Reaching the Roma people group with the Gospel and bringing encouragement Romanian Pastors and laypeople.
The regime of Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu fell in December 1989. In 1994 Allen Sidel of the then Westwood Baptist Church in Wooster, Ohio made his first trip to Romania. Allen was moved by what he saw and experienced that year.
Soon, through his efforts, a partnership was established between the Buckeye Central – Erie Baptist Association (BCEBA) and the Bacau, Romania Baptist Association. Twenty-four years later Allen Sidel is still the driving force behind the Associations efforts in Romania as we partner with Pastor Ionel Chivoiu of the Bacau Association. Through the years we have seen over 100 church plants in Roma (Gypsy) villages as well as in Romanian cities.
The primary purpose of our going has not been to sightsee, rather it has always been to evangelize the lost. In the case of the Roma people group, it brings hope to so many who seemly have no hope. We have built long-standing relationships with the Romanian people. Because of those relationships, they have opened doors to share the Good News of Jesus Christ. The end result is many have come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and Romanian Christians have been encouraged.
Pastor Crist Poppa, a bi-vocational Pastor and his wife Lydia have had a vision of a Baptist church in the city of Panciu. He began with worship services in his home. Later he added a second structure on his property to accommodate worship on the first floor and living quarters on the second floor. He has acquired additional property, and over the course of several years has been slowly building the church. At this writing, the walls are up and it is under roof.
The exterior of the building has had stucco applied and the walls insulated. He is still seeking help for windows and doors. Their hope is to dedicate the church in the late fall of 2019. It is our goal to raise $25,000.00 (with a promise of $12,500.00 in matching funds) to complete the church in Panciu and other projects in 2019.
The Buckeye Central – Erie Baptist Association will be returning to Romania April 15th through May 1st, 2019. If you would like to join our team, we would love to have you. For more information or to help with financial support, contact Pastor Cliff Hartley, D.O.M., Buckeye Central Erie Baptist Association at P.O. Box 206 Millersburg, OH 44654. 330-231-88461.