Crusade Evangelism In Oradea
After a lengthly van excursion across Hungary, we arrived at Oradea in western Romania. There is a medieval fortress in this city, complete with a moat around a fort/castle, knights in shining armor, various torture devices utilized by the ancients, and much more. Oradea was the northernmost outpost of the Roman Empire conquered by Trajan around 100 A.D. One hundred and fifty years earlier, Julius Caesar’s engineers built a bridge four football fields long in a mere ten days; and during the Gallic Wars, he crossed the Rhine River twice, in 55 B.C. and again in 53 B.C.
Likewise, in order to broadcast the power and might of the Roman Empire, Trajan crossed the Danube River as he conquered this entire region one and one half centuries later. This area of Romania and Hungary, as already mentioned, was previously named Dacia. The history of ancient Europe is very detailed indeed.
I greatly enjoyed listening to Bobby Herrell (Senior Pastor at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas) and Elijah Morar (President of Partners In Missions International, P.I.M.I.) brainstorm about a possible P.I.M.I. church plant in Budapest. Bobby says they will need a strong leader or two who are native Hungarians, before a church plant would be feasible. Elijah is the glue that’s holds this mission ministry together, and a resident of Oradea. Elijah is the headmaster of a Christian school just across the street from the aforementioned fortress! He also pastors a church. Since I noted that Bobby and Elijah were such great visionaries, I encouraged them to also consider church plants in pagan western Europe. They told me that they were already praying and pondering over it! The school that Elijah leads, is called the American – Romanian Christian School. In the realm of the surreal, it used to be the office of former Romanian Dictator Ceausescu! The Dictator and his wife were executed after the iron curtain fell. On Christmas Day in 1989, Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, were executed by firing squad.
Bobby Herrell mentioned that our tour guide from Budapest, Gabriella, was under conviction for salvation. I told her about the truth of Christianity and the plan of salvation as we toured Catholic Churches in Budapest. That turned out to be a great platform upon which to expound on the truth, and likewise to reveal the lies.
We seven preachers all went to different churches and preached the Gospel on February 1, 2017, the first of a five day evangelistic crusade. I spoke at Baptista Credinta, and preached the text that I used all week – Revelation 13:8b, “The Lamb Of God.” The folks displayed their legendary hospitality after the service, as we shared finger sandwiches, snacks and fellowship, and they did not want me to leave. Oh, how gracious they are. And they are so trusting, to open their pulpits to us. Their pastor John, mentioned to me how he just conducted two outside funerals in freezing weather.
On the way back to our hotel from the church, Elijah drove us and I noticed how he rolled his tongue off of the roof of his mouth when speaking. This is classic European and a cultural trait. He was also an excellent driver, hitting the apex at every turn, which is a technique taught in law enforcement driving schools. He told me that he has driven one million miles in Romania, and previously drove a truck for a living. The weather in Romania felt like a heat wave for the locals for this time of the year, as the temperature was in the forties. This was considerably warmer than the teens we experienced in Budapest. Tonight and throughout the week we noted the protests of the Romanians against their government. We saw them in Oradea, and they were most pronounced in Bucharest, Romania. They were peaceful demonstrations, protesting the politicians and leaders who were seeking to bribe their way out of legal charges, rather than pay the rightful penalties. The Romanians ending up winning their view points, and the politicians were held accountable.
The following is a list of our mission team, preachers highlighted in red:
Elijah Morar (President of P.I.M.I.)
Donnie and his son D.J. Foster
John and Toni Hadley