Eastern Europe Mission Trip 2017

Ministering in Ukraine, Bulgaria, Hungary

Well I’m excited to return to Eastern Europe this year with my wife Ivalene. During the month of May 2017 we will teach in Ukraine, then minister in Bulgaria, lead worship in Hungary and finish in France.

We’ll depart the USA the beginning of May and return at the end of May.

It will be a very long journey and we would be most appreciative of your prayers! You can also support our ministry financially with a tax deductible donation


UKRAINE WORSHIP CONFERENCE

To start off, Ivalene and I will join a team of presenters at the Music In Worship” conference May 4-6 in Kiev, Ukraine presented by Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary.

TEACHING AT UKRAINIAN EVANGELICAL THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

The next week May 8-15, we’ll lecture at UETS teaching in the Music Ministry and Theology Department. The courses I’m teaching will be Essential Biblical Foundations of Christian Worship during the day and Worship Music Composition and Songwriting Workshop in the evenings. Ivalene will teach a Children’s Worship Workshop for leaders interested in teaching children to be worshipers.

Besides teaching, we will be there to coach, mentor, advise and encourage students and staff.

Make a tax deductible Donation

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Ukraine Mission Trip Report [2016]

Plus Eastern Europe Missions 2017 Plans

For May 2017 I‘ve been invited back to teach at UETS and a Worship Conference in Ukraine. Ivalene and I will do this trip together. We will also minister in Bulgaria, Hungary and France during that trip. Find out all about it in this post.

MISSIONS REPORT FROM MY UKRAINE 2016 TRIP

In 2016 I served teaching at the Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary in Kiev, Ukraine. I taught my course Practical Theology of Worship, led songwriting workshops and a staff retreat. Our ministry also donated an acoustic-electric guitar, several books for their library, CD’s, songbooks and other music resources.

This wonderful bible college is training the next generation of young adults to be musically skilled and spiritually anointed leaders. 

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Ukraine Mission Trip 2016

Encouraging Wholehearted Worship Worldwide!

ukraine-mission

I’m delighted to say I’ll be venturing on my first ever ministry project to the nation of Ukraine. I’ll fly out October 25 and fly back November 4, 2016. I’m planning to be back in church at HFUMC on November 6th.

I would be most appreciative of your prayers!

I’ll be a guest lecturer at the Ukrainian Evangelical Theological Seminary, teaching in their Music Ministry and Theology Department. The courses I’m teaching will be Essential Biblical Foundations of Christian Worship during the day and Worship Music Composition and Songwriting Workshop in the evenings. Besides teaching, I’ll be there to coach, mentor, advise and encourage students and staff. 

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Hungary & Romania Missions Trip 2015

My 15th Year Ministering in Eastern Europe!

 

Every summer since 2001 I’ve been on a short term missions trip to Eastern Europe. Wow, that’s fifteen consecutive years! Time flies when you’re having fun. And there’s nothing more rewarding than serving the Lord.

I’ll once again serve two ministry projects, the SOZO Festival, returning to Baja, Hungary; and after that, the School of Worship in Timisoara, Romania.

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“It Will Change Your Life” Romania School of Worship Testimonials [VIDEO]

Well, I’m back from Romania and it was just a fantastic experience. This video is a rough edit of testimonies from students at the 2014 Edition of the Scoala de Inchinare (School of Worship) in Timisoara, Romania. About 50 young adult students from all over Romania, as well as Austria and Germany, attended.

VIDEO: SCHOOL OF WORSHIP TESTIMONIALS 2014

The main take-a-way?  This is a ministry opportunity that is changing lives in a powerful and effective way. The stories of God at work in the lives of these student are inspiring and encouraging. I’ll post at least one more article about this trip.

Ivalene and I have been invited to return next year (2015) for the 10th Edition. This is gonna be awesome! You can help us raise the necessary funds by partnering with us here.

 

Romania School of Worship: Week 1 in Pictures

Words like “exciting, joyful, worshipful” would describe the first week at the 9th Edition of the Scoala de Inchinare [2014]. Other words? Intense, busy and “lots of stuff to study”. There’s about 50 students present from all over Romania, as well as Austria and Germany.

