Romania 2017 ~ Second “Partners In Missions International” (PIMI) Trip

I had the opportunity to attend a mission trip with this prolific group in late January and early February of this year.  Many were reached for the kingdom.  The following article from PIMI president Elijah Morar, lists the accomplishments from a second 2017 mission trip just concluded.  Elijah is the pastor / principal of the cited American Romanian School.  Eastern Europe is a hotbed of evangelism and salvation experiences.  Western Europe is dead and needs our prayers.

Blessings, Pastor Steve

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Dear Friends,

Allow me to share with you just a short note about our last mission project. I will follow this with our PIMI letter, but this is just a short note to let you know the victory in Christ that we had in Romania in the past week.
Monday we visited the village of Batar.
We have seen in the clinic 103 people (recorded on forms) and we were able to lead to Christ at least 7 people that we are following up with in discipleship!
Tuesday we had our 4th of July Party at the American Romanian School and kindergarten. Absolutely awesome day, that gave me the opportunity to share (on Thursday) the Saving Gospel of Christ with the Mayor, Vice Mayor and their staff! (this is not Facebook material – please understand)
Wednesday we were in Dragesti where we have seen 51 people (recorded on forms) and we were able to lead to Christ at least 7 people.
Thursday we went to Pocola and we have seen 16 people and we lead to Christ 2 people…
Friday and the first part of the day Saturday we were in Susturogiu where we have seen 84 people combined and lead to Christ 7 people.
Sunday in Beius in Church we had 1 saved and in Cihei we had 1 saved that evening.
254 people seen in the clinic and 25 saved during the week! GLORY TO GOD!
One last thing: – only in eternity will we know the full impact of this mission project.
Please continue to pray for us!
thank you and God bless you!

Elijah Morar

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The History Of Islam

The following history of Islam is a six part series the blog author wrote about five years ago, based on Patrick Buchanan’s book “Death Of The West,” and the sequel “Day Of Reckoning.”  I reprised it from six parts into this one lengthly article.  One of the important precepts in this story is that the Lord is allowing the wickedness of Radical Islam to harm the West because of our decadence.  If we stood squarely upon our original Judeo Christian foundation, Islam would not even be on the radar.  Islam can only enter a spiritual vacuum.  They intentionally attempt to strip a nation of their heritage, which in our case is Christianity.  They desire to make our nation secular, which is the spiritual vacuum that Islam builds upon.  Our nation is so spiritually lethargic, that it seems we are lacking a fervor and urgency to stop Islam from growing.  If ever born again Christians were called to pray, intercede and get involved, the time is now!  

Pray For Revival In America!   

 

 

“The Death Of The West” is the title of a book written by former presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan about ten years ago. He also wrote a sequel called The Day Of Reckoning. In his book, Russia, Europe and America are considered the west. His thesis is that immorality and a lack of conviction for the values that made our nation great are contributing to the rapid decay of the United States of America. We have gone from a country built on the Judeo Christian ethic to a pluralistic, multi cultural melting pot that stands for less and less everyday. Today’s buzzword is tolerance. That is tolerance for anything except the values that our country was built upon. We have entered the theatre of the absurd as special interest groups make outrageous claims. You can read about PETA, the ACLU, ACORN, Greenpeace and a host of others on a daily basis. President Obama claims he is a Christian, yet sanctifies sodomy, even making the marriage month of June, Gay Pride month. Nearly 60 million babies have been aborted since Roe vs. Wade, and our citizenry has the audacity to wonder why so many immigrants without traditional American values are “taking over.” It is called the law of sowing and reaping. The traditional and Biblical family is becoming extinct as the universal means for people living together. Now we are told that any living arrangements constitute a family. People boldly come into the Christian Church desiring to serve even though they are living in sin! Because the Christian Church has not stood on the Word of God, the church is having less and less impact on our culture. Buchanan suggests that our only hope as a unified nation is revival. He hit the nail on the head. Lately, there has been a lot of emphasis on “hosting the largest prayer meeting ever for our nation or in the state in which we live.” Our needs go far deeper. We need repentance within the church and we need 24/7/365 prayer “without ceasing!” Our nation is spiritually and morally adrift, economically challenged, and no longer do we feel secure from terrorists and other nefarious groups of people. God has always desired for us to walk with Him again but if we insist on doing that “which is right in our own eyes,” then He will let us go. 9-11 is the proof that He has indeed done just that.

There is great concern in our nation today about the building of mosques and the advancement of the agenda of radical Islam. This religion is built upon falsehoods and can only enter a vacuum created when people leave the One True God of the Bible. They have been setting their sights on the west because they perceive that we are currently in the “post Christian era.” They will erroneously conclude that Christianity does not work as they correctly observe the decay of the west. What they do not understand is that God did not leave us—we left Him. England left the Lord decades ago and is now paying the price. They stopped supporting Israel long ago, Christianity barely exists in England, and London is an international city that would best represent all beliefs. It is said that sharia law will soon be accepted in Great Britain, as England will be the first European Country to succumb to it. No longer can one say that the sun never sets on the British Empire. If you go as a visitor to England today, you will see people of Anglo Saxon descent serving at the tourist centers like Big Ben, the Parliament, Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London. If you walk for a block or two past these aforementioned locales, you will think you are in the Middle East. Radical Islam views all of the west in this manner, as nations to rapidly take over. Future entries on this site, the Lord willing, will reveal in detail the history, beliefs, mindset and agenda of radical Islam for the
west. The sole purpose of these articles is to incite the Christian Church to awareness and prayer. That is, “prayer without ceasing.”

