They’re tomorrow’s leaders. The managers, parents, pastors and political leaders of the future. And who are they today? Our nation’s youth.
A fascinating discussion with Pastor Dan Botica from Oradea identified that Romania’s youth can be characterised in three ways.
The first is by a desire to emigrate. Many teenagers in Romania have experienced at least a taste of foreign life, and are hungry for more.
The second is addiction. First rate internet access has spawned a host of related addictions, most nastily in relation to pornography and violent computer games.
Thirdly, a dissatisfaction with formal religion of whatever variety. Whether it be staidness in the painted interiors of Romanian Orthodox cathedrals or in Baptist churches, the youth of the nation are voting with their feet.
A little deeper and things start to get darker still.
Although it was totally unknown to any of the Romanian Ministries trustees, the Blue Whale computer game had been wreaking havoc among the vulnerable youth of Romania.
Invented by a Russian with the intention of ridding society of its weaker elements, this game consisted of its participants being set 50 challenges in consecutive days. Innocuous at first, they eventually led towards the darker poles of extreme risk and self-mutilation, with the final instruction being a command to commit suicide.
Reports of “Blue whale” incidents have been received from around the world, but also from within Romania. The youngest recorded participant in Romania was aged 9, with reports of related self-harm being widespread.
Into this wilderness our youth worker has stepped in order to bring the light of the Christian message.
David Slavita, under the auspices of Maranata Church in Arad, started his work in June 2017. His aim is to inspire and teach the youth of his church, while also following up young people who have stopped attending Maranata church, and also to reach the youth who lie beyond the sphere of current church activities. A big task!
David, however, had been singled out by the church’s pastor as being ideally suited to the task. He has a good rapport with those who are slightly younger than him, as well as being equipped with a real teaching gift.
Please do pray for David! We are supporting him with a grant if £300 a month. If you would like to help with this, please get in touch.
A further youth initiative is also planned for this year. One common factor among young Romanian Christians is their lack of vision when it comes to making progress in the Christian life.
Quite often conversion is seen as taking care of the soul before a person races on to enjoy whatever else life has to offer.
In 2017, we are therefore sponsoring a conference for young people in Oradea which focuses on maturing as a Christian. Our prayer is that this will inspire many young Christians – it hoped more than 300 will attend - to seek for greater things in the spiritual sphere.
May the Lord bless it with His favour and power!