By :Rev. Jay Roberts / Staff Evangelist – Hope Aglow Prison Ministries, Inc.
The opportunity I had to serve with Foundation for Hope in Romania was a blessing, and a privilege. It never ceases to amaze me how God ministers to us when we attempt to let Him minister to others through us. My participation in Foundation for Hope Romania 2014 proved to be such an experience in multiple ways.
Most of the ministry I am involved in takes place in Virginia state prisons as Staff Evangelist with Hope Aglow Ministries, Inc. We do have the privilege from time to time to share ministry in local churches.
My motto used to be “Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be broken.” By that I was referring to being flexible in God’s hands as I do understand the need for brokenness when we come to God for salvation so that He can remake us according to His divine plan. I once spoke this motto to a missionary from Taiwan who quickly corrected my by saying the correct word is “fluid” not flexible. He wisely continued by explaining that we must be like fluid so that we can be redirected at a moments notice and fill in the gaps where needed. It has been my attempt to be just that – fluid in God’s hands – and I thank Him for allowing me to fill in gaps where He needed me on this trip. He allowed me the privilege of preaching in the jail/prison of Oradea, Romania, as well as sharing musically there and also in Bible Schools, in two ladies fellowships, and the pastor’s conference. God also allowed me to be his smile, touch and hug to children , in addition to sharing musically, in the orphanage, to mentally and/or physically challenged people (or both) in the facilities in Dumbrava and Cighid. Then there were special times of sweet fellowship through music with other team members during various rest times. And last but not least was the privilege of going door to door in the villages sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with many who knew about Him but did not know and to be a witness as He adopted them into His family!
My personal faith has been strengthened. Many of God’s people, including our brothers who are incarcerated, were praying for God to open the door for me to be able to minister in the jail/prison in Oradea Romania. There was leg work to be done on the Romanian end and I thank God for those who made efforts with the Romanian government as God indeed opened that door and six precious souls were adopted into God’s family between the two services I was privileged to participate in. When I share with inmates here how God answered their prayers I am confident that their faith will be strengthened as well. Seeing how God answered prayer to bind spirits of opposition in the village of Sacadat where previously at local priest who practiced witchcraft had caused the villager to not welcome the witness of Foundation for Hope team members in the past. We asked God to go before us and open the hearts of people to receive the gospel and souls were saved that day!
I was challenged in regard to personal sacrifice for my Lord as well. My wife and I obeyed God’s call to step out into full-time ministry by faith January 1st of 1998. It was then, and remains now, a walk of faith which requires personal sacrifice of many things in regards to the American way of life. My observation of the impoverished areas we visited in Romania sobered me to the realization that many people in those areas have done without, and possibly have never even had, the things that I’ve only had to learn to do without in the past 17 years of ministry. By comparison – my sacrifice seems truly insignificant. I am reminded of another song that Brother Lewis Thomas sang: People Need the Lord. One line of the song asks; “What could be to great a cost for sharing life with one who’s lost?” What is the value of a soul? Jesus showed us when He gave His all – His very life. We are asked to present our bodies as living sacrifices – holy and acceptable unto God which is our reasonable service. How then could any “thing” I must do without in order to be available to share His love with others be considered a sacrifice by comparison?
Thank you Lord for a fresh perspective