Most of this was written sitting in a McD waiting on Norm Smith (he works in the Europe Area Office with me). I am still listening to Valley of Vision from Sovereign Grace Music. (Good stuff! Thanks Ken!)
It’s a holiday here, so things are a bit relaxed. Nothing is open except McD and it is packed. Yesterday I rode the train back from Romania, my first trip there. I was in Timisoara for a Biblical Counseling Conference put on by the Areopagus Center (Timisoara) and Grace Fellowship EFC from Florence, KY. Being in Timisoara brought back memories of Poland in ’95. I guess because that is the closest thing to which I could relate it. It just has a different feel from the rest of Europe, maybe more like Bosnia.
I had a couple of surprises in Romania. One was the size of the Baptist church there. I’m guessing there were over 400 people there on the Sunday night I attended. You just don’t see that in most places in Europe. While I in the service, just being kind of anonymous and trying to make some sense of the words to the songs before Pastor Steve Freeburne (Florence, KY) got up to speak. I looked across the auditorium and saw this guy sitting there. I thought, ‘Wow, that could be Ken Long’s brother.’ The more I looked at him the more I was impressed with how much this guy looked like Ken. You see, Ken and I have met at some interesting places. We first met in Columbia, SC at seminary. Then I saw him again at the EFCA National Leadership Conference in Salt Lake City, UT in 2004. We were just walking through this huge convention center and there he was. That is when I found out that he was at an EFC in Indiana. I think Ken enjoys surprising me. He is now on staff at Grace Fellowship and was doing some of the teaching at the conference. It was great to see Ken again and hear some good teaching on biblical counseling. (Ken is the one who gave me the Valley of Vision CD. All the Sovereign Grace stuff is good if you are looking for some music.)
I was able to meet up at the conference with Eugene Braila from Moldova. He brought his wife and the worship leader from his church. Their church is about 6 years old and is the beginning of the free church movement in Moldova. I’m trying to figure out how to best help and encourage them as they continue to grow in our Lord and in numbers.
Tomorrow we go pick up our residence permits. I hope they are two-year permits, but lately everyone has been getting one-year.
I’m trying to ‘revamp’ our communication plan so that everyone who has an interest in our ministry is kept well informed. We’ll see what I get done on it this week, but look for some changes in the next week.
You can pray for the meeting I’ll be having with the guys who report directly to me: Mike Edwards, Carl Lahr, Brad Mullet, Tommy Trowbridge, and Gary Wittevrongel. Norm Smith will be there too, because he’s my buddy and I think everyone will benefit if he’s there.