I want to write a short blurb about what all I have been privileged to be part of over the past 5 days. It is an honor to serve the Lord no matter where you are, especially in the place where He has called you to be. I want to share a little of what life is like on the mission field and will use the past 5 days in my life in the ministry.
At 5 am the alarm sounds. I have time to get up shower and pack some food so that I can catch a public van and meet the leaders of our church at 7am. We left on a day long mission trip through several villages in Moldova. Our van dropped us off in a village by 8 and we began to walk and fellowship with one another while looking for people to share the Gospel with. The trip had a two-fold purpose; to evaluate and plan our church and ministry activities. It was nice to hear how God has been working through our church leaders in the different parts of the world over the past couple of months. As we walked through the village, we handed out Freedom newspapers and New Testaments to everyone we saw, sharing about our church, explaining why we do what we do. Many people were so surprised to hear that the church was so active in society. By the end of the day, we walked close to 20 miles, visiting 3 different villages. Upon arriving in the last village, we came upon a soccer field where many kids were playing around with a soccer ball. Our senior pastor, Vasile Filat, asked the kids if they would like to play a game against us. He told them that if we win, then they must give us grapes and if they win then we will buy them ice cream. The game was on. The only thing that saved us was the fact that one of the leaders in our church is a pro soccer player. We won! During the game, Vasile was explaining each of us to the kids. He was playing goalie. One of the guys on our team is a world champion TaeKwonDo trainer. Another is a European champion. I was presented as a baseball coach, a sport that all the kids are interested in. By the end of the match, all of the kids wanted to meet us. Even though we won, we bought them all ice cream. As we sat and ate ice cream, Alex, the World Champion in TKD shared his personal testimony. Then Radu, the pro soccer player, shared his personal testimony as well. Then we invited the kids to the different camps that we have. They want us to come back for fall break and have a baseball day camp. It was a great day but very exhausting.
Our first youth meeting of the school year took place. We spent the day getting everything ready. Since we do not have a church building, we have our youth meeting at a different place from where we hold our Sunday morning meetings. That means we have to haul all of the sound equipment from one place to another. It was a great meeting. Over 60 youth (mostly college students) came to worship with us. We had a back to school theme and I shared a message on qualities of a successful student. Those who were there loved the meeting and the new people all said that they want to come back for future events. God really blessed the meeting and we pray that we will be very successful this year while working with college students.
For the most part of the morning, we held a training seminar, teaching our youth group members how to teach the lesson 7 cases of suicide in the Bible. The 10th of September is international suicide awareness and prevention day and we wanted to use this opportunity to teach the Bible to teenagers in the public schools. The minister of education sent out a memo stating that all schools much teach a lesson on suicide prevention and many of the teachers were not prepared to do something like that. They were more than willing to allow us to come and teach. We taught on behalf of Pro Family organization that we are a part of. Our group was invited to teach in 9 different classes to 8th though 12th graders. I will explain the details of that event under the Monday heading.
After having lunch, I left and met another group of youth from our church where we distributed Christian literature in one of the two major malls in Moldova. While there we met two interesting groups of people. One group was a large group of Muslim students from Israel. There are 1,000 new students who have come to Moldova this year, who are all from Israel and mostly Muslims. The first group was very open. We gave them New Testaments in Arabic as well as dvds with former Muslims’ testimonies about converting to Christ. One was interested in learning English and was happy to hear that I am an English teacher. He took my telephone number and I pray that he will call. While discussing with them, we were able to share Jesus Christ with them. They were very open. The second group that we encountered was also a group of Muslims. We shared the same material with them yet while talking to them, two other Muslim men came up and took the N.T.’s and dvds and gave them back to us saying that the others were Muslims and did not need such material. One of the young men took the material back claiming that it was his gift from us and that he wanted to keep it. Praise the Lord for that. We were also able to share Christ with them. One of the men asked us, “do you really believe this stuff?” Our answer was a firm yes because Christ changed our lives. It was a good day.
The day started with church. I was able to share testimonies during the morning service about the day long mission trip through the villages that we took on Thursday and I shared about the first youth meeting.
In the evening, we started our first Bible study on the book of Colossians. We studied that book this summer and now are teaching it in a small group setting. There are 8 people in the group.
The day began with making xerox copies of the lesson that we were to teach in the 9 different classes. When we arrived the fun began. We prayed and went to our different classes. It was a great day. By the end of the day, we realized that we taught to over 300 students. The principal was so impressed by our teaching and said that everyone in the school was talking about the lesson that we taught. She said that between classes, the halls were filled with students discussing what they had learned from the Bible about suicide. All the teachers who assisted us were also bragging about how well the lesson was taught and how interesting the material was. While teaching the students, we shared the different Bible study manuals that we teach. After we left, one of our church members who teaches at that school, got a call from some of the students and here is what they said, “we loved the lesson because you teach about such relevant and interesting subjects. We have many questions about life that we cannot talk to our parents about and we see that you have the answers to these questions. Can we do some of these studies that you told us about today?”. Praise the Lord.
Once again, I am so thankful to the Lord to be able to serve Him by serving the people around me. I hope your previous 5 days were just as satisfying. May God bless.