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Mission in Moldova

For some years CWI has given support to the pastor of a congregation of Jewish and Gentile believers in Moldova. Here he provides an update on the congregation he oversees and shares recent encouragements from the life of the church.

We started out in 1999 by holding evangelical services in people’s homes but after a year we decided to formally set up the church and subsequently found premises. At present around 24 people attend the congregation, over half of whom are Jewish. Numbers were greater in times gone by but have gone down for various reasons including sickness and death.

We hold regular worship services on Saturdays. After these meetings I speak with people, addressing various spiritual issues. Once a month, after our worship service, I go to a neighbouring town and preach at another congregation. On Sundays, I preach at a church with which we have established friendly ties. In the past, we conducted prayer meetings on Thursday evenings but many of our elderly folk found it difficult to attend and get home in the evening because of poor public transport services.

My wife and I visit Jewish people in their homes and offer spiritual and material help to them. We also send out literature and invitations to Jewish people in the area, sharing the good news of Jesus the Messiah with them and inviting them to join us to seek the God of Israel together. We also hold worship services on biblical festivals such as Purim, Shavuot, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Simchat Torah and Hanukkah.

We have been greatly encouraged by the number of Jewish people we have seen coming to faith in recent years. We had the joy of baptising four Jewish women at the same time. In several previous meetings I had been preaching on the different aspects of baptism and what it means for the believer. The women, all of whom had already shown the fruits of repentance in their lives, expressed their firm desire to fulfil this commandment of God and were baptised. The minister of another church kindly allowed us to use their premises for the baptism. Prior to the service I had been quite concerned about the depth of the water but the minister assured me that it was only chest deep. That turned out to be true . . . for him! It came up to my chin and ended up being above the women’s heads! We eventually sorted this small problem out and, after I preached on the New Covenant for an hour, each of the women made their confession of faith and were baptised in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. It was a truly joyful occasion!

Following this, last August I also had the privilege of baptising my own daughter, who had recently turned 18. This was an interesting coincidence because twenty years before, also in August, I myself was baptised. The baptismal service was a wonderful celebration and was a great blessing to myself and all those who attended.

That same month we had another encounter which brought us great joy. We had been looking after a lonely disabled Jewish lady for several years. She could only move around her flat in her wheelchair and her own daughter had practically abandoned her aged mother and left for a foreign country. We had told her about God on many occasions but this time, when my wife and I visited her, the Lord was with us in a special way.

Having handed over some food, I immediately began to preach to her. I spoke intensely for a long time and could see that the old woman was listening very carefully, absorbing the good news I was sharing with her. When I suggested that she should pray and receive Jesus in her heart, she gladly agreed. We prayed together, after which her face seemed to be shining with joy. She testified with conviction, ‘I felt it when God’s Spirit entered my heart. Now I am not alone – the Lord is with me!’

At 82 years old, her spirit was born again as our loving Heavenly Father received her into the number of his children. Our hearts were overflowing with joy as we left her house, thanking God for his great mercy.

This article was first published in the Winter Herald 2012

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