Barnabas Bridge – Saturday August 30 2014 – finding a PCC colleague in Romania
The central Romanian city of Cluj (full name is Cluj-Napoca) is one of the most important academic, cultural, industrial and business centres in Romania. Among other institutions, it hosts the country’s largest university, Babeș-Bolyai University, with its famous botanical garden; nationally renowned cultural institutions; as well as the largest Romanian-owned commercial bank. Cluj is the 2nd largest populated city in Romania; only the capital Bucharest is larger. There has long been a significant Hungarian population in Romania, and Canadian Brian Johnston is working as an English teacher at the Theological Seminary of the Hungarian Reformed Church in Romania. Besides teaching, Brian directs two choirs made up of students from the seminary. The choirs are an opportunity for students to both practice English and share the gospel through song. In the words of choir member Emese Nagy: “It is great to feel how, in music, all the boundaries of the different languages and nationalities vanish. There is no more Hungarian-Romanian conflict, there is no ‘me’ and ‘the other’. There is just ‘us’ connected in beautiful harmony.” We were pleased to spend an afternoon with Brian and a few of his students. We were impressed with their enthusiastic sense of call to ministry and their desire to see the Hungarian churches increase their influence on a younger generation. In the photos you see Brian leading the male choir; Brian & Doug with a former student now a Minister of two Hungarian congregations; a current student who leads ‘hot-line’ counselling service to Hungarian speaking Romanians in crisis. This student-run ministry was amazingly well organized. Volunteers were trained and carried out their work with confidentiality, compassion and careful documentation. We were impressed. Brian is supported by our denomination.
As we seek encouragement and confirmation in our obedience to God’s call to this work, please read about why our Barnabas Bridge August campaign is so important by clicking here https://barnabasbridge.net/31-08-14-campaign/