ODEN – It’s a long way from Montgomery County, Arkansas to Romania, but a recent mission trip taught local pastor Tommy Beshear that it is well worth the trip when you follow God’s call.
Tommy, who describes himself as a lifelong Montgomery County Resident. He is quick to tell you that there isn’t anything he needs he can’t find in Montgomery County. That is until he met Pastor Dorin Esanu.
Pastor Dorin Esanu lives in Amity now but was born in Romania during the communist regime in that country. He escaped to Yugoslavia where he lived in a refugee camp for three years before finding a sponsor to help him travel to the United States. Once in the United States he pastored a Romanian church in California and eventually made his way to Amity where he now lives when he isn’t working in Romania. Pastor Esanu has a ministry that works in Romania and the surrounding countries.
Tommy had become acquainted with Pastor Esanu’s work through Kyle Cowart. Brushy Baptist Church, the church Tommy pastors, began to offer financial support to Esanu’s ministry. As a result, the missionary decided to visit Brushy Baptist Church to offer his thanks for their support. While he was there he was impressed with Tommy’s presentation of the Gospel and asked if he would come with him to Romania to preach.
“That’s not really my cup of tea you know, but the Lork kinda put it on my heart to go.” Tommy recalled. He was quick to add that after going this year he hopes to go back. He said that he is perfectly happy staying right here in Montgomery County, and he feels like that is one of the reasons God sent him to Romania.
“We get complacent and happy. We don’t have any problems and we don’t really do much.” He said.
Tommy shared that he believes a lot of churches in the United States have that problem. “We have to realize that there is still work to be done.” He said.
Tommy had a Paul experience while over there. They had been given permission to travel to Ukraine from Romania. However, when they arrived at the border they learned that there was a three day wait to get into Ukraine due to the influx of materials for the war effort and rebuilding efforts in the country. They had a decision to make and with little time his team decided that they would lose too much time in Romania if they waited. So, just as Paul changed his plans to travel to Asia, Tommy decided to forgo his visit to Ukraine.
Ukraine was one of a few trips outside Romania planned, but the need in Romania was so great that they never made it outside the country. There was an adjustment period but it was quick. Tommy doesn’t speak Romanian so Pastor Esanu had to translate. Tommy admitted that at first it was choppy, but it soon began to flow. He attributed this to the work of the Holy Spirit.
“If He’s not in it then we’ve got no business over there.” Tommy said about the movement of the Holy Spirit.
A self-professed history buff, Tommy said he enjoyed his time in Romania. He said it was like stepping back in time. While they travelled to some bigger cities, most of their time was spent in villages of 400-500 people. The people were poor, but open to the Gospel message.
They would travel to a village and offer a meal to everyone. After the meal they would hold a service. A dual citizen from Arizona led the music. There were other men who spoke, but the main service was carried out by Tommy and Pastor Esanu.
Tommy was in Romania 28 days and traveled to 18 cities. He says that he preached over 30 sermons while over there. While there he experienced a great moving of the Holy Spirit. Most services would have around 100-200 people in a tent service. He did preach in a theater once, but the final service was the one he remembers most.
It wasn’t all work though. Tommy said he got two days off. He went fishing one day and got to visit a castle. One of his favorite memories is getting to visit local butcher shops.
As their time drew to a close it became obvious that they weren’t going to be able to preach in all the places asking for a service. Pastor Esanu told Tommy that he was speak one last time at something called “Burning Bush.” What he didn’t tell him was the size of the crowd that would show up.
The meeting was held on top of a hill. When Tommy took the stage he had approximately 3,100 people waiting to hear him preach the Word of God. People from several villages had traveled to hear “the Americano” preach before he returned home. Over 300 people made professions of faith that night by the conclusion of the service.
All in all Tommy said that he knows of 858 people who gave their lives to Christ through their work in Romania. He gives all the credit to God and looks forward to returning to Romania as soon as possible.
He couldn’t help but wonder why we don’t see that sort of response in the United States.
He doesn’t let those thoughts discourage him though. Tommy Beshears will preach the Gospel Message just as often in Oden as he did in Romania. Tommy surrendered his life to the ministry 10 years ago while laying in a hospital bed. He recalled how he prayed to God after being told he would never walk again. He shared that he told God if He would let him walk again he would give his life to the Lord. Shortly after that Tommy walked out of the hospital and right into an obedient life of service in the ministry.
Tommy can be found every Sunday morning at Brushy Baptist Church in Oden.
He will be participating in a tent revival in Oden October 4-6. Services will begin at 6 p.m.
If you don’t want to wait until Sunday stop by his store Big T’s in Oden. It won’t take much to get him talking about God while your there.