Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Should We Work

With news of the Corona virus spreading so fast we weren't sure if the Berean office should be opened. So many need Bibles and so many prisoners look forward to getting their studies in the mail that we decided we would work and limit the volunteers to 10. Those 10 were going to get slammed with mail except that didn't happen. We were not able to pick up this week's mail and only had last week's mail to process. Below are a few pictures of the studies getting processed.
 Bruce and Leila were back from Arizona. Both of them had their knees replaced while they were gone and both are pleased with the results.
 Leila isn't pictured, she came in a bit later. Bill drove down to the post office to try to pick up the mail but the post office would not open the box as he didn't have a key. That will need to change. Bill is the director and we MUST be able to get our mail each week.  
 Today Marvin stayed home while Gail, his wife came to take his place. Gail also brought our lunch today so we were thrilled she came. Gail is a Berean volunteer at the Peoria County Jail every Tuesday but now that the jails and prisons are all on lock down she was able to join us at this office.
 We ran out of work before noon. I walked in to find them all NOT working and laughing about it. Perhaps it was a blessing that we were not able to get the mail this week. Although we were able to mail out 72 Bibles this week.

The lunch was delicious and the dessert amazing. WE debated if we should work and after we finished we were all glad we came. 

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Romania Newsletter Feb 2019

February 2019

Greetings to you all in Christ Jesus! “Blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him.” Thank you for your kindness of supporting the prison ministry here spiritually and materially.
Some news as following:

Viorel wrote in English: “Course completion:
On February 18, we completed the “Way to a Happy Life” course, with a group of 14 inmates after about 4 months of weekly meetings. Seven out of fourteen inmates received credits and graduation diplomas. At the jail event, a group of young people from Codlea sang a Bucharest police colonel, Ivaşcu Costel, told his testimony that his life was in vain until God changed him. There were detainees who prayed with me, and they opened their heart for Jesus. Each of the attendees received sweets and those who graduated received a consistent package.

Visit Vasile P.
I was asked by the social assistant in the penitentiary to help a detainee who has six children and whose wife died. On Thursday, February 28, I visited and took him clothes, bedding, food, and money. While we talked to him in the meeting room, he screamed all the time. His situation is a very difficult one, he has been given 8 years with execution, and the children are divided into 3 orphanages. I prayed for him and I encouraged him.
On March 4, we will start a new course with a new group of inmates.
This month I had the opportunity to visit more people at home and at the hospital in Covasna and Valea Mare. I have had the joy of going to families that do not come to the church and who have been very open, glory to the Lord.”

 At MCiuc Prison we had a special guest a missionary from Brazil. He has been living in Romania for some years and he speaks very well Romanian. His testimony was a real blessing for all course participants. As I told you, we are working with the new program, which contains very good themes for inmates. 

I had the honor this month to proclaim the gospel in a church and to represent the prison ministry. Together with my wife, I had also the opportunity to meet four high school classes in a school in Odorheiu Secuiesc.

Baboi reported 77 participants with whom he is already working, plus a new group he has not yet met and whose actual he does not yet know.
Doczy's father-in-law died; may the Lord bring comfort to his family!
 I got promoted to grandpa. A new stage in our lives, both I and my wife are very happy with this blessing.

With love in Christ,

Romania Newsletter March 2019

March 2019

Dear Brothers, I greet you with God’s Word: “That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that are in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures shall be in all high places.
They shall not hunger nor thirst; neither shall the heat nor sun smite them: for he that hath mercy on them shall lead them, even by the springs of water shall he guide them.
And I will make all my mountains a way, and my highways shall be exalted.
Behold, these shall come from far: and, lo, these from the north and from the west; and these from the land of Sinim. Sing, O heavens; and be joyful, O earth; and break forth into singing, O mountains: for the LORD hath comforted his people, and will have mercy upon his afflicted.”
Isaiah 49,9-13

The photo is taken on the way to Mioveni Prison. It's already seen spring comes and now the mountains are beautiful with their snowcaps. Whenever we pass the Carpathians we think of the grace of God. We think of your faithfulness through which you make possible to cross these mountains to proclaim the Lord's mercy to those who are behind bars. Thank you for your prayers. We have a very good relationship with education officers. In this unit we spend three hours with two groups of detainees. It is a blessing that our work is appreciated. Praise God! We meet people open to a changed life. We often agree that a successful reintegration relies on a changed character, besides the importance of keeping a good relationship with the family and getting a job after the release. The new program in MCiuc Prison is very effective in this direction. We are approaching the end of the course and we can say we have achieved our objectives.

