Seventh-day Adventists in Romania can use their position as Europe’s largest community of believers to positively impact the region, the denomination’s top official said during a recent visit.
Adventist world church President Ted N. C. Wilson spoke to an audience of some 4,000 church members last week in Bucharest’s Palace Hall, once a landmark of the former Communist regime.
“God has blessed His people here in Romania. He blessed you with an enthusiasm for His work [and] He’s blessed you with love for the Adventist message,” Wilson said. “Your loyalty to God’s church is well-known. What a privilege it is to be part of this great family.”
Wilson called on church membership in Romania to continue to embrace the church’s “unifying” mission and support it through promotion of church initiatives such as The Great Controversy Project.
Church members there have already distributed more than half a million copies of the classic book by Ellen G. White, a co-founder of the denomination, said Teodor Hutanu, Adventist Church president in Romania.
Hutanu told Wilson that other church initiatives such as Revival and Reformation and Mission to Cities are likewise “well-known by the Romanian Adventist believers.”
“It is true that you are the strongest, largest contingent of Seventh-day Adventists in Europe,” Wilson said. “Reinforce that wonderful blessing God has given you in reaching out to every village, every city, every town.”
Impacting the community can only happen, however, if Adventists are “personally connected to Jesus through faith,” Wilson added.
While in Romania, Wilson toured the Adventist Media Center, the Life and Health Publishing House, the Adventist Theological Institute and an Adventist Development and Relief Agency shelter for victims of domestic abuse.
“I appreciate the involvement of the Romanian Adventist Church,” Wilson said after meeting and praying with shelter staff.
On Sabbath afternoon, Wilson took the opportunity to meet with young church members on the campus of the Adventist Theological Institute in Cernica. During a question-and-answer session, Wilson addressed topics ranging from Christian lifestyle and Adventist fundamental beliefs to his personal life as church president.
President of the church’s Euro-Africa Division, Bruno Vertallier, who accompanied Wilson on his tour of Romania, joined the Adventist leader in presenting brief spiritual messages during the session.
Later, in an interview for the church’s television network, Hope Channel, Wilson commended young Romanian Adventists for their “spirituality, depth and missionary zeal” and encouraged them to maintain their faith.