REPORT FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH, 2000
Tuesday, April 11, 2000
Dear Pastors and Churches:
"Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen" (Ephesians 6:24). As I write my prayer is that each of you may experience the grace of God in your lives daily!
Language school continues and we are making progress, though it seems slow to us at times. How I look forward to the day when I can freely preach Christ in this language without a translator! Janet and I continue with the English class each Saturday afternoon in Bocsa Montana. It is gratifying to see both adults and boys and girls making good progress in their English. We pray with them and try to help them with Bible understanding as well. I continue preaching at least twice each Lord's Day. In my most recent messages it has been a rejoicing to me to observe in the faces and hear the words of appreciation and interest as I have taught concerning God's giving His elect people to His Son before the world began. I remember what a joy it was to me years ago when I first began to learn that salvation was not dependent on me and my works, but on the eternal love and free grace of God - and that He had planned it long before I was born! I have observed that there are also some here who chafe at this preaching, but I note that God's sheep relish the Word and some are feasting gladly on it though they have but the most basic of natural food and that in limited amounts.
The Romanian economy is full of contradictions. Some things, like rent, are very cheap by American standards, but many things are expensive even here. The people have little money so they do without. Often we hear from Romanians that under Communism they had some money, but that there was nothing to buy as everything was exported and even bread was often in short supply. Long lines existed at every place where food could be purchased then. Now, however, many things are available to buy, but few have money and the money is not worth much at all. Romanian money continues to slide downward in value. At present writing it takes 19,600 lei to equal one U.S. dollar! When we came last May it took a little more than $60 to equal one million lei - now one million lei is only worth about $50. That is quite a loss. Imported stuff and things made for export are quite expensive. These things include furniture, canned and processed foods, most cars and trucks, household appliances both large and small, paper goods, office supplies, auto parts and tires, etc. So most Romanian people live a very simple hand to mouth existence, eating what they raise in their gardens and nearby small acreage - things which they can preserve in primitive ways. They salt and smoke some pork and some they cook, cover with grease, and preserve it that way. They buy only a few things like sugar, coffee, some spices, and perhaps fruit juices and mineral water if they can - along with the ever present cheap bread. I write all this so that you will understand and perhaps be moved to pray for these people even regarding natural things. Frankly, most of the people we know and to whom I preach will be very hungry - I mean seriously and dangerously hungry - if the weather is bad this summer and the gardens fail. Pray for Romanian Brethren, please, even for natural food as well as for their spiritual nourishment.
The truths of the Bible have both enemies and false friends here as everywhere. Roman Catholics, Romanian Orthodox, Communists, atheists, and worldlings are among the former while grace-hating Mormons, Seventh-Day Adventists, Charismatics, and even some who sail under "Baptist colors" would drive us out if they could. I have preached here that while Romanian Baptists often did well under persecution when the Communist government was in power, they are now being tested not with persecution, but with the danger of compromise. Like in early-day America, the Baptists in Romania now have a certain "respectability" and "acceptance" and some are courting the old Harlot and her doctrinally-polluted daughters. I see this clearly and am trying to stand against these things, and as Baptists in America did in the past, to contend for the faith against unscriptural doctrines and practices.
We are excited at the prospect of a visit from our younger daughter, Anna, and husband, Mark, and daughter Bethia Hope later this month (April). In moving from New Zealand to the States they were able to get tickets to London cheaper than just to the States - and they have enough free air miles to fly on to Budapest, Hungary where we can meet them and bring them to Romania for about 3 weeks! As we have not ever seen Bethia Hope, and she will soon be 8 months old, Grandma and Grandpa are very happy about this anticipated visit. (Haven't seen Anna in almost two years.) They will be visiting Mark's relatives in London before coming on to us. Please pray for their safety in travel and protection while they are here.
While there may be more money on hand by now, at about the end of last month, I believe, there was $2,000 in the vehicle fund. I expect more to come in and have indeed received word that others will be helping with this. Your interested prayers regarding this need will be greatly appreciated.
Janet and I thank you for your interest and your prayers especially, and for your faithful financial help. The "job" seems overwhelming at times, but God's grace is ever present and ever sufficient. Your encouraging words, cards, e-mails and phone calls mean much to us as we labor here in eastern Europe. Pray, please, for the Pughs!
Curtis and Janet Pugh
Return To Elder Pugh's Page
Return To Missions Page
Return To PBC Home
Preaching Baptist Baptism, the Blood, the Book, and the Blessed Hope.