Black Church, Honterus, Brasov

Barnabas Bridge, Thursday August 07 ‏ 2014

The statue of Johannes Honterus stands outside the famous “Black Church” in Brasov. Born in Transylvania, and while studying in Austria & Germany, he was won over to Lutheran reform. There was a large German/Saxon population in Transylvania, so upon his return home it was quite natural for Honterus to quickly and efficiently bring about religious and educational reform in Brasov. And thus the Protestant Reformation moved into Eastern Europe. Here his right hand points directly across the courtyard to the school he founded in 1541. The school is still in operation, with German language instruction. Students from all over Romania attend the school. This school holds the oldest school charter in the country. Honterus also made provision for a Hungarian pastor to be employed by the church to serve the large Hungarian population in the area. The Black Church is the largest ecclesiastical building in Romania, with the largest mechanical organ in Romania (4,000 pipes) and the largest swinging bell in Romania (6,000 kg). The church and Honterus provide an interesting study in how Catholic Germans and Hungarians converted to Lutheran belief so quickly and easily.

Please read about why our Barnabas Bridge August campaign is so important by clicking here


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Charis Foundation – Retreat Center & Ministry, Oradea

Barnabas Bridge, Wednesday August 06‏ 2014

Today we wish to introduce you to Daniel & Mona Ciupe of Charis Foundation in Oradea, Romania, close to the border with Hungary. What a great ministry they have! When we first met it was so obvious they had the gift of hospitality. We were made to feel so loved and welcome. Then we learned of all the various programs! This is so much more than just an excellent retreat centre: there is ministry, teaching and outreach to multiple Roma villages, plus ministry to women, children, and youth. Daniel has developed an extensive educational training program for Roma church pastors/elders/leaders. Daniel and Mona serve and lead in their Oradea church when not busy at Charis. It is a challenge to divide their time between the city and the Charis site and ministry, but they do it so very well. Because of our many years in Christian Camping in Canada and the USA, Yvonne and I could identify with their long work days feeding and programing for guest groups, the ever existing concerns over finances, and the joys of seeing others participate in mission projects. The Charis program of “two cultures, one God” resonates with us as we think about the future of Barnabas Bridge. This is a great place to bring your team, and they offer the leadership experience to assist with a short term mission project. We loved our stay at Charis. Daniel and Mona are an inspiration to us. They would appreciate international encouragement, partnership and support.

Visit their website here

Please read about why our Barnabas Bridge August campaign is so important by clicking here




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meet Pastor Horvath

Barnabas Bridge, Tuesday Aug 5‏ 2014

Meet Pastor Horvath of Maranatha Church in Tg Mures, Transylvania, Romania. It was a chance Facebook connection just a few weeks before our Fall 2012 ministry trip that led to a schedule adjustment so we could make a quick one day visit. As Yvonne and I met many members of his family, we all quickly realized that it was not chance, but God, who brought us together. Every Romania ministry trip since has included time with the Horvath family. Pastor Horvath has an amazing testimony to God’s saving power – total transformation from a life of fighting and drinking to a life of ministry. He now takes the love of Christ into “Cold Valley”, where the church is located. ‘Valea Rece’ is an urban Roma community on the edge of Tg Mures. The poverty, violence, noise, and overcrowding make this one of the most demanding ‘cross-cultural’ missions we have witnessed. Often this work goes unappreciated, and there are many frustrations for, and many personal attacks on, the Horvath family. Yet this family persists. It is the Horvath family that financially keeps the church open. No donations from the congregation, and no international partners. From time to time our little congregation here in Kimberley has helped them by encouraging ministry with children, assisting with the cost of winter heat and other church needs. We certainly wish we could do more. To see the need and desperation in Cold Valley is unsettling. To hear the people in worship and prayer is inspiring. Please pray for Pastor Horvath, for his protection and strength, for encouragement and wisdom. Also, pray for the needs of Maranatha church.

Please read about why our Barnabas Bridge August campaign is so important by clicking here


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young adults of Onesti

Barnabas Bridge, Monday Aug 4 2014

At first glance, the city of Onesti presents the typical reminders of the cold grey Romanian image of communist dictatorial times. But looking beyond the multitude of identical apartment blocks we found some joyous Christian young people. The photo below is of our evening gathering with some amazing young adults. We were inspired by their enthusiastic love for Christ; the intensity of worship & prayer; and the visible expressions of close Christian friendship. Yvonne and I were there to speak challenge and encouragement into their lives, but, as we often say, the bridge goes both ways. We were the ones encouraged and challenged. Romania is a difficult country for these young adults. A poor economy and rampant corruption, remnants of pre 1989 times, does not offer enough opportunity to accommodate desires to succeed and advance. Many of these people will find their way to other parts of Europe for work and study. It presents a continuity issue for churches trying to develop next generation leaders. But it also means that vibrant Christian disciples are dispersed to minister in new areas. We remember this night well. We thrive & grow on these kinds of international experiences. What an honour to be with these incredible people. At Barnabas Bridge it is the simple small-scale events like this that make it all worthwhile.

