December 30, 2011

Ministry update and Merry Christmas from the Dumitrascu's!

As we are getting close to celebrating Christmas once again, let's remember the words of Matthew concluding the record of our Saviour's birth: "All of this took place that it might be fulfilled which the Lord has spoken through the prophet: 'Behold the virgin shall become pregnant and give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel' - which when translated, means, God with us..." Matthew 1:22-23

The simple truth of Christmas is that this was the only way to bring us back into relationship with God. God become man. In His entire splendour God came as a baby, grew to be a man and walked, talked and fellowshipped with humanity in the person of Jesus – Emmanuel - God with us. And today we can enjoy the presence of God and fellowship with Him through our faith in Jesus. Let's all enjoy Emmanuel - God with us!

Ministry Update: Student Evangelism in Albania

In the first week of November, George had the opportunity to minister with East European Connection (Las Vegas, Nevada) and "Instituti Jeta e Re" team in Tirana for one-to-one student evangelism and soccer ministry. It was a wonderful experience to evangelize, re-connect with Albania and with the Albanian ministry after no less than ten years. I arrived at the airport in Rinas (Tirana) almost not finding my way around. It was amazing! Albania has changed soooo much in these years. 
I praise the Lord for the souls that we touched with this occasion and for the future plans of getting more involved in Albania and short-term ministry. 
Along the way I also realized that God was at work not only through us but also in us: miraculously my Albanian language skills recovered after about ten years without practice. We all saw people coming to the knowledge of the redeeming grace we have in Jesus.

Ministry Update: North-American Romanian and Albanian Ministries

"What is all this Christmas about?" I was recently asked by an Albanian living in Las Vegas. First I could not believed my ears... but the guy really meant that he did not know anything about Christmas. As I continued to explain the good news of Jesus’ coming, I reflected on a plain truth: although we do not realize, there are people living among us in North America that never heard about the celebration of Jesus birth.

It was my joy in this past period to evangelize and serve as a speaker to a few events in Las Vegas and Abbotsford area among Albanians and Romanians. Connecting with diaspora is often a challenge but I feel every moment that God is working among these ethnicities with strong hand.

Pray for us...

Continue to pray for Albania - as God is providing open doors for the Gospel, that the people will continue to come to Christ. Pray for Instituti Jeta e Re and their involvement in student evangelism

Pray for Eastern European Connection (Las Vegas, Nevada) outreach: God is opening new ways to a good community of Eastern Europeans living in Las Vegas. Pray for Jeremy Dollar and for efficient ministry.

Continue to pray for our ministry among refugees, newcomers and Romanians in Abbotsford, BC. May the Lord continue to enlarge his kingdom among the "people of peace". May the nations come to His knowledge. Continue to pray for Dina, pastor Cornel Ardelean's daughter suffering from cancer.

PLEASE SUPPORT OUR MINISTRY: new opportunities for ministering toward refugees, Romanians and Albanians are opening in North-America and abroad. Would you like to be part of our family's ministry? For this Christmas please consider supprting us by donating toward to Eastern European Connection, 101 W. Flamingo Rd. #2012, Las Vegas, NV 89147, USA. Please don't forget to mention "For George Dumitrascu support"

October 03, 2011

Making Christ known - Newsletter October 2011

Dear family and friends:

Is hard to believe that more than a year went by since I wrote our last newsletter. In the last couple of years we continued to be involved in refugee resettlement in Greater Vancouver Area (Vancouver, BC) and in international missions. Below there are several updates with the latest events in our family as well as some current and future plans.

A great summer…
In Denver with Nick and Domnica Manzat, Nicoleta's parents
This year was our family’s first summer as Canadian citizens and we decided to celebrate it in the purest Canadian tradition: a car trip to Alberta and another one to South! For the first time in several years we managed to spend time visiting and re-connecting with friends in Calgary but also to visit some of the Pacific coast attractions for the first time ever. We managed to spend some time and rush-visiting Great Canyon before hitting the North-East again to spend some time with family and friends in Denver and Seattle. Joshua, Timeea and George-Philip handled well both trips pressure.
Overall we covered about 3000 km in our Alberta trip and 7500 km in our South trip. We fully enjoyed visiting with the small Romanian church plant in Calgary and the Southern sun and heat. We were fully blessed that our car behaved unexpectedly well after couple of small trip annoyances.

