3) October Mission News Letter :
my Neighbor ... my Friend. We read in the Bible that we should love our neighbors as ourselves. Many of you have neighbors with all kinds of characters. Not easy to love some of them. Most of my time I help church far from my city of Arad.
I was a little frustrating not to spend time with young people who are my neighbors.
Since June this year, with young people from my church, I started sport activities in my neighborhood. I called: my Neighbor ... my Friend. How to love my neighbors if I did not have any contact with them or just everyday politeness hello. I wanted to create opportunities to learn more about my neighbors. Because I like to practice sport ... the best way for me was to organise sports activities. I built with the help of a friend Luca Pais, a football cage. In Romania, in all cartiers of the city, there is a playground. One of those games park is 20m from my apartment, where we organize sports activities such as Cage Soccer, Archery, Volleyball, Badminton and Boules (photos above). These are good ways to get to know my neighbors in a suitable and relaxing context. The number of young people coming is between 10 to 40. And slowly parents also participate. I have two parents, there are my neighbors, that began to help me. Loving our neighbors means also wish them the best for them. Live forever in joy, peace and happiness with God ... is the best we can wish to someone .... Share the Gospel is the best thing we can do for these young people and their parents.
Summer camps. During the past summer, I participated in 6 camps, from the smallest with 15 teens to the bigest camp with 200 youth. Each camp was very different from each other. One of the camps that I really enjoyed was organized for 30 young people from very poor families and Roma ethnic young peoples. The camp was held in a wooded area and far away from civilization. No electricity, gas, water (only a river and a well) and no GSM signal. We slept in tents. The atmosphere was very warm and we could have many discussing, sharing and singing every night around the campfire after a day of sports activities.
The second camp that I enjoyed was the day camp followed by the music festival in Bratasanca village. For a week, between 60-80 teens and young attended our Bible activities, music and sports. A youth group from France came to help us. During the 2-day music festival 300 people on Saturday and 500 on Sunday have assisted the Christian music bands concerts.
YFC Romania. This year 2016 a year of restructuring for our mission YFC Romania. We learn to work as a team for 4 years. We are a team of 9 adults with very different experiences of the life of one of the other and in 5 different cities in Romania. In the pass 2 years, we had 2-3 days of crew meeting every 3 months. And every 2 weeks a Skype prayer meeting. During the year, we are all together for evangelistic activities. There are 3 weeks, the committee and the national director of YFC Romania and myself (as president of YFC Romania Association), we had to take the decision to stop working with one of our missionary. It was a difficult decision. But for the past 2 years, this person had behavioral problems which had heavy consequences on the team. The mission director and myself, we have given many hours to help her.
Since September, a new Romanian person came to join our team, his name is Leandru Dascal. After a year of trying, we will see if he can become the new director of YFC Romania. Pray also for Luca Pais, I know him for 24 years, he was 7 years old. For 4 years, he helps me a lot and is really passionate to work and help youth. He is married and has a girl of 5 years. He is a sports teacher. Last week, I chalenged him to become a missionary and work with YFC Romania team. He has the heart and passion to serve as a missionary. I'd like to help him, support him.
In Genesis 28:12 we read ... And here's a ladder set up on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven. And behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And behold, the LORD stood above it; and he said, I am the Lord ... Jacob had this vision in his sleep. When he woke up he said ... This is the house of God, this is the gate of heaven.
This project the Jacob's Ladder (the last 3 photos above) is intended to cause young people to think, to meet and discover God. We want to create a sports and leisure center for young people to learn not to have fear of God. One of the big activity in center Jacob ladder will be the large climbing wall. Climb 30 meters is not easy. But during the ascent, at different levels, we will offer our young people to discover God of the Bible, how He revealed Himself to us. We also have several rooms for indoor activities. A Christian makes us available all this space for free. It's hundreds and hundreds of square meters that are at our disposal. One way to renovate and make it scale project born of Jacob, is to invite you to come and with a team of your church. You could build, finance a climbing course and leave your fingerprints on this big wall. On November 6, I met the owner to finalize our cooperation and make a contract. He is also very motivated by this project and we talk for more than 6 months together. I will write a new letter specifically to explain the project Jacob’s Ladder in more detail. A big thank you for your prayers and support.
- End of December this year, I have to move to another apartment. Pray that I can find one in the same neighborhood because I want to continue the work my Neighbor ... my Friend with young people I got to know in recent months.
- For wisdom and I can constantly learn well how to run a team, to lead YFC Romania.
- For the year-end activities. My calendar agenda for 2016 is on www.myungsoo.ro
- To finance the project Echelle de Jacob.
