Ukraine Update, pt2
Updated: Mar 24
ROMANIA DAY 1 by Keith Tucci
Pastor Steve Crombie and I arrived in Romania and were met by Pastor Costel, who was very gracious to us. We got to shower, take an hour nap, and then met for several hours to get briefed and review plans for the next several days.
Pastor Costel’s church is stretched to the limits. They have a kitchen setup and are cooking around the clock. He said that for the first couple of weeks they had good volunteer support from the church and community and that the hearts were good. But most help has dropped off as people return to their life, even as the crisis escalates each day. Most of the people they are housing and feeding are passing through to other parts of Europe where they may have friends and relatives. They may stay there for only a few days. Many of the wives have not heard from their husbands. Most of the refugees are mothers, kids, and the elderly.
You have heard the term “collateral damage.” This is a picture of it. One tragedy leads to another crisis. A mom walks miles with little children and everything they can carry, including their dog or cat. Now they need a place to stay and food to eat. Can you really tell this mom and her kids that they have to give up their beloved pet? Of course not. So provision has to be made somehow. The elderly, who need medical care, are without medical records. Where do you start?
The Romanian economy is rough. There are few jobs. The church has already called in all their favors from those who would give a job to someone who wants to stay in the area. This is a picture of a train wreck. Imagine being a pastor and having this dumped in your lap.
I do love Pastor Costel’s heart about all the challenges. I believe we are here on a divine appointment. I’ve had this sense several times in my life before, and they all proved to be very consequential. There is no doubt that all the upheaval is also the broken ground that produces revival. Please bring us before the Lord. We must be led of the Spirit. Tomorrow we launch the mission we were sent here for!
FAVOR IN PARLIAMENT by Keith Tucci
Much is happening. We are having long days that go well into the night. Today we had the unexpected opportunity to be called by a member of Parliament who is a strong believer. We met with him regarding how they could help us work with the churches. Pretty amazing to stand in the largest Parliament building in Europe that was built as a tribute to Communism that is now being a place of mercy to those in need from other nations. For us as Christians, to be welcomed to a place that used to hunt down Christians is amazing. Kings and kingdoms will all pass away, but the King and His bride, the Church, will last forever! It was an incredible meeting, a divine appointment.
We also met with another tender pastor who is housing people who are traveling through Romania to other destinations like Germany. I asked him what the biggest challenge was that he faced. I knew from our host pastor that worn out laborers is a big deal. Most Romanian charismatic/pentecostal churches are small in number, so they are using up their labor pool pretty quickly. He surprised me by saying that even after just a few days of helping the travelers along, watching them leave was painful because in that short time their lives were brought together. He said they called him a father to them.
This is what the Church can do that no other institution can do!
We are meeting with refugees tonight who have no other place to go, so they will stay in Romania. Jobs here are very limited. We need an entrepreneurial strategy to create enterprise. While there is the obvious immediate need of housing, food, and medicine, there is also the reality of long-term needs. As sad as it is to think about it, some of these women may never see their husbands again. To see all these young women, whose lives have been brutally interrupted, is sobering.
Please continue to pray for divine appointments. That is what is driving us now. Pray for Pastor Steve and me, that we will have the heart of God and His wisdom.