One of the joys of being part of a multi national congregation is the ability to easily connect with people from other nations. Emke and Jenci were part of our congregation at King's Chatham before last year returning to their home in Targu Mures in Romania. We had previously sent a small mission team to visit their region in 2013 and it was straight forward to arrange another visit for 2017, this time to fit a solar panel system to a meeting hall in a camp site located deep in the Romanian hills. Situated approximately two hours drive from Emke and Jenci's home, the camp site is owned by Faith Church, a Hungarian speaking church based in Targu Mures who have a ministry that includes providing Christian camps for all ages, throughout the hot summer months. The camp site is within a beautiful area of Romania, a region famous for the occasional sightings of wild bear and wolves, but due to this remoteness, there is no mains electricity and therefore no lighting.
As a church we are blessed in having a solar panel expert Paul Akinbadewa as an Elder and he sourced a complete new system which was subsequently purchased with funds from 'Light the Way'.
In January, I flew out to Romania to visit the site and work on some of the logistics. On arrival the temperature was -16 degrees C and snow was deep and fresh on the roads. In the U.K. such conditions would have brought everything to a complete 'stand still' for months, but not so in Romania it was just business as usual.
We drove as close as we could and when the depth of snow eventually stopped the 4x4, we walked the final quarter of a mile into the site.
The meeting hall though covered in snow was very well constructed in locally sourced timber and was very able to survive the extremes in temperature ranging from -20 in the winter and + 35 in the summer months. I took a few photographs, enjoyed some Romanian/Hungarian hospitality and met with Ps Sandor who leads the church in Targu Mures to plan the return trip with the panels.
At the beginning of June, I'm glad to say that Tom Savage and Mark Mustow set off on a Thursday evening to drive practically non stop to Romania, in a vehicle loaded with four solar panels and associated equipment such as batteries and cables. Taking it in turns, they navigated France, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Hungary before arriving in Romania exhausted and needing a good rest Saturday morning.
The following week they made their way to the camp site and working with several people from the local church including Jenci, managed to successfully fit the panels. There was that lovely 'let there be light!' moment when having connected everything correctly, the switch was thrown and the lights came on. Hallelujah! Mission accomplished.
We are grateful to Tom and Mark for their willingness to go without sleep and put up with aching muscles for the Kingdom. It was then my pleasure to fly out with my wife Sally to Targu Mures meet up with the team, and on the following Saturday officially hand over the fitted system on behalf of Kings Church Ministries to Ps Sandor and Faith Church.
We will soon hear just how many people have enjoyed the lighting in the camps this season in the Romanian hills and once again it has been a joy to bless our brothers and sisters in far off lands, through the ministry of 'Light the Way'.
We want to provide help and to be a resource where possible in making a difference to the lives of people who are living in some of the poorest and most deprived areas of the world and to those that God might send us to.