Brother Hutu sent pictures about his ministry. I give the glory of the Lord for his beautiful family. They serve the Lord together. It is a a beautiful example of Joshua 24,15.

Several volunteers of the team have asked me to send their good wishes to all of you.We pray for you, especially for the health of Fedi Davidovics.
With love in Christ,

Romania Newsletter April 2019

April 2019

"Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?" John 11,25-26 Our message among the worst people of our society is that Jesus can rebuild a broken life, and whoever believes and lives in Him, has eternal life. We celebrated the Day of Resurrection, Jesus really defeated death. In all the churches in our country, the hymn of triumph upon death sung: “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life!” All the volunteer team greet you and wishing you our Lord’s grace. May the Lord bless you abundantly for your faithfulness supporting us in many ways. Some news: 
A piece of important news is that Baboi Marian has rented an apartment in Cernavoda, in a larger city and with better access routes to mission points.
He will be a member of a larger church. For this new step, they prayed for more than a year. It is also a great blessing the fact that this town is at a distance of 10 km from Georgiana's parents, who have an agricultural land from where they will get better supplies.
I had a special activity in MCiuc Prison with pastor Dragu Angel who is a leader of a biblical school through correspondence. His presence in our mission is a step forward because he will correspond with more inmates in the future.
This month, I had the opportunity to present prison ministry to a church and challenging the brothers to join.

Brother Dantus has also communicated good news from his ministry, he will soon end a program cycle with a group of inmates in Gherla Prison.
Brother Costin informed us that it is possible that as soon as possible we receive 5000 devotionals for the inmates. We will share them personally with everyone we work with. It is a great blessing!    

With love in Christ,

Romania Newsletter May 2019

May 2019

Thank you very much for your kind support and daily prayers, I greet you all in the name of the Lord Jesus. “Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.” Ps 112,1

Viorel wrote:
“We held an evangelization at Codlea Prison, with five people, from four countries (Romania, Holland, America, Brazil). Each person contributed with songs, testimonies, and the message from the Bible was transmitted by pastor Ronaldo from Brazil. We sang together, but we also sang with the group of inmates who are enrolled at our course. At the end of the program, we prayed and more inmates opened their heart for Jesus. It was a special time, glory to the Lord! I want to mention a man Bogdan, is an inmate who showed interest in our course, every time he came with a notebook and pen. He took notes at each lesson and requested also a Bible. At the last meeting, I had the opportunity to offer him a Bible, and he received with joy and with the desire to read it. I think God has begun to work in his life.”

Baboi Marian beside the statistical report wrote:

 “The interesting thing in this ministry here in the south part of Romania is that every time during these years of activity there were people who asked questions about Christ. This is something that I really enjoy. It is a special thing to see that some detainees are interested in knowing more about Jesus. Also, over the years I have had people of different nationalities such as Tatars, Turks, and Gypsies. I also had a chance to have a Jew in the selected groups, with whom I had a pleasant experience when we talked about Jesus. This ministry during the years helped me greatly in my spiritual maturation. What I have presented to you is the qualitative part, but there is also the quantitative part that I present to you each month through the monthly report with the numbers of participants in each prison.”
 Irma Marasescu from Christian Police Association wrote:
“Concerning the Targsor work, we also ask prayer support for wisdom. We usually meet 60 inmates, each with different needs. We are also trying to help their families to know the Lord.”

