Doug Johnston on Missionizing Romania
Date: April 2nd, 2012

How can an inflatable, remote-controlled shark help to missionize the citizens of Romania?  We pose this deeply philosophical question, and other queries, to Pastor Doug Johnston of the First Baptist Church of Redmond (Washington).  Pastor Johnston has made six, short trips of roughly 10 days each to preach and teach at the Timisoara Bible Baptist Instiute.  He recounts how he became involved in this ongoing project even though he didn’t consider himself a world traveler.  We discuss the multi-faceted purpose of this trip, not only to help train Protestant clergy and laity in Romania, but to bring assistance to the orphanage attached to the Emmanuel Baptist Church located in Timisoara.  Doug further tells us how he prepared for the trip including fundraising and then details his first harrowing experience at the airport shortly after landing in Romania for the first time back in 2002.  We use this incident as a means of looking into Romanian culture and to reflect upon how things have changed there in the past decade, as well as thinking about how Protestant Christianity may have had an impact on the culture there.  We further discuss the nature of Protestanism in the country as well as how Protestants have interacted with the historically dominant Romanian Orthodox Church.  And what would an interview on Romania be without a brief digression on Vlad the Impaler (a.k.a. Count Dracula)?  We finish the interview with the story of the Air Shark and Pastor Johnston’s reflections upon what he has learned from his experience with the good people of Romania.  Recorded: March 20 and 23, 2012.  (Re-recording due to technical difficulties.)



Pastor Johnston’s website about his 2012 trip to Romania at First Baptist Church of Redmond.

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