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2Timothy 3:15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

My daughter Mary Bethany is 15 years old…she has known nothing in her entire life but "the ministry". Sometimes we forget how the ministry appears to a young person. Mary wrote a narrative for a school assignment about our new Bible study. I enjoyed it so much I thought you would too…there are only four photos this time…allow me to explain them and then PLEASE ENJOY reading the narrative below.

Photo # 124.01 is me trying to illustrate a sinner with the yoke of sin and the burden of sin…Photo # 124.02 is the same but looking at God's law which when it cannot be kept adds to the load of burden. These show the extreme a missionary goes to in order that the simplicity of the message of God might get through to the heart. I hear some of you laugh…it's OK…they all laughed but then it got serious.

Photo # 124.03 is Simona the 28 year mother who got saved in our new Bible study…story is in Mary's narrative. Photo # 124.04 are Simona's children mentioned in Mary's narrative.

Here is the Narrative:

It's Not Just a Name, It's a Mission Field

Intorsura Buzaului… It's a name that my parents have valiantly struggled to pronounce. Their initial attempts were, well, hilariously atrocious. As Dad stumbled through the first syllable, the Romanian college students grinned. By the time he started on Buzaului, they were practically rolling on the floor. Now, a month later, he's finally got it right--and Intorsura Buzaului is no longer just an exercise in oral gymnastics. The story starts with Lumi, a young woman who heard about Brasov Independent Baptist Church through an acquaintance. She attended our church for a short time and then moved back to the States. But before she left, she brought her parents to a service. They came and, surprisingly enough, loved it! Though they were saved and had drifted in and out of several different churches, they were unhappy with all of them. Since Intorsura Buzaului is a forty minute drive from Brasov, it was a great expense of time and money for them to come into the city, but it was an even greater disappointment to sit through the boring, lukewarm services that the Pentecostal, Brethren, and Charismatic churches held. Lumi's father, Ionos Bali, lamented, "I make this effort and go to church, but I hear no preaching. Where is the preaching?" Apparently, he found what he was searching for in the Bible-centered preaching at BBIBV, because he came again…and again…and again. Several months after Mr. Bali's first visit and much prayer and consideration on both Brother Logan and my father's part, the question was put to him if he would consider allowing us to hold a Bible study in his home. He jumped at the offer and then made us jump by offering to pay for the gas necessary to make the trip. Enthusiasm and excitement radiated from his face. That first week, as our family and two Bible institute students piled into the car, the same question was on everyone's mind; "Are these people serious? Do they want the teaching of the Word of God or are they looking for a hand-out?" We discussed their motives, not wanting to get excited pre-maturely, but hopeful that the Balis would show a sincere interest in the Bible study. The road to their town was actually quite good (in Romania, if your teeth aren't clicking together and your rear is in contact with the seat at least thirty out of sixty seconds, it's a decent road). This particular route twisted and turned through several villages and over a small ridge of mountains. As we made a particularly tight turn, one of the students groaned. Daddy chuckled, "Getting queasy, Danut?"

He mumbled back something that sounded like, "Yes…ohhhhh."

Thirty minutes later, after a slight detour, we arrived at the Bali's house. A blast of frigid wind swept across the yard, fluttering the shirts and pants stretched along the fence to dry and chilling our faces as we stumbled out of the car. "Welcome, welcome!" Mr. Bali called out, as he stepped out to greet us. "Please, come in, come in." Dark as the winter evening was, the pale green walls of the building reflected some of the amber light gleaming from the windows and the house looked very inviting. We trailed through the door, Johnny carrying the accordion. A small kitchen led into a slightly larger room that might be called a den and which served as both living room and bedroom. On the day beds sat two adults and Mrs. Bali. Seeing us enter, she warmly welcomed us and launched into a long speech of appreciation. As she chatted with my mother, a young woman and a married couple ducked through the door. Introducing himself as Nelu, one of the Bali's sons, the man shook hands all around; his wife greeted Mom and me with a traditional Romanian kiss and the Christian greeting of "Pace." (peace). Meanwhile, two little boys peeped at us shyly. While everyone found a spot to sit, Daddy put on his accordion and Danut, still looking a little green, picked a few songs from the hymnbook. Though none of the folks gathered were very familiar with the songs, they sang with joy, nodding in agreement with the words. Finished with the songs, Dad picked up his Bible, and soon the attention of all was centered on the Word of God. Well, almost all. The little boys sat quietly but they obviously would have been happier playing tag. Later that evening, as we prepared to leave, Mom asked, "Would the children like to have a class of their own, next week?" The adults all nodded approvingly and the kids glanced at each other gleefully. Seven days later, Mom and I sat in the drafty kitchen across from five children, whose ages ranged from six to eleven. The two oldest, both girls, giggled nervously; I felt like joining them to ease my own nervousness. The thought flashed through my mind, "I wish God still gave the gift of tongues, because I certainly could use it now!" Mom spoke first, "So kids, let's get to know each other. What are your names? We'll start with this girl here." Interpreting, or interrupting, or maybe both, I repeated her words in Romanian.

The kids answered simultaneously, first saying their own names and then everyone else's. "Denisa." "Bogdan." "Costelus." "Ionut." "Maria." I smiled at the last name and introduced myself. "I'm Maria too, and this is my mom, Miss Robin ." They looked puzzled at that- all Romanian female names end in a-but they repeated it carefully. Pulling out a flannel graph book, Mom cleared her throat, "Tonight I want to tell you a story about a little boy named David who loved God…" Later that night, as we drove the winding road home, I thought about those children. If they had any interest in God, the only spiritual guidance available to them was the Orthodox church or the Pentecostal "fellowship". There wasn't much difference between the two. With the Orthodox, they would spend their lives burning candles and praying to icons, and many Pentecostal groups taught a works salvation and no eternal security. Supposing they did find true salvation, they would most likely be deceived by one of the many cults present in Romania. It would have been a very sad situation , if we had not received this opportunity to give them the Word of God. The next Tuesday, all five children were back, and this time we were able to give them a clear, simple presentation of the gospel. Afterwards, they each decorated and assembled a small booklet that was titled, "A Love Story". The story read, "Jesus came, Jesus died, and Jesus rose again… for me!" The kids were challenged to memorize Romans 3:21 and John 3:16, as we tried to open their eyes to the clear simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. จจจ

It is exactly one month after that first visit to Intorsura Buzaului; tonight, a young woman received Christ as her Saviour. She is hugging her son and daughter, while Mom quotes several verses on eternal security. The kids, who have just finished saying their memory verses, are listening, not quite certain what has happened, but curious. These children may never leave this town, but perhaps God is forming a Bible-believing church here. And maybe these children will someday join that church as saved believers. I don't know, but with God all things are possible. I can't wait for next Tuesday!

Doing what I can with all my heart on the eastern front.
Gerald Sutek and the SWAT TEAM for Christ

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