The story of Betania Church, a Romanian Pentecostal community in Dublin
(From the April - June 2017 issue of VOX.)
Betania (or Bethany) Church is a Romanian Pentecostal community of around 500 adults and 400 children. Founded in November 2010, the church began with a small number of young families.
“We have seen God’s providence in every detail, and His hand took care of our every need,” shared Valerian Jurjea, one of the leaders. At first, the church met every Sunday evening in the building of a Nigerian church in Dublin 15. But as the membership grew, the facilities could no longer meet their needs.
“We asked the Lord to give us a building that we could use 24/7, and through a miracle, in approximately three months, we located a site large enough,” Valerian said.
Church members sacrificed in an amazing way to refurbish the building. After work, people would go directly to church to continue working until late at night, only going home to sleep, and following the same routine day after day. Women in the church brought food for the workers, morning and evening, so that they could keep going. In just 28 days, the building went from an empty shell to a completed church sanctuary!
Lack of finances for the building materials meant that the leaders had to place orders by faith, hoping they would have sufficient funds when the invoices arrived. The church members gave sacrificially, with some even borrowing money to donate to the church.
“I remember vividly declaring in front of the church that through faith all our debts would be covered by the next Sunday,” Valerian said. “After the service ended, we did not have the necessary amount and I didn’t know what to think. But the next day, as I went to my front door, I discovered an envelope lying there - an anonymous donation.
“My emotions were running high. We calculated our remaining debt and realised that God had worked with us in every detail. The amount in the envelope was exactly the amount that we needed to pay our debt!”
Situated in an area with a large Romanian community, Betania sought to be a blessing to their community. A few years ago, they obtained a radio license for the winter holiday so they could broadcast in Romanian to people living in the surrounding area.
In December, the church orchestra gathers in the local shopping center where they sing and remind shoppers about the real reason for the celebration. And the annual Betania Carol Service has become one of the largest gatherings of Romanians in Dublin.
Recently, on International Women’s Day (8 March), the church held a service for women who were then served a special menu prepared by the men in the church.
“We are a church that heavily invests in the next generation as we are aware that there is no success without successors,” Valerian added. “The motto that we have on the front wall of the church is: Bethany, Church for the generation of today and tomorrow... We want to be relevant to our children, and we have one goal: to bring people into our church to become disciples who in turn will make disciples.
“Recently, I’ve understood on a more profound level that a church can do many things correctly, but if it doesn’t begin with making disciples, they are not fulfilling what Christ has entrusted them to do.”
The church is now in the final stages of obtaining their own land and planning permission to build their own church. “With the Lord’s help, it will be a building that consists of over 1000 seats and with the appropriate space to meet our needs,” Valerian said. “Looking back now, we can only acknowledge that everything is God’s gift to us, and we wish for Him to receive the glory through us.”