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ZPC Supports pastors in Romania

For more than 15 years, Missio Link International (MLI) has partnered with ZPC to organize a Missionaries Conference for church leaders in Romania. This year is no exception. During the first week of April, the conference met in Sinaia, Romania to learn together with brothers and sisters in Christ who serve throughout Romania and who are in partnership with ZPC and MLI.

ZPCers Dave Gall, Stan Johnson, Lisa Prince and Betty Sue Laffoon join Romanian leaders for the conference. Stan Johnson led the men’s sessions leading us through an in-depth study of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus, following the storyline in Mark’s Gospel. Lisa and Betty Sue, led the women's sessions based on Jesus’ parables about the Kingdom of God in Matthew 13. The Romanian pastors led the evening sessions with messages related to the Passion Week.

This conference is a special time of sharing and mutual encouragement for brothers and sisters who serve in churches mostly as volunteers. They come as teams led by local pastors, for a time of equipping and exchange with people who serve in other areas. 

Following are pictures from this year's conference along with comments from some of the attendees.

 

I have been baptized for five years now and this is my first Christian conference. Studying the book of Mark made me love God's Word more and deepened my desire to share the love of Christ with the people around me. I am impressed by everything that happened here. –Ichim Bordusani

 

I appreciated working in small groups, it was a very useful Bible study. Thank you! –Iosif Pop

The humble example of serving that Stan and Dave offered touched our hearts. This conference has been a time of preparation for Easter: the meaning of Gethsemane garden, Jesus' prayer, the betrayal and the Calvary are now deeper in our minds and hearts. To God be the glory! –Marin & Doina

 

This conference was a much needed spiritual renewal for all of us. My focus was on Jesus and his endless love, truth, and faithfulness. I am thankful for the entire team from the US and MLI, but I am even more grateful for God's grace! –Adrian Neagu Fetesti

 

I thank God for the fellowship we had with brothers and sisters from all over the country. When studying Matthew 13, one of the things I understood clearer was that the Kingdom where we belong is not of this world. I am thankful for our sisters from the US who guided us in the Bible study. –Mariana Fetesti

 

I thank God for the fellowship we had together with brothers and sisters from both USA and Romania. Thank God for His Holy Word and the way Mark describes the wonderful character of Jesus, our perfect model of obedience to the Father. –Viorel, Bordusani

 

Missio Link International participates in God’s mission to his Church and to the world by fostering partnerships between Christians, churches, and organizations, aimed at Christian witness, edification, and service to those in need.

Foolishness

Editor's Note

About the author:  Mike and his family, originally from Cincinnati, lived in Charleston, SC for 6 years prior to moving to Zionsville in August 2017. He is active in the Worship Ministry at ZPC and leads the Customer Success and Adoption Team at Springbuk, a healthcare intelligence software company based in Indianapolis. His wife, Becky, is the Worship Coordinator at ZPC, and they are blessed with three spirited (like, REALLY spirited) children:  Emma Kate (10), Jonah (8), and Jacob (7).  

About this post: This blog post is part of a series of daily devotionals for Holy Week. To sign up to receive text notification of these posts, text zpc devo to 39970. We welcome your comments and questions each day.

Today's scripture: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

My family and I moved to Zionsville about a year and a half ago. Still, when I meet people the conversation inevitably steers toward where we lived before. When I answer that we moved to Zionsville, Indiana from Charleston, South Carolina… well, you can imagine the responses.

Once the laughter dies down a bit, the next question is always, “Oh! Did your job move you here?” as if it is incomprehensible that anyone in his right mind would trade year-round sunshine, beaches, and world-class shrimp and grits for bitter winters, and pot-holes that may as well double as swimming pools in the summer. Actually, that does completely defy logic. 

In today’s scripture, Paul is writing to budding Christians in Corinth, Greece–you know, the very same Greeks whose culture is synonymous with philosophy, intellectual debate, and the pursuit of knowledge. While classically educated himself, Paul, with his renewed mind (Romans 12: 2), was cautioning these new brothers and sisters in Christ to consider that the “wisdom” of man is easily upended by the “foolishness” of God. An immortal, infallible, omnipotent deity submitting to the constraints of human flesh, as a baby, in poverty, arriving in scandalous circumstances, abandoning his trade as a carpenter to become an itinerant preacher before being a convicted and executed as a state felon? But he never sinned? And he came back to life? What’s foolish about that? Everything!

God’s methods are beyond our comprehension (Romans 11:33). And God’s “foolishness” wasn’t a one-time event limited to the life and saving work of Jesus. The bible is full of accounts of God’s work in which his methods and actions defied human wisdom. Furthermore, Paul used the present tense here, reminding us that God’s hand in our daily lives may seem confusing, illogical, and counter to our own “wisdom.” 

How often do you question God’s wisdom as foolishness – directly or indirectly? “Are you sure you know what you’re doing, Lord?” Or how often do you make prayerful requests only to see God reply with a “No” or something radically different than what you had in mind? Too often our own “wisdom” is out of sync with God’s will and his plan, therefore his actions seem like foolishness to us. Our own wisdom is short-sighted, misguided, and motivated by our own plans and desires. God’s “foolishness” is simply him accomplishing his plan, and power for all those who believe and seek God’s will. Paul’s encouragement to the Romans to be transformed by the renewing of their minds comes with a goal: That they (and we) might test and discern the will of God and all that is good, and acceptable and perfect (Romans 12:2).

No, my job was not a factor in our relocation. God brought us here according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). Becky, Emma Kate, Jonah, Jacob, and I are blessed and joyful to call Zionsville home. We LOVE it here. Knowing we are firmly where God’s “foolishness” wants us gives us great comfort – and power to accomplish the work he has planned for us.

Prayer

Lord, thank You for loving me and calling me according to Your purpose. Align my desires with Your will that I may move according to Your wisdom, not my own. As I read your word and seek You, reveal to me the foolishness of my own reasoning and the wisdom of Your way.  Amen.

Posted by Mike Woods with

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