly in Ploiesti in a tent that was pitched on a private market in Baleni Romani (County of Dambovita) with 300 people listening to the gospel.
  • Preaching in tents in Ticleni, Ponoarele, Moara Noua and Bertea to good numbers of unsaved people.

We continue to greatly appreciate the support and encouragement of the local assembly in Ploiesti and their keen interest in tent work through prayer and help at the tent meetings when in the local area.

Consecutive Bible Teaching occupies most of the time during the autumn, winter and early spring months. A request was received from brethren in the city of Sibiu for an overview of the Old Testament. It was most encouraging to spend five Saturdays (4 hours each visit), over a four month period, with a good number of brethren, studying the Old Testament.

For the last five years, during the winter, we have had all-day Bible studies in the south, with believers from two assemblies. These will recommence in early December when brethren have returned from working in Spain and London. It was a real joy also to have had series of ministry meetings (two sessions nightly) in Saliste, Helesteni, Rachita, Moara Noua, Gulia and Banesti. As well as these there were regular ministry meetings in our home County and youth conferences in different areas (Craiova, Alba Iulia, Pietrisu, Garbova and Calnic).Many requests for spiritual help from local assemblies are received. The studies also give opportunities to distribute sound Christian literature and commentaries. For new believers, Kenneth Jones study books give a good initial base. These are being used in some local assemblies. Also, books by B.Cargill and J. Hay are a good help in building up local believers which enables them, in their turn, to teach and build up others (2 Timothy 2:2).

During the year some invitations were received to preach at baptisms in Calimanesti (County of Vrancea), Covrigi (County of Gorj), Budesti (County of Bacau), Pietrisu (County of Giurgiu) and Medies Aurit (County of Satu Mare). In three of these assemblies some believers, who were baptised by immersion, had been saved in gospel tent meetings. It was a joyous occasion to speak at the baptism of a lady who was saved on the first night of gospel tent meetings in the village of Covrigi, where there is a very small assembly. It was her 66th birthday on the day of her baptism!

Paul was also invited to speak at weddings in Banesti (County of Suceava), Rachita (County of Alba)and Vaslui. In Rachita this was the first Christian wedding in the village. Recently we were invited to a wedding in the Codlea area. The bridegroom was a pupil in Sue's gradinta in Codlea (2000-2002) and is very keen spiritually. It was great to renew fellowship with many believers from the two assemblies in Codlea and also to meet some former pupils!

Other highlights include:

  • Preaching the gospel in a school sports hall in Gaujani before Christmas to nearly 200 children and 75 unsaved adults.
  • Five nights with the largest gypsy assembly in Romania (Gulia, County of Suceava) saw great interest in the teaching of the Word of God. This assembly has grown from 50 to 160 baptised believers in the last eight years.
  • The first week of January an invitation was received for six afternoons of Bible teaching (two sessions) with the assembly in Helesteni, County of Iasi. The brethren decided to keep me busy! They arranged for visits to assemblies each morning and evening. seventeen meetings in 8 assemblies was a most profitable time.
  • Speaking at the opening of a small, new gospel hall in Vetis, County of Satu Mare in April with one of the elders from the Sighet assembly. The hall has been built on the edge of a former rubbish tip! The hall was packed with people and four professed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
  • The Bible Correspondence Course Work continues steadily amongst prisoners. New believers in local assemblies benefit from the studies as do others who request them.

Printing of gospel literature - During the year we received requests for the English copies of the manuscripts for the books Dorothy Jones wrote for children. Believers in Hungary and Germany wanted to translate them, and we understand that the books have been well received. Our stocks of the books in Romanian are continually being replenished as new generations of children are going through schools, Sunday schools, gospel tents and other outreach works.

Gospel tent meetings for children (afternoons)
and adults (evenings) in Moara Noua, County of Prahova
(in the grounds of a school).

We use a tremendous amount of gospel literature in the summer gospel tent work and gospel work. We receive many requests, from different parts of the country, for suitable Christian literature. Also, the Lord, through His people, has enabled us to supply different gospel workers with Bibles for interested people and new believers. As the A 4 gospel texts (with an explanation of the text on the back) are always gratefully received, we are planning one for each season. God willing, we hope to print different tracts that are suitable for special occasions in Romania.

Gospel tent meetings in the town of Marasesti,
County of Vrancea.

We were recently encouraged by some things we read: "Every Bible, tract, etc. has the potential to change lives for eternity". In a tribute to R. Watterson it was written that "he had the foresight to see the great potential that sound Christian literature had in the spread of the gospel and the establishment of young believers in their faith".

During the last year, due to the kindest help of believers and assemblies, we have been able to print some books, booklets and tracts which are currently being distributed:

  • A gospel tract "The richest man in the valley" - 100,000 copies.
  • A gospel tract "The pearl of great price" - 100,000 copies.
  • A gospel booklet "The heart of man" - 25,000 copies.
  • A gospel booklet "Safe, sure and happy" (Jack Hay) - 75,000 copies.
  • "Tell me more about the future" (Bert Cargill) - 10,000 copies.
  • "Tell me more about the Bible" (Bert Cargill) - 5,000 copies. Another 5,000 to be printed in 2017.
  • Romans 5:8 (A 4 colour format with an explanation of the text on the back) - 50,000 copies.
  • John 3:16 (A4 colour format with an explanation of the text on the back) - 35,000 copies.
  • 1 Timothy 1:15 (A4 colour format with an explanation of the text on the back) - 30,000 copies.
  • Reprints of some of the Kenneth Jones Bible study courses.
  • There are areas of Romania where Hungarian speaking believers live, and we were able to print "Knowing and Doing" (John McQuoid) in Hungarian - 200 copies.
  • Bibles were purchased to help evangelists in their gospel work.

Future Plans, in the will of the Lord, are to translate into Romanian and then print a large number of tracts, booklets, and commentaries

  • A booklet by Fraser Munro "The folly of atheism" - 75,000 copies.
  • A reprint of the gospel booklet "The heart of man" - 25,000 copies.
  • A gospel tract about "The birth of Jesus Christ" - 100,000 copies.
  • A gospel tract about "The resurrection of Jesus Christ" - 100,000 copies.
  • Genesis 1-1 (A 4 colour format with an explanation on the back about the important subject of creation) - 25,000 copies initially.
  • Overview of the New Testament published by Precious Seed in 5 volumes and written by B.Jones, J.Hay, J.Scarsbrook, J.Bennett, K.Keyser and T. Wilson - Prayer is valued for the translation and checking of this 404-page overview.
  • Christianity in action (First Century Principles for today) by Clark Logan - After the New Testament Overview has been completed prayer is appreciated for the translation and checking of this 230-page book.
  • Reprint a quantity of William MacDonald's commentaries on the Old and New Testament.

Requests for literature are regularly received from Romania, Romanian believers living in Europe and from time to time, the U.K. Requests are also received for Bible study notes to be sent in electronic format.

Sue continues to enjoy teaching English and encouraging young people spiritually as they regularly come into our home.

Prayer continues to be greatly valued for our safety in travel throughout Romania.

Autumn 2016
Written by Paul and Sue Williams - Romania