Ps: Onesti is famous as the home of Nadia Elena Comăneci, a Romanian gymnast, winner of three Olympic gold medals at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal & the first female gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic gymnastics event.

read about our Barnabas Bridge August campaign by clicking here

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why August is important for BB

To all our friends,

What a great Sunday we had at our church here in Kimberley today. The people of St. Andrew’s are so good at cultivating a climate of welcoming grace to all our visitors. Our church was full this morning, with attendance reminding us of Easter and Christmas levels. Guests from Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary and Montreal were present, along with two visiting pastors. There was a vibrancy and intensity. We are thankful. Humbled. Excited. Hopeful.

And speaking of excitement and energy, you already know of our passion for ministry in Romania. During this month we are sharing a brief story and one photo each day. It’s about raising funds, yes, but it is about so much more. We want to encourage the people of Romania, to help strengthen the churches, to befriend and assist the Christian leaders, all so that the work of Christ will prosper, so that the discouragement of poverty can be defeated, and so that the next generation will serve with vision and purpose and joy. We want to introduce you to the Romanian people, their churches, their challenges, their culture, and the opportunities to connect.

Thanks for encouraging us as we take 31 days to ‘get our story out’. Follow the example of our new friend Kat Dodd of Montana, who we sovereignly and really,unbelievably, met in Bucharest in May. Kat took a moment to post a link on her Facebook page to the Barnabas Bridge August campaign – increasing the influence.

I promise we will not fill your email inbox with long fundraising copy. Stories, simple and brief.Please take a look at the pics and explanation on the 31-08-14 page. Tomorrow we will get back to the daily brief Romania updates.

blessings to all of you – Doug & Yvonne

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story day 2 – Gherla

Barnabas Bridge Aug 2 2014

This photo is from our last visit to Gherla, in May 2014. Yvonne is with Romi & Marta, their children Andrea & Sami, and Romi’s parents. They lead the Philadelphia Gypsy Church, renting a small room for Sunday & Thursday worship. Their finances are stretched to the breaking point, yet they showed us generous hospitality and a huge welcome. We are pleased to call them friends. Last year our supporters were able to assist with a few hundred dollars for winter firewood heat. This church is praying for an international partner. Music instruments are held together with scotch-tape, there is need for a laptop computer plus assistance with rent. There is ‘space pressure’ as the rented space is too crowded. We pray for God’s provision, protection and blessing on these brothers and sisters, and for effective ministry.

read about our Barnabas Bridge August campaign by clicking here


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story Day 1 – Chinari


The village of Chinari, which is near Targu Mures in Romania, is a small rural community on the Mures River. On visits to this part of Romania we regularly visit a church there on Saturday evenings. The music is loud, the praying is loud, and the joy of the Lord is visible ‘big time’. This is a Roma (Gypsy) Pentecostal church located high up on a hill in a very poor village outside of Chinari. Doug is usually asked to preach and assist in the prayer ministry. In this photo parents bring a child forward for anointing and healing prayer. We are thankful to Pastor Relu, his wife Nana, and their children for warm hospitality and encouraging friendship. Please pray for this ministry.

read about our Barnabas Bridge August campaign by clicking here

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Returning to Romania?

SOON WE WILL BEGIN PLANNING THE 2014-2015 SCHEDULE: If you have a desire to join us on a future mission trip, or if you are in Romania and would like us to bring our preaching/teaching ministry to your location, please email me and we can talk about possibilities. If your church or group can partner financially with a donation to make a difference in Romania – please let us know.

Previous Ministry Trips

8. 2014 May
7. 2013 September
6. 2013 May
5. 2012 October
4. 2011 October – with Cathy McMulkin teaching on Spiritual Formation
3. 2011 May – with Patrick Voo teaching on Christianity and Post Modernism
2. 2011 March
1. 2010 November

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glad we could help

A few good friends of Barnabas Bridge joined forces last month to help two small churches in Romania.

Biserica Stanca Vieti (Rock of Life Church) in Ghimbav, near Brasov, where the children were helped with Christmas shoebox gifts.

Ghimbav 5

Ghimbav 4

Ghimbav 3

Ghimbav 2

We assisted the Philadelphia Gypsy Church in Gherla (near Cluj) with wood for winter heat both at the church and at the homes of the Pastor and his family.

Gherla winter wood 2

Gherla winter wood 1

Our pleasure to offer just a little Christmas help to our dear friends in Romania.

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kids kids kids

kids 5

kids kids 4

kids pic 3

kids 2

kids 1

Etta Horvath and the dear children of her kids club ministry in Tg Mures, Romania. Invest in the next generation – let them know the love of Christ – help them to live responsibly. Show love, receive love. So glad that our little church in Kimberley assists Maranatha Church with this outreach.

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