© Pathhead Baptist Church, Scottish Charity SC016590

Pathhead Baptist

For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.

Isaiah 62:1

Visit to Romania (2009)  ... Photo Gallery              

On Tuesday 12th May Richard Stewart and I flew from Edinburgh to London Luton to connect with our early Wednesday morning flight to Cluj Napoca in the Transylvania region of Romania. We arrived in the early afternoon and were met at the airport by Pastor Istvan Borzasi. Istvan and his wife Marta are missionaries with European Missionary Fellowship as well as being heavily involved with their roles within the Convention of Hungarian Baptist Churches of Romania. Marta's responsibilities include leadership of the children's and ladies' work, as well as part-time teaching in a local school. Istvan is a former President of the Convention, and presently serves as vice-president for Missions and Pastor of Pericei Baptist Church in Salaj, and also lecturer in the seminary. Along with their daughters, - Johanna, Tabita and Mirjam, - we were made most welcome! (Istvan’s blog.)

On the Wednesday evening we attended a smaller church in Varsolt that consisted of beautiful and very friendly people. It was my first occasion to be translated (with the aid of Istvan), but he had great patience with me and the churchfolk were so attentive!

We then went to the larger church in Pericei, and again we had a blessed time in the Lord and around His Word.

On the Thursday evening I was preaching in Zalau Baptist Church. The meeting was again very well attended and by now, Richard and I had come to recognise that good old-fashioned hymn singing was a common trait among the Hungarian believers.

After visiting Istvan's brother Pal and his wife and children we went to Crasna Baptist Church, - the church in which he had been pastor before ill health interrupted. Again it was so encouraging to hear and feel the presence of the Lord in the great number of the believers there.

On the Saturday Istvan brought us to the Child Evangelism Fellowship headquarters in Sibiu. It was an experience that deepened our faith in the Lord as we travelled the long journey by road, ... Romanian/Hungarian Highway Code style! Many years ago in the Irish Baptist College in Belfast I had studied with Linda Corry who is on the staff of CEF. Linda's work takes her throughout Romania, Hungary, Poland and further into eastern Europe. It was also good to meet Claire Bain, another worker from Northern Ireland.

Our first service on the Lord's Day began at the prayer meeting at 9am. (An hour earlier the church brass band had met to practise.) There were over one hundred people present already and the prayers, - as we had previously experienced, - came one after another, with hardly a breath in between. At 10am the seventy-plus children joined us and took part by reciting their memory verses, - it was a very poignant time. Prior to the preaching of the Word, - as in the other meetings, - there was another time of prayer. As I preached I felt the real presence of the Lord. ... Then there was another time of prayer based on our study of the Word.

In the afternoon, at 4pm, we held our second meeting that was even better attended, - about 350 people. Rushing away at 5.55pm to commence the next meeting five miles long the road to Varsolt at 6pm the service had already begun. Nevertheless, the Lord was already among his lovely people there. After preaching the Word, and at the conclusion of the service we made our way to a gypsy church in Pericei. The area around it was in such a state of poverty and yet, - once again a small number of gypsies were singing and praising the Lord. Through Istvan, I had the privilege of bringing a short message from God's Word to them. To complete the day we were invited to the Youth Fellowship in Pericei where we tried to teach some hymns in English and I gave my testimony.

On the Monday morning we were up early again in preparation to travel to churches in Mures County, - Istvan and Marta both previously served the Lord in the Baptist church in Targu Mures and continue to have a great burden for the area. One of the churches they established in the region was in Sangeorgiu de Padure, and again we were made most welcome by Pastor Janos Totos and his wife in their home and then afterwards in the church.

On the Tuesday morning we visited a husband and wife who are involved with Marta in preparing for special childrens' camps. Situated in beautiful countryside, the well was a most welcome feature in the hot sunshine.

In the afternoon we were welcomed to a gypsy home in Gornesti where about forty people attended. The singing was great and the fellowship fantastic. It was another great time of fellowship together around the Word. We went to another gypsy church in Apalina, near Reghin with a young pastor, Attila Toth, who is also due to be married in November. This church was in a very poor area and in the middle of a community in which depravity of all kinds is prevalent. Nevertheless, the people were so friendly and appreciative of our visit. It was a tremendous completion of our visits to each of the churches.

Istvan and Marta and their family made our trip so wonderful, - it has been a highpoint in all of my ministry spanning over twenty-one years. Their enthusiasm and love for the Lord, - coupled with the people in their charge, - humbled us time after time. Compared to what we have in the UK, our brothers and sisters in these churches have so little ... and yet they have riches far beyond our imagination. It was truly a joy and a privilege the Lord so graciously granted to us ... and we praise Him that He accompanied us along every bumpy road, and round every winding corner and blessed us with the fellowship of our friends across in that land.

Yes, we have been kindly invited back again ... and we trust, - in the will of the Lord, - He will afford us that privilege again.