Teaching Theology Level 1 Class

Teaching Level 1 Practical Theology of Worship; and Songwriting Worskshop

Teaching Level 1 Practical Theology of Worship; and Songwriting Worskshop

Student Worship Times

Scoala Student Worship Times

Scoala Student Worship Times

Studying The Word of God

Studying the Word of God

Studying the Word of God

Music Instruction: Keyboard Class, Guitar Class

Keyboard Class, Guitar Class

Keyboard Class, Guitar Class

Ana’s Vocal Class

Ana's Vocal Class
Ana’s Vocal Class

Guys Vocal Class

Guys Vocal Class

Guys Vocal Class

Drum Lessons

Drum Lessons
Drum Lessons

 Songwriting Everywhere!

Nicholas writing a song

Ligia and Team Pause Rehearsal for a Pic

Pausing from Rehearsal

Pausing from Rehearsal

Scoala Community Meal Times

Scoala Community Meal Times

Scoala Community Meal Times

 

Dinner Time !

Dinner Time !

Singing in the Dorms

Singing in the Dorms

Singing in the Dorms

 

Day 2 Snapshot, with Genu Olaria & Pica Mengher – Directors

Day 2 Snapshot; with Genu Olariu and Pica Mengher - Directors

Day 2 Snapshot; with Genu Olariu and Pica Mengher – Directors

Day 1 Snapshot: with student Paul, Raul leads a Rehearsal

Day 1 Snapshot: with Paul; Raul leads Rehearsal

Day 1 Snapshot: with Paul; Raul leads Rehearsal

My Midnight Arrival – no bags for a couple of days, no problem.

Midnight Arrival

Midnight Arrival

Hanging Out With The Olariu Clan Friday Night After a Hard Week of School

Fun with the Olariu kids

Fun with the Olariu kids

Find out how you can help support the ministry here.

 

School of Worship Testimonials Romania [2013]. This video brings back such great memories. The joy of the Lord really fills the Scoala de Inchinare, as you will see.

Students say “Thank You and God Bless You” in Romanian to everyone who has supported the school and the other instructors.

At the end of the video students share about their experience.  If you care about missions, I hope you’ll watch it. You’ll be encouraged to see the transformation in the lives of these young men and women

This is a good work that glorifies God, makes disciples and is helping to build His kingdom.

Find out more and here how to partner with us.

Preparing for Romania Missions Trip 2014

As I write this, will be leaving soon for my 9th year teaching at the School of Worship in Romania.

A most pleasant surprise is that the young lady who has been the primary translator in Romania happens to be in Nashville for a few days. So we’re going to work on translating new material over the next few days.

What an awesome opportunity! Cristina has been one of the most diligent, hard-working, Jesus-loving and compassionate servant-leaders I have ever had the privilege of teaming with.

Notes and outlines for my courses in Romania.

Notes and outlines for my courses in Romania.

 

Cristina’s story is, well, a beautiful God story. She grew up in one of Romania’s many orphanages and met Jesus through American missionaries visiting orphans. A devoted prayer warrior and woman of God, she has served in many ministry contexts including the Franklin Graham Crusade in Timisoara.

We are so delighted she’s in the Nashville area for a few days visiting friends and relatives. Ivalene and I had the joy of hanging out with her, attending church at HFUMC and visiting some of Nashville’s cultural and historical sights.

With Cristina Boier: from top left - The Hermitage, Martins BarBQue, dinner with our son John on 12th Ave, convertible ride.

With Cristina Boier: from top left – The Hermitage, Martins BarBQue, dinner with our son John and his dog on 12th Ave, Sunday drive in the convertible.

 

You can find out more about this year’s Romania missions trip and how you can be part of the story at this link.

God bless you!

Romania Mission 2014, Teaching The Next Generation

Wow, August of 2014 will be my 9th consecutive year of teaching at the School of Worship (Scoala de Inchinare) in Timisoara, Romania.

I’ve been on short term missions trips to Eastern Europe every summer since 2001, that’s 14 years in a row. Time flies when you’re having fun. And there’s nothing more rewarding than serving the Lord.

THANK YOU VIDEO [2012]:

As I write this article, I’m editing a new video to share with testimonials from 2013. In the meantime, you can see and hear from the 2012 students in this video.

Students say “Thank You and God Bless You” in Romanian to everyone who has supported the school and the other instructors.

At the end of the video students share about their experience.  If you care about missions, I hope you’ll watch it, especially the last testimony. You’ll be encouraged to see that lives are being changed.