The Seedbeds Of Islam:

Mohammed was not born until 570 A.D., long after the Bible was completed, both Old and New Testaments. The mindsets for the monotheistic religion of Islam, however, were already established. We will have to go back to the days of the original Biblical patriarchs in order to examine the fundamentals upon which this religion was built.
There are several Biblical characters who established the foundation for the religion of Islam. The first and foremost personality is Ishmael, born from the union of Abraham and Hagar. Isaac was Abraham’s rightful son of God’s promise, and was born later through Abraham and Sarah. Ishmael was blessed of God with a great number of progeny, yet he was lacking in spiritual and eternal blessings. Ishmael’s legacy of his people is best summed up in Genesis 16:12- “And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him: and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” This verse beautifully sums up both the religion of Islam and Ishmael’s people and descendants. Ishmael had a nephew Esau who was likeminded with his uncle. Both Ishmael and Esau were older brothers in their respective households, yet against the grain of Jewish law and protocol, their younger brothers both received the blessings and promises of God. Esau was a hunter, a hairy man, rugged, and the favorite of his father Isaac. He thought little of spiritual blessings however, and the familiar Biblical story has it that he sold his birthright in order to meet his hunger. Arabic descendants from both Ishmael and Esau were key players in the future religion of Islam, but there are others. When Mohammed came on the scene, descendants from the following Arabic peoples were also ripe for conversion to Islam: The descendants of Abraham’s nephew Lot made up the countries of Moab and Ammon who would also figure heavily as converts to Islam in the future. Less frequently cited is Abraham’s later wife Keturah, after Sarah’s death, who had many more sons with Abraham, further populating the Middle East with additional Arabic peoples. Abraham and Keturah had one son Sheba who settled in the southern Arabian peninsula. The Queen of Sheba who later visited Solomon, of course, came from this locale. Today, the nations of Yeman and Oman have replaced the ancient Sheba, yet the same progeny of Abraham and Keturah live in these countries. These early Arabic peoples lived under chieftans and sheiks, who were autocratic leaders over their respective families and clans. They populated the Arabic peninsula, living nomadic lifestyles in the desert, fighting off other people and neighbors, and if there was no one else to quarrel with, they fought amongst themselves. One can easily observe the fulfillment of the above cited Genesis 16:12 through the descendants of Ishmael and the early Arabic peoples. Hence the groundwork for the yet future religion of Islam has been laid.
Future entries will document the background and life of Mohammed, the pugilistic history and spread of Islam, and we will follow the tracks of this religion from the loins of Abraham to Armageddon.

Blessings, Pastor Steve

Enter Mohammad………….

Mohammad is an enigma wrapped in a riddle. To understand Mohammad and his convoluted theology is to understand Islam. The Western version of “Islam” and the little Americans know is usually not the real thing. Do you want to study nations that represent Mohammad’s teachings? Then examine Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Iran. Mohammad’s teachings, when implemented to the fullest, give the citizen the choice to convert or die. Infidels (anyone who is not a Muslim) are disparaged throughout the Koran, with Jews and Christians referred to as pigs and apes/monkeys. This belief system is a far cry from orthodox Christianity. Christians respect a person’s right to believe as they desire and do not attempt to force conversion on anyone, realizing that true salvation is a change of heart that only God can bring. We pray for the lost and have no desire to kill them, and do NOT want them to die without salvation. Islam is obviously a religion promoting fear in anyone who does not convert. This is why Franklin Graham was nixed on our National Day Of Prayer by President Obama, because he called Islam an evil religion. Most Christian leaders do not have the fortitude to make such a statement. Let us examine the theology of Mohammad:
Mohammad is now the most common name given to newborn boys in London, England! It is a name taken by countless sport celebrities, and other notables around the globe. When I went to Jordan/Israel in 1987 this was the name of the young man who pulled my donkey through a narrow siq as I entered the famous city of Petra, carved out of solid rock and featured in the Indiana Jones movie Temple of Doom. Let us now carefully examine the famous person behind those who are named after him. Mohammad (570-632A.D.)— Mohammad had spiritual visitations from Genes, beings who tormented him for a great amount of time until he became the catalyst for the Muslim faith. Today, the well known Arabic word Genie is derived from the beings who were bothersome to Mohammad. In my opinion the Genes seem as if they are one and the same as what a Christian would refer to as a demon or fallen angel. There were times when Mohammad seriously contemplated suicide. Mohammad lived in Mecca, a city that grew quite large on the Arabian trade route. Mecca, a leftover urban center that can trace its’ roots to the previous Babylonian Empire, was polytheistic, believing in many gods. Mohammad became monotheistic in his beliefs and promoted only one god, the moon god Allah, taken from the pantheon of Babylonian deities. [Abraham also lived in lands and cities who worshipped primarily the moon god in both Ur of the Chaldees and later in Haran. This is one of the reasons that God called him to a different place.] Mohammad attempted to institute this belief system in Mecca without success. He also tried to convince the local Jewish people to convert to this religion since they were also monotheistic, but they considered him to be a false prophet and would have nothing to do with him. This laid the groundwork for an absolute and perfect hatred of Mohammad toward the Jewish people and the antisemitism we see everywhere. [This is why the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Hamas, Hezbolah, Iran, Iraq and countless other nations and leaders will accept nothing short of the total annihilation of Israel.]
Mohammad successfully gained a foothold for Islam in the nearby Arabic city of Medina. The faith of Islam grew so fast and so large that it can only be explained as a supernatural phenomena. His armies converted thousands and slew thousands, and it was not long before he took over the entire Arabian peninsula, threatening nearby Asia, Africa and Europe during his life and the years immediately following. To understand Islam is to understand the sword, and their growth is through intimidation and threats of “convert or die.”
The Lord willing, future entries will thoroughly examine the beliefs of Islam. We will isolate several Arabic words that give us a comprehensive understanding of their philosophy, as their beliefs are often totally foreign to us. We will examine the history of Islam’s expansion throughout the world, and Biblical eschatology (end times prophecy) that traces their steps clear to the battle of Armageddon. One cannot understand our world today without understanding Islam. One final important note: Islam cannot possibly exist as a democracy or coexist with other religions! Islam is a religion, a culture, a social, political, economic and military system capturing every aspect of life. In the Islamic mindset, there is no alternative beyond their faith. Islam will promote peace only when everyone is Islamic.  Islam even means submission, and there will be global peace only when everyone submits to the teachings of Islam.  Until then, their war cry is Jihad. This is why it is foolish for any other nation to attempt to instill a democracy or republic in a Muslim nation. Put simply, the West does not understand the East and the radical agenda of the Islamic religion.

