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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Final Romania Post

Dear Family and Friends,

Of course, by now I realize that I've done this all backwards. OK, I'm new at blogging. I didn't think about the fact that my blogs would be listed in the order I posted that if you read through them the way they are arranged, you'll be going backwards. Oh well.....

Here is the last entry (if you want them in order, skip down to #1 and work your way up)

I've been unable to write to you again since we were traveling from place to place in Romania. I'm home now. We got back last night, I spent a little time with my family and then passed out for about 11 hours of much needed sleep. There's a ton of stuff on my desk that needs attention -- as you can imagine -- but I had to take just a minute to jot a quick note of praise to God!

The Lord was with us every step of the way! After my last email we finished the conference in Brasov. The Lord helped in such a powerful way -- I really do think we were able to offer the students some help in dealing with sin and growing up into this new life that God has give through Christ. They were very appreciative and there were many tears as we left. Many pastors in Romania, it seems, do not shepherd in the sense that they do not take time to nurture the lives of the people. Many have become administrators. I do not mean to imply that they are not good men. I have met very many who are deeply committed to Christ. But they have taken on so many responsibilities -- often for administrating American backed "causes" and para-church endeavors -- that they are left with little or not time to be shepherds in any biblical sense of that term. So when we come and take time to teach and to talk with young people and pray with them, is a bit overwhelming for them. Pray God will bring biblical change to the churches in Romania -- they have picked up a lot of bad habits from American churches -- many of the same things we're concerned about here have been carried over there by the bucket load! I fear a lot of our "church growth" silly-ness has been imposed on them.

After Brasov we traveled across the tops of some of the most beautiful mountains I've ever seen -- snow covered peaks and 1800's type alpine villages for miles all around us. We then descended down in to Cumpalung to stay with a dear family -- one of the sweetest I've ever known. They were an important "pipleline" for Bibles and funds being smuggled into Romania back under communism (their daughter was one of our translators -- and boy is she good at what she does!). I preached to the church there. God really helped me to give a message on the reality of a God-sent conversion as opposed to someone merely making "a decision for Christ". When God does it, it's real. As I say, God really helped. The family we stayed with were thrilled. They are so tired of American "decisionism" and said they were so happy to finally hear the Gospel preached clearly. What a gracious God to let me experience such friendship and kindness!

From there we went to Putuasa (it means brimstone). A friend, Bro Mike Durham was supposed to preach there and we were to have supper with him -- as so often happens in Romania he was late so Bro Mike and I each spoke a few words to the congregation and then, just as our friend arrived had to leave to get back to Bucharest and prepare for our flight early the next day.

Got to Bucharest late -- about 11:30, could not sleep. Had to get up at 3 AM to get to the Airport by 4 AM. Flew for about 18 hours total -- got home, got some really wonderful sleep. And now......can't wait to see you all

God is so good to treat a sinner like me so very well for Christ's sake!

S. Scott Lee
Soli Deo Gloria

Romania Report #5 - Saturday April 21st

Dear Family,

Another two wonderful days of conference. We have about 75 students crammed into a very small upper room. They were expecting about 50. They are like the others -- very hungry for truth and filled with questions. I've really experienced the help of the Holy Spirit here as I've taught. There has been great freedom to speak on our freedom in Christ from Romans 6. It has been amazing to see God at work.

Tomorrow we finish this conference (Sunday morning). Then we will load up and travel to Cumpalung (I'm not sure of the spelling). We will then preach in the evening service in the church in that town.

We've been able to spend some great time with old friends (Ruxi, Bagdon, Ionutz, Little Adi, and Alex). It's been good to get to know Alex's three children. The boys (10 and 12) said they like having us with them. Also, I beat them both at pingpong! I'm just glad there are no Lovings here!....that way I can win!

I will write again if I am able.

Love to you all.

Love especially to my girls!

