One week before loading up and traveling to the States, our church hosted a mission team from the State of Maryland. A team of 8 volunteers traveled from the State of Maryland to serve with us in Moldova for one week. Our initial plan was to have three afternoon Bible clubs in three different villages but God had a slightly different plan. We were able to have 2 Bible clubs in 2 different villages and during the mornings, God opened up the doors for us to teach in the public schools, in one village, one town, and in the city. It was amazing. From 8 in the morning until lunchtime, 1pm, we taught “English” lessons to the students. The English lessons, of course, were built around the Gospel. We were able to share the Gospel openly in each classroom. The American team was well prepared to lead the discussions. I was one of the translators in the city so I will share about our experience. At the beginning of each lesson, we all introduced ourselves and shared a little about our families. I was the last and shared about Elena being pregnant. Then we led into a discussion in English about babies. Once we talked about babies for a while, then we talked about being born. All of the students admitted that they had been born because they were there in the classroom. One of the missionaries then went on to tell them that he had been born twice. They were amazed and wanted to know how. So, he went on to explain what the Bible teaches about being born again. He then asked, “how many of you need to be born again?” No one said that he or she did. Then the other missionary proposed that we take an oral exam to see if we need to be born again or not. They agreed and we began. The test consisted of 4 questions based on 4 of the 10 commandments. Have you ever lied? Have you ever stolen anything? Have you even been disobedient to your parents? Have you ever murdered anyone? The students all admitted to the first 3 but no one to the 4th. Then we explained that being angry at a person and calling him or her an idiot is the same as murder in the eyes of God. After that, they all admitted to being murderers. So, we asked them again, “who needs to be born again?” and they all said, “we all do”. So we explained how Christ came to take on our punishment and sin so that we could be forgiven and transformed (which is what the Bible calls “being born again”). They were amazed to hear this because the culture in Moldova teaches people that they are Christians because they were born in a Christian nation and into a Christian family. It was nice to explain that the Bible says that the only way to become a Christian is to be born again. You could see the light bulbs going off in their minds. It was a great open door for us to continue teaching the Word systematically in the school. The teachers were pleased with the lessons as well as the principal and all the students. They asked us to stay another week and teach them more. Praise God for the power of His Word and the great doors that He opens for us.
In the afternoons, I went to one of the villages to hold baseball practice and games. Before I got there, the kids would meet in small groups with the American and Moldovan missionaries. They studied “God, what is Your name” learning about God’s character and how He works in the lives of people who want to have a personal relationship with Him. It was an awesome time of study. After the study we played some baseball and then at the end there was a personal testimony from one of the missionaries. It was amazing to see how God worked. In the village where we held the baseball day camp, the principal of the school would not let us teach so we had to go to another town. It was a divine appointment because the school was open and they want us to come back and do more work there. We want to send a missionary to start a church plant in the near future. God had the doors open, we just had to find them at the right time (as He led us there). At first we were upset because the school in the village was not open but God had a different plan and now were are in two different locations instead of just one. The two missionaries who worked in the city went to our English school in the afternoon and led 3 different Bible studies in English. We invited the students that we taught during the morning to come and participate. Many of them accepted the invitation and came. The men taught, “Having a real relationship with God“, “How to make choices that you will not regret“, and “What does the Bible say about Sex“. These were all wonderful studies and they had a great impact in the lives of the students.
Our days were long, beginning with 8am classes and ending at 8:30pm. God blessed us with a great team of Moldovans and Americans. We were able to teach the Word of God to about 500 students on a daily basis, including the Bible clubs, English clubs, and public schools. One day I took my team to the state hospital to hand out newspapers. On the way we met a group of Jewish students so we stopped and talked to them, welcoming them to Moldova and then sharing the Gospel with them. I invited them to our church but they said that they worship a different God. I explained that we also worship Elohim. When I said that they were in shock (we had just spent the week studying the Names of God). I then thanked them for giving us the Savior, Jesus Christ because without Him I would still be a pagan, far from the presence of God. While speaking with the Jewish students, a group of Muslim students congregated around us so we began to share with them as well. I told them that I had New Testaments in Arabic and would love to give them one since the prophet Muhammad teaches that the New Testament is one of the 4 holy books of Islam. There was one student who spoke English well so he entered into a conversation with the missionaries. They asked him if he were a good person and he said that according to Islam, yes, he was. They then gave him the test from the 10 commandments and he said at the end, “I am not a good person”. We were able to share the solution in Christ. He was very open and said that he wanted to ponder over what he had learned because no one had ever explained things like that before. It was great.
We ended the week with a youth worship service at our church. It was a nice finishing touch to a long week of blessed ministry. We pray that the team will return to Moldova soon and continue to work with us in the future, reaching new lost souls with the message of the Gospel and encouraging those who are saved to get involved in being good disciples and making good disciples.
Thanks to Leonardtown Baptist Church for sending such well prepared missionaries and thanks to all of you who prayed for the team and the week of ministry. God bless.