From Training to the Streets!
So the main purpose of this 1 week camp was to train many churches from the young charismatic to the older conservative denominations in Discipleship and Evangelism. And then to go out to the local towns and share the gospel applying what they learned. Danni and Chippi, the leaders of this effort (Check out “Multicultural Worship” to hear more about them) also wanted revival to take place in their hearts as a fire under their belly to share the gospel. And they sought to do that effectively through music and great examples of servant-leaders, which was mainly why withLove was brought to the table.
Some of the training was taught by Danni and other well-experienced veteran Romanian pastors. And most was taught via video tutorials from the Australian ministry called Evangelism Xplosion. They would spend 3-4 hours at a time in the main sessions watching clips of these zealous Australian teachers and Danni, Chippi, and other pastors would facilitate smaller groups to discuss the lesson. There was a lot of good information that the band was able to learn through our translators. One thing I really remembered were our “spheres of influence”. We all have our network of people through different avenues of life whether it’s at work, home, school, church, the gym, etc. Those places are called your “spheres”. You encounter certain people in those places that you may not encounter in others. And those people have their relationship with you in those “spheres” that allow you an opportunity to speak to them about Christ – hence your “sphere of influence”. And if you drew this out on paper, you begin to see large networks in family-tree like fashion being created because every person that you encounter in your sphere of influence has their own spheres of influence to share the Gospel in. And this begins a snowballing domino effect where if you reach 1 person for Christ, there is potential opportunity to reach 20 others through direct and indirect connections that 1 person has! So what’s the point? Sometimes it takes 1 person to come to Christ in order for a whole generation to know Christ! How your seeds multiply in the harvest in later seasons…. the possibilities are endless! Where there are failures, there are successes and you can never stop trying to reconcile people back to God’s love!
Dwight and the Super Translators!
But the training was definitely a lot of information over long periods of time and I’m not going to lie, it was hard to keep up with, even for the translators. They worked so hard and consistently to translate everything that was going on for us! Dwight and his team of translators did such an amazing job being our liaison to the Romanian leaders and congregation. They put in a lot of work translating our songs, including our original songs, for each set! But it was fun for all of us to lead worship in 2 different languages. It’s definitely a unique multicultural experience!
To the Streets!
On the 5th day of camp, we went to a local small town called “Hateg” (Pronounced “Hot-Seg” – we liked to call it “Hashtag” lol) to share the gospel. This truly was a small town because we were able to walk the whole city in about 1 hour! They had a beautiful park in the middle of the city with a this beautiful fountain in the middle of the park. It was right in front of this grocery store and looked like the main hang out for a lot of gypsies. The strategy for evangelizing was via this simple questionnaire that the students used to start a conversation. It basically quantified the quality of life without Christ and the quality of life possibly with Christ. For example, “How satisfied are you with your life from 1 to 10, 10 being the best?” or “How important is having a spiritual life to you on a scale from 1-10?”. In about 8 more similarly derived questions, it led to a conversation into the “unknown”. The “unknown” meaning, the space that was created in conversation (through the questionnaire) and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide your conversation to wherever he may lead you, whether that is in prayer, encouragement, or salvation. We were able to debrief afterwards back at the camp and found out that out of the 115 people that went out to evangelize, 5-6 people came to Christ with many more considering going to the local church to find out more. And that was worth all the more to keep trying!
Concert in Hateg!
On the 6th day of camp, withLove played an outdoor concert at the park in Hateg. This concert consisted of old and original upbeat, LOUD songs (finally); testimonies from the young adult Romanian Leaders, from Rachael, and myself (with our translators of course). This was capped off with Danni sharing a beautiful 5-minute presentation of the Gospel. The concert was so much fun! This was a cool Friday afternoon, the speakers were up, the amps were turned up, and the tents gave us shade from the sun! We were ready to play! As you heard the lovely sounds of splashing water in the nearby fountain, David was playing his double-edged sword of the key bass on one keyboard and main keys on the other, Jordan was playing as loud as he wanted on the drums in the large patch of grass, Waddy was shredding his guitar through this giant amp, and Derek and Rachael were foot-stomping, guitar jamming, and tambourine shakin’ the evening away! Our original songs “After Your Heart” and “Worth It All” were a big hit with the crowd as people all over the park were dancing and singing with us! We were hitting on all 12 cylinders that night, all in the name of Jesus! It’s a great feeling when people can have fun and dance to your own original music! People came to Christ and many others were prayed with by the end of the night! In the excitement of everything, everyone was taking pictures with us and shaking our hands, and then helped us break down the set and pack it into our 2 vans. We rode off in the sunset back to the mountains where our camp was. We left just in awe of the work that God was doing in that community. Souls and hearts were definitely stirred that night!
Although it was a lot of intense teaching, all I can say about all this evangelism and discipleship training is that I have never seen anything like this in the states where multiple churches from multiple denominations come together to learn and train together; and then immediately GO OUT into the community to apply what they learned in the same week to reach souls for Christ! That is unheard of and yet it’s so beautiful! We have a lot to learn from what the church is doing overseas! Unity is lacking in the church, and for a country like Romania, where the church is redeeming itself in comparison to the rest of the world, they are starting on the right foot by reaching people for Christ together! My heart is the same as the Romanians with The Love Sessions where we can all worship together no matter who you are or what church you’re. It’s a beautiful and powerful thing that as 1 UNITED church, WE can bring people to Christ as one outreaching arm rather than in our own divided glory.
John 17:22,23 saids “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
Unity is what God has given us as our symbol of LOVE to the world – that even as imperfect and as different as we are in doctrine, race, or preference of worship, it’s because of His love that we can harmoniously come together under one name, JESUS. And that alone is a huge testament to God’s glory and love to the rest of the world!