What if I told you that there are heroes living among us? They may not wear capes or masks, they may not have super strength or the power to shoot spider-webs out of their hand, but they are heroes nonetheless.
In the words of Bruce Wayne (aka Batman), “A hero can be anyone. Even a man doing something as simple and reassuring as putting a coat around a young boy’s shoulders to let him know that the world hasn’t ended.”
You see, the making of a hero has nothing to do with his extraordinary powers but his everyday intentionality. It has nothing to do with the disguise he chooses to wear, but rather the compassion he chooses to show.
The making of a hero begins with seeing a need and having a vision to meet it. This is the story of one such hero..
Pastor Ion Vasile has always had a strong vision for church planting and mission in central Romania. We have partnered with him since the beginning of MLI, seeking to assist him in carrying out the vision for his community and beyond.
In 2016, Pastor Ion introduced us to two pastors he was working with in a Rroma (gypsy) community. Since 2007, over 4 million Romanians left the country seeking work in the EU. Despite this trend, the two pastors chose to stay and have an impact in their area.
Through the MLI Church Based Leadership Development program, and under the leadership of Pastor Ion, these pastors were trained, discipled, and equipped for Christian service.
The poverty of the village they pastor in is a stark contrast to the life in some of the cities. People who live in Romanian villages such as these have no running water, all homes have an outhouse, and children do not go to school. Unaddressed, these kind of living conditions result in a cycle of illiteracy. And illiteracy just furthers the cycle of poverty, with people having no education or vocational skills to become and remain employed.
The two churches (and pastors) in this village have come together with the vision to be a gospel presence in their community…and that they are!
In recent years, the church started working with families and children, encouraging education by providing basic necessities such as food, clothing and hygiene products. The church is also in the process of completing a public facility with showers and toilets that will be accessible for the entire community. Locals in the community have the opportunity to become self-sustained through an initiative started through MLI. The two pastors have started using the Bible Education by Extension curriculum in order to equip servants in church ministry and further the Kingdom.
At times, we are asked about the impact and the need for partnerships with Romanian churches. The stories of impact in local Romanian communities speak for themselves. Our role is to facilitate and bring communities together so that they can grow; and so that the gospel of Christ would take root and bring forth fruit.
The impact of a partnership with churches goes beyond church planting and equipping leaders. By transforming lives and investing in people with vision in the area, MLI helps indigenous initiatives that have an impact on entire communities.
Because of intentional people like you, MLI has been the hero for not only the local Romanian church, but also overlooked families and children. It is only because of support from Christians like you that MLI is able to meet the needs and be a hero in Romania, and that is why we believe that YOU are a hero for the churches and individuals of Romania.
Often times, superheroes hide in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, their true identity unseen by the world. The people saved and helped by Superman and Batman don’t recognize Clark Kent and Bruce Wayne; yet they are still true heroes. The churches, children, and families may not see you, but they will feel the impact that your support will bring and be introduced to our one true hero: Jesus Christ.
There are heroes hiding among us… will you be one of them?