This is a good work that glorifies God, makes disciples and is helping to build His kingdom.

School of Worship (Scoala de Inchinare) Class of 2013, Timisoara, Romania

School of Worship (Scoala de Inchinare) Class of 2013, Timisoara, Romania

BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING

In the summer of 2013, my wife Ivalene and I served together at the School of Worship in Romania, as well as the SOZO Festival in Serbia.

She taught seminars on Children’s Worship. I taught Theology, Worship Leading and Songwriting.

Serving in Missions together in 2013. Left: Timisoara, Romania. RIght: SOZO Festival, Novi Sad Serbia

Serving in Missions together in 2013. Left: Timisoara, Romania. RIght: SOZO Festival, Novi Sad Serbia

We also traveled to Cluj, Romania and ministered in three local churches together.

We’re investing in the next generation that will change nations.

Scoala Ivy collage

Teaching with Ivalene, her children’s worship seminar , grading student papers.

 For the 2014 trip, it will be just me traveling to Romania.

ABOUT THE SCHOOL OF WORSHIP

The school is 4 weeks long during August and quite intense. Myself and other guest instructors live in community with the students while we’re there.

I teach Theology of  Worship in the mornings and Songwriting class in the late afternoon /early evening. The days are long and full of activity.

Teaching Theology and Songwriting at the Scoala de Inchinare

Teaching Theology and Songwriting at the Scoala de Inchinare

MORE ABOUT THE SCHOOL

You can get an in-depth view of the Scoala de Inchinare experience with a lot of pics in this 2012 post, A Day In The Life at Romania’s School of Worship. 

I also wrote an extensive series of blog posts (with “behind the scenes” e-mails) so folks could have a better understanding of the work we are doing for the kingdom of God. You can read that series here – Balkans Missions Trip Report.

The School of Worship is hosted at Timisoara Christian Center & Agape Church.

Romania is one of the poorest countries in Europe and Romanian economic woes wrecked havoc on construction. The main building has been partially unfinished for many years. They still need HVAC, elevators, flooring, paint and other cosmetic finishes.

Timisoara Christian Center / Agagpe Church (back)

Timisoara Christian Center / Agagpe Church (back)

I feel very blessed to be part of what God is doing in Romania.

I really hope we can raise more money for the school in 2014 so more students can attend.

Donations from a wide range of “people who care” pays for my travel and related expenses (about $3500.00 this year). We also donate music instruments and scholarships for students. This year we really need more financial support.

DONATE HERE

Stay Updated on my 2014 Missions Trip to Romania, July 28 – August 8.

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Comments? I love comments! Leave yours below.

Africa Report Part 3

The day I started writing this post,  I took my last malaria pill, you have to take them for 7 days after returning from a malaria area.

I’ve been writing a daily  journal with some pics using my new Day One app. If you’re interested in more of the “behind the scenes” details and a day by day recount of my trip,  you can download my Africa Missions Journal here. It’s a little more personal than what I’ve posted on the blog.

Sunrise in Kampala, Uganda

Sunrise in Kampala, Uganda

This post features photo and video highlights from the trip, Part 3.

Read my other blog posts from Africa about our Dental Clinics  [Part 1] and worshiping with The Church Under The Tree [Part 2].

Ministry at Divine Grace Primary School and Leaders Meeting

Worship & Teaching at Divine Grace

Worship & Teaching at Divine Grace

Like many missions trips, this one was hard to capture in words. Words like “amazing” and “high impact” are inadequate. We served widows and orphans, we taught and made disciples, we encouraged and were encouraged, we gave generously and received far more than we gave.

The work of Divine Care is huge and impacts about 1500 people. It was an honor and inspiring to serve with the team from HFUMC alongside Peter and Phoebe Sozi.

VIDEO: Praise and Worship at Divine Grace Primary School, Uganda

This video is the kids singing for morning devotionals. Truly an awesome experience !

Radio Interview in Kampala

I experienced the people in Uganda to be very warm and hospitable. It was a joy to be interviewed on radio and TV.

Radio interview with PowerFM, Uganda

I had great fun visiting PowerFM in Uganda and chatting about worship with Ronnie and Emilia! They are such cool people.