- My health ... for 2 months I have one finger, the right middle finger, which is blocked ... the ligaments and joint capsules are affected.
- My family in Belgium (my sister Pascale, brother Maurice and Michel, and 7 nephews)
- Leandru Dascal, future director of YFC Romania.
- Luca Pais, future missionary YFC Romania.
Your friend and partner in the mission in Romania
2) MARS Mission News Letter :
My friends, special news of my trip to Korea.
Thank you to all of you who supported me in prayer during my trip of almost 2 months in Korea. God allowed me to meet great people, with great enthusiasm for God. Especially thanks to the people of Pohang, Seoul, Busan, Gwangju and Yeosu who organized all meetings with churches and new contacts. In the photos you can see some people that God allowed me to know or meet again. A big thank to those special people that help me for years, Dr. Cho Wha Chul, Jisoon, SeongIn, Anna Choi and Rev. Jeon.These two months in Korea allowed me to recharge my batteries enthusiasm, zeal and motivation. In the Bible verses above, we can read " to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called ...". From a worthy ... these words made me yet realized that God deserves our fully live the Gospel every day. It was Paul who wrote these words while he is in prison. His position, his living situation was not comfortable. Despite this, even in big difficulties and injustice for which he was in prison, Paul wante to walk, to live, to behave in a dignified manner. For he knows, God deserves, beyond our personal circumstances. Because Jesus showed us and demonstrated his love for us is real. So during these two months, I was able to regain strength to continue, to walk, to live the vocation in Romania, that I made to God worthily and humbly.
Going in Korea, I had 3 goals.
- The first goal was to spend more time in prayer and pray for 3 days in peace in a church in the mountains. Christians in Korea are recognized as giving a high priority in their lives to pray for others. So, I have been encouraged. These prayer time allowed me to recharge myself and regain good habit. Pray more regularly for missionary work, my family in Belgium, and all my friends in several countries.
- The second goal was to meet with families, peoples of different churches who support me. One thing I realized more and more and that the wealth of a person is measured by the number of true friends that we have. I could get to know many families and great people. Because sending a mission news letter is a good thing, but to share it with person face to face, and pray together, is really extraordinary. During these two months, God allowed me to share the gospel and to encourage more people who are early in their relationship with Jesus. These two months in Korea were not just a time to fundraising, but also peopleraising. I was really happy to share the experiences of my Christian life with people wanting to know Jesus better.
- The third goal was to find a solution of how to finance and purchase a new minibus. On January 16, three days before going to Korea, the timing belt on my minibus broke and the engine had seized. The minibus was no longer usable. After 7 years and 418,000 km of faithful service, I have to search for another vehicle to continue the ministry in Romania. Churches in Korea are very solicited financial and the economic situation in Korea is not very good. But churches and their members, who support me for years, were generous and they have made me severals gifts of a total value of 4350 Euros. The new minibus that I would like to buy is a Opel Vivaro with 9 seats. Its price is 25,767€, for me the garage offers a reduction, the old price was 27,450€. After numerous research here in Romania, is the least expensive of the market. Ford, VW, Hyundai and Fiat cost between 6000 and 9000€ more.
A solution to finance the minibus is to find seven churches that would support 30€ per month for 4 years. And 23 people who will support 10€ per month for 4 years. That's a total of € 446 per month to pay for 4 years. There is no interest because I have a good friend who is Romanian Christian businessman and he will pay the purchase cash minibus. He asked me to reimburse him, without interest, monthly payments of 446€ for 4 years. At a time when I wrote you, 8 people have offered to help me for 4 years to fund this minibus. If you wish to participate and help me in this project, you are welcome. Below is the information from my missionary bank accounts. Thank you for your prayers and support.
Topics of Prayer
The last week of March 24 and 25, we have two days of meetings with the staff of Romania JPC.
Saturday, March 26 we have our General Assembly YFC Romania.
Your friend and partner in the mission in Romania,
Myung Soo Merchie Eric
1) JANUARY: NEWS LETTER :
Best wishes for 2016. I pray that many of you can find peace in God. Because for many, 2015 was a busy year in emotions, pain and suffering. But as we read in many passages of the Bible, Jesus also experienced all kinds of hardships, including the death of very close friends, physical suffering, rejection, abandonment and many others. That is why Jesus is the one who can help us, help us if we ask Him and let Him act in our lives.
- CHRISTMAS: I returned to Belgium for Christmas Time and New Year. I spent Christmas with my sister Pascale, one of my brothers Maurice and Béatrice, Roch (two nephews, my sister’s children). We were very happy to be together. This was the first Christmas without our parents. During the 10 days in Belgium, I was also happy to see many friends and family members, not all of them because the time was short.