November 6-17 – Albania and Romania: Next missionary endeavour
In the last months God has opened again ways to impact the Eastern Europe with the Gospel. I am again blessed by getting involved in reaching toward Albania, Serbia and Romania. Several windows of opportunities in these countries are opening up. I now plan to be in Albania and Romania from November 6th to November 17th, 2011. God willing, I will join Eastern European Connection (Las Vegas, USA) team doing student evangelism in Albania (University of Tirana) and more student evangelism from Bucharest and Arad. I look so much forward to this trip as I will be heading back to Albania, our “first missionary love” first time in 10 years and to Romania, our “home”.
View from Tirana
Albania is predominantly a Muslim Country (70%), although it’s a nominal form of Islam. Also about 20% of the Country is from Orthodox Backgrounds, and 10% roughly Catholic. It’s estimated that only somewhere between .2% and .5% are Evangelical Christians. I have an incredible opportunity to serve the people of Albania, and to share the good news about Jesus the Messiah. The people of Albania however are very hospitable, and in most cases open to hear the gospel.
God is doing a great work in Albania! In 1991, after the fall of Communism, there were only 5 known believers. My family and I had the honor to serve the Lord and the Albanians from 1997 to 2001. Now, by God’s grace and the work of the Holy Spirit through His church, there are well over 20,000 believers. God is even using the Albanian church now as a “sending nation,” as many Albanians have been able to go to primarily Muslim countries as short and long-term missionaries. If we can reach Albania with the gospel, we may be able to reach the entire Muslim world!

Would you be interested in supporting this evangelistic effort? Please consider supporting financially this trip by making tax-deductible donations to Eastern European Connection, 8101 W. Flamingo Rd. #2012, Las Vegas, NV 89147, USA. Please do not forget to mention “For George’s mission trip to Eastern Europe”.

Praying for the city: Romanian outreach in Calgary
I start visiting Calgary since 2006 and praying ever since that the Lord will open possibilities for the rela-tively large group of Romanians living and working there to have a ministry in their language. Several years in a row there have been opportunities for Romanians to start their own ethnic ministry but due to various reasons things have stalled.
This summer, visiting again Calgary we focused more on the church planting reality. I was able to connect and spend more time with key leaders and discuss about different opportunities. There is much more to be done for a functional ministry and it is a blessing to help in laying the foundations they Lord setting for Calgary.
At this moment, as we are looking forward to the growth of this ministry we are trying to understand our future role and participation. We are praying remain open to see where God is leading us in future for the expansion of His Kingdom among Romanians.

Praying for the city: Romanian outreach in Abbotsford
We continue to be involved in helping the general ministry of Bethel Church in Abbotsford. We are thankful seeing that the Lord is reaching toward Romanians living in the Fraser Valley. Recently Dina, Pastor Cornel Ardeleanu’s daughter has been diagnosed with cancer. After a surgery she would have to undergo some heavy chemotherapy. We continue to pray for her health, for healing and for a great outcome for the Gospel even in this difficult situation.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."      Ephesians 3:20-21

June 18, 2010

Mission notes - Peru: “Don’t steal, don’t lie, and don’t be lazy”

It’s impossible to pass through Huaraz (Peru) without noticing the great 

white mountain peaks, the obvious difficulty in breathing characteristic to travelers unused to the high altitudes and the multicolored hats that almost every women wears. Quite soon the culture hits me hard: I am trespassing on the territory of the Quechua indians, the direct descendants of the Incas. The Inca Empire, which existed for a century before the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores, was a highly developed civilization stretching from parts of present-day Colombia in the north, southward into Chile.

As soon as I enter in the Aija Valley, just passing the 15.000 feet altitude South of Huaraz, I can’t help but remark the great laws of Quechua written on the great rocks that overlook the valley: “Don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t be lazy”. Just a few centuries ago stealing, lying or laziness were punished by death. As I am trying to reflect on the eternal value of these laws, Alejandro our translator quickly remarks on the great and negative influence that the Spanish conquistadores had on this proud culture, a “name only” Christianity that produced a unique mix of idolatry with Christian elements.

Today’s Inca descendants are worshiping the Christian symbols instead of their own idols. However, there is no difference. As once they were bringing tribute to the deities of the forest and of the mountain, today they are pouring beer at the cross-symbol that marks the entrance in the valley. The Christian symbols are misleading here; the Indians have the knowledge but lack the relationship. They worship a cross that for them really represents the spirit of the mountain.

Things are not looking up in the Aija valley. In our short visits in La Merced, Aija, Dos de Majo, Mallacayan, Llanquista, Succha and Colca I was impressed by the crude poverty, insufficient resources and their openness to the Gospel. Today’s Quechua work in the mines or farming their small piece of land. However, only a few can make enough for a living. Their survival is linked with the success of this year’s crop.

