Tackling the Issue
One of the main priorities of ICE’s partnership with Elpis in Romania is to support village churches. These churches are small and are often led by lay pastors who are not seminary trained. Further, these evangelical churches are frequently targeted and harassed by the much larger Romanian Orthodox church, and our efforts are often hampered by Orthodox priests. This sometimes means that the only church in a village is an Orthodox church, which in both theology and practice can be legalistic and worldly.
So it’s exciting when we can work to plant a new evangelical church in a village where there previously were no believers. We are partnering with missionaries from SEND International (www.send.org) to plant a church in the small village of Negoi, which is in the relatively unreached region of Romania called Oltenia.
Adi Gaspar, a pastor we support in Rastu Nou, has led a small group
of people to Christ in the neighboring village of Negoi. And while
they attend Adi’s church for now, they want to establish a Christian
witness in their own village. In fact, some of them wanted to delay
their own baptism until they had a church in their own village in
order to use the occasion as a way to witness to their neighbors.
It’s 10 km by horse-drawn cart to make the journey between
villages, so there are practical reasons a new church needs to be
Together with Elpis and SEND, we hope to establish a new church in Negoi and buy a building for the church to use. Having a building legitimizes the church (at least in the eyes of the fellow villagers), so it’s important to not simply meet in someone’s house. We have looked at various properties in the village, but neither the right property nor the finances have come through yet.
Please pray that God would establish these believers, and that they would be “rooted and built up” in Christ (Col. 2:7). Pray that they would glorify God through their lives and their new church (Romans 15:6).
If you are interested in helping this new church, please contact ICE.