Increasing Our Arabic Vocabulary:

There is a politically correct, sanitized, western Muslim spin that makes this religion appear innocuous. Canada features a television show called “Little Mosque On The Prairie.” Not to be outdone, our nation now displays “All American Muslim.” These shows come on the heels of radical Islamic unrest in the Middle East in order to alter the western understanding of the naive. An excellant website for anyone who wants to understand the real agenda of this movement is RadicalIslam.org  The packaged agenda mentioned above intentionally glosses over jihadist terrorism, inequality with non-Muslims, misogyny, honor killings, the apostasy death penalty, etc., etc.  When the tentacles of this religion start taking over a nation, then the real intent of the belief system tends to dominate. Liberal or western Muslims will be urged to take Mohammad and the teachings of the Koran more seriously or they will not advance in the state under the radical Islamic agenda, and something could happen to their family members as well. Make no mistake, the teachings of their founder Mohammad and the Koran are what this faith is all about. They feature: * The sword against infidels. * All the teachings of Mohammad. * All the teachings of the Koran. * Jesus is not the Messiah and He is not the Son of God. He is a mere prophet and he is subordinate to Mohammad. * Ishmael was really Isaac. * Jerusalem really belongs to Islam even though the city is not mentioned in the Koran. * The Bible is full of errors and corrupt. The Koran was given later on in order to amend the corruptions. And the list goes on and on and on…. As you see, lies are a part of this religion and we will examine some of their words that describe their beliefs in detail: **Taqiyya is used to deceive Non-Muslims about Islam. It means deceit. Not only does Islam encourage believers to lie, it even commands it.  Muslims lie in order to make their beliefs more appealing to outsiders.  Since lying is so integral to Muslims, the ONLY way one can understand them is by watching what they DO, NOT by listening to what they SAY. Because of this, I believe Barack Hussein Obama is a Muslim. He CLAIMS to be a Christian yet has offered no testimony of his “new birth.” [John 3:3] He has disparaged the Christian roots of the U.S.A. whenever he has the opportunity, and he is also opposed to Israel more than any other president. He bowed down low to the king of Saudi Arabia with his chin nearly scraping the floor, yet he blows off the prime minister of Israel and the queen of England like they were dust on his shoes. He is pro abortion and pro sodomy as well!  I believe that he is in favor of these later awful twin sins because they harm our nation and other countries in a great way, reduce our respective populations, and polarize Americans against each other. These sins may go against the teachings of Islam, but since they hurt our western nations of infidels and pave the way for a Muslim advance in the near future, they would be expedient and favorably endorsed by Muslim leadership! His wife Michelle told him years ago that if he wanted to succeed in American politics, he would have to change his religion.  Hence he is a political and not a truly born again Christian. [i.e. In name only since it was politically advantageous for him to do so]. Obama, of course, belongs to a radical political “Christian” Church and not an evangelical Christian Church, because he is not a Christian. This is why he eliminated Franklin Graham from the National Day of Prayer, and every representation of true Christianity from the White House during his term in office. But my oh my, they are having Ramadan celebrations in the president’s home on a regular basis. If you remember, Rick Warren led in his Presidential Inaugural since Warren’s idea of the Christian faith is less offensive, more tolerant and all inclusive. Obama made the comment that “… we are no longer a Christian nation…” at the Presidential Inaugural event as well. That comment should have been a clue to anyone listening with absolutely any amount of discernment. Since this belief system is based on the father of lies, there are featured yet other words that encourage untruths. **The Qurayah Model for instance, encourages lies about peace. An example of this can be found in the case of Islamic treatment of the nation of Israel. The Post World War I plan for Israel (based originally on the Balfour Declaration) was a good sized nation, featuring a large land mass including all of Transjordan. This original plan has been attacked for nearly a century, and now Israel is nothing but a carved up small piece of the original intended country, roughly the size of New Jersey. The surrounding Arabic nations like Syria, Egypt, and Jordan, and radical groups such as the PLO, Hezbollah and Hamas, demand more and more of their land in exchange for “peace.”  It is a repetitious cycle of Israel’s land for a pseudo peace, intended only to destroy this Jewish nation. **Sharia Law- Their way of life and their religious, economic, and political beliefs are mandated for all. This is implemented when they take over in mass. Great Britain is on the verge of this actually occurring in their nation.  In the United States they would usurp our Constitution and every statute upon which this country was founded. **Jihad- A war is declared on behalf of Allah. It can be against an individual, a group or a nation. **Dhimmis (dhimmitude)- This belief allows infidels to live so that the state can make third class citizens out of them and tax them to the extreme (50%). When this is no longer expedient, then claims that the infidels are not submitting to Sharia Law are made and they can then be killed. The Lord willing, on the next entry, we will briefly and succinctly examine the history of this religion from Abraham to Armageddon.