During the interview I introduced a song I had just started writing in Uganda. “Let Everything That Has Breath Praise the Lord”

[Video] Radio debut of “Let Everything That Has Breath Praise the Lord”

 

Malaria is the #1 Killer

I had this riveting conversation on the street. It’s been on my mind ever since.

This is Wycliff. His 4 year old son just died from malaria.

This is Wycliff. His 4 year old son just died from malaria.

I started talking with a very pleasant man named Wycliffe. He worked for the government as a civil servant – a physical planner, an engineer. His only child, a four year old son, had just died 3 weeks ago from malaria. They caught it too late.

So very sad. He said he was a Christian and his faith in God was solid.

Malaria is the #1 killer in Uganda (it used to be AIDS but God healed the nation of that!). He said they need more education and resources for how to protect themselves from it.

This is Agnus

This is Agnus. Her father died, her mother is a widow, she is the youngest of 11 children. one of the many kids who need sponsors. She has one now.

This is Agnus. Her father died, her mother is a widow, she is the youngest of 11 children. one of the many kids who need sponsors. She has one now.

The story of Agnus is similar to many of the 1200 students in Divine Care ministries. Her father died, her mother is a widow, she is the youngest of 11 children. In the States she might be considered a “special needs” student.

I saw a lot of kids who needed shoes.

I asked Peter,  how many of the students have sponsors?

“About 300.”

How many need sponsorship?

“All of them.”

Agnus was one of the many kids who needed a  family to sponsor her.

She has one now.

TV Interview

We were featured on a TV special edition in Kampala.

We were featured on a TV special edition in Kampala.

Pastor Don and I were interviewed for an hour long TV show. He preached, I sang and talked a bit. It was awesome.

Investing In Uganda

Quality instruments are difficult to get. When there is a need, I’ll bring a guitar leave and it if possible.

Guitar Donation

Phoebe and Peter Sozi / Guitar Donation

The places I go in the world, the needs are compelling.

Of course we can’t do everything, but everybody can do something.

I’m grateful for our friends who help send us to make disciples.

Comments?

Oct 6 Worship Recap: Uganda [Africa Report #2]

This Sunday our team worshiped with the “Church Under The Tree” in a rural area of Uganda. Yes, it was awesome.

This is a community of people from nearby villages, and lots of children! Worship African style included a medley of songs including “This Is The Day” and “Lord I Lift Your Name on High”.

I led “Trading My Sorrows” and “Agnus Dei”, and with Lauren Hutchinson, “We Fall Down” followed by some spontaneous antiphonal worship. Pastor Don Hutchison preached.

It was a beautiful day with beautiful weather, beautiful people and a beautiful service.

Church Under The Tree

Church Under The Tree

Sunday worship service at the Church Under The Tree

 

Revival Meetings At Divine Hope

Revival Meetings

Revival Meetings

In the evening we concluded our 3 nights of revival services, the last night was the best yet. I’ll have to write more about that and more pics in the next post.

Pray for us!

This post is part of the Worship Community Sunday Setlists, see what others are doing here: http://www.theworshipcommunity.com/sunday-setlists-272/

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Africa Report #1

I’m writing this from Kampala Uganda where I’m part of a team from Middle Tennesse serving Divine Care Ministries in Uganda.

This week we held dental clinics at two schools/orphanages run by Divine Care Ministries. Divine Care directly impacts about 1200 people between three areas of Uganda.

During the evening we are holding revival services with a group of local churches. I didn’t have time to get photos of that yet. Internet here is sketchy at best so I’m posting this while it’s working.

Rob Africa w Kids

During the day I would help lead music with the kids as they waited for dental care.

 

The Dental Clinic at Divine Grace Primary School- Rekai, Uganda

Dental Clinic at Divine Grace School, Rekai

Dental Clinic at Divine Grace School, Rekai

 

The Dental Clinic at Divine Hope Primary School –  Jjogo, Uganda

 

Dental Clinic at Divine Hope School, Jjog , Uganda

Dental Clinic at Divine Hope School, Jjog , Uganda

 The Schools

Top - Divine Grace, 800 kids & staff, Bottom - Divine Hope, 300 students & staff

Top – Divine Grace, 800 kids & staff, Bottom – Divine Hope, 300 students & staff

I’ll post some pics about the revival services and other aspects of the trip next time. Pray for us!

Comments?