Excitment builds as Romania trip nears
By Allen Palmeri
September 9, 2003
JEFFERSON CITY – Pastors committed to going to Romania gathered at the Baptist Building on Aug. 26 to be briefed on the details of their upcoming trip.
A total of 31 people have signed up to go to a pastors’ conference Sept. 22-30 in Romania. Based on the giftedness of the men going and the eagerness of the Romanian Baptist pastors who will be receiving these men, 17 church plants can come out of this initial effort, said Roy Spannagel, associate executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC).
The Romanian culture is not as permissive as ours, Spannagel told the pastors. For example, Romanian women do not wear makeup. American women need to wear lipstick tones that are "very quiet," Spannagel said, if they choose to wear lipstick at all. In addition, Romanian women never wear pants to church. Skirts are the proper attire.
Public displays of affection are common in America, but in Romania they are offensive, he said. Missouri Baptist husbands and wives ought to be aware of this and refrain from kissing and hugging in public.
The risk of contracting a disease is greater in Romania than in Missouri, he said. It is wise to get a doctor to prescribe a good antibiotic before the trip. MBC Executive Director David Clippard did this before traveling to Iraq and it helped him stay reasonably healthy.
Spannagel explained the types of challenges they will be facing going overseas. He covered everything from clothes to insurance to medical advice:
"I would drink only bottled water.
"Leave your jewelry at home.
"Everybody have their passport?"
For Roger Flint, pastor of Southside Baptist Church, Mountain Grove, going to Romania is the culmination of a nine-year process of being called to the mission field. He formerly prayed that God would send him to Belarus, but the funding never came through.
"He’s opened up this door to Romania," Flint said. "I’m excited about going. It’s a tremendous opportunity, not just for me as a pastor but for our convention."
Said Michael Dillin, pastor, First Baptist Church, Gainesville, "I’m very excited about the opportunity to go and help start churches over there."