We got some pictures of our work in Mioveni Prison. As you know besides the biblical course, we are teaching hand weaving. Here are some simple realized project after 2-3 meetings.
That’s way I visited Brother Costin again, he sponsored our activities with many boxes full of yarn. Spending time in this prison is a real blessing: supportive administration, open-hearted inmates and lot of opportunities to use our abilities for God’s glory.
Great events in my family's life: Ana’s graduation ceremonies photo. She already succeeded the test of vocational knowledge, she learns to pass the national exam next month.
We had also the baby blessing ceremony for David in the Church. I read somewhere it is true: when I count the blessings I count the grandchild twice.

With love in Christ,

Romania Newsletter July 2019

July 2019

"This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success." Joshua 1,8

The Bible is inspired by God Himself! It is His Word, containing His wisdom, His goodness, His intentions, His judgements, His heart. This month was about transporting and distributing daily devotionals for for every volunteer. We experimented that God’s Word can heal even the most vicious offender.
Besides the regular weekly activities, I travelled a lot through the country. This gives occasion for good meetings with our volunteers. This books of devotionals for every day of the year, is a blessing for our ministry. We managed to spend some time with the new volunteer Dragu Angel (last time mentioned in my April letter).
He deals with correspondence courses from now on and sends our books to the detainees he is related to. He is a pastor of a church near Brasov, a zealous man for sharing the gospel.

The visit to Brother Baboi was the most blessed thing I had this month. He lives far from me and we can rarely meet. This time we managed to spend a whole day with him and his family. In the morning I arrived and helped with the transport to the Tichilesti Penitentiary. After the program we came back home together. As I wrote, he moved to a larger city with better possibilities to reach the five prisons. I saw their apartment they rented, it is spacious and beautiful, very close to the train station.

This month I finished the course in MCiuc and Mioveni Prisons with very good results. The word of God appeases even the most rebellious spirits, that's what I noticed again in this group. At the last meeting we said goodbye as Christian brothers. I pray that the Lord bless these souls! Vaiting in prayer to restart with new groups.

Thank you for prayers and support!

Tuesday, March 3, 2020


We had a lot of mail to process today at the Berean office.  We were thankful to have enough help to get everything done. We didn't finish until after our lunch break but then we were short a few helpers. Chuck is in the hospital with a serious illness, so please pray for him. In the picture below the volunteers at table on the left were working on the studies while the volunteers at the table to the right were reading letters.  There were a few volunteers not pictured as they had stepped into the other room for some supplies.
 Below the volunteers are busy stuffing the next set of studies for each prisoner in the correct envelope then getting them ready for mailing. Bill takes these to the post office each week along with the Bibles. 
 Below Marvin is working on documenting the returned Bibles. Each week we get a few. Marvin updates the computer as to who they were sent to and why they were returned. Most of the returns in the past have been because the prisoner was either released or transferred. What is happening now is more and more prisons are rejecting the Bibles for reasons out of our control. This is so hard to understand. The one book that can actually change a life is now being rejected in some jails and prisons. That is another reason for prayer for this program.
 Kathy just got out of the hospital but still insisted on having Dave bring the lunch for everyone.
We enjoyed our lunch break then went right back to work on labeling the Bibles.  Bill loaded up 3 full boxes to drop off at the post office.  It is encouraging that some of the requests are getting through. We had one very sad letter today that Dave read out loud. This man has lost everything and felt that life was not worth living. He didn't ask for a Bible but I'm pretty sure Dave was going to write to him to see he would like one.