- HEALTH: my health is very good, even though I have lost weight in the last two months of the year, 2-3 kilos, I have weighed 62 kilos. My stomach is fragile, but not give me more concern. Nicole, my aunt gave me a very good drug that works very well for me.
- MINIVAN: I have no more car. On Saturday, January 16th, I drove 1200 km in 5 regions of Romania, to collect signatures and various paperwork from all members of our association, to complete the update of our new statutes of our Youth for Christ Association Romania. So, on Saturday at 1:00 am, I was about to reach my final destination, but 20 km from the town of Hateg, the engine of my minivan sold and broken. After more than 7 years of faithful service and 418 thousand kilometers (260.000 miles, I could not be angry ;o) My friend Dani Ivanc who lives in Hateg, came at 4:30 in the morning to tow my minibus. Fortunately because it was -15°C. Well, I have no more car. Please, I need your help, could you pray, so I can find a solution, and see how God opens doors, to buy a new minibus. I already do research in Romania. The cheapest new minibus is the Opel Vivaro. The price is € 27,450. A big thank you for your prayers.
- KOREA: from 20 January to 15 March, I’m in Korea. This is an important trip because I will celebrate my 50 years. And also 30 years that I am actively involved in working with young people with churches. 6 years as a youth leader in my first church in Belgium and 24 years as a missionary with Youth for Christ in Romania. For my 50th birthday, on February 5th, I will go three days (from 3 to 6 February) in a praying church in the mountains of Seoul. I want to get a special time with God to thank Him for giving me a blessing life. Also to pray for the next 25 years of my mission life, if God allows me to live that long. If you have any topics of personal prayers, I will be glad to pray for you.
NOVEMBER is the month with many conferences. 3 GLS conferences for church leaders and a conference on child adoptions in Romania.
- GLS. Like every year, I help a Romanian mission BIG-GLS to organizes conferences, Global Leadership Sumit. These conferences are for peoples with responsibilities in churches. 550 peoples participated in three conferences in three cities, a large part were young adults between 20-30 years. It’s a two days conferences, but it takes 2 more days for preparations. 20 young peoples from local churches are needed. For those youth volunteers, it’s a very good way to learn to serve.
- Adoption. For 3 years, several Christian associations came together to help adoptions of Romanian children. As myself, I’am an adopted and glad of that, I could not remain insensitive. I realize that in recent years, more and more Romanian Christian families adopt childrens, almost exclusively, Gypsy childrens. Because they represent the vast majority of childrens who are abandoned. For example, someone from our association, a single lady, since February 2015, has in custody four children (2-6 years old, all brothers and sisters), from Gypsy parents who have lost parental rights. And now she is the approach to adopt them.
DECEMBER: I worked to develop our association on administrative point of view. I realize that when I was alone, without staffs and employees, my work as a missionary was a little easier. But for several years, the association grew, more volunteers, more staffs, more money and therefore an association, a team to manage. So in 2016, I have to write, with Board’s Members help, many rules and goals for YFC Romania. During the month of December, we had meetings YFC Romania teammates, a General Assembly to discuss budget’s changing for 2015 and a new budget proposal for 2016.
JANUARY 2016: We had our national camp for young volunteers who help us throughout the year 2015. We were 35 peoples. But more than 20 young people have not been able to come because they were under university examens. We rented two cottages in the mountains. We spent four great days. But ... but ... like all teams, it’s sometimes difficult to satisfy everyone. In our team of Romania YFC, our treasurer are doing a very well job on accounting. But she has for several years behavior problems. Several peoples tried to help her individually, including myself, but we didn’t saw changing. So as President of pur Association, for the good of all staff and our volunteers, I needed to start a disciplinary action for her, with the help of the Board Members. This is the first time I've to do that and it's not very pleasant. But my job also requires me to assume responsibilities that are not some time pleasant to put on practice. So, I wrote, with the approval of the Board, disciplinary measures for this person during 2016. Thank you for your prayers.
Agenda and Prayers Topics
- For almost two months, I will be in Korea. Pray for me to spend quality time with friends and churches who support me. Pray for me to meet new people and churches, according to the opportunities that God will.
- In Korea until 15 March.
- The last week of March, we have two days of meetings with the YFC Romania staff. And on the last weekend, we have our General Assembly.
May the blessings of God can accompany you every day. And we can draw near, with confidence, to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and grace from Jesus. Your friend in Mission in Romania, Myung Soo (Merchie Eric)
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. - Jeremiah 29.11