Since 2004 Canadian teams of short-term missionaries have visited Aija valley’s schools, held medical clinics and proclaimed the gospel to thousands of Indians. The result was instantaneous, hundreds have received Christ. Unfortunately after this apparent success many Quechua have returned to their old rituals. The Gospel has still to penetrate in this difficult and idolatrous culture.

April 19, 2010

Leaving Philippines

Two weeks ago I left Vancouver for Palawan Island in Philippines. Before falling asleep in the long 14 hour flight, I remember praying in Bob Pierce’s famous words “Let my heart be broken by the things that break the heart of God”. As I now write these lines from Manila’s airport on the way back to Vancouver, I can definitely return having the sense of being broken by what I have seen in Palawan: poverty, need, hospitality and faithfulness things that break the heart of God.

Along the past two weeks I had the privilege to see scarcity as I never saw before, meet people that I never met before, speak to the Palawan Association of Bible Churches, visit and encourage about 13 churches, notice suffering at levels yet new to me, speak to tribes that I never knew existed and meet a variety of pastors and deacons. All of these in a dusty awful truck (or sometimes traveling by pamboat) hovering an area of about 400 kilometers of bad, tough country road.

I have returned with a new sense of understanding my culture and God’s calling for us, those happening to live in one of the most blessed countries in the world. We are here to demonstrate God’s love in practice. They are not forgotten. We are here to minister to them, and with them to take Palawan for Christ. We invite you our donors to join with us again in this wonderful opportunity. God works, but thorough us.

April 02, 2010

Mission Insights: ready for the Philippines

In just two days I will head to Philippines, and I am looking forward to another great adventure with God. My missionary focus will be this time for tribes of Tagbanua and Palwanon in the island of Palawan.

Few insights about the Philippines: The official name of the country is actually Republic of the Philippines. It's a mountainous country made up of 7107 islands. Here there are an amazing 79 provinces. About 88 million Filipino people live here, made up of a number of ethnic groups, including Tagalog, Cebuano and Ilocano. As you might guess, the languages are varied too. There are two official languages - Filipino (which is based on Tagalog) and English. But there are many other dialects used, such as, again, Tagalog, Cebuano and Ilocano, and five others. It's not surprising that things like sugarcane, rice and coconuts grow here, but you may have seen a lot of other things in the store from the Philippines. Major industries include assembling electronics, clothing, and various chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

Our mission’s focus started more than 20 years ago and it developed to a virtual network of churches and pastors that cover most of the Palawan Island. I am looking forward to a few challenges: visiting remote tribes, meeting pastors in the lower plain and speaking at the annual Association of the Baptist Bible Churches of Palawan conference. This year’s topic is “Be a blessing”. Any ideas how can we be a blessings? Share with me on Facebook...

December 31, 2009

2010 - Time for a change... again??

Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14 (NIV)

It's the end of 2009 and the start of 2010 so I’m thinking about change... again! For those of you who think about resolutions, please note that I am not a big fan of them. I think that we generally don't follow them anyway. When we really resolve to do something to change our lives, it is usually at a time in our life when we are to the point that we see the need for change and we have the proper conditions. Apostle Paul was great on pressing ahead. He saw his need to change in relation to the heavenly prize.

I'm always for anything to change for better my life and relationships with the Lord. When it boils down to it, bettering ourselves as Christians involves bettering our relationships with God. We have to draw closer to Him before we can improve our Christian lives and our dedication toward people.

Sometime ago I’ve heard that when missionary Dr. David Livingstone was working in Africa, a group of friends wrote him: “We would like to send other men to you. Have you found a good road into your area yet?” Dr. Livingstone sent this message in reply: “If you have men who will only come if they know there is a good road, I don’t want them. I want men who will come if there is no road at all.”

There’s a big difference between just being interested in doing something and actually changing yourself doing it. Just being interested allows us the freedom do a thing only when our circumstances permit. However, making a commitment to change means accepting no excuses and no reservations — it means putting aside our fears and uncertainties and moving forward as Apostle Paul. Dr. Livingstone was looking for results, and this required men of commitment!

We've all got to live the Christian life just one day at a time. That in turn will cause us to have that change in our Christian life that we all so greatly need. Just live better for God, day by day, hour by hour, moment by moment and that will add up to our best for Him not only for this New Year but for our entire lives as well. With 2010 under way, let’s make some commitments! Our Lord, our families, our jobs and our churches are awaiting us!