Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Training in Transylvania

The first time I visited Romania was 1993 when some of my former students in the U.S. invited me to teach cross-cultural studies. It’s been 11 years since my last visit to this country and my class is much the same…how to present the Gospel in a contextualized relevant way to people of different cultures.

Though the group was not large, those in attendance were focused. They know God is leading them to serve outside of their own country, though some are still working through that process of where and when. One couple will be going to Namibia in a few months; another couple wants to work among Muslims, perhaps in Somalia. Another student has his sights on India.

What was refreshing for me on this trip was to be around people who take their faith seriously. In the church I spoke to on Sunday the place was packed as we worshipped together for over three hours. My students actually wept when they prayed for the persecuted church throughout the world. It’s been a long time since I have been around such heartfelt devotion to Christ. I understand that devotion for Christ comes in many forms and I am not negating the commitment to Christ by those in America, Kenya or other places. It was just really great to observe the Body of believers in this part of the world.

One idea floating from these past ten days is that next year Romanian’s to join me in India for cross-cultural studies. It’s ironic that in 1992 I trained North Americans in India who then came to Romania to serve; 19 years later it’s possible that Romanian’s will go to India for intercultural studies. Perhaps, we will also have students from Ukraine. Maybe someonereading this blog would also like to join us in 2011.