(by Pastor Edward Fernandez)
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(Guatemala Missions information can be accessed by clicking on this link – Guatemala Missions Page)
My first missions trip to Romania was in May, 2009, with Pastor Carl Sanderson of Evangel Church, Scotch Plains, NJ. The two of us together team taught the YWAM (Youth With A Mission) Discipleship Training School classes in Targu-Mures, Mures County, Romania (see the RED STAR in the map below) for the entire week (morning and evening, with Pastoral Counseling of the staff and students during the day) we were there. This is when God put a “hook” in my heart for the people, pastors, churches, and country of Romania.
My second missionary trip to Romania spanned the last two weeks of September of this year. Unaccompanied, I flew out of Newark Liberty International Airport on September 17th and arrived in Cluj-Napoca International Airport in Romania on September 19th. While there I visited 10 Romanian Pentecostal Union churches, preached in 5 of them with a translator, spent an entire evening with the supervisor of the two-districts (Mures-Harghita) of the Romanian Pentecostal Union of Churches there, attended a pastors conference and met over 80 pastors, ministered in several Gypsy villages praying and preaching in open air street ministry meetings, counseled and mentored ministry workers as I had the opportunities to do so, led and participated in several worship ministry events, further strengthened my relationship and fellowship ties with the YWAM (Youth With A Mission) directors and staff (Targu-Mures base), was invited to (and accepted the invitation) serve on the Board of Directors of the Targu Mures YWAM Base by Director Jerry Busch, and most importantly, I met ministry leaders, pastors, youth workers, staff persons, etc., and with them I began networking and laying the foundation for a long-range missionary plan for my return trips to Romania beginning as soon as the Spring of 2010, with each of these future trips to be 2-4 weeks in duration, at least 3 trips per year, depending upon the ministry needs at the times of those trips.
My vision for missionary work in Romania is NOT to go there to establish MY vision! My vision is to go there to help enable those who are already there, who are already pouring out their very lives as drink offerings in sacrificial ways to the Lord and His work in Romania, to establish THEIR God-given vision. God is sending me to them to be THEIR Jonathan, to be THEIR Elisha…to lift up their arms in the battle, to pray for them, pour my heart, soul, energy, gifts, and ministry into them, to assist them, to be a refreshment to them, to lift the burden off of their shoulders as much as God enables me to do so. I am learning the Romanian language as best and as quickly as I can. I am studying via language audio CDs and also by Skyping with a professional language translator who lives in Romania who is personally coaching me in my language skills. After 13 days of travel and an exhaustive ministry schedule in Romania, I boarded the flight at the Cluj-Napoca International Airport for my long trip home on September 30th…and 16 hours later I was in my own bed, completely collapsed, still unpacked, yet ever so fulfilled and overflowing with the love and the purpose of God in my life.
When flying out of Newark Liberty International Airport in Newark, NJ, the trip to Tirgu-Mures, RO, takes a cumulative total of 14-17 hours depending upon connection lay-overs. It’s a grueling and expensive trip to make (avg. economy airfare for a single round-trip ticket is approx. $1250.00), but the benefits of ministry in this country far outweigh the costs and make it more than worthwhile to make the trip!
I had always thought that I, being an ordained pastor for the past 30 years, presently an ordained minister in the Assemblies of God, would spend my entire life ministering as a pastor in a local congregation. For the past 4 years God has been testing me, stretching me, growing me, maturing me, literally filing off the very rough and ragged edges of my pride, teaching me humility and submission as I have never understood it before, and developing the fruit of compassion within me. I have been waiting for Him to open the door to a pastoral ministry position in a local congregation, but that is simply not happening as I expected it to. Instead, God is now placing a burden on my heart for the mission field, something that even 6 months ago I would have said was a crazy idea! I believe God is bringing me into a new season and a new area of ministry. After my church sponsored teaching mission trip to Romania this past May, God literally “hooked” my heart for that country, its people, its pastors, and its churches. I am now learning the Romanian language and have at least 35 FaceBook “friends” from Romania with whom I correspond regularly (some I even video conference with using Skype!).
It is now my God-given vision that I will be making at least 3 trips to Romania each year, some for more than a month or more in duration. (Each trip will cost approx. $2000, inclusive of round-trip airfare and travel/lodging/food expenses, which I am hopeful can be raised through faithful supporters and my own work towards this amount.) The burden on my heart is for the Romanian Pentecostal churches and pastors as they seek to follow God’s call to spread the Kingdom of God and His mercy and grace in their congregations and communities, as well as to help plant brand new churches in areas where there are no Pentecostal congregations. I look forward to seeing God unfold before my very eyes how I can be of service to Him and them in Romania. Will you pray about helping me raise these funds for this important mission ministry? If you are a pastor, will you prayerfully consider presenting this to your board to consider supporting me as one of your congregational missions giving ministries each month? Make no mistake about it…I will go whether the funds are raised or not, as I believe God has put this on my heart that strongly. I’ll just find some way to get there.
I know I will need to raise about $6000 per year for my mission trips to Romania (the first of which was on Sept. 17-30). Of course, I will gratefully receive tax deductible donations, but I am also willing to work for this cause as well. Do you have a computer that’s giving you problems? Need programs installed or a home network set up? I can help you! Help me spread the Gospel in Romania! Write to me for details!
For any who are so called and interested, the tax-deductible 501(c)3 non-profit corporation that I am ministering under in any and all of my missionary endeavors is, “River of Life Ministries”. You may conveniently use our Online Donations page or you may send a check or money order through the mail. All checks and money orders should be made payable to “River of Life Ministries”, and either given to me personally or mailed to me at:
River of Life Ministries
(please send an e-mail to receive mailing address…send e-mail to: PastorFernandez@RiverofLife.net
South Amboy, NJ USA
You will receive a tax-deductible receipt of your contribution as a record of your giving for your tax purposes. I also have the blessing and covering of my pastors and the deacon board at Evangel Church in Scotch Plains, NJ, as I seek to follow God’s missionary call on my life and ministry.
I will post updates on my missionary travel plans, as well as progress and ministry reports with photos (and possibly videos) following each trip.
I am already looking forward to the Spring of 2010, when I am expecting God to open the door for me to return to Romania once again.
Thank you so much! May God richly bless you!
Pastor Edward Fernandez
Map of Europe – ROMANIA Outlined in Purple – City of TARGU MURES Inside Red STAR