Do we rather follow our own desires than those of God ? - Myung Soo

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2005-09-15 02:46
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Dear Friends from Bruxelles,

This is my news letter with some prayer subjects. I put some words about the salvation because several peoples of my family are not christian and they get my news letter. It's a way also for me to share them the Gospel.

In June, July and August, tens of thousands of families were flooded in the South-West and North-East of Romania. Many among you will certainly have seen this on the television. Many have lost their homes which they have worked for their whole life. The Romanian government has promised to rebuild the houses that were destroyed and to repair those that can be renovated. The majority of those affected however have little hope that the promised help will really come. Many promises but little hope for the most helpless. Those who have connections in the administration will see these promises fulfilled, the others will have to exercise a lot of patience.

During the summer, we went with several teams to the really isolated corners of Romania, for instance Romanian Moldova (North-East) and Oltenia (South). Life is very hard in Oltenia. Toilets consist of holes in the ground. The showers are containers attached to the wall and are filled with water from bottles that are warmed up in the garden during the day. My reflection when living among these people was that Jesus has died on the cross and has risen for the sins of everyone. No matter where we live, irrespective of our social background, our education, or the material goods we possess.
In our own way, in July and August, and with the support from teams from the US and Belgium as well as with numerous Romanians, we tried to share this wonderful promise, found in the Gospel of John: God did not send his Son to condemn the world, but for the world to be saved by Him. For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son that no one should perish but have eternal life.
Jesus made a tremendous sacrifice. What God asks from us is that we trust in Him, that we give Him a place in our life, in our heart where He can help us to see that life is not only suffering, corruption, lies and catastrophes. God can help us to realise that life is also joy, peace and reciprocal help. God has promised us that after death a new life starts for everyone. One of sadness or one of joy. And it is not up to me to argue whether that is just or not. All I know is that Jesus has given his life for us to have access to this life of joy in the eternal presence of God.

Are we too proud ? Do we desire to have 100% control over our lives ? Do we rather follow our own desires than those of God ? Are we afraid of being confused with fanatics, fundamentalists, sectarians ? One of the effects of following God's teachings in the Bible, of being Christians, is to be concerned with people, not to ignore them or to wish them bad, to share with them the promise of God, to pray for them and to make time for them.

Announcing good news, consecrating time, giving clothes and financial help, that's also what we did in July and August. God helped us a lot and guided us throughout numerous activities. Here's an overview:

July


July 5th - 20th : 25 people from US, Illinois, from YfC Kankakee and from the River Valley church came over for two weeks. We had an evangelistic campaign in Vladimirescu and we continued with the renovation of the Coffee Bar in Arad. 15 people, together with a dozen youngsters from a local church contributed to the evangelistic outreach. Between 50 and 80 teenagers and youngsters participated in the biblical activities, sports activities, games, ... The mayor of Vladimirescu allowed us to use the football field. We held activities between in the morning from 10 AM to 1 PM and in the afternoon from 4 till 6 PM. The local church provided meals at noon and in the evening, great food, typical Romanian dishes, with a lot of soup. The local church of Vladimirescu was very happy with the collaboration. Two thirds of all the youngsters taking part in the programmes came from non-Christian families. The ten other people from the team worked from 8 AM till 6 PM on the renovation of the Coffee Bar. They did a great job. From the pictures you can tell the difference. And they left us with some money to do some additional works. A big thank you for their time, money, stress and sweat.

July 25th - 29th: Romanian youngsters in Romanian Moldova
In collaboration with several mission organisations and Romanian churches, we gathered with 250 youngsters for the 4th edition of Evangelisation RNT (Retea National de Tineret: National Network of Youngsters). We went to the town Campulung Moldoveneasca in the Nort-East, in Romanian Moldova. Out of the 250 youngsters 12 teams were built to visit ill people in several hospitals, to repaint the biggest bridge in town, to help poor families (over 200 families received clothes, medication and food), to clean the streets and the river (hundreds of rubbish bags with all sorts of dirt were collected), to help out in several youth organisations, to organise evening concerts etc. I brought along 5 friends from Arad, to set up the sound and light system. The 450 km took us more than 15 hours, including two big hills. The roads were very bad, on one track of 150 km we couldn't drive faster than 20km/hr. My friends and I took responsibility in the evening concerts and the street animations on the biggest stage in town. In between we helped out in the morning and afternoon street animations. The first two days 70 kids took part in the activities. The third day, we were surprised only 40 showed up. We understood that the local Orthodox church had launched a message on the radio, asking the orthodox families to forbid their children to participate in our activities.
The evening concerts targeted the teenagers. Each evening we had two local bands, a theatre group, a preacher and a video show of the activities of that day. Every evening we had between 500 and 700 people on the main square. The local church was very pleased with the results. They received lots of encouragements. The relationship with the local authorities is excellent. Since then the mayor has created a civil department in which the pastor and several church members take part.
August

