Impact Youth Worldwide

Highlands Romania

In 2014, The Rawlings Foundation began a partnership with “Hope for the Future,” a ministry located in the former communist block nation of Romania. The ministry is now a Highlands camp, and has become an important part of Impact Youth Worldwide.

Hope for the Future was founded by missionary Tom Gentry. God in His providence brought “brother Tom” to Romania, a former Soviet nation, who had won its freedom just a couple of years earlier. He came to the Maramures district in the north of Romania.

In His great wisdom, God prepared and put together a group of faithful Christians to serve with brother Tom with the purpose of organizing the first Christian camp in that area of the country. Over time, this work turned into a vision and a mission, which is now called “Hope for the Future.”

The first large-scale evangelistic Christian camps were organized in 1993 so that children and young people in Romania could hear the Gospel. Since that time thousands of young people of Romania have heard the Good News of the Gospel, and many of them have been saved by the grace of God.

In time God opened new doors for this ministry, and in 1996 the ministry expanded to the Republic of Moldova. In late 1999 the ministry again expanded, spreading to a different continent, starting mission work in the country of Malawi, Central Africa.

For years now God has worked through this ministry and worked in the lives of those who came to the camps as unsaved participants, and who then accepted Jesus as their personal Savior. Their hearts were changed and in their heart a desire to serve God was born. Although they may not have been prepared for the work, they had a heart for ministry, and God used them in a mighty way.

God has put in the camp leaders’ and workers’ hearts the burden to prepare those who wish to get involved in God’s work and answer the call to be workers on His fields. With this goal in the year of 2003, a new work was started to glorify the Savior. This was the Mission School of Hope for the Future. In this project, young people from Romania are being trained to be servants of God.

For example, one mission school graduate student became involved in the missionary work in Romania, and in Africa, as well as India. As a result of the vision and faithfulness of brother Tom Gentry, God has bountifully blessed this former student’s work.

In 2007 a new work began, the Tent Work of proclaiming the Gospel. Every summer after the camps are completed, a team of teachers and students go through the country and camp in different localities. They preach the Gospel to children and young people by organizing day camps and evening adult services. God has used this ministry tremendously to give more people the chance of a new life.

Today, new churches have been planted in Romania as a result of this work.

In 2011, brother Tom was called home to be with the Lord in a camp that He has for His faithful workers. Those serving in this ministry are thankful for what God had done through its founder, and are comforted to still have this beautiful work and to see the impact that brother Tom’s life and walk with the Lord had in thousands of young people’s lives in Romania, Moldova, Malawi and other corners of the earth.
His last wish was that the mission work has a lasting impact on the lives of the campers, and for the country of Romania. This can be achieved with the help of prayers and support offered by our faithful friends and partners from America.

God had blessed the ministry abundantly, as the facilities necessary to keep this ministry operating were completed. Presently, camp facilities offer accommodation for 280 campers per week. Camps are held every summer, and hundreds of people are hearing the Gospel every year.

After summer camps, tent camps are then moved all over Romania, holding day camps and night tent meetings where many people are hearing the gospel. In the main campus building, the mission school can accommodate 30 students. Every year after summer ends, a new school begins, and young people are trained to serve our great God. Students are taught about church planting, so that the students may put into practice what they have learned in the classes. Students are also taught about personal evangelism and children’s work, and some train to be preachers.

God is great and faithful, and by His grace this ministry is moving ahead. It has had trials and challenges, but we serve a great and good God and He is still planning to use this essential ministry to have an impact, and bring hope and future for the people of Romania.

Founded in 2003, the Bible School of Mission is a ministry developed with the purpose to train young people that are eager to learn more about God, to grow spiritually, and to develop a close relationship and walk with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Attending our school brings about a unique opportunity for many of the young people of Romania and Moldavia, and students from different social statuses and educational backgrounds. Through free education and accommodation, many that we train are those who may not be able to study and prepare for the ministry in other Bible schools.

Our students are taught how God cares for his children and their needs. At the same time, students are taught responsibility and work ethics through work programs where each student is assigned duties, responsibilities, and jobs. The work performed by the students helps to defray the costs of their education. The students learn to appreciate all that God does for them, and they develop diligent hearts and life principles.

Three basic training programs are offered.

1. A one year short program addressed especially for girls who want to train and work in children ministries.

2. A two year program for training in ministry for those called to work in local ministries.

3. A special three year program to train workers for missions. The students are trained in a balanced program that trains them in theoretical knowledge for serving in ministry, but also teaches the needed practical skills. Students serve in a thoroughly developed program that includes work in local churches, children’s clubs, church planting, and street evangelizing. During summer holidays the students serve in our summer camps.

Although our school is small, God is using this work to accomplish His plans to reach the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In our short time of existence, over 100 students have graduated, and have gone from the school into the mission field. Today, two graduates are serving in two countries of Africa, one student is serving in India, and many other graduates are serving in our home country of Romania. Students are serving in various church plant programs, in local churches, Bible clubs, children’s camps, and summer camps.

It has been a joy and blessing to see so many graduates serving their God, as He prepared and stirred their hearts to live a dedicated life for Him. We give glory to our great God for this opportunity to be used in His amazing plan to accomplish the great commission. We are thankful for our partners and supporters for making this ministry possible. May God bless us and help us serve Him until the glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This post is also available in: Spanish