Dreaming Big - The Bocsas' Story
Amy Nickerson | August 2017
“I want Romania to explode with camps during the summer!”
“It would be nice to have mentors everywhere in the country… young people need someone to coach them.”
“I’d love to see truly a movement of God where young people actually become the leaders of their generation in leading people to Jesus, disciples who make disciples.”
Spend time with Darius and Bianca Bocsa and one thing is clear right away: this intercultural JV couple is not afraid to dream big about what they hope to see God do among the youth of Romania.
While their vision for the country they love and serve in is massive, their message is really quite simple --relationships are what matter most.
Bianca, originally from Brazil, met her Romanian husband at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago where they were both studying. Before even meeting Darius, God called Bianca into ministry in Eastern Europe. She says meeting Darius and knowing he had a calling to go back to his home country of Romania was “a confirmation, not only to marry him, but to come serve with him.” Bianca is quick to say, “Everything works out for God’s purposes.”
Since 2016, the couple has worked full-time with Josiah Venture. Darius serves as National Camp Coordinator. “I’m trying to connect JV to local ministries and help with the short-term teams that are coming, provide them with the resources, and help them adjust.” He also helps train the leaders of local churches, equipping them to have successful, disciple-making youth ministries throughout the year. And Bianca works directly with interns as the Summer Intern Coordinator and is currently recruiting for next summer.
As the young, fun-loving couple works with their national organization, Vital 10:10, to make camps and church ministries the best they can be, their focus is not on the programs as much as on knowing and loving the young people and leaders a part of these programs.
“People are super open and ready to hear the gospel. The challenge comes when people are not discipled” Darius explains. “It can become all about doing and then the program takes precedence over relationship. When that happens you have great programs happening that do not bear long-term fruit. You have people that come to Christ, but then when the school year starts they won’t come back to the youth group because there is not a mindset of follow-up.”
Darius says this challenge has a lot to do with the pragmatism of the Romanian Orthodox church. Over 80% of Romanians consider themselves Orthodox and this comes with a deep desire to do things for God. “Instead of letting the good things work through them, they want to work the good things out of them. It’s a very interesting reversal of how it should be. Who doesn’t want to do things for God? It’s a good thing. But it’s me wanting to do what I want to do for God, rather than what God wants to do through me.”
What many Romanians are lacking is a personal relationship with the Christ who died to save them. When people begin seeing God as someone who wants to be in communion with them, Bianca says things change. The need to do stuff for Him is replaced with an awe and love for Him that makes the doing piece come more naturally. And what better way to help people understand what having a relationship with Christ is like than by stepping into relationship with them?
A focus on relationships is what Darius says drew the couple to JV in the first place. “Discipleship and empowering the local church is so crucial to the mission. That’s what we love about JV.” He says camp is important, but what’s even more important is the training and equipping, the continuing and deepening of relationships that takes place the rest of the year.
The couple has seen firsthand how walking alongside young Christians makes a difference. One such young person is a neighbor girl Bianca has been meeting with regularly for the past couple of years. “She’s now 15. I’ve seen her grow a lot. In three or four years she’s going to be one of the leaders that really understands the gospel.” Even now, as Bianca meets with her to discuss Christian books, the couple is impressed by the potential they see. They say that seeing how she understands that she should boast in Christ and what He’s already done for her instead of her own works and what she’s doing for Him is encouraging.
They pray that this becomes the norm, as they work to fuel the big dreams God has given them. Darius says, “We want to grow leaders who are passionate about seeing youth come to Jesus.” That’s how this couple believes they’ll see change not only among individuals, but in the country of Romania as a whole.
As God moves in the hearts of young people in Romania, Bianca and Darius say there are a few ways you can be involved: 1) You can pray. Check out our online Prayer Room for up-to-date requests from the couple and our other missionaries in Romania. 2) You can give. Consider financially supporting them and the Romanian JV team. Click here for more info. 3) You can come. Look into coming on a short-term team or internship to help with camps next summer.