Maranatha, Pastor Steve

We already laid the groundwork for Islamic expansion, discussing their foundation as they came to rapid and total domination of the Arabian peninsula. A century after these initial victories, they took over a lot of the decaying lands in the post Roman Empire, sweeping west along the Mediterranean Sea and getting a strong foothold and conquering most of Spain. Remember, Islam advances only wherever a vacuum exists and when people lose their former character, beliefs and moral fiber. Spanish and Mexican people today have dark complexions because of this Islamic advance nearly 1300 years ago. The Muslims were about to attack all of Europe from the west but they ran into an obstacle that made their military operations grind to a halt. The Franco leader Charles (the Hammer) Martel defeated the Islamic advance in Tours in 732 AD (100 years after Mohammad died) or they would have taken over all of Europe. For you history buffs, Charles Martel was the grandfather of Charlemagne, king of the Franks and emperor of the so called Holy Roman Empire.
Islamic advances are noted throughout history to occur about every 700 years, so let us fast forward to the 1400’s. The religion of Islam had a very strong base by this time in the Middle East, and were led by the Ottoman Turks for a lengthly period. The Ottoman Empire is noted for hindering and thwarting the attempts by European Crusaders to conquer the Holy Land. The Ottoman’s also captured Constantinople, the capital of the Eastern Byzantine Roman Empire, and renamed the city Istanbul. This became their base of operations for another attack on Europe—–this time from the east. This time they advanced into modern day Romania and ran into a powerful local chieftan named Count Vladimer Dracul. He was a leader who became involved in psychological warfare and impaled his victims on stakes out in the open for all to see. Count Vlad is considered a hero in Romania today; unfortunately his life has become fictionalized with supernatural folklore in our nation and if you have not already guessed, we know him as Count Dracula. There are several castles in Romania today that face the great plains to the east and the once advancing Muslim Turks. At any rate, after initial success in advancing into eastern Europe, the Turks and the religion of Islam were once again turned back, or else Europe could have submitted to Islam and Sharia Law.
Early in our nation’s history, we had some encounters with Muslims that made our founding fathers wonder what kind of people we were dealing with. The Muslim Barbary pirates were pillaging and attacking the shores of western Europe and northern Africa. During the American Revolution, we had civilian ships with innocent women and children attacked by these pirates. Our marines were sent to Tripoli in order to quell these disturbances, hence the phrase in the Marine Corp’s Hymn: “…to the shores of Tripoli.” Our founding father’s were aghast that anyone would attack civilians in such a manner. [Fighting on a level playing field does not compute in Islam. They are noted for using women and children as human shields, and simply consider their atrocities from 9/11. They consider this cowardly act to be a great victory, hence they desire to build a mosque near ground zero]. Praise the Lord that the next 200 years of our history were free from this wicked and radical movement.
We are once again 700 years down the road and Islam believes that the time is ripe for the twelfth Imam to initiate world conquest and for Allah to rule over all. Today Islam controls the equatorial belt including Indonesia, North Africa, the Middle East and much of Asia. Their sights are set on the decaying west. Mosques and Muslim neighborhoods are going up all over Europe, Scandinavia and they are coming to the Americas. Detroit is an Islamic stronghold along with other areas of our nation. Israel is surrounded by Islamic countries and terrorist groups who will one day attack her in unison. The Bible refers to these events in Ezekiel 38 and 39, as well as Daniel 11 and in many other places. The ultimate war will be the Battle of Armageddon. Israel will be trapped, outnumbered and without hope. God will intervene in her behalf, defeat all of her enemies with the breath of His nostrils, and set up the millenial rule of Christ.
The next, and final entry of this series will focus on our present day world, and what our spiritual mindset should be in light of all these apocalyptic events that are rapidly coming into view, and will one day come to fruition in the very near future.

