Young Romanian pastor brings hope of Ezekiel to life in MBC chapel talk
By Allen Palmeri
February 21, 2006
JEFFERSON CITY – Cristian Mihoc, a 26-year-old pastor from Romania, came to the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) chapel Feb. 15 to preach on the hope that is found in Ezekiel 37.
Mihoc, pastor of Bethel Baptist Church in Botosani, a city of 140,000 located in the northeast sector of Romania, came to chapel with his wife of 2½ years, Lidia. Before he preached, she sang a beautiful praise song in English about knowing God.
Mihoc said he has been meditating for quite some time on Ezekiel 37:3, where God asks the prophet, “Can these bones live?” Mihoc is bothered by the spiritual deadness in his city and the pressure that is brought to bear on true believers by the dominant Greek Orthodox Church.
“My encouragement for you this morning is, no matter how terrible the misery is around you, we are called to deliver the triumphant message, the extraordinary message of the Word, and God will do His part,” Mihoc said. “We will be able to see and witness an extraordinary miracle, a transforming miracle that will take place. I pray that God will bless you, will bless us, and will bless His ministry in our hands.”
The Mihocs are partnered with Pisgah Baptist Church, Excelsior Springs, in the ongoing Romania Baptist-Missouri Baptist ministry. MBC Associate Executive Director David Tolliver, who formerly was the senior pastor at Pisgah, brought the couple to the Baptist Building and introduced them to the MBC staff in chapel. He said that Cristian Mihoc is scheduled to preach 10 times in Missouri in February.
The hope in Ezekiel 37, as preached by Mihoc, can be found in verse 10 when God breathed life into the dry bones. The bones then stood on their feet and became an exceedingly great army.
He told of a time when he read from Psalm 20 and prayed before a local government official with good results. The official remarked that there was life in the Word that Mihoc had just read.
“Young man, did you memorize that (prayer)?” the political leader asked the pastor. “There were tons and tons and tons of Orthodox priests in this office before you came, and they prayed, and they did their thing and their rituals, (but) I’ve never heard a prayer like that. Did you memorize it?”
Mihoc said that he did not.
“As I have my earthly father, and I just go ahead and talk to him, I just took a moment and spoke to my heavenly Father,” he explained.
It is that type of life-bearing speech that God is getting at in the text, Mihoc said.
“Can the dry bones in your area, in your churches, in your neighborhood, live?” he asked rhetorically.