|These are the reasons|
“During the camp I found God… or God found me. On a rock, praying near the river. My life has changed!”These were the words of a young teenager. These are the reasons we are ministering for. These are the reasons we are running Ambassadors Together project. These are the reasons for supporting local churches in sending out mission teams every single year for half a decade now. These are the reasons we exist as an organisation. These are the reasons we exist as a church.Preparing for an impactful 2019, let’s have a backward look at a very prosperous and varicoloured 2018. Let me mention just some of the highlights:Ambassadors Together
27 mission teams from 10 different churches were equipped, financially supported (matching grant) and sent on the field to reach, teach and disciple children, teenagers and young adults throughout our country.
260+ volunteer leaders have been on the field sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ.1826 registered children and youth (not counting the ones who just showed up and participated spontaneously) heard the Good News shared in a variety of ways and methods.Way over 50% of the participants were non-churched kids. And an extra of 15% were kids at risk (sexual abused girls, substance use and abuse, cancer diagnosed), orphans and imprisoned kids. This is what one of those girls, Georgiana, 13 years old, told us:
“I’ve learned that no matter how lonely I might feel, I do have a Very Special Friend, Jesus. And I feel so confident knowing this. I also made some new friends this week. Even if I have hundreds of friends on Facebook, they are not really friends. Friends are those who help each other, who laugh together and cry together. I’m so happy I got to meet all of you”.The long way towards home
We have partnered with Alianța România Fără Orfani (Romania without Orphans Alliance) whose goal is to make everything possible to find a loving and safe home for each abandoned child. Their summit was heavily supported by Via Church (organisational, human resources and financially). Over 1000 adopting parents, foster parents, social care workers, parliament members, governmental officials and church leaders came together in Cluj-Napoca.Refresh
This was a camp for families that adopted kids where 102 kids with their families participated for a new breath of “fresh air” and encouragement in their courageous responsibility they have taken upon their shoulders. While adopted kids had a special program designed for them, their parents learn about various therapeutically technics, attachment and attachment disorders.FLUX
We have told you about Flux project before. It is an event for young professionals which draws the attention of very many non-churched people. All sorts of guest speakers, mainly from the secular world, are invited to bring their expertise and teach practical life skills. It is our way to build a bridge to a world where Christian witness is weak.And Flux is gaining a progressively larger share in the “public square”. Close to 1500 new people crossed our church threshold in one year. They were attracted by topics like: Tendencies In Property Market, From Myth To Fit: How (Not) To Do Sports, The Ragamuffin Gospel, How To Hack The System, Fear And Safety In Our Days, The Dynamics Of Romanian Mentalities, Error 404: Happiness Not Found.MOPS (moms of preschoolers)
A kind of a similar idea have surged on the surface at Via Church. We already face the “problem” of having many children. At this moment we have over 200 and not enough rooms for them. Only last year were born about 30 (quote from memory) and this year we are expecting another 30 at least. Realizing the need, we have launched a weekly program for those moms who are raising children and spend those 2 years of paid leave at home. So, every Wednesday, moms can come with their babies at Via Church and for two hours they can socialize with other moms, learn more about raising children and have a break from their little kids as somebody else is taking care of them.
The global vision for missions is expanding in Via Church. And that is so encouraging. Last year two teams (22 people) traveled to Africa for a month and helped in construction work and children work. Now the Romanian group in Uganda was able to open a new school for Uganda’s children and Sudanese refugee children. It is amazing to see how our impact is touching other parts of the world.And the list can go on but there is not enough space here. Next time!From the home front
With sorrow and joy, at the same time, we have witnessed my (Rei) mother’s passing on Thursday, March 14th. She was 81 years old and suffering from Alzheimer for some years now. She passed away quietly and smooth. As I got to her place to see her before going to the airport (I was intending to leave for some Bible teaching in Belgium), I guess she recognized my voice and with all three of her close family present (my father and my brother, too) she just left to go in the presence of our Lord. We rejoice that now she is whole, singing and praising the Lord in person.Much love and appreciation, Rei and Ramona
Dear ministry friends, Thanksgiving, when I grew up in Holland, was often referred to as Harvest Thanksgiving Day. For thousands of children and youth, this year’s Thanksgiving