Aug Romania News 2019

August 2019

Ps 127,3  “Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.”
Our second grandchild was born. Glory to the Lord Leah is healthy and has Christian parents. We pray for her, may the Lord bless her!
This month due to the fact that in most prisons it is the month of holidays, and I did not have activity in the Mioveni Prison I took the opportunity to visit all the volunteer leaders in the country. Every time I filled the car with devotional books so many that I could not have sent by post. I traveled a lot but I had warm meetings, blessed conversations:
Brother Dantus received me in his new apartment in Cluj Napoca. With tears in his eyes, he expressed how pleased he is that he has a home of his own and he received a kind help to this by Berean board.
Besides his volunteering activity he works part-time as a paralegal, his wife teaches Romanian language and literature at a nearby school. We have been friends for more than a decade, may the Lord bless them.
Brother Elekes is a pensioner, but he still serves in his church as a substitute preacher and he is a busy man. He sadly told me that for months he has not been received in the prison and the management there does not communicate for what reason refuses his team (Toth Zoltan a highly educated missionary, Ferko Attila a young pastor). They do not have the opportunity to serve. This problem with Oradea Prison I already noticed last year and you also asked the official delegation when they visited you last year, but so far nothing has happened in this case. It is very likely that we get into the rare situation that we have volunteers but we have no opportunity to serve.

We are praying to the Lord for this case. All things are in His hands.
Brother Spatarelu welcomed us with love. He had a busy summer with the church children. He gladly told us that his daughter had recently been married. They have a marriage in the Lord. He starts the program in September with a new group of inmates. And soon, besides his job as a pastor, he will restart his professorship at the Christian school in Craiova. He is a very busy man, also serves with love among the prisoners.
We also talked about the legal possibility of making individual visits to inmates, who have become Christians, or they have contact with evangeical churches in Oltenia (region of the country).
I visited once again on my way home Costin Dumitru. He was just working on some social aid for needy people. His association with the name Gloria pro Deo is well known throughout the area, often making donations to Gaesti Prison where he is a volunteer. His team is highly appreciated by the management.
At Bondoret’s I read letters from prisoners, with whom he met over the years. Some express their great joy of hearing the gospel and changing their lives. Brother Cristi also told about a young man from his team who finished the military academy and is now a commander in a military unit he is also a devoted Christian. Cristi’s mother is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, I thank the Lord that the food she made was perfect, she didn't forget any ingredient. So she's still fine. It is the only family with which I am a friend where culinary culture reaches mastery levels. It is a blessing any meeting with the Bondoret family.
As I told you before (April July letters), we have a new volunteer who rarely goes to the prison with Viorel, but he is very passionate about correspondence. In fact, besides his ministry as a pastor in a small church, he serves at a Bible school through correspondence.
Our book of devotions has been warmly received bz him and he is glad that he can send to his inmate contacts. A new way to serve those behind bars. Thank God he is often helped by his daughter.
Brother Baboi also sent some pictures about the occasion when he distributed the books with daily devotions to the prisoners. Inmates read the book on the picture.

In August, I had the opportunity to serve in a Baptist church also.
Do not forget the people with whom your life started, I had the privilege to pray together of preaching the gospel to my classmates with whom I had a childhood near Tirgu Mures.

“Remember, if we don't meet here, we will meet there!!” wrote David Meister last time. I also thank you for each letter of encouragement, I read them many times when I can. David Meister wrote the last time. I cannot tell every blessing related to our ministry, many are hidden from the Lord we do not know yet. When we meet at His eternal home we will see those. That will be the perfect comecoming.
Thank you for prayers and support!
With love in Christ,

Romania News Sept 2019

September 2019
 Ministry updates from Romania:

"The entrance of your words gives light; gives understanding to the simple."Ps.119,130
Once again I give the glory to the Lord for our new instrument of work, the devotional for the prisoners. It is a great blessing to proclaim the Gospel in this way too. They can have daily bread for the soul, specially written for them. Over 700 are already brought to the volunteers and we already distribute to every inmate we work with. In a year we estimate to reach out and give over 2000 inmates a book.
The activity by correspondence goes well. Angel Dragu writes among other information about his work: “Four days a week I volunteer at the Bible school in Brasov through correspondence and students and even inmates from all over the country are helped to know Jesus as Savior and then grow as His disciples, receiving a series of 7 courses and also your daily readings. In the last period I had a good collaboration with some prison ministry volunteers, one of them is sister Irma Mărășescu (Christian Police Association).” Pastor Angel Dragu also wrote about his social ministry for the needy people. He also sent relevant pictures that I attached.
After a short rest, I restarted my activity at Mioveni and MCiuc Prisons. I was informed also that everywhere our volunteers have new groups. Brother Baboi reports 75 inmates registered for his program.

