Aseară am discutat la telefon cu Cameron Wilson, un prieten și slujitor care a împlinit anul trecut 80 de ani. El este bine cunoscut pentru cursurile pe care le-a predat păstorilor, conferințele RoMisCon, asistența oferită misionarilor români și, mai recent, pentru motivarea bisericilor române din țară și din SUA pentru împlinirea Marii Trimiteri.
Săptămâna trecută Cameron și Marvel au participat la tabăra Peniel din SUA. Cameron mi-a trimis un mesaj și m-a rugat să îl transmit pe blog. Știu că unii dintre prietenii mei din blogosferă au opinii diferite pe acest subiect, dar tocmai de aceea este bine să dăm o șansă dialogului. În funcțiile de solicitările cititorilor voi publica și o traducere a mesajului.
Dear friends in Christ:
Marvel and I have just returned from a 5-day „heaven-on-earth” spiritual experience at the Western Peniel Youth Camp held high in California Sierra mountains inside Sequoia National Park.
Every day, waves of spiritual glory engulfed the staff and all the Romanian young people present, with many receiving a Holy Spirit Baptism during the extended times of singing, praying, and waiting in the presence of the Lord.
Young people came to camp primarily from Romanian churches in Los Angeles, Sacramento and Phoenix. We met at the „Quaker Meadows” camp facility located at the 7,200 foot level. On this property is the locatiom of the magnificent „William Penn” Giant Sequoia tree.
Often, scheduled sessions at this Peniel International Ministries event gave way to the urgent desire of the young people to wait before the Lord and pray for each other. It was so refreshing to see young people from different churches flowing together in spiritual unity. Many campers said this was the best Peniel camp yet.
Peniel events in Romania since ’95 have often attracted thousands of Romanian young people, and blessed countless attendees. An Eastern States Peniel camp will take place in Tennessee later this summer. For more information anyone can contact <firstname.lastname@example.org> or by writing directly to Paul Oniga Youth Camps, 16250 No. 40th Lane, Phoeniz, AZ, 85053.
Peniel Youth Ministries sprang to life in Romania in 1994 when two Bible college students felt a great need to draw their local youth groups into a much more dynamic relationship with God, the Holy Spirit. Oli Oniga from Bistrita-Nassaud, and G.G. from Satu-Mare were exposed to outstanding guest lecturers from other countries at the Bible College they attended. These teachers exposed Oniga and Gavrus to the great movings of the Holy Spirit that were taking place among Christian young people worldwide.
As youth leaders in their respective home churches, these two young men became passionate to share this vision of a deeper spiritual lifestyle among the young church attenders of their post-revolutionary homeland. The committment was to work on behalf of local churches; and to bring „The Peniel Experience” to reality in the lives of as many sincere Romanian young people as possible. In a word: „Peniel” is the event taken from Jacob’s life as recorded in Genesis 32:24-30. There Jacob had a face-to-face encounter with God and was transformed to become a powerful servant of Jehovah.
Thus the nascent movement, bathed in prayer, sought to bring Romania’s Christian youth to their personal „Peniel” one at a time. Through the years, God has blessed this ministry in remarkable ways. In order to serve the new generation authentically, Peniel has remained „achored to the Rock, but creatively geared to the times.” As the Psalmist said, „We will tell the next geneation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders He has done,” (Psa. 78:4).
For nearly twenty years Marvel and I have been committed friends of Romania. We are really thrilled to see this rich „Peniel” expression of the Holy Spirit infusing so much life into today’s Romanian youth.
In 1990 a pastor in Oradea famously said, „I am thrilled at our new freedoms; but I shudder when I think of our lack of preparedness to take advantage of this great opportunity. We here in the East have the dedication. The Church in the West has the know-how. If we can somehow marry the devotion of the East with the skills of the West, I can hardly imagine what will happen. I believe a revival will start in Romania that may sweep across all of Europe and beyond.” I believe that Peniel is part of what that wise pastor was pleading for nearly two decades ago. It is a holy spark that ought to be nurtured and supported until all of Romania and Europe are ablaze with the flame.
I invite every Romanian pastor and Church leader to encourage their youth to make every effort to attend a Peniel camp. Better yet, why not plan to go yourself and give your spiritual support. We feel sure you will experience, as we did, several days of „heaven-on-earth” as you see God move in grace and power upon today’s emerging generation of the Church.
Cameron and Marvel Wilson
Discover Your Mission, Emeritus