Teleios Ministry

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Arrived home this afternoon. Thank all of you for your prayers, encouragement, and support. Because of Teleios partners, people in Romania and Tanzania are experiencing the transforming work of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday: The Last Worship

Today Attila and I spent the morning going over all the partnership plans, needs, and dreams.

In the evening, we went to Istvan and Dora's home (this is also the home of Zozo, Isthi, Lala and Esther(their child, Miriam) for the Monday Night Gypsy Worship. As usual they invited us for dinner before the meeting. As always, we had a meat feast of sausage, pork, chicken (the spices that they use on the meat is a secret). Man, is it really good. Dora topped the dinner off to two delicious desserts: one apple cake (melted in your mouth) and walnut cake--Two of my very favorites.

The people started to arrive around 7 PM. Soon the two rooms were packed with people. Zozo played the guitar and we sang. Again, they love to sing and it shows. The atmosphere is hard to describe: great joy, great emotion and a singing that believes the message of the song. I don't know how many songs we sang. All I know is that at the end of the worship--Attila announced the last song and we sang at least two more songs. They sent their greetings to all our partners. This was a great way to end my journey in Romania.

Tomorrow, I leave for home in the afternoon. Attila and Adel doing a great job in the mission. This was the first time to be with Attila and Adel after their marriage. No doubt that God brought them together. No doubt of their commitment to serving Him.

I ask your prayers as I travel to Cluj tomorrow to fly to Bucharest and then Amsterdam. On Wednesday morning, I fly from Amsterdam to Detroit and then to Greenville. I will miss my brothers and sisters in Christ here. From Oradea to Reghin it has been a great journey of faith and worship. After ten years of Teleios Ministry serving in Romania, God still is bringing new dreams to life.

Unfortunately, tonight is one of those times that my camera decided to be fuzzy.

Sunday: This is the Church

Sunday with Attila is always a great day if a tiring day. We traveled to four different groups for worship. Each group is unique and adds a special quality to worship. Our schedule was Gornesti at 10 AM, Filpis Mic at 2:30 PM, Reghin at 4 PM and Apalina at 6 PM. I preached and Attila translated and led at each service. If I could bring one part of the worship back to the US, it would be the prayer time. To me that is the heart of the churches here. They are passionate in their commitment to prayer.

Gornesti church is filled with stories. The unique quality of the church is the blending of the Hungarian and Gypsy believers. Also, at least four mission points are represented in the morning worship. I believe the Gornesti church is and will be the center of a real mission movement of God in the area. Zoltan and Abigail Dohi are church planters working with Attila in a nearby Gypsy village. They just adopted a son who is a Gypsy and blind. Abigail is expecting their third child any day now. Zoltan and Abigail are doing a great work in the villages. Please remember them in your prayers. There was a chorus of greetings to Bonnie. Then, the greetings went to Katie, Anna, and Mary Beth who served in the Gornesti church over the past year. Their is a great spirit in the Gornesti church--you feel the present of the Lord--you can tell the genuine love that they have for each other. They are also very serious about the mission work.

We had a great meal at Miklos and Teresia's home. She is a great cook. She made a delicious Transylvania soup. We had a delicious meal. Miklos is studying through the Distance Learning Program at the Hungarian Baptist Seminary in Oradea. We had some great discussions.

The Filpis Mic church now has only three members who meet in the home of one couple. The village is somewhat remote in one sense. They have a deep love for the Lord. The church members keep up with what is going on in mission, believers around the world, and the needs of the other churches. They are a people of prayer. Their faithfulness and joy always encourages me. We shared the Lord's Supper together.

At Reghin, the worship is more traditional than the other churches and missions. But, the church is a unique blend of many older members and young people. The church is very committed to the mission work in the area. The younger people play an active role in the church. Every time that we go to Reghin someone from the church goes with us to Apalina Gypsy mission.

In Apalina Gypsy church, there is a great deal of energy. Many people come and their is a emotion in the service. I love their singing and they love to sing--it shows. Thereis so much exciting news to share. First, Adel is teaching 14 of them to read the Bible and to write. This is so exciting. Also, Attila has been working hard on developing leaders among the Apalina members. Now, the fruit of the efforts is showing with emerging leaders. New faces were in the congregation. During Christmas and January many became a part of the fellowship. This summer there will be a large number of baptisms.

