(February 21, 2021) David McGuire, missionary to Romania, shares a memory of God’s encouragement and challenges…
In the autumn of 2011, a new step of faith and direction from God was forming when I was asked by the Manna church to attend the national leaders’ conference in the west of Romania.
Now, to be honest, I was a bit out of my usually ‘energised drive’ to serve God, so I listened to the speakers intently, wondering what God might be saying to me.
Serving God isn’t about ‘titles’
Among many things I’ve learned about serving the Lord as a missionary is patience! Now I was relearning as it was six months later before a new direction in our ministry began to open up. It started with the church asking me to be an elder and my wife Rodica entering joint worship leadership.
Now I didn’t feel anything different generally as I just did what serving God wanted me to do, ‘title’ or not. But slowly I received more prophetic dreams and words from the Lord… and new responsibilities came across my path.
I was commissioned to run a men’s group at a particular centre which, as well as being a Bible study, would offer food… meat and chips with some pop, tea and coffee. I consented, but the first week no one came along – nor the next!
Nevertheless, I enjoyed doing deeper study with God on my own, even if no one else turned up. Rodica thought that if no one came third week, I should just come back home instead of waiting around as I had been doing. As it happened, no one came that week either and so I did as my wife had suggested… but I had no peace at home.
Commitment means being committed
Then I sensed God was teaching me something important… How could I expect commitment if I were not committed myself?
So, I went back the fourth week. No one was showing up, but I patiently waited around.
Suddenly a German chap came in. Jokingly I asked what he had come for, that I was having a good time with God on my own. He laughed and we began to fellowship together.
Soon some others joined us, and we would have four or five regular attenders, sometimes as many as fifteen or eighteen over time.
I learned that it was important for me to go to that centre and not be deterred by lack of numbers!
Also, in this connection, I would occasionally be asked to share God’s word in the main Sighisoara church. This meant spending a good bit of time seeking God and his word and preparing, whether it was sharing at the church or the men’s group. And I was always nervous and be wondering if I’d prepared well enough.
So, I would always kneel in prayer and trust and rely on God’s word which says not to worry about what to say. I learned more and more to trust him, that he would give me the right words to share and block out what didn’t need to be said.
Over time I learned to ask God what is on his heart at this time for this church as well as the men’s group – and I would prepare messages based on scripture and relevant to real life events, thus making the Bible application a believable potential for the hearers.
Meeting practical needs
My first village involvement came about when a void arose after some upsetting events in its local church. This was not an easy situation to go into as the church was very broken and like rubble, spiritually speaking.
But the Lord directed me to just share about his love and about the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Slowly some stability came about, and we even began a midweek Bible study.
This was where I shared about tithing – giving 10 percent back to God, that Malachi 3:10 says the motivation for this is that there might be food in our homes.
I said that I knew how hard it was to do this when most people are extremely poor… but that the Lord really impressed me to share this. People responded and so, with the money given to the church we bought food bags for the poorest family.
The first week we only had enough for just two bags, then enough for four bags, then forty sacks of potatoes!
Offerings increased tremendously, and everyone was blessed with food for needy situations!
Eventually my time of service there came to an end. New leaders came in and I willingly ‘decreased’ in my ministry there and they increased in service and vision.
In the things of God, one thing often leads to another. The Holy Spirit had taught me more about waiting on God for the right word for the people. The next thing was that I had a dream of another village which had not had anyone go to it for over eight months and people there were praying for me to come over.
This was a bit like Paul’s Acts 16 Macedonian call! The dream became reality, and the people did in fact call me, asking me to come as they had been praying that I’d start Bible study with them.
Doing the right thing, I checked that all was covered by the main leadership before moving over. And, all things agreed on, I made the move and started a Tuesday Bible study. This was well attended and warmly received. And, after six months, I was also able go over on Sunday afternoons to further teach, bless and scripturally challenge this ruined church that needed picking up spiritually.
Years later God was to give me a new dream for this village to do a kids DVD Bible cartoon with fun and games and food – and share the gospel expecting kids to respond.
The cartoons were in Hungarian as that is their first language and a steady 25 kids of four to eleven-year-olds would come along and…
But that’s another episode of our Romanian ministry… ministering to Gypsy children and building homes for parents! (See A-Restraining-Hand-a-Protective-God).
I share the above to remind missionaries – and pastors and leaders for that matter – the importance of waiting on God to receive appropriate messages, as well as learning patience and to really trust him. Then we’re free in our spirits to be led by the Holy Spirit… and one thing will lead to another!
David and Rodica McGuire are missionaries in Sighișoara and have built many houses for the poor in Romania as well as ministering to children.Link: firstname.lastname@example.org
Recommended: David McGuire’s testimony A-Work-in-Progress