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Lowell Brueckner

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Camp Lepsa, Jan 30 - Feb 8


(click on any photo to enlarge it)

A cloud lifted from the mountain, leaving this cap of frost

The view from "Teen Ranch" after a snowstorm
After 50 years of ministry I am seeing something very special happen among God’s people… and it even is seen among pagans. It seems that the movement is worldwide. At the same time, the evangelical church is advancing rapidly towards apostasy, deceived by the spirit of ecumenicalism that includes Islam, false prophets and “pastors”, who refuse to preach the whole counsel of God, and a pragmatism that insists that any work is of God, if it is successful.  In Bucharest I met a Frenchman, ministering in apologetics, traveling and protesting against the movements and people that Satan has raised up to divert Christians from the true way. We really need these kinds of Protestants in this 21st Century. May God bless each courageous person, who is not distracted by popularity!
On the other hand, there are people full of longings to come ever closer to God. I’ve been among some in Romania. In any worthwhile event, as in a gospel camp, there have to be those who are dedicated to serve, and in this case, I am thinking of our camp cook. She was always busy, preparing food for those who had come from many parts to enjoy fellowship, prayer and to study the Word. In spite of her work, she was in all the meetings (three a day, two hours each), and she also blessed the campers with her singing.  

We really appreciated two young ladies, serious violinists, who accompanied the singing, along with a guitarist. The first camp started on Friday, January 30, and the first meeting began at 7 P.M. During the next seven days, I spoke from the book of Zechariah, combining his prophecies with Bible principles and practical applications for Christian living. It was a family camp principally, but also was attended by single adults.

After one of the sessions, I remained in the meeting room, working with my laptop, while a group lingered conversing over the things of God. At one in the morning, they went to their knees to pray. When they left to go to bed, I continued sitting there alone, enjoying the atmosphere that they had left behind them.

With us was a missionary family, which lived in a village in a region of southern Romania, where there are very few Christians. Vera grew up in this village. We listened to her testimony, a story of a profound commitment to Christ. She found the Lord at eleven years of age and, when baptized at the age of twelve, her parents put her out of their home and she went to live with a godly, older Christian lady. These people are not playing with the things of God and some have paid a high price to walk in intimacy with Jesus. Remember, this is the land of Richard Wurmbrand, who was tortured for Christ in a Communist prison camp for thirteen years.

Manu, Vera and child
On Friday, February 6, another group arrived at “Teen Ranch”, young volunteers who will serve in the camp in the upcoming season. With them were a number of other young people with hunger and desire to hear the Word. There was a total of about 45 people, among them some who were especially sincere, and dedicated to walk in the truth and deepen their relationship with God. Many of them hold special weekly Bible studies. I am persuaded that God is separating such people and preparing them for the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

Volunteers and other young people
The last meeting took place on Sunday, the eighth. After lunch, I was taken rapidly to Bucharest, where I was invited to share in the evening service at 6 o’clock in a large church. The regular meeting closed and the people who wanted to leave were dismissed, although the majority stayed on and we continued. Another session was announced for the next morning at eleven, and we were together until three in the afternoon. Then, I was driven to Targoviste for a gathering at six. Again, the next morning at nine, there was a meeting at the church previously mentioned, after which my friend, Teo, took me to the airport for the flight to Barcelona at 12:55. Teo and Anka were my hosts in their apartment in Bucharest and he drove me everywhere that I needed to go during this visit to Romania.

In our many conversations, Teo told me of his 88-year-old grandmother, who had suffered an aneurism. She had lived alone in a village as a widow for many years. She is a devote Christian, who reads the Bible through about four times a year. A year or two ago, she enjoyed the Ambrose classic, “Looking unto Jesus”, with well over a thousand pages. She read it twice through her tears. When Teo visited her in the hospital, she greeted him with the polite Rumanian word for “you”, because she didn’t recognize him. He told her that he was her grandson and mentioned his father (her son), but she did not remember him either. He reminded her of other sons and daughters, but she did not know any of their names.

Teo and Anka
Then, Teo asked her, “Who is Jesus Christ?” She responded, “The Son of God”. Teo took his Bible and read from the sufferings of Christ, while she shed tears. She asked Teo what that passage meant to him personally and then requested that he read more. With his lips close to her ear, he read softly from John 14-17. She often quoted from memory ahead of him throughout the four chapters.

My friend, when we are old and everything begins to fail, as we gradually lose our physical faculties; when we are weak and our mind doesn’t function as before… What will we have to support us during that time? That will depend on what our priorities have been, when we were young and strong. For this Romanian grandma, what remained for her, more than her own children, was Jesus Christ and His Word. May we all end our lives the same way!  

Manu and Vali, who translated into Romanian and published,
the book, Looking Unto Jesus, for Perla Suferintei


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