by Jerry Wells
Our family will miss many things in Romania; mountains and lakes, our little apartment, local hospitality, delicious foods. In particular, I will miss men like Octavian Ivanica in Alexandria. I could not leave Romania without seeing him again, though it meant a 14-hour trip to his city close to the Bulgarian border.
With the heart of a shepherd, Octavian faithfully pastors a sizable church. Over the years, co-workers and I led seminars for him and his leaders. But the best times have been the personal times. When he introduced me to his congregation as his mentor, I thought, “He is my mentor.” Octavian’s life and ministry have marked me indelibly as I’ve watched him lead his church through great challenges toward maturity.
He and I spent Saturday talking through biblical, theological and pastoral issues. He asked me to preach in Țigănești Saturday night, Crângeni Sunday morning and Alexandria Sunday evening. His church has been going through the gospel of John. The week prior to my visit they’d studied John 14. Without me knowing this, God led me to preach from John 15.
My farewell visits to those with whom I’ve worked over the years were encouraging times of reflecting over shared ministry in the past, and future plans and dreams.
As the Wells family prepares to leave Romania June 30 for a new season of ministry in the U.S., God continues to strengthen his church through faithful men and women, trained and equipped by Entrust and by our Romanian-led counterpart, EBE. Pray for these dear brothers and sisters, the churches they shepherd and the new generation of disciples they are training.