I just wrote an interview for a friend of mine. The interview was a missions questionnaire. I wanted to share it with you here.
I was wondering if you could tell me a little about what you’ve experienced while on a mission trip.
Mostly, what kind of responsibilities, challenges and victories did you experience. Also, if you have any prayer requests for any upcoming trips, what are they?
I am not sure how you spent the last 168 hours of your life but I do know how I spent mine and I would like to share what happened to me with you. I would like to begin with a quote from Jesus Christ, in His famous “Sermon on the Mount“:
33 But let your first care be for his kingdom and his righteousness; and all these other things will be given to you in addition. (Matthew 6:33, Bible in Basic English)
This Sunday, at Good News, we are celebrating the harvest. This is similar to Thanksgiving in the States but it is only done in Evangelical churches here in Moldova. The church is decorated by the produce that the members bring. We show our gratitude to God for blessing the year with a good harvest. I am excited because I will be able to take part in 2 harvest celebrations this Sunday. In the afternoon, I have been invited to one of our church plants to preach/teach on the importance of being grateful and thanking our great God. I would like to share the message with you in this article.
The main passage for the message in Psalm 100. I invite you to read it first and then we can walk through it, step by step. Continue reading →
I had the privilege of spending 20 amazing days at two different camps during July and August. It was a wild ride leading and the whole thing left me exhausted like no other time in my life. In fact, after the first camp, I almost ended up in the hospital because of extreme fatigue. I left church on a Sunday morning and headed to the hospital because I was experiencing dizzy spells. When I called my friend who is a cardiologist, she told me to go to the emergency room right away because I was demonstrating some early warning signs of a heart attack. I went and did all the tests and discovered that I was fine. My heart rate was slow and slowing down to let me know it was time to take a break. The doc suggested that I take a few days off. I took one day off and then I went to a week long festival for all of our leaders. I was refreshed physically and spiritually there and gained the needed strength the lead the next camps.
The English camp
This was my 13th summer to lead at our annual English summer camp. We had about 200 students attend the English camp, along with about 50 public school teachers. I met some awesome people from several different States in the USA who came to serve with us. Volunteers came from MS, MO, NC, TN, LA, and VA. There were 15 countries represented at the English camp. I had 4 of my English students attend camp. I was very excited because 3 of them had yet to accept Christ as Lord and Savior. The two main studies were “Someday, a marriage without regrets” written by Kay Arthur which was studied by the advanced students and the Gospel of John for the beginner and intermediate students. God worked in a mighty way and over 30 people accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. My two non born again students did not make a decision to follow Christ but they were very impressed by all the things that they learned from the Word of God. I was able to build some good relationships and all of my students want to continue studying in the Fall once school starts back. I am very excited about that and pray for new students as well.
The Youth camp
After the festival was over, I had one day to go home, see my family, and then prepare for the youth camp which started on the 5th of August. First we picked up the American team from GA who came to serve with us at the camp. We chose “Lord I want to know You” as the study for the youth camp. Upon arrival we were greeted with many trials and obstacles. We had 130 campers registered and to our surprise, 150 showed up. Together with the campers and leaders, there were 190 people at camp the first day. We only had portions for 150 🙂 . We managed and God blessed us with an amazing camp. More than half of the campers were non born again. After 5 days of intense study, we gave a call to repentance one night and 15 students came forward and accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. We let two days pass and on the final night of camp, around the campfire, we had another call to repentance and 20 more accepted the invitation. By the end, 35 new souls had their names written in the Book of Life. We were amazed at God’s goodness. The trials and obstacles actually worked toward the furtherance of the kingdom of God. One day we played a game with the entire camp and some of the conditions were to go into the near by village and share the Gospel with people as well as do random acts of kindness. It was great. Even the non born again students liked the game. The camp was also blessed to have the best live Christian band in Moldova as the praise band for the camp, Not an idol. On the final night of camp they held an awesome concert. One of the conditions for them to be at camp was that they do the Bible study with us. They had such a great time and we challenged them to write new songs based on what they were learning. One of the songs that they wrote will be a future hit once they record in professionally. They wrote it based on lesson one of the study. You can hear it here. Continue reading →
I do want to apologize for the lack of communication over the past couple weeks. As I share what all I have been involved in, you may realize why I have not had time to communicate more. At the end of May, a team of 5 American college students arrived in Moldova to spend 8 weeks serving the Lord with us in Moldova this summer. Our work was cut out for us because we planned to lead 14 different day camps over a 6 week period. The team had two days to get accustomed to the time change. We met, prayed, and planned the coming weeks and then broke up into different teams. The first week saw us leading 3 camps in 3 different locations (2 villages and 1 city). During that first week we were able to teach God’s Word and share the Gospel with over 200 children. One camp was an English language day camp and another was a softball camp. God blessed our time and many of the children dedicated their lives to following the Lord Jesus Christ. One of the neatest things that we experienced at one of the camps was the fact that 4 of the local Moldovan leaders had been campers last summer and now after a year of growing in their faith, they were helpers and leaders this summer. This is our desire, discipleship. We want to invest in kids and teens who can then turn around and invest in others. Thank you for your prayers. Continue reading →
I had the privilege of spending 10 days with some of my favorite friends (brothers and sisters in Christ) in Warsaw, Poland as I taught a session on Missiology based on the “Sermon on the Mount“. It was a great session. We studied this masterful sermon very intensively. It was a time of personal examination. All of us examined our relationship with God as well as our motives in doing what we do in the ministry. God really spoke directly to all of us. We evaluated the previous 6 months of ministry and planned the next 6 months.
God really motivated us to be salt and light in the societies in which we live. God motivated us to love people and serve them, teaching them how to have and live by the righteousness of God and not the righteousness of man, based on rules, rituals, and empty regulations. Continue reading →
Yesterday was a great day at Good News. We had a full service. We had guests from the Southern part of Moldova, an ensemble that played and sang traditional Moldovan music with a Christian message. One of the men in the group shared his testimony of how God changed his life, from being wife beating alcoholic to a follower of Christ.
The church was also blessed to have a medical mission team that will join us in serving at one of our mission points in a village not too far from the city. The team consists of 20 doctors and nurses who will set up a mobile clinic. Using this service to the community, we want to form friendships, share the Gospel, and seek to start small group Bible studies that will blossom into a local church. Continue reading →
If you are an English language buff like I am then I want to recommend a good book for you to read and use if you plan on teaching English or ESL. It is a simple read and the difficult concepts are easily explained. The author is C. Edward Good. Yes, it is the “good” book. I use it together with the real “Good” Book, the Bible to teach ESL in Moldova. This is a link to where you can buy the book online.
Why is language important? God chose to use language to communicate with mankind. Language matters to God (who does not need it to communicate btw) and He chose it as His way of communication with us. God invented the spoken and written word to speak with us and communicate with us. He took time to meet with Adam and Eve. Continue reading →
On Saturday, 12th of January, Elena the kids and I all arrived in Moldova after close to 30 hours on the “road” home. We arrived at 11p.m. and the next morning, I was up and running to get to church to share a testimony of our time in the States. The church was so happy to have us back. I shared the testimony, finished up the service, and then went straight home and crashed. Later that night, I met with the core of the youth group to get an update of all that they had done and begin planning the next few youth meetings. It was nice to be together again. On the 15th, I attended a blogging seminar led by our senior pastor, Vasile Filat. We studied the Scriptures, evaluated what had been going on in the virtual world, planned activities and articles, and then set out to continue sharing the Gospel through blogging. Since attending that seminar, I have been more active on my own blog and began translating for the site “Christian Moldova” once again after a long pause. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →