This week, hear from World Race: Gap Year participant Kori Jane Spaulding about a time her and her squad had Romanian locals join their worship nights in Craiova, with photos from Abbi Manos. Check it out! 

Hope Church Romania takes place in a small conference center hidden between a bundle of other office buildings. On a typical street level, there is nothing special about this gray building. But in the Lord’s eyes, there is nothing ordinary about this gray building. To the kingdom, this seemingly drab location is the only colorful thing in this dark city. To me and my fellow missionaries, this gray building is everything. It is the most special place in this picturesque town. 

Often, ministry for me takes the form of street evangelism. I go find teenagers around Craiova and I start conversations with them. Unlike people assume, street evangelism is not shoving religion down someone's throat, but cultivating relationships over time. When it comes up in conversation (and it usually does), I get to share a bit of what an American like me is doing in Craiova. If I'm lucky, this sparks interest and I get to invite them to worship from 5-6p Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. 

Doing worship as ministry was never the original plan for musical worship. It started as a gift to us, as a way for the squad to unwind and spend intimate time worshiping the Lord after a long hard day. One time, some of my squad's new friends walked to the church and when they saw us worshiping from the window, they asked to come in and watch. Musical worship is new to Romanians; it doesn’t exist in the Orthodox church. They saw us dancing, crying, journaling, praying, and kneeling, and they felt compelled to start dancing in the back of the room. They said they had never felt anything like this before and one girl said, “There is something different here." They were experiencing the Holy Spirit by witnessing us worshiping. 

From that day on, we began to invite the people we met on the street to worship with us. We even have a few regulars come. This has created a place where the gospel is taught, real joy is seen, and brothers and sisters are brought to Christ. 

The people who come to worship are never left feeling the same they did when they walked in. Whether we are planting seeds that won't be sown for years or reaping seeds sown a while ago, this experience has taught me that there is power in the way that I worship. Worshiping in abandonment is what we are commanded to do, not only to praise our Father but so that people can see what worshiping the Lord with all your emotions looks like. 

I am so lucky to have this sanctuary of safety, this pocket of joy in an evil world, this window of worship that casts out darkness and exude light, not just to us but even to the unbeliever watching. 

What an honor to invite others into our place of worship! Do you want to grow in your intimacy with the Lord while sharing the love of God all around the world? 

Check out our upcoming routes!