Wrapping It All Up

This site is a summary of the theme “Death Of The West,” and the previous five entries. The reader may find much of what will be said to be disconcerting—-BUT it is true. This summary will reveal what will soon be coming upon our nation unless God intervenes through the prayers and actions of the saints. The later part of this entry will place our focus where it should be— on the only God of the universe El Shaddai and the hope He gives us.
Before we sum up everything that has been said in these aforementioned writings, I would like to direct everyone to a three DVD set called “Political Islam’s War On The West” by Bill Federer. The set is 210 minutes long and I have heard lengthly parts of it and it is good. It runs $20.00 (the cost of about six gallons of gas) and is by far the best comprehensive coverage that I have heard about the Muslim strategy to subdue and conquer the world for Allah. It is distributed by Southwest Radio Ministries (www.swrc.com) at 1(800)652-1144. If one desires to be well informed about the topic of these six entries, these DVD’s will do it.
There are no words to describe Christianity in our nation today. Perhaps I can refer to one example that seems to be a reflection of what I see everywhere——spiritual apathy. While preparing for a Christmas Eve service, I quickly went outside to make a final check for our church mail. A young couple who I baptized and married a few years ago were driving by. I have not seen them in church for years but I was nonetheless thankful that they were still together. I encouraged them to come to the evening service but they did not come. That is a microcosm of what I see everywhere. While the average Muslim family has eight people, the “families” I observe in our area can consist of literally anybody cohabitating together. There are usually several last names, and loose knit guardians who hold down the fort. I often hear the mate referred to as a “fiancee.” A fiancee use to be the individual that one was betrothed to. One was always a virgin when they had a fiancee until their relationship was fully consummated through marriage. That is of course the intended meaning. Now “fiancee” often means the one who someone is fornicating with. I have met scores of people who typically have several children, all with different last names, and they always seem to have a “fiancee” and never a spouse. Our population is going down in number by the way, and in the future will not be able to provide for the needed work force of our nation. All of these blended families are destroying our nation’s moral fiber and bleeding our nation of tax dollars, since hard working decent people must subsidize their existence.
This whole scenario provides the ideal backdrop for the gradual Muslim takeover. Muslims start by integrating, and their immigrants commence to populate the land. That has indeed been happening in America. Detroit and Dearborn, Michigan are the little Meccas of the west. Mosques are being built all over our nation, and neighborhoods are in the planning stages in many places. Our mortgage financial crisis sets the stage beautifully for low cost, affordable housing for the masses of immigrants who are sure to come. The moral breakdown of our nation is also a platform that Islam can build on. Their strategy is to initially immigrate, then to saturate through political involvement and “Chicago politics,” and then to change the laws of the land, dominate and take over. When they take over a neighborhood, infidels are encouraged to move out. If they do not, they are often secretly murdered, and if one Muslim witnesses another Muslim commit the crime, he cannot testify against a brother in the faith. This has already happened in Europe, and due to the tremendous lack of spiritual discernment of Americans, I am sure it will happen here as well. I find it hard to swallow that about one half of Americans would put Obama back in office for another term, despite the fact that he has forever destroyed our nation through an unbelievable federal deficit that will reach sixteen trillion dollars by election time in November, and Obamacare which alone will do irreversible financial damage. I dare say that many Americans are not even aware that our president’s desire is to undermine every principle upon which this nation was built: our great middle class, our way of life, our moral fabric, freedoms and our economy. No Christian president would condone sodomy and the killing of unborn babies. His strategy is obviously to consummate his campaign slogan of “change.” What I have noticed for the first time during my life, is there are no reputable opponents to counter his nefarious ambitions. The Republicans have no clear leader who resonates with everyone. Mitt Romney looks like he may be the Republicans’ default candidate. There are no heroes on the horizon. Where is the strong voice in our nation who lives with integrity, opposes evil and we can unite with?
A clear barometer of the lukewarmness within today’s Christian Church is the lack of fruit evidenced in true salvation experiences and commitment from younger people. I have also noticed faulty doctrine within the beliefs of so many. Instead of the repentance that accompanies true salvation, the idea is how many things I can still do as a believer when I take advantage of my “liberties.” (Read Romans 6:1-2 and Jude 4) Another noteworthy concern is that the church is top heavy with seniors in leadership, and lacking with the younger generation and the church of tomorrow. The antibiblical mindset that our culture and schools has instilled upon our youth has been very comprehensive to say the least. This is a universal phenomena in our nation and transcends the size of the church and its’ location. True servant disciples and servant leaders are lacking in younger people. People in their late 50’s/60’s are still leading in ministries and outreach, often with no younger successor on the radar. This is unprecedented. Do you have concerns about the church of tomorrow? I do.
Praise the Lord, however, that He always has His remnant! True and committed believers will stand out today as the pretenders are falling by the wayside. God is and will be purging His church. I think there is a great analogy we can use with our nation and Israel. When Israel sinned and left the Lord, He used the nations of Assyria and Babylon to judge them. I believe He may be using Islam in the same way with the United States of America today. As Patrick Buchanan said in his book Death Of The West: “a revival may be the only thing that will turn this spiritual drift, complacency and backsliding around.”  I tremble that God’s judgment and justice will not sleep forever.  I fear for a nation that has aborted nearly 60 million babies.  I am in awe of our God who will one day balance the books in the realm of “gay marriage,” which is an oxymoron. Did you know that homosexual “marriages” never existed in the history of mankind until now? Homosexuality existed with the Greeks, Romans and other cultures, yet “marriage” was out of the question. We definately received the president we deserve.  Can judgment be far off for America?  I would not think highly of a God who did not judge wickedness in a nation.  What we have done will soon come back to us: Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”  Our judgment will be severe because our nation has received more light than any country in history: Hosea 8:7 “For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.”  I would like to mention the statement again that was made in the first entry in this six part series Death Of The West— The whole purpose for pointing out these things is to encourage Christians to get on our knees and then to take action. If we do not, can you imagine the world that our children and grandchildren will inherit?  Yes, I know, the Lord may come for His church but we should not count on this happening in order to avoid trials. He may tarry. The really good news is the following: After Habakkuk realized that his nation of Israel was toast and was about to go into captivity into Babylon, he said “Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, And the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, And there be no herd in the stalls- Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, And He will make me walk on my high hill.” Habakkuk 3:17-19

A Hymn Of Faith
Faith overcomes all of our circumstances and gives the true believer undiminished joy. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” The Lord wants us to pray in faith, with great trust and expectation for whatever His response may be. Let us be grateful for the freedoms that we still have and USE THEM FOR HIS GLORY!

Blessings, Pastor Steve

Hungary/Romania 2017 Mission Trip ~ Part 6

Pastors Conference In Satu Mare, Bethel Baptist Church

On the morning of February 6, 2017, we departed for our pastor’s conference at Satu Mare, fifteen miles from the Ukrainian border.  It was held at Bethel Baptist Church, the flagship evangelistic church in Satu Mare.  I preached at this church on September 15, 2005 and was blessed with a profession of faith during the service (refer to the category for Hungary/Romania 2005).  Mehi, I was pleased to see, was still the pastor at Bethel Baptist Church twelve and one half years later.  He looked aged and weathered since I last saw him.  His twin daughters translated for us on our previous trip, and Mehi’s trademark is the twenty eight children he has adopted!  Perhaps this has matured him as well as the pastorate!

Our pastor’s conference commenced after we arrived and settled in for an hour or so.  Nine Romanian pastors came the first day, and twenty Romanian pastors came the second day, in some cases bringing their wives and/or families.  When I say they are Romanian pastors, I use that term representing the main people group, because there were those present who had backgrounds from Russia, Belarus, the Ukraine, Hungary, etc., etc.  Intermarriage among the Slavic and Eastern European Countries is not uncommon.