 In September, I also managed to reach the Hutu and Onu family in Moldova (northeast region of the country). We had some blessed meetings. Brother Hutu is preparing for an evangelization with special guests. Brother Onu works with a larger team and enjoys good results among the inmates.

We are glad that your banquet was a successful. We followed your news on Facebook and we were glad that the Lord has blessed you with a full audience and a very well-known guest in the evangelical world. We were and we are with you in prayer. Thank you for your prayer and support. God bless you!

With love in Christ, 

Romania News Oct 2019

October 2019

 "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations." Ps 100,4 Every time I cross the mountains to Mioveni I think about God`s love and I give Him glory for all the blessings I have received. I am full of thanks for having Good news to the inmates.
It is a great joy to talk to people who start to put their trust in the Lord and realize that they still have a new chance in life. These days Nick Voijcic visited the Christian communities in Romania. Often I use short videos of this person with no limbs and yet gives hope into God to those who have everything, but they felt into the trap of the devil.
Recently you celebrated Thanksgiving, we wish you a blessing. I had a year full of material and spiritual fruits. Thank you very much for your faith in helping us to fulfill the Great Commission and being able to bring the Gospel to those behind the bars. We thank the Lord and the fact that Fedi Davidovics is doing well. We still pray for him. We also follow your ministry on facebook and everything you write about your work on the website of the organization. We are glad that many take the Bible course by correspondence.

It is a great effort to read and answer so many letters. God bless you! Since our dear brother Angel Dragu starts a similar mission, now we realize what this work consists of. 
All the volunteers I was talking to recently greets you and wish the Lord's grace.
Our new volunteer Angel Dragu wrote in more detail. He is very happy to work with us. Among other things he notified:
“I thank God for His love, and pray for you to increase more and more in the knowledge of God! Col.1,10  It was a great blessing to send those behind the bars wall calendars besides the bible lessons!
We celebrated in the Church Thanksgiving Day.
May the Lord be praised forever!
With love and thanks, Angel Dragu from Prejmer Baptist Church.” 

Brother Baboi serves more than 65 inmates.

With love in Christ, 

Monday, March 2, 2020

Romania News January 2020

 January 2020

"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing; and all the trees of the fields shall clap their hands." Isa 55,11
It is a great joy when I receive good news from the volunteers. Here are two people that Andras Attila met in a church. While they were still in prison, they heard the Gospel from Doczy and Attila. Now they are changed people, good Christians. Truly the Word of God has power. This kind of encouragement always comes at the right time. The work of the volunteers is not in vain. We hope that there are many others like these, of whom lives God has truly worked.
Brother Baboi also sent statistical news and a picture of a Bible study meeting.

Viorel Sintoiu wrote:
 “The group of young people from Codlea sang and pastor Miklos from the Hungarian Baptist Church of Covasna preached the Gospel. Each inmate received a package of sweets, a calendar for the year 2020, some other Christian brochures and books. At the and I invited everybody to open their hearts to the Lord Jesus. This was received with favorable response, glory to the Lord! I kept in my mind the words of one of them: "Thank you very much for thinking about us". We have a new group of 15 detainees now. One of them is about to finish his 25 years sentence. I met him first 10 years ago. He said: ”I am happy to see you again, I attended your meetings 10 years ago, during that time I was transferred to several prisons, and now I have returned to Codlea. ” May God bless him! Thank you for your prayers and support! 
Dragu Angel, is happy to receive many completed bible studies from inmates, picking up some of them from his PO Box on the picture. He wrote:
“I am glad that I can serve the Lord between the inmates by correspondence mission. This month I had the opportunity to meet some inmates in the MCiuc Prison and I could preach the Gospel there. The words are true from the Proverbs 3.9-10 “Honor the LORD with thy substance, and with the first-fruits of all thy increase. So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.” Please pray for him, besides his pastoral work he has to nurse his father who struggles with Alzheimer's disease. We all greet you and wish good health and all the blessing! 
With love in Christ,