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Report on Romanian Teachers’ Conference Dorothy Newlands
It is good to be back home but it was a great privilege to take the Gospel to those in Romania where the annual teachers’ conference was held this year. This was a conference with a difference. Besides the Romanians, there were many who came from Germany, some from France, and from Russia who attended. Although fewer than usual came, this was not significant because of the presence of the Lord. What a joy to be with people who chose to be there and be a part of the work of the Lord. It was nice to be with Detlef and Loretta Stegen who often go to Romania as well as Mr Ngubane.
We looked again at why the school started and what the Lord’s goal was in establishing a school here at Ksb and in Romania as well.
The love and zeal amongst the young people in Romania was palpable. There is a group who call themselves ‘Young and Precious.’ They go to different schools to preach and work together with the Department of Education. There has been much good fruit as a result. A member of this group studied as an architect in a Romanian university which she says she will use for the Lord when and how He wants, but at the moment she wants to tell other young people about the Lord. A young man who is also a member of this group has just completed his schooling and he was one of the top achievers in his country in Mathematics. A university in Bucharest wanted him to study there but he said he would prefer to attend another university closer to the Mission so that he could also continue visiting schools.
The weekend before we arrived, they held a youth weekend where the scholars from these outreaches were invited. Some of them are not Christians. Many made their lives right and expressed their desire to return again.
We also celebrated the 10-year anniversary of DSS, Romania. The inspectorate was there, they thanked them for what they are doing and said that the country could be proud of the school. It was wonderful to see the parents, teachers and children working together. The children sang a lovely English song and of course, Romanian songs as well.
The evening services were open for everybody to attend and God blessed the time together. It was wonderful to be with a team who could help with the counselling after each service, people said they want to walk this way with God, they want to have a deeper relationship with Him. One person commented that ‘I think the atmosphere and the time together here must have been what it was like in that cowshed in Maphumulo so many years ago’. We need to remember our brethren in prayer. I thank the Lord for each one of them and pray that God will bless them richly. They have a determination to do that which pleases God.
I thank the Lord that I could be part of this group together with my husband, Ms Newlands and Mr Ngubane. It was a blessing from the Lord. We visited Romania for the first time in 2004 and have been able to witness the amazing work of God’s Holy Spirit, how He builds something up from nothing because this is the work of the Lord, of His Holy Spirit. The brethren are growing in the Lord and the work is growing, the Lord works and glorifies Himself. They work hard but they do it whole-heartedly. At the moment they are busy harvesting strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Those who can, get up early each morning before their day’s work to pick fruit.
Let us pray for them that they will continue serving the Lord Jesus with everything in them and may we stay faithful to the Him. That which God has called you to, child or adult, be faithful. It is wonderful to be part of God’s work and see what God does. What an honour that we can go from this mission and serve others.
It was a privilege for me to be part of this group. It was not my first visit to Romania but it was a very special trip. The Lord was with us and He worked in our midst. It is wonderful to go to people and see God reach their hearts. They love the Lord.
Firstly, we were very aware of the purpose of their leader’s heart. He loves the Lord and His work. When he drove us to the airport he said that he wished he could leave everything and return home with us so that he could see Reverend Stegen’s face, shake his hand and spend some time with him. He said that he could not forget the work of the revival that God did in his heart. He could not forget that man who left Africa and brought the gospel to Europe and Romania. As we drove out through the gate, the people of the mission in Voiteg surprised us. They had left their work and gathered at the gate to say good-bye to us. I was reminded of how in the past when people would come to KSB and when they left, we would line up next to the road, sing and wave good-bye.
Young people came forward after the services to make their lives right with God, with tears and remorse. But after we prayed with them they had joy in their faces because of receiving the forgiveness of sin. They are keen to continue with God’s way. If this continues, I have hope for Europe. This is not man’s work, it is God’s work. If this was the work of man, we would have lost it long ago. Then we would be speaking about things that had happened in the past. But as it is now, it is alive in our midst. We have courage to continue. They say they have one request: that they may have God in and with them and then they are totally satisfied. They pray that Reverend Stegen would come to Romania. They sent many greetings.