Bobby Herrell was assisted by Aaron Gowen, and they did the bulk of the teaching in the conference, as once again Elijah Morar did a great job translating English to Romanian.  Especially noteworthy was the great chemistry between Bobby and Elijah, both teaching with unction from the Holy Spirit and enthusiasm.  The curriculum of the conference was the Global Effect Ministry.  This was great discipleship training and well received by all of the pastors from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.  Two questions especially challenged the students:  1)What am I asking them to do?  2)What do I want them to know?

From the North American standpoint, Cornerstone Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas, led this mission trip.  Their senior pastor is Bobby Herrell and their discipleship pastor is Aaron Gowen.  They do a very unique work and I would ask that you pray for their ministry.  They represent a thriving church in Texas, and a brief word about their overseas mission ventures: They currently go to Romania twice a year (every six months), and they work in India twice a year as well.  That means their team is on mission every three months!  What a great model for the Great Commission – Matthew 28:19-20 and Acts 1:8.

We later departed for Budapest in order to make our flight early in the morning.  There was a lot of light snow and sleet throughout our trip.  I was concerned about the possibility of “black ice,” but the Lord watched over us.  We rested well that night, preparing for our thirty hour journey home.  The mission trip could not have gone better, and we attribute that to the Lord’s blessings and to the prayers of the saints.  We traveled home tired and spiritually fulfilled.

Revelation 22:20  King James Version (KJV)

20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

Saved, Secure, and Forever His, Pastor Steve

***************

Postscript-

When we get involved in the Lord’s work, additional opportunities always open up.  We are living in a day of international networking and advanced technology.  When I got home from this mission trip, I met Attila Kulcsar at a meeting with pastors.  Attila is the pastor of Open Bible Hungarian Church in Venice, Florida.  He speaks three languages fluently- Hungarian, Romanian and English.  He has friends in Hungary and in Budapest.  As mentioned, our lead pastor during this mission venture was Bobby Herrell.  I previously referenced that Bobby is looking for a couple of native Hungarians to help establish a foothold in Budapest for a church plant.  It seems to me, that Attila could be of great assistance in this endeavor.  Hence I passed this information on to lead pastor Bobby Herrell and to Partners In Missions International (PIMI) president Elijah Morar.  Please pray for the Lord to bless the efforts of these men to plant a church in Budapest if it His will!

Hungary/Romania 2017 Mission Trip ~ Part 5

Crusade Evangelism In Oradea

Open Doors Baptist Church

Our team of preachers spoke twice at the same church on Sunday, February 5, 2017.  I preached at Open Doors Baptist Church, and went with my evangelistic standby message “The Lamb Of God,” Revelation 13:8b.

Since I was to speak again in the evening, and because a large funeral would occur in the church facility in the afternoon, I stayed with the host pastor, his wife and their friends.  We shared a meal together and rested.

The funeral was packed with people.  A person passed on who lived only a few doors down from the church.  Many more came to the funeral than came to church!  Boy, that will make you think.  It reminds me of the old joke – “Make sure the next time you come to church is not when six strong men carry you there.”  I would guess there were well over two hundred people attending the funeral, filling the upper balcony as well.  Bobby Herrell spoke to the people and emphasized the resurrection from the dead.  The good folks all wore black and the atmosphere was one of mourning the loss of a loved one.  Bobby’s message cut right through the darkness as we heard great joy in his voice, expounding on Jesus rising from the dead.  Bobby kept looking at me as I sat on the front row, and I later asked him why.  He said it was because of my positive reaction to the message.  He did not see it elsewhere.  It shows the importance for you and me to let our light shine in a world of darkness all around us.

In the evening service, I preached from Acts 1:3, “Many Infallible Proofs.”  Some of the evidences of the reality of our faith are people’s testimonies of salvation, the boldness of the Apostles, the fulfillment of the Biblical prophecies, and the spread of Christianity around the world.  This doctrine is called apologetics, and often resonates with young people.  Our preaching was well received.  As mentioned, Romanian Christians will turn out to hear the Word of God, the way Americans turn out to hear a Christian music group or artist.

The Evangelistic Crusades were a great success.  The services were anointed, the people attended in great numbers, and sixty one souls made professions of faith in Oradea.  As the president of PIMI, Elijah Morar told us as we prepared to leave on our tour bus, only eternity will reveal the hearts that were touched during the last week.  Well said.  We hated to leave.  I enjoy working in a vineyard where people are responding to the Gospel and not Gospel hardened like in America.  You have to go to these places in order to understand what I just wrote.

In His Service, Pastor Steve

Hungary/Romania 2017 Mission Trip ~ Part 4

Crusade Evangelism In Oradea

The political demonstrations continued in Oradea on February 2, 2017.  I preached that evening at Grace Baptist Church, pastored by Radu Pop Miersili.  The theme again was The Lamb Of God, Revelation 13:8b.  We were blessed with four professions of faith:

1)Araelean Noemi

2)Araelean Ana

3)Mariti Beru

4)Meriti (The Mother)

In high school I took four years of Latin and these names sound like they belong in Rome, Italy in 100 A.D.  Praise the Lord for hearts and lives being touched.

*********************

The following morning, the President of PIMI Elijah Morar, dropped me off at the Museum and Fortress of Oradea.  I looked at the many ancient artifacts that were described in Part 3, including dragons carved on the walls, Gothic, Romanesque, and Renaissance era ruins, and implements that were used in torture, including a chair of nails, and gruesome machines that squeezed the head and/or body, and others that pulled the limbs away from the body.  It is awful to even think about these diabolic torture devices.

