Our culture tempts us to set goals and live as if our country and life is all there is. Though important, it’s only one blink in comparison to God’s Kingdom and eternity. Our everlasting King asks us to be one of His ambassadors (2 Cor.5:18), not for a temporal Kingdom, but His eternal one.
Emma, who lives in Romania, is already one of Christ’s Ambassadors. As an ambassador, life has been more exciting and fulfilling. Life for Emma and those around her first took a different turn after she told Rei, 4D’s director and her student pastor, “For years we’ve been blessed by American teams coming to help us with camps and VBS. Now it’s our turn to go and help others. Can we….?”
Rei adds, “It’s thrilling that now Romanian Christians are planning and undertaking Short Term Missions in our country! It’s both a testimony to the non believers, as well as an encouragement to Christ’s Body, as we move from a ‘receiving’ mentality, to a ‘giving’ mindset.
After Emma’s comment, she and other students pioneered their first “mission team.” And then another one and another and… Something had been started and momentum grew. Rei says, “This year we have five mission teams. Thus far, they reached more than 500 kids in their camps and VBS this year alone.”
And with the lessons learned, Rei’s next goal is not five teams, but ten mission teams from various churches throughout Romania, with 100 volunteer leaders reaching over 1,000 kids with the Good News of Jesus during the next twelve months!
Why is this so exciting? Let me explain:
- Over 1,000 kids will not only hear the Good News during a five day program, but they are also being followed up with by these national mission teams and the churches they partner with.
- Over 100 leaders are being prepared for a life of service, not only academically in a classroom or conference setting, but also in hands-on ministry, discovering their gifts, developing them, and learning to live and work in community.
- Half of Rei’s 300+ students that are part of his weekly ministry come from other towns throughout Romania to study in Cluj. Many of them go back for the summer and will leave Cluj permanently after they graduate. As Rei puts it, “We have them here for five or six years to prepare them for future service. They will be our future leaders.”
- The local mission teams don’t work in a vacuum, but come alongside church planters and leaders who are asking for our help. Thus, the teams are a great encouragement to them as well.
- With the same mission team returning to the same location over and over, they also build relationships with the kids and their parents within that community.
- The ministry is field-driven. National teams and their churches “own” the program and are encouraged to experiment and adapt where needed.
- VBS and other resources are written or translated and shared through training and 4D’s LeaderXpress website, to help especially smaller churches to prepare their teams.
- It encourages the sending churches to become more missional and involved through prayer, sending their teams and local fundraising activities.
- At least half of the funding comes from within Romania, as students seek work or raise the funds needed, in spite of the very difficult economy. It does not only make our funding go twice as far, it also makes the church in Romania true partners and stewards of what God has entrusted to them. In the process, the teams learn about planning, budgeting, funding, reporting and accountability.
- It’s an opportunity for both them and us to join hands and serve our Lord of the Harvest together.
Can’t they do it all themselves, you may wonder. Almost. They just need a little help. Especially in poorer countries like Romania.
Also, because of 4D’s matching support, more kids can attend from non-Christian and very poor families, like the Roma (gypsy) communities that are being targeted by Emma and her team.
So, in the end, we’re all needed!
I call the program “Ambassadors Together,” as together we are representatives of God’s Kingdom, being called to be ambassadors of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18). Exciting, isn’t it? God wants to use each of us in His foreign service, being representatives of an eternal Kingdom!
I ask you to join Rei, Emma, and others throughout Eastern Europe to be “Ambassadors Together” with an annual gift of $500 (or $45 per month). It will enable one child to go to camp or two children to attend a VBS and hear the Good News each month.
Sending “National Mission Teams” is not something that only takes place in the summer. It’s happening right now and year round. That’s why help is needed year round. And, if you want to partner with a particular team or country, like Romania, Hungary or Czech Republic, that’s possible as well.
Yes, I’m excited when I see that one Ambassador sends 12 kids to a life-changing camp or 24 to VBS each year. But so much more is happening at the same time. Leaders are being prepared for service, church planting is empowered, local churches are mobilized for service.
Will you join hands with Emma, Rei, Csaba and others and be part of “Ambassadors Together?”
Let’s encourage Emma and over 100 future leaders to share the Good News to over 1,000 children and youth by becoming an “Ambassador Together” today. Click here!