I saw our local Cedar College of Education with different eyes. The principal of their school qualified at CCE. If you see how the staff love and serve the Lord, I was encouraged. I asked the Lord to please help us so that we will persevere because there are people looking to us.
When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. 3 And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested[a] on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 Now there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven. 6 And at this sound the multitude came together, and they were bewildered, because each one was hearing them speak in his own language. 7 And they were amazed and astonished, saying, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each of us in his own native language? Acts 2:1 – 8
We thank the Lord for the Gospel and the work of Jesus. He is not like other people, like other gods that people worship on earth. He is the living Son of God.
Acts was written by Luke to Theophilus and he explained all that had happened to him and the followers of the Lord Jesus after His death. He was unaware of how many times people would read it and be blessed by it. This story is not just historic. It is a retelling of history filled with God’s power. Luke wrote about everything that happened from the birth of the Lord Jesus, what He taught, His death, His resurrection, His ascension and thereafter. There is no history or story compared to the amazing story of the Lord Jesus.
Luke did not write as a Jew but as a Gentile. He wrote down what he had been told and later what he had experienced himself. He testified about what Jesus said and did after He had risen from the dead. He testified to the fact that He is still alive forever. He explained how Jesus appeared to two and then to others, and then to many after His resurrection, demonstrating Himself as the Living One.
One day He appeared to the disciples when they were fishing. Peter said that he was going to fish and they went with him. They did not catch anything. Then the Lord Jesus said, “Cast your nets on the right-hand side and you will catch a lot.” When they obeyed, they caught many big fish and yet the net did not tear. As they dragged the net to the shore, they found the Lord Jesus there. He had already prepared breakfast for them. There was bread, there was a fire that the Lord Jesus had lit and on that fire was fish. Jesus told them to bring some of the fish they had caught and put them on the fire. They realised how the Lord had prepared everything for them and blessed them.
The Lord Jesus instructed them to remain in Jerusalem and not to leave until the promise from the Father had come. The Lord said to them that it was good that He left and went to heaven otherwise they would not receive the gift. They were gathered together in one place, waiting for the promise, united in heart and soul. They did not know what it would be but they were anticipating something big. We find them in chapter 2 on the day of Pentecost. They all met in one place and suddenly there was a sound from heaven, like the roaring of a mighty wind which filled the house. The Holy Spirit was poured out upon them. But before they received the Spirit, there was something they had to understand, there was something that had to be done – they had to wait upon Him, together, in unity of heart. Jesus works where people are one, where they are together in unity. The Lord Jesus said that he who does not gather with Me, scatters. Those who do not bring people together to Him are scatterers.
Understand this, child of God, Christ brings unity. He brings people together. The one who scatters is from the devil. The person who brings division between people is not from God and God is not with him. The Lord Jesus gathers people and creates unity. Do you have the heart of Christ who wants to reveal Himself to this world and bring people together under Him? Ask yourself.
The Lord Jesus knew that those who were going to spread the gospel could not do it in the state they were in. They could not go out if they were cowards or fearful. They had to be filled with His power and be on fire to work with Him. They were together, in unity, when the gift that God had promised came. They experienced something that no other people had experienced. He had explained to them what would happen when the Spirit came. The Spirit of God gathers people together, it makes them united, with one goal and one purpose. In the book of Ezekiel there was a valley filled with dry bones – one piece here, another there – as Ezekiel obeyed God and spoke to the bones, they came together and stood up and came alive – a mighty army.
We can ask ourselves whether we are one with the brethren here? Are we of one heart and spirit? Can this gift be given to us? Can that dry bone over there join this one over here? If that could happen to the Jews, can that happen to us? Where a bone over there joins this one in unity. It can happen to us. But we cannot do things if we are individual dry bones here and there. We will come together and be alive if we come together and are one. Child of God, are you longing to be filled by God’s spirit and be used by God? Then we need to become one.
They were also told that if the Spirit comes upon them, they will receive power from on high. That is the first sign that God is amongst you, when you get power. There are people who walk the walk of faith but they are being conquered, they do not go forward in victory, swimming against the stream. They are being conquered by the sin of the flesh. Everything seems right but they lack one thing – they are conquered and ruled by demons and because of that they cannot be used of God.