On the evening of February 3, 2017, I preached at Bethany Baptist Church in Saint Andrew.  Cornel Iona was the pastor and interpreter for us in that church.  The church was packed with about sixty people.  I spoke once again from Revelation 13:8b, The Lamb Of God.  Their pastor Cornel Iona, met and had his picture taken with both Adrian Rogers and Charles Stanley, during the period in the 1980’s, after the freedoms were given to the people in Eastern Europe.  He formerly pastored the large Immanuel Baptist Church in Oradea, and he is now doing a great work in strengthening smaller churches and he has assisted with church planting as well.  He is a great spiritual leader in Romania and very evangelistic.  I especially liked and admired pastor Cornel Iona and I had my picture taken with him!  Thus ended another marvelous day.

Hungary/Romania 2017 Mission Trip ~ Part 3

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

McCauley Austin

John and Toni Hadley

Jimmy Withers

Aaron Gowens

Bobby Herrell

Steve Thompson 

Hungary/Romania 2017 Mission Trip ~ Part 2

Budapest   –   Day 2

Our mission team noted that the sun came out only one time during the entire trip, and that was for an hour or two prior to sunset one evening.  Some of the sights we saw as we braved the frigid temperatures in Budapest were the Danube River, St. Stephens Basilica, St. Matthias Church, the Hungarian Parliament Building, the State Opera House, Hero’s Square, the Slzechenyil Spa, the outdoor winter ice skating rink (largest in all of Europe), the Vajdahunyad Castle and the Great Synagogue.

I learned that Hungary was once five times its’ present size, when it was part of the famous Hapsburg Dynasty along with Austria.  A gentleman who later translated for me (Chip), explained that Saxons were hired to ward off the Islamic invasion from the east (Istanbul), and they settled east of Romania.  After living there for some time, they eventually formed a powerful nation.

The city displayed Jewish artifacts that spotlighted the World War II holocaust.  There were old suitcases making a monument of sorts, rocks that represented those who died, and innumerable personal effects that were shown at scenes, in order to remember their tragic years in Europe in the 1930’s and 1940’s.  The history of Budapest goes back to ancient times.  There are buildings, archeology, and history commemorating the following:  The Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, The Hapsburg Dynasty With Austria, The Ottoman Turk Invasion (The Turks allowed Christianity), The Mongol Invasion, Genghis Khan, The Nazi Occupation, The Jewish Holocaust, The Soviet Communist Occupation, And The Insurrection / Rebellion Of 1956.  There Is A Statue Of Ronald Reagan The Liberator.  There are many Catholic Churches in Budapest, and the local kings were esteemed and magnified in the Catholic Churches in Hungary.  The history is voluminous, profoundly interesting, overwhelming and very detailed.

Later on, the British evening news and CNN called Donald Trump the greatest threat facing Europe.  They speak incessantly about Trump.  I have not heard English Prime Minister Theresa May even mentioned.  These liberal European news stations spoke a lot about Brexit as well.

…to be continued

Hungary/Romania 2017 Mission Trip ~ Part 1

There were nine people on our mission team, and all were native Texans except for myself.  Seven of us preached the Gospel all week.  The Romanians are not a people who respond to altar calls.  Their emotion and response is demonstrated by saying “amen,” pronounced “ameen.”  When under conviction, they will raise their hands and their pastor will follow up after the service.  The Romanians are easy to preach to however, and they love revivals and the Word of God the way we enjoy Christian music concerts.  Oh that the fires of revival would once again touch our sin sick nation!

The Lord prepared me for the coldness gradually.  We had a “cold snap” in south Florida whereby the temperature hung in the 50 degree range prior to our departure.  Our connecting flight was in London, England, and the temperature was about 46 degrees.  When we exited the airplane in Budapest, Hungary, the weather was in the teens.  The beginning of our mission trip featured sight seeing in Budapest, which is a great way to unwind after our long journey to Eastern Europe.  I was part of another mission team to Romania in 2005, and touring Budapest was scheduled at the end of our trip.  I was taken ill and never able to see the city, hence I was very glad to have this opportunity now.

Budapest yokes together two formerly separate cities: Buda and Pest, on opposite sides of the Danube River.  Buda, on the West side of the river is hilly and semi-suburban, and has winding, narrow streets wending their way up into the hills.  Pest, on the East side of the river is typical flat Hungarian real estate.  We will tour the city tomorrow, and observe the Stephen Church Basilica, the Parliament Building, the Court Building and much more.  We will learn of the Nazi occupation, the Soviet occupation, and their freedom which came under the presidency of Ronald Reagan.

You can stay at an ornate hotel for about one hundred dollars a night in Budapest.  I took advantage of a huge bathtub that had a rail to hold reading material, and piped in television for the evening news.  The people we met were all very gracious and more than hospitable.  If my wife and I decide on a trip to Europe, a stopover in England for a few days and Budapest, Hungary would work for me.  It is a beautiful and historic city.

On my first evening in Budapest, I ordered Hungarian Goolash.  Original, eh?  It was very good, and it is basically the same as our beef stew, except pepper is used in place of tomato.

Donald Trump’s immigration ban is the talk of Europe.  Europe is very liberal and reminds me of the evening news back home.  CNN in Europe is mesmerized by Donald Trump, and BBC covers Donald Trump much more than Britain’s own Prime Minister, Theresa May.  It struck me on this trip that the British accent is found everywhere.  I experienced it in England of course, and even one of my translators (Chip) in Romania had one.  My wife and I were on a cruise to the Western Caribbean four months ago and it seemed like every other person had one!  For a relatively small island nation, The British have sure had a global impact.

At the end of the day (literally), it struck me that I would much rather go on a mission trip where it is fifteen degrees, than go to Tahiti.  This is very true with me.  I would much rather go on a series of mission trips than have an outdoor swimming pool, and am grateful for the choices the good Lord has given us, and the responses He has led my wife and me to make.

