Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Romania outreach could mean European expansion

Romania (MNN) ― Evangelist Sammy Tippit is rejoicing following evangelistic meetings in Oradea, Romania.

Tippit first traveled to Romania in 1980 when Christians were persecuted for their faith. He returned to preach seven evenings of evangelistic meetings in the largest Evangelical church in the country and perhaps Europe. It seats 3,000 people. In some ways, the days were reminiscent of the 1980s when the church was persecuted. And, yet in other ways, it was so different.

It was similar because of the hunger for the Gospel. Tippit says, "[The church] was full every night. Overflow rooms and video cameras [were needed]. We had just a great experience. There's a great hunger for the Gospel, and every single night many people came to Christ as Lord and Savior."

But it was also so very different. The great problem was not dealing with persecution, but with materialism. Romania remains a poor country, but it's so different from the long bread lines that were common during the days of communism.

Tippit says materialism and a poor economy have forced Romanians from their country into other parts of Europe. Tippit is hoping the church will use this in evangelism. He says the Romanian church may have the strongest foundation to accomplish this. "They've experienced revival, great awakenings, and moves of God's Spirit; now God has dispersed them throughout Europe. And I believe they can make a great impact and be a significant instrument in God's hands to bring revival to Western Europe."

Sammy Tippit Ministries not only reaches out to Romanians; they also have ministry people in Asia and the Middle East and the majority religions in those nations. Tippit says Romanians may be used to reach people from those cultures as well. "One of the possibilities we're looking at is bringing two or three of these groups together, along with the Romanians, and each group helping the other group to cross-culturally reach out."

Cross-cultural evangelism has changed, say Tippit. "We're living in an age where population shifts have changed the whole face of Europe and North America. My feeling is: let's reach this new situation, let's reach out to these people."

Prayer and funding are needed to help Tippit and his team to develop this new evangelistic strategy. Tippit says, "There's a place for Western Christians in this whole process. So we're going to need some people who walk closely with the Lord, who have a burden for Europe, to go with us."

Since many of the believers are recent immigrants, western funding will be needed for the outreach efforts.

Pray for God's guidance as Tippit prepares to launch this outreach some time in 2010.

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