Brother, sister, is there power in your life as you walk in faith? Reverend Stegen speaks of the power of dynamite. Dynamite is not used in soft, easy places – it is used in rocky places. If dynamite explodes, it shatters the hardest rocks. That is the complete, total power promised by the Lord.
You maybe walk around just on your own, you do not greet people, you do not smile. Grace and mercy have come to an end in your life and you have to admit that you are not what or where you should be. You have removed yourself from the midst of the children of God. What is your future going to be? You have become lazy in cleansing your life. Yet the Lord Jesus said that if the Comforter comes He will give you power to be His witness.
How many Christians are wallowing and swimming in the sin of the internet? You cannot go to bed before plunging yourself in that filth. I am speaking of people who are right here. Some cannot go to bed before they have defiled themselves with their own hands. How do you expect to be filled with the power of the Holy Spirit? God has appointed a day on which you will be exposed and all the filth you have been busy with will be exposed. It will be clear that you are not one of the brethren. Everything you have done in secret will be revealed and obvious to everyone. If we live the life that some of us are living here I do not know how we will appear before His judgement seat one day.
When speaking of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, some people speak of the past and what happened in Jerusalem. We have seen it in our midst. We do not have to go there, we see it here. I was not there in 1966 when God poured out His Spirit. When God opened my eyes and revealed my life to me, I saw the power amongst us and until today I see that power working in our midst.
The Bible says, when the Holy Spirit comes He will convict the world of sin. That Spirit of God is at work. When that Spirit speaks to me He reveals my sins, not the sins of others. If God comes He speaks to you about your sin. Do not go around speaking to others about their sins. What has happened to you? Why are you offended if you have sinned and are confronted about it? Do not say that we are preaching too much about sin. Do not try to deceive us. You are sitting on something big. People come daily and God helps them. He convicts them of their sin and they change. What are you busy with if that does not happen in your life? Allow God to judge your life and show you what you are. Get to the point where you say, “Lord, this is me.” If God reveals your sin, confess it so that your eyes might be opened. Maybe you are sick because you do not allow God to do just that.
When people receive power, they receive power to testify and those listening to them can look at their lives and say, yes, this is what it is like to be saved, and to have the Holy Spirit in your life. A person should be able to say, so this is how a person acts who is filled with the Holy Spirit and this is how he talks. These signs must be present in our lives. We need to be able to testify to others what has happened to us. If nothing has happened to you, what can you testify about? The Bible says you cannot tell someone they must not steal but then you do so. Do not tell lies, but you do. We must testify about the power that is at work in our lives so that what has happened in our lives can happen in the lives of others. When I can testify that the spirit of the world has come to an end in my life and Christ has filled me, I can testify of His power and treasure in my life. Christ fills my being and gives me the strength to live a victorious life. I cannot go back to these old things. I must go forward. So if you confess the power of God, your life must testify to that. If you walk, you walk in the power of Christ.
You older person, how do you walk before God? Is that power to conquer obvious in you? Or are you just the same as the youth because the same things that trouble them, trouble you too? Yet they received power in their lives to proclaim the Gospel. What is in your heart? What are you longing for? Can people see that you have overcome in your life and can they follow you? Many things happened in Jerusalem at that time but those people lived the life – they did not just say this is the way our forefathers told us to live, they had the desire to live that life. You come to a service without power and leave without power, you go in and out, service after service without power. You will die without power.
The Jews had their own issues when Christ was born into the world. They expected a political change but Christ came with something different. They were busy with earthly things but He was busy with Heavenly things. Spread His kingdom. Testify of what you have met up with. Testify of the power of the Holy Spirit that you know of – not what you are not aware of. Testify about all these truths. The Spirit will lead us into all the truth and you will love the truth. You will hate the lie. You will love the children of God and your leaders.
We desire the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives to conquer in this world. May we be controlled by the power of God and not the power of our flesh and desires. If you are not controlled by His power then repent now, child of God.