Romania Report #4 - Thursday, April 19th

Dear Family,

We are now in Brasov. One of my favorite Romanian cities!! For those who know him, Ionutz is here with us. We had quite a time getting here. Romanian roads are tough any way, but this time there was constant construction. But we are here. Praise the Lord

Our conference begins tomorrow. I will write you more then

God bless you all

Romania Report #3 - Wednesday April 18th

Dear Family,
God has been very good. We've had a great meeting today with the students. God let us renew many old friendships, offer biblical counsel on some difficult personal issues, and see some break thoughts by the power of God's word. I am so happy to see that God has brought my dear friends into a fuller grasp of the doctrines of God's wonderful grace! They are much further along that I had imagined. God has been showing them so much.

I also had a long and wonderful conversation with our friend Adi -- Aaron and Bob will remember him -- and find that he too has come to see the joy of sovereign grace. It's wonderful to see so many rejecting this "pray this prayer" evangelism that is so common over here (and in the states) and coming to see that Salvation is an act of God's grace in changing the heart and bringing faith in Christ alone as Savior and Lord. Praise our wonderful Lord.

And oh yes, Adi and his wife have a beautiful new baby girl!

God is so good. Can't wait to see you all. We leave for Brasov in the morning (an 8 hour drive over mountain roads) so please pray for us
It's very late and I must sleep.
I continue to pray for you all
With much love

Post #2 From Romania -- Tuesday, April 17

Dear Family and Friends,
We had a really great time today. Brother Mike and I both preached twice to the students. The turnout was lower than they were hoping (many are just arriving back from Easter break), but still it was a blessed time. We were able to renew acquaintances with several friends from two years ago when Aaron, Bob and Kim were with us. I can't wait to share it all with you
Really tired and ready for bed. Another long day tomorrow
Love to you all -- especially to my girls

Romania Report #1

Dear Friends and Family,

While in Romania I was able to send emails to our newsgroup, but was unable to post to my "blog." The next several entries will be "catch up" from the mission trip -- ie, I'm going to submit slightly edited versions of the emails I sent to our church family.

Entry #1 - Monday, April 16th from Timisoara Romania

We're here and we're safe. Had a great time of worship and preaching Sunday. I preached three times -- once at Holy Trinity (the big church in Bucharest) for their early service. Then in a service with Brother Moise and the gypsies. Please pray for them. He is very depressed. There are many problems facing him and the families of his church right now. Pray for one family in particular who have endured the pain of having a daughter turn away into a life of sin.

Later that afternoon I had the joy of preaching at Glina, again with Brother Nae. It was a very full and lively service. God gave a lot of help. I love the gypsies! They are very appreciative of you all and the help you've given and told me more than once to express that to you.

One very sad note. The community and church at Mama India have been destroyed! The government came in and bull-dozed the church and school and most of the homes. They say the gypsies have no right to be there. The problem is they have not "right" to be anywhere according to Romanian law because they are poor and have no claim on the land. It is very sad. I stood there with one of the men I met two years ago as we prayed, and he wept and wept. I have taken pictures (see above). It is all very shocking! There were 100 children attending the little school there -- many of them have an opportunity to get a basic education for the first time ever. Now all but 20 are gone. "Where?" I asked. No one knows. Some had moved into a forest, living in hand made "tents" of tree limbs, but the government came and chased them away from there as well. Now they have scattered to who knows where. Pray for God's help and for justice.

We did get to spend a little time with Bro Paul Washer and Sorin on Saturday and Sunday. They returned to the states today (Monday). We have just driven over 10 hours to get to Timisoara. This is where Bebe and Ani Tomeci life. I'm with them now. We will begin our conference in the morning. It is now midnight and I must get to bed. Please pray for us.

Love to you all. I'm praying for you as well. Do not let the enemy gain a foot hold in any area. Our God is greater than the devil. He will give us the victory. In the Apostles John's words, "Little children, love one another".

In Jesus
S. Scott Lee
Soli Deo Gloria