Final Great news is that the paper work for the construction of a building for the Apalina mission has begun. All the legal documents and construction plans should be ready by the end of June. At that time, the foundation will be laid for the new building--their first building. Please pray as we seek partners to assist in the construction.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Saturday: Gypsy Camp and Leaders Group

On Saturday morning, Attila Toth, Zoltan Dohi, and I met with the Romanian couple that hosts the Gypsy children's camp during the summer. We met to discuss the expansion of the main building on the property to provide better space for the staff and children at the camp. This year we will need partners to assist with the Gypsy Children's Camp and now, in the development of the camp. Also, the changes to the building will allow for marriage retreats. Attila and Adel see this an one of the important next steps in the mission work in the Reghin/Gornest area. More information will follow on March 29 on the website and the Teleios Ministry Facebook page.

In the evening, all the prayer time and preaching leaders for the two churches and five missions met for a leadership training time. The central topic was the Messenger and Message. When I looked around the room at all those men, I could not believe how many were not leading in the work with Attila. This shows the healthy growth of the mission. We had a great time together discussing being prepared to deliver the message, the content of the message, and the qualifications of those who serve.

ONE NOTE: My camera began to malfunction in Tanzania and appears to be getting worse in focusing. So the number, quality, and type of pictures will depend on those that can be used.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday Night: Beauty and the Beast

These are pictures of the Romanian country side as we traveled from Brasov along the edge of the Carpathians. The scenery was beautiful. I missed a few shots with the camera. I wanted to share some of the pictures. If you wonder if I am intentionally making pictures of churches—I am not. Every village has at least one church and most have several. One of the pictures is of a group of Roma houses. They are obvious as you travel—on the edge of town/village and usually near the train. Once again very few people were on the train. I saw the old barns, old castle like walls of churches, and villages which seem unchanged for centuries. I hope you enjoy the pictures. If you ever want a great vacation, the Romanian Carpathians offer so much.

I take this all back. No picture for this. We have been stopped somewhere now for about one hour. No explanation given. I did find out that a locomotive engine is involved. We are waiting one and as soon as it gets here we are going. So far we were 35 minutes late out of Brasov, about an hour now and counting. Wait, if we are waiting on an engine how did we get this far! I am really glad that I ate all that lamb soup, roasted red peppers, and lamb for lunch.

Sent a text to Otto and Attila (wrong number). Talked to Attila and turns out the train is stopped only 15 minutes from Reghin (over 1 hour). We agreed that Attila would come get me. I got my luggage at the door of the train. Stepping down, I started to take my luggage off the train. The train started moving with the door open. I had to get back in the train. Almost had my luggage taking a ride without me. Called Attila back and he met me at the train station. It took almost thirty minutes to go that short distance. Now I am in Reghin.

Friday: Back to Kindergarten

Friday ended my stay in Sacele. My last event was to go visit Rhode and Benjamin’s kindergarten. We spent two great hours with the Hungarian and the Romanian kindergarten classes. The Hungarian Class included Benjamin and Rhode. I included a photo of Rhode on the floor. The children had learned an English song: Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed. When one fell down and bumped his head, Rhode hit the floor.

I talked about African children. I taught them an abbreviated version of “Hakuna Mungu..” We added movement and louder singing and it was really good. They learned a few Swahili words. They were shown how many people carry things on their head in Africa. This led to them practicing carry items on their head. They really enjoyed this. Also, the children really liked seeing the animals. The children drew pictures and a couple of them could write. So, I have letters to give to the children at the Daily Bread Life Children’s Home in Tanzania. I have to admit that I was wondering about this mornings time. I had a blast.

The second class was Romanian speaking children. The power went off just as we were starting so that required innovation to keep those guys on track. But, they were really good. Otto had told the children about Pro Africa and the children gave about three dollars in Romanian currency for orphans. Otto left CD’s explaining Pro Africa and the needs in Kenya and Tanzania.

After lunch, I was on the train for my last stop, Reghin with Attila and Adele Toth.

Thursday: Hope

The Hope Group was started by Otto and Elisabeth Kis to change the lives of the people with disabilities in the Sacele area. Their work has been something of a pioneer effort in the churches. In fact they had received some criticism for investing so much of their time in the lives of over twenty persons in the Sacele area. The Hope Group’s name fits it. Now they help Otto and Elisabeth in their church planting efforts.

