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A tale of four sermons

10 October 2013

A tale of four sermons – one long, one short, one that didn’t happen and another that was completely incomprehensible!

A group of nine people from MBC recently visited our twin churches in Romania. We were made very welcome and took greetings to them from MBC.
Norman Hiley preached at Manastur Baptist Church on Sunday 8th September and gave a systematic exposition of the gospel message. With the need for translation he was on his feet preaching for around 45 minutes. You can watch and listen to the service including Norman’s sermon (which is an hour in) on Manastur Church’s website here. In case you think Norman is speaking in tongues he actually preached the first and last parts of the sermon in Romanian!

In the evening we visited the Gypsy Church in the village of Floresti near Cluj. This is a very poor community where few people have jobs. We provide financial support to enable them to have Iosif Hoca as their pastor and Manastur church in Cluj also provides assistance to them. The service was very lively and the music very loud. Looking round at the beaming faces we could sense God’s presence. As Norman had already preached that day we allowed him to have the evening off! However as they were expecting us to take part in the service a few of us shared some (impromptu) thoughts.

During our week we enjoyed some wonderful excursions. Our hosts in Cluj took us to the mountains in the north of Romania where we enjoyed a scenic ride on a steam train. We also saw a building being constructed in the mountains west of Cluj which will be used for groups of young people to stay in. From Cserefalva we were able to visit Andor Ferko’s parents and their village where we had a ride in a horse-drawn cart. We were invited for meals in people’s houses in both Cluj and Cserefalva – and are now on diets. It was good to renew old friendships and to make new ones.

We spent our second Sunday in the village of Cserefalva. The church was meeting in the parish room (which we helped to fund) as the inside of the church was being renovated. It was encouraging to see so many people from the village involved in this despite harvest being a busy time for them. In the morning Sandor, a trainee pastor who had been brought up in the village preached. We couldn’t understand a word of what he was saying in Hungarian, but we were very impressed with the confident and purposeful way in which he spoke seemingly without stumbling once and was also able to hold people’s attention. It was good to think that he may have been helped by the summer youth camps we have provided funds for over the years. Sandor also visited Leeds when Zsuzsi arranged for a group of trainee pastors to come to England.

In the evening there was a short service at which Norman gave a brief evangelistic message (– he promised it would be only 10 minutes but it may have been 15). Afterwards the parish room was transformed for us to share a full buffet meal with the congregation. This was a memorable time before we returned to England the next day, physically tired but with many good memories.

(If you are interested in joining a future visit to Romania then please let us in the Romania Support Group know.)

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