Oregon Adventist Men's Chorus Shares Gospel With Romania
The Oregon Adventist Men's Chorus and Corul Barbatesc din Romania completed an 11-city concert tour in central and western Romania Sept. 24–Oct. 4. Singers from Spain, South Africa and Ukraine also joined their voices in this international choral mission.
The project had originally been scheduled to take place in Ukraine this past May. Because of the tense political situation there, those plans were canceled. Instead, thanks to relations established during a joint project in 2009 in eastern Romania, leaders from the two main partner groups were able to create a project in Romania in less than five months.
During the final concert in Bucharest, nearly 100 singers performed sacred music ranging from the great composers to native music from each country represented. Four conductors represented their nations: David Wyman from the U.S., Alin Apostol from Romania, Mokale Koapeng from South Africa and Lev Vertylo from Ukraine.
A daily devotional plan developed by the chorus prayer team allowed supporters in each country to join the group in focused study and prayer each day. While the buses rolled through the Romanian countryside, prayer team members on each bus led out in worship in song and word.
As the buses drove past serious traffic accidents, one bus driver said he believed the prayers kept them safe. He was so moved by the devotionals, he threw out his cigarettes on the second night of travel and was tobacco-free for the remainder of the trip.
In one concert hall, as the prayer team began its preconcert prayer, they invited one of the ushers to join their prayer circle. They learned her sister was dying of cancer and things were challenging in her life. They immediately surrounded her in prayer and set up contacts to keep in touch.
Among the most poignant moments was when Ukrainian pastors Lev Vertylo and Viktor Bega told of their experiences in war-torn eastern Ukraine. Vertylo expressed hope that his country would find the unity he witnessed during his time singing with the combined choruses from different nations.
God's presence was manifested at each step along the way. At the end of the program in Alba lulia, three Orthodox sisters thanked one of the singers for the messages. They said, "The world is in need of an awakening."
Sharing hope, grace and salvation through music reaches people who might otherwise turn a deaf ear to the gospel. The world is definitely in need of an awakening, and the voices of nearly 100 men from five countries, united in prayer and song, proclaimed the good news of God's love throughout Romania.