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Archive for the ‘Romania’ Category

In my spiritual journey with Jesus, God has brought so many changes into my life and so many adventures and exciting new things. Sometimes He will start it by bringing a book into my life to read even some years before the change happens.One example is a book I read in 1990 called Tortured for Christ. It is a book about Rev. Wurmbrand who was a pastor in Romania while Romania was a strict communist country. Rev. Wurmbrand was imprisoned and tortured for his faith. He got out of Romania and finally ended up in America. When I read that book, I knew I had to go to Romania. I did not know why, but I knew I had to go. I ended up going 7 times through my church. It was through my trips to Romania that God led me to become an English teacher and work with Refugees and Immigrants at my church.

Another example-One time several years ago I read some books by Billy Graham. When I read those books, I thought I need to meet him. I admired how he conducted his ministry and life with integrity and NO scandals. While I was a student in Minneapolis, I got a job at Billy Graham headquarters which was in Minneapolis at the time. Of course he was hardly ever there due to travels, but one day there was a Christmas chapel for the employees. I had the opportunity to meet the man I admired so much. God worked through the experiences of reading his books and working as a janitor at Billy Graham Headquarters to lead me into living a life of caring for and reaching out to people who are less fortunate. That was before God led me to work with refugees and immigrants.

In the summer of 2008 I saw a book on the shelf at Barnes and Noble Bookstore titled Left to Tell. It is a book about a woman, Immaculée Ilibagiza,  who survived the Rwandan holocaust in 1994 by hiding in a small bathroom with 6 other women for three months. The book caught my eye because of my work with refugees. I had just come to the realization that I would not be going to Romania, but that I would stay here and continue my work here. However, I did not feel joy in the realization. It took me over a week to read Left to Tell. It is not a long book, but the message is very powerful about a young woman who grew closer to God hiding in a bathroom while a genocide was happening, so I would read and then ponder what I had read. After I read the book, I thought I hope to meet her someday. I also began to feel more joy in my realization that I would stay here and continue my work here. In November this year I went to a retreat listen to her speak. Her books Left to Tell and Led by Faith have had a profound impact on me spiritually and personally.The retreat also had a profound impact on me.

So now I am waiting to see what God has planned for me in 2012. I wonder if I will go to Rwanda 🙂 Perhaps God will bring more people from French speaking Africa into my life. Whatever it is, it will be another exciting adventure. Following Christ is an adventure and a lifelong journey.

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In the bible it says that God causes all thing to work together for the good for those who love God and are called according to His purposes. That is easy to see when things go well for us, but when disappointments come into our lives it is difficult to understand how it can be for the good. This morning in my class I asked my friends what the all things meant and one man answered the good, the bad and the ugly. All thing includes our failures, mistakes, and misfortunes not just our successes.

I will never forget the day in June 1997 when I was in Romania. My original purpose for being on the team was not to teach English. I was playing basketball with some kids when I hurt my foot and could not walk. I ended up spending four days helping in the classes. I could not walk, so I hopped from class to class to help out. It was not a good thing to have an injured foot, but the bible verse doe snot say all things are good it says God causes all things to work together for the good. The bad, hurting my foot, led to me having my first experience teaching ESL. That injury led me to what I am doing now.

Our disappointments can lead to God’s appointments if we give them to Him and let Him guide us. We need to be willing to be led and not worry about the results because God will take care of the results.

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My first trip to Romania I had a pamphlet I had written translated into Romanian. The title was I want a new start in life can anyone give me a second chance. One day as I was walking in a park in Constanta with my translator Mihai I came across a man sitting on a bench. I handed him one of the pamphlets. I went to sit on a bench nearby to relax and noticed the man smiling at me. I went over to him and we talked through Mihai. He told me he had just been praying for a new start in life before I gave him the pamphlet. We prayed for him to get a job on a ship.

The bible says that His mercies are new every morning. Basically it  means that we can come to Him for a fresh start anytime. Morning is a great time to ask Him to help us have a new start. With Jesus it is never too late for a fresh start. The bible also says if anyone be in Christ they are a new creation. The old has passed away behold new has come. Whether we just need a fresh start on our day, week or month because we have gotten into a slump spiritually, or we need a new life in Jesus by being born again spiritually by trusting in Jesus for the first time, Jesus stands ready to give us our fresh start or new life.

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