|SWAT REPORT # 79 02-26-07
Matthew 5:45 " for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust."
HOW TO RUIN YOUR MINISTRY AND JUSTIFY IT DO NOT read into this one ounce of discouragement on my part for the ministry here. I have never in nearly 40 years in the ministry been discouraged and I am not now. But having reported to you for nearly 2 ½ years a steady upward progress of our ministry here in Romania, I would be unfair if I did not also report the potholes and quagmires here as are present in every ministry everywhere. The verse above mentions sunshine and rain and no matter where your ministry is or what nature your ministry takes, you will have sunshine as well as rain for a false balance is abomination to the Lord.
Before I give you the pothole report let me highlight some faithful folk in our ministry. Thank God for the faithful of the land. In photo 7901 is Cornel and Mary (and soon to be Cornel Jr.). What a blessing to have folk like this although they have their own ministry working with Campus Crusade, they are willing to lend hand and heart to our church and ministry. In photo 7902 is Johnny and Raluka college students awaiting the Lord's guidance upon their permanent relationship but faithful (as faithful as college students can be) to support our ministry here. They both speak very good English and so aid us much in translation. In photo 7903 is Peter and Ann. They have been with us the longest now and Peter will finish the Bible institute with us in May. Peter is a silent river that runs steady and deep. Ann was saved at our big city-wide meeting a couple of years ago. And last but not least is photo 7904. Betty is a Hungarian lady who loves our ministry and has been a true blessing. All of these are growing in the Lord some faster than others but all are being blessed by our ministry as well as being a blessing to our ministry.
Now, "How to ruin your ministry .and justify it. We have had seven men to come into our ministry. You have seen photos of all of these in past reports. All of them have preached with us on the street and five of them were Bible institute students. Some of these men had families which added to our ministry and several were single. All of these men had great potential for the ministry and we were certainly willing to train, direct and use them or aid them in any way along their way to serving the Lord. But each of these have hamstrung themselves in their service of the Lord because of the following list.
1 The love of money
This age-old tool of the devil has not lost its effectiveness. It is a MAJOR problem here in eastern Europe Heightened greatly by Romania's entrance into the European union. **One of these good men left our church and went to Bucharest putting the Lord in second place behind money. **The most painful of these happened last week. A Good man who has been with us nearly 2 years left for Ireland on the promise of a job and money. Unbelievably, he left his 12 year old daughter (already forsaken by her mother for the same reason) in the care of a distant relative who is unsaved and provides a most unsavory environment both morally and spiritually. Both of these good men justify all by the verse pertaining to "provide not for his own."
2 Unwillingness to submit to the local church.
Two more good men simply slough off the Bible's admonition to be subject to those who have the rule over you. They came to us bringing great excitement to all but at the first bump in the road they swerved into the ditch. They could not accept the pure Word of God over their personal traditions. They preferred the comfort and familiarity of their terribly perverted version of what God said.
3 Lust of the flesh.
--One simply could not contain. We had poured more into him than any of the others but when the flesh wants something bad enough and the way of escape is not appealing it is a battle few men can win. This man dove into a pit of snakes he will never recover from. Pro. 5,6,7 the strange woman got him.
4 Loving the preeminence
--Power corrupts. It does not take much power just a slight preeminence just the cheap thrill of being a bit older and stronger in personality just the elevation felt when others listen and pay attention to you even when that honor is given in duress. This man continues to function in our ministry but will never be able to be given any opportunity with position because he cannot handle any of this power. Sad, we could have used him.
5 Gahazi syndrome
--Basically childishness. We are only in nursery school when it comes to understanding the Gypsy mentality but childishness does seem to be an ethnic trait with this group. We feel we are in a catch-22 situation on this problem wanting to help physically and materially and able to help in both but there is a serious welfare mentality and you just can't win if I explained this particular incident in detail you would not believe how silly and small it all is. Good man just childish.
All of this is so very painful to all of us in this ministry. But I am certain that many of the pastors receiving this can sympathize with us to a great magnitude.
COMING SOON I will end on a very positive note. In photo #7905 is the gospel tract of the century for Europe. I do not mean to cast shadows upon Chick tracts but this one is a hot-cakes tract I found this in Spain when I was there. It was written on one side in Spanish and on the other in English with some translating and some minor changes in wording we are producing this in Romanian/English I wanted this last summer couldn't find a printer I could afford multi color etc .I really wanted it for the big celebration at New Years when Romania entered the EU. This would have been so fantastic but the same problem existed but now the Lord has given us a Christian printer who will produce this at something I can afford. Should have them for the street by Friday. Any other missionaries in Europe that would like this help yourself you can translate it any way you want Of course, what makes this tract so desirable is that it folds to form a perfect image of a 100 and 200 Euro bill yet is completely legal all you have to do is carry them in a vest pocket with the end visible and no one ever looks at your face for the tract. Leave them in the PO or store or anywhere give them out as a "gift from God."
Marching hard over the potholes and quagmires on the eastern front