Otto has some big dreams about providing for persons with disabilities in Romania--A conference to bring together those working with the disabled in the churches. He really wants to demonstrate that persons with disabilities can be a productive and integrated into church and community life.

Michael has a dream (young man that I am talking with in the picture). His dream is what Teleios Ministry is about but will be a challenging one for us. Michael, works at a local hospital, and is currently working on his Masters degree. He wants to build a workshop for people with disabilities. They would produce a specialty product in order to have a employment and support outreach to other disabled people. Michal had been searching the web and saw the workshops in the US. We spent a great deal of time talking about this. I need your help to assist in finding contacts for Michael. What is so exciting is that the innovation and bridging of barriers is taking place in the context of the Gospel. The Gospel of Jesus Christ transforms lives and Otto and Michael have a big dream that will transform the whole life of the disabled, the church, and their community.

The Hope Group meeting was their quarterly celebration meeting. Honestly, the building we met in was cold. We are praying to find a place to serve as a ministry center for the children’s group, Hope Group, Young Couples, Mother’s club, and Sacele church. (Otto and I went looking at property—the good news is that the property value has dropped—well, good news for the ministry center.) We had pizza and two very delicious cakes.

To give you an idea of the investment of Otto and Elisabeth in the Hope Group. Otto went and picked up most of those who came in his small station wagon. He spent about two hours bringing and two hours taking home the members of the Hope Group.

In the evening, I preached at the Brasov Hungarian Baptist Church. This church has been a part of Teleios Ministry since it began. Gyula, Marta, Peter, David, and Kinga Borzasi (Kinga is David’s wife of almost eight months) have been a part of our lives and so many of our partners who have served in Romania. David played the keyboard, Kinga led the music, and Peter handled the projection of the words and scriptures. Also, we got to see our great friends, Peter and Ili Balint. After the worship service, we had a feast. Marta makes the best roast lamb anywhere. She had made a type of potato salad out of Brasov grown potatoes (best anywhere). I seriously put away some roast lamb.

The great news is that Marta invited me and Otto back for lunch to finish off the lamb. She added her roasted red peppers (Best again) and LAMB SOUP (what can I say, Best again). I really enjoyed myself. What can I say.

We had a great night together catchy up, talking old times, and making plans to get together again.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sacele with Otto and Elisabeth Kis

We had a very good day today. Everytime I visit Romania, I am learning something new about the Romanian system of things. Early afternoon I went with Otto to a Hungarian speaking high school. They did not do well on their eight grade national exam so they were tracked to the vocational high school. The vocational high school in Sacele is focused on tourism. If you are a vocational high school student in Sacele then you are in tourism unless you find a way to attend a vocational school in Brasov or another town. My eyes were opened to the reality of motivation in school. What really surprised me was Romanian requirements for new business. If these students wanted to start a new business. They would have to have a university degree in the area of their busines. Which means they would have to pass a national high school exam and complete the university training. They can only start a business in the area of training. When I asked why? The teacher said because they must know how to do the paper work associated with starting and running the business. She, Erniko, is a great teacher and committed to helping these students. In fact, she teaches kindergarten in the mornings and comes to the high school in the afternoons to teach the students. One class was the class most have given up on--they will be waiters or servers. I can see why many young Romanains leave Romania now. The opportunities are hugh outside of Romania compared to inside. Regardless of what may be said about the business climate in the US. We really are the Land of Opportunity. Otto goes to the high school once a week to teach a class best described as purpose and values.

We left for a quick lunch and then on to the Childrens Club. I shared with them about children in East Africa, taught them a Swahili song (wth movements), and showed them some pictures of the people and a few animals. They are great. Otto and Elisabeth do a great job with them. I recognized some of the older girls from previous visits. They remembered some of the Swahili song--they really enjoyed the movement.

Immediately following was a gathering of young couples. I spoke on Marriage and Mission. We had a good time together talking, visiting, sharing. David Borzasi translated--like old times in Brasov. I really enjoyed getting to talk with David again. I met his wife, Kinga. Thursday night I will have dinner with the Borzasi family.

Tomorrow we have a meeting and lunch with the Hope Group, a group of disabled persons who minister with Otto and Elisabeth. At night, I will be at the Brasov Church.