Romanian EP Conference
As part of its commitment to mission, Evangelical Press organises a number of conferences in eastern Europe. One such took place in October in the impressive college chapel of the Baptist University in Oradea.
Oradea is Romania’s tenth city, situated on its border with Hungary. The university springs from the work of the large Emanuel Baptist Church.
Around 140 students and pastors attended. The main speakers were EP authors Phil Arthur (Lancaster), who expounded passages from Colossians, and Gary Brady (Childs Hill), who tackled Wisdom literature – Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs. Translation was provided by two professors from the university, Corneliu Simut and Dan Boticca. From the Romanian end the conference was organised by Dinu Moga, managing director of Editura Faclia. The whole thing was warmly introduced by the senior pastor of Emanuel and president of the university, Dr Paul Negrut. It closed with a striking sermon on the work of the ministry from Ecclesiastes 10:8-9 by university dean, Dorin Hnatiuc.
John Rubens preached at Emanuel on Sunday evening, having preached elsewhere in the morning. Phil Arthur and Gary Brady preached at two smaller churches in the city, alternating morning and evening. All this gave valuable insights – the warm praying, reverence for the Word and a love for brass bands!
To be involved in such trips is always a privilege and no doubt the visitors took away more than they were able to give. To catch a glimpse of a people at prayer is a great privilege.
On the way back, shortly after the border crossing proper, we were stopped in Hungary by border guards. This was essentially a non-event, but a reminder of how different things were not long ago. One remembers the story of the sun and wind trying to get a man’s coat off.
The winds of persecution largely failed. We pray that the sunshine of freedom will prove equally unable to remove the armour of God many in Romania are seeking to wear.