Bringing the Gospel to Romania
One of the most encouraging passages I have read in the Bible is the scene in Revelation when the multitudes of believers gather around the throne room of God and, with one voice, worship the God who has ransomed His diverse people into a single family (Rev. 7: 9). This future reality is a compelling image for the Biblical call of international missions in the actions of local churches. I am able to say with a joyful heart that the missional relationship Cornerstone Church of Knoxville shares with Pro Deo Church in Craiova, Romania is an excellent step that our church is taking in becoming a Church passionately focused on sharing the Gospel to not only the Knoxville area, but also to unreached people groups around the world.
The English camp sponsored by OSCEC (the campus ministry of Pro Deo) is a Christ- centered camp where numerous unbelieving high school and college-aged students come and, through the context of English class and discussion groups, are introduced to the Gospel and plugged into both the campus ministry and a local church. Just as VFC is an evangelistic, outreach ministry of CCK, OSCEC seeks to share the Gospel to unbelieving students and draw them into Christ-centered community.
The fruit that this camp has produced has left me very encouraged. Several students I interacted with during the two weeks we spent in Romania shared stories of how this English Camp was a vital tool that the Holy Spirit used in bringing them to faith. Countless others were brought into a Christian community and are now involved with OSCEC simply because of the experience they had at English Camp. Praise God that the work from Cornerstone missionaries in Craiova really is impacting lives with the Gospel! But my own life was impacted from this trip as well.
Envisioning Our Church/Campus Ministry with a Desire to Share the Gospel
I left Romania with a refreshed zeal for evangelism in my own context at home in Knoxville. Sharing the Gospel is a slow process in Romania. Many Romanians have been hurt by churches and the act of sharing the truth of Christ is one that requires a lot of time and relationship-building; however, by observing ways in which OSCEC leaders are able to open doors and create outlets to share the Gospel with unbelievers, I felt more motivated to seek similar opportunities with unbelieving students on UT’s campus. There is much to learn from the English Camp experience that can be quickly applied to evangelistic outreach done by VFC
as well as CCK.
Christians possess an incomparable hope, a life-changing reality in the truth of the Gospel, and it should be our joy to share it with all people (including unreached people groups
around the world). Just as the image of Revelation 7 includes people from every nation, tribe, and tongue joined together in glorifying our great God, by participating in missions we are able to see a glimpse of this future in this life! As missionaries from Cornerstone continue to take part in English Camp, more and more people will join the multitude of the universal church in worship to God.
The Romanian English Camp is a Means in Which All Members of CCK can Contribute to
Another thing I was freshly reminded of while in Romania is the provision of God shown through our local church. With a grateful heart I thank all the members of Cornerstone because without you, we would have been unable to go on this trip. This is a beauty that is found in a local church with its heart envisioned for international missions; for every “goer” sent there must be faithful “senders” providing the means in which missionaries move forward, and when this is
true, the entire Church is taking part in the Great Commission (Matt. 28: 18-20).
The mission trip experience to Romania fills my heart with joy as I consider the future souls that will be won to Christ by the Holy Spirit’s use of Cornerstone members in partnership with OSCEC and Pro Deo. May God continued to be glorified by this trip and may all who go on it return with a stronger desire to share the Gospel with the unreached in Knoxville as well. Charles Spurgeon once said, “If there be any one point in which the Christian church ought to keep its fervor at a white heat, it is concerning missions. If there be anything about which we cannot tolerate lukewarmness, it is the matter of sending the gospel to a dying world,” And may Cornerstone Church of Knoxville continue growing in its desire to joyfully send the Gospel to the people of Pro Deo, Romania, and all of the world.