……to be continued

 

Hungary/Romania 2017 Mission Trip ~ Synopsis

This trip is now in the rear view mirror, yielding memories and a spiritual impact that will be revealed in eternity.  Only God knows all that was accomplished.  There were sixty one total professions of faith, as seven American pastors spoke in eight Romanian Baptist Churches in the vicinity of Oradea.  A wonderful pastor’s conference followed in Satu Mare, Romania.

The trip ended on an extremely high note for me.  Once again, I had challenges at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport (DFW).  [The first DFW adventure is on this blog site under 2012 Mission Trip To England/Uganda, Part 5].  We left Budapest early in the morning as we commenced our thirty hour journey home.  The officials in Budapest would not check my luggage all the way to Florida, which meant I had to retrieve it in Dallas, and check it in once again.  I already had little time between flights, and now had luggage to deal with.  Add to this- going through Customs, entering security once again, and traveling to another terminal to catch the final flight home.  Humanly speaking, I thought I may miss the flight, and prayed about this concern for several weeks.  There was a bit of good news in our flight from Heathrow Airport /London to Dallas, Texas.  Our flight came in twenty minutes early, which is common with flights that come from “across the pond,” since picking up a tailwind can take time off of the flight.  But still, there was too much to do in very little time.  I was wondering where my God was at my first check point – Customs.  This station was a royal mess in Dallas, with several options that served only to confuse the passengers.  I asked a fellow passenger which method would be fastest for an American citizen.  He suggested simply having my passport scanned.  I went to that station and saw hundreds of people who were “deer in the headlights,” not knowing how to place their passport in the scanner, and of course no one was there to explain how it is done because this was a government operation.  I placed my passport in the scanner what seemed like twelve times without success.  I was beginning to envision a night in the terminal and catching a morning flight.  Then God entered the picture:  An airport employee was right next to me and he correctly read my frustration.  It was a miracle just to see him, as moments prior to this, absolutely no airport worker was anywhere in sight.  He seemed to just materialize.  He said:  “He would help me.”  I had NO IDEA how much he would help me.  He scanned my passport in a heartbeat, and I thought that would be the end of it.  Then he said:  “Just stay with me, and I will put you on your flight, but you must stay with me.”  He was helping a handicapped gentleman at the same time that he was assisting me.  He then helped a lady with a small child, giving them a place in the line in front of us, as a true gentleman would do.  He expedited my obligations, through escorting me past existing lines that I would have been in if I were alone.  He explained to me that God gives preference to some, and since I was with him, I was able to receive it.  I wholly agreed with him with a grateful heart.  By now, I realized he was the answer to my many prayers and I told him so.  As it turned out, his name was James Smith, and he was a fellow pastor from a nondenominational church.  This is what we call a “God thing.”  As we progressed from one check point to another, I was still a bit nervous, with the boarding time rapidly approaching.  James said:  “Do not worry, I am use to this, and I will get you there on time.”  If I were alone, I would have been running, but James Smith’s mere presence cooled my jets and I walked with him.  I never met a man like James, and I told him so.  [The Texans I travelled with saw the one helping me as they retrieved their luggage.  One of them previously offered to drive me to the terminal of my departure, but realized that I was in very good hands.  They were amazed.]  We came to my departure gate while the passengers were boarding, and James escorted me to the front, and then took me all the way through the tunnel, and unto the airplane.  I had no idea that when James said:  “I will help you,” to what extent he would do so.  No, you cannot make this stuff up.  I ask you, what are the odds for circumstances like this to happen to anyone?  I will tell you – zero, zilch, nada, forget it.

  What is the moral of the story?  God told me that if you take care of your mission assignment, then I will assist you with the details over which you have no control.  Thank you Jesus.  This was a blessing to me because it was also a Divine revelation that I was in the center of His perfect will.

The future entries for this Hungary/Romania 2017 Mission Trip will consist of several parts and give a detailed day by day account of the entire mission trip.

Maranatha and Forever Thankful, Pastor Steve

Hungary/Romania 2017 …on the fly

As mentioned, a detailed synopsis of this trip will be provided after the conclusion, giving my thoughts time to settle in.  Right now, we are in the midst of the mission trip, and I will share a few of the highlights up until this point.  The evidence of intercessary prayer is with us, as things are progressing beautifully.  The travel has been fine and without incident, our team is of one accord and one spirit, no one has been ill, and the logistics and accomodations are all great.  We attribute this to the prayers of the saints.  We covet your continual prayers.  There have been peaceful demonstrations throughout Romania, related to the populace’s rightful grievances against their government.  After preaching last night, the host pastor and translater had dinner with me and we observed protests in Oradea right next to our restaurant.  They were peaceful protests.  The Romanian people are anything except violent.  More importantly, in the service prior to our fellowship, we were blessed with a packed church with absolutely no extra seats available, and we were also blessed with four professions of faith.  Because of the Lord’s blessings and your faithful prayers, the Holy Spirit is working and convicting hearts.  It does not get any better than this, this side of heaven.  The Romanians who we have met in the many churches are red hot for the Lord and just waiting for leadership, teaching and preaching.  In other words, the pump is already primed.  We have an open window of opportunity in this wonderful nation and would be foolish to not take advantage of it.  Last night is why I feel led to be a part of this dynamic ministry! 

Oradea, an ancient city, is filled with archaeology from both Roman and medieval times.  It was formerly called Dacia, the northern most outpost in the Roman Empire, after Romania was conquered by the Emperor Trajan.  Dacia was the last province to fall to the Romans.  As mentioned, this is a presentation of a few highlights with much more to follow.

In His Service, Pastor Steve  <><