August 1st - 7th: 12 people came from California.
Together with the Hungarian church in Arad, we organised a week of outreach for teenagers in the morning and youngsters in the afternoon and evening. It was the first time this church had organised such an event. The young pastor was very pleased with the outcome even though there were difficulties every day. The Californians helped and guided the youth in organising games and helping them in sharing the gospel. About 40 children and 30 young people participated in the activities.
August 8th - 18th: 5 Koreans and 17 Romanian university students in Oltenia
On August 8th, around noon I went to the airport to pick up 5 Koreans, members of the Korean church in Brussels. The same evening we drove to the south of Romania and arrived at 6 AM the next morning in Camanda. After 18 hours of driving I was happy we could sleep a bit .... until 9 AM. My 5 friends were, to say the least, a bit surprised by the conditions in which they would live for a week. W joined a team of 15 students from Timisoara, whom I know very well. The leader, Dani, is member of YfC Romania. 11 students got involved with the organisation of activities in Commanda (1300 inhabitants) and the 5 Koreans and 4 students were going to organise special afternoon activities (3 PM till 7 PM) in a small village called Carcein (1100 inhabitants), 15 km further, in the hills, 45 minutes drive in y car, out base camp! On the pictures you can see the state of the roads.
In Commanda we organised a programme with a lot of variation. from 10 AM till 10 PM. Computer classes, English classes, sports activities, and of course Bible discovery, songs, testimonies, Gopsel messages, and sky observation through a telescope. Each day we had about 45 kids, 55 teenagers and 30 youngsters.
In Carcein, we held a programme of games and Bible discovery, from 3 Pm till 7 PM. 40 children, 70 teenagers and 30 young people took part in the activities. We offered clothes, toys and money to two churches. It was a blessing to them as well as to us. My 5 Korean friends also evangelised on the streets and on the market in a neighbouring village. On some pictures you can get an idea of life in Oltenia. I was very happy tp welcome Sun Hee and his team, to have them staying at my appartment. It allowed me to jump back to my 'birth'culture. They taught me to cook Korean food, especially Kimchee.
August 19th: meeting with mission leaders
After having taken my friends to the airport of Cluj, I met with church and youth mission leaders, 80 km from Cluj. We talked about the next evangelistic campaigns in Ocna Mures on September 22nd, 23rd and 24th. We will put a special emphasis on youngsters, and will organise several concerts.
August 20th: big open air concert in Timisoara
Saturday August 20th, the international church of Timisoara organised a big open air concert. Together with Cristi Cazacu, we helped them in the organisiation, myself at the sound system, Cristi in charge of the animation and translation for the Americans. 800 youngsters attended the concert in the park of Timisoara.
The last couple of days of August I rested a bit and spent some time in renovating the Coffee Bar in Arad.

Prayer subjects:

September 10th, pray for the big day of evangelistic outreach in the villages Livada and Sanleani. It's a big day in open air; we're organising games, a barbecue, sketches, a film, followed by a gospel message.
September 23rd - 25th: pray fro the outreach in Ocna Mures. Hundreds of youngsters will evangelise in small groups. In the evening we will organise concerts in the town centre.
October 7th, 8th and 9th: together with the sports team of young wheelchair users we will participate in the national championship for disabled people in Bucharest. We take part in the disciplines basketball and athletics.
Pray for the renovation works in the coffee bar. We need 1300 € for the heating system, it's on one of the pictures.
Pray for my involvement in a new church in Arad. I will meet with the pastor to discuss things. It's a new church that wants to reach young people and organise activities for them
Pray for my travels, in November to the US (Illinois) and South-Korea, to find personal financial support.

The letter is getting a bit long, I know, I can't keep it brief! Thank you for your patience.

A big thank you for those who gave clothes, food, toys and sound equipment. It's a big help. Hundreds of kids and teenagers enjoyed the fruits of your generosity.

I am in good health and the spirit is strong. Thank you all for your prayers and financial support. How important it is that you intercede for me!

Your friend and partner in the mission field of Romania,

Myung Soo Eric Merchie.

Youth for Christ Romania
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