What Are YOU Thankful For?
Wow, summer has ended, and the air is turning cold from autumn to winter, I cannot believe that another year has passed here in Moldova. We are so excited and encouraged by the work the Lord is doing in people’s lives here in Moldova. Stepping back and looking at the second half of the year we realize how busy we have been but at the same time we see all that we are thankful for. This period has been a time of growing for our family in many ways. As a family we have settled in our new apartment and have made many new friends which leads to new conservations about Jesus and the Gospel. We have seen several doors opened to share the Gospel unlike in our old apartment building. Christy and I have truly been reminded of why we were called to Moldova to serve the Lord. Michael is growing into a great young man where everyday we can see his heart growing for missions. The Lord has great things planned for Michael in the years to come as a believer. Mary is also growing, she is actually becoming very tall but at the same time has many questions each day about following Jesus, so I stop here and ask you to pray for her and her heart to be guided to Jesus.
This is a time of Thanksgiving in Moldova, we wanted share some stories and blessings that we are thankful for this year. We hope you are blessed and encouraged by these stories.
While at boys camp I befriended a young boy of 9 years named Danu from the village of Gălești, he holds a special place in my heart. This was his first time at a summer camp and he did not know exactly what to except. The first couple of days he remained very quiet. He lives at home with his mother, he is the youngest of his brothers and sisters, his dad died when he was three years old. He has an older brother and older sister who are married with children. His brother and sister’s husband both work aboard and they are the only means of financial support for the family. With each passing day at the camp he began to open up more and more. On the first day of the camp the boys were given a Bible and I was so encouraged that evening in his quiet time Ion was reading the Bible in his bed. He told me he had attended the Day Center for nearly three years, he enjoyed it there because he felt loved and learned about God. He also told me he was going to miss camp and the people at camp. On the last day, we said our good byes and I told him that I would come and visit him at the Day Center, his response broke my heart, he said “Every day I will wait for you”. Please pray for Danu that he finds the Lord and some stability in his life that he so desperately needs.
In the village of Schinoasa we started a bee hive development project. The project has really taken off, we have received funds for 12 new bee hives and currently we have 6 families in the early stages of the program in which they will receive a bee hive upon completion. This is a story from one of the families. Daniela is 15 years old, she lives in the village and attends the local Baptist Church. She has a heart for missions and is active in youth ministry at the church. She lives in a socially vulnerable home with her family. Neither of her parents are believers nor do they have a job. So, food seems to always be a problem for the family living in such poverty-stricken conditions. Daniela has three brothers, two older than her and one younger. She came to me for help, asking to do odd and in jobs for money. I prayed and feel that Daniela and her family would be a great family for the bee hive project. Beekeeping is something new to her, but she has already shown a great passion to learn and practice beekeeping, she looks forward to working on her own and earning money for what is strictly necessary to contribute to her family’s welfare. Daniela has great dreams and see believes in change, I feel the Lord shining through her with this bee hive project and know He will use her in mighty ways.
Rock of Ages church in Panasesti is on fire for the Lord, you can walk into the building or just on to the property and you can feel the presence of the Lord. The church is growing, we are seeing new faces each week. Over the summer there were three team of foreigners who came and did some construction work and children’s programs. Also the Lord is to provide funds to complete the building process. The church was able to register with the state and now can connect to the gas for heat this winter….PTL! This is an answered pray for we wanted to remain in the church all winter for services. Also you are seeing the willingness of members to take on responsibility and go into the village visiting with the lost. Finally the process of finishing the outside of the building is under way, just not a block formed building anymore. We have to remember the church is not a building but a structure of Jesus followers who share the Gospel and are an example of His Love.
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Just in recent days I had the opportunity to visit and meet a little girl with a story that will break your heart but at the same time she is filled with the Lord’s love that shines through her smile from the people who surround her during this time of loss. Three weeks ago her mother decided it was best to end her life, making the choice that many other mothers make in Moldova. Moldovan mothers face the every day reality and do not see any chance for hope, this was the case with Liuba’s mother. On this day I visited with her she seemed happy and even encouraged by my visit. She wanted to play games but her cousins did not react the same way, they were very shy and distant. Just seeing her smile and wanting to hug you told me the Lord was in control. Will she have hard days ahead? Yes but the Lord will see her through. Please do pray that repairs are done at the house so she can stay with family or the state will take her to an orphanage.
Early in November Christy, Michael and Mary were able to take part and help in an American VBS type program in the village of Lozova where a couple from OM lives and have planted a church. On the day they attended the VBS the children were able to fly around the world and visit many different countries represented by OM Moldova. This was very exciting to the children of the village because the idea of travel was new and they have never experienced. They were divided up into team and each different team visited each country where they were told facts about the country and got to try some traditional food from the country. Michael especially enjoyed this trip because it brought back many years of memories from VBS in the states. He said the VBS program made him happy because the children’s eyes and hearts were opened up to hearing the Gospel in a new presentation. His pray is that the children come to know the Lord and together with their families the church in Lozova will grow.
On the weekend of November 10th-12th OM hosted a conference for 57 vulnerable girls, in which Christy attended. These girls come from homes where families are broken and hope seems gone. The weekend was filled with fellowship, fun and learning for the girls. On Saturday, the girls attended three sessions which were taught from Proverbs 31; on how to be a beautiful woman, a beautiful wife, and a beautiful mother. The last session on being a beautiful mother was one that impact the girls the most. Most of these girls do have mothers to care for them. As the girls entered small group time one girl began to share her story, and we were all sadden beyond words…she was not supposed to attend the conference. On Thursday afternoon her mother decided to sell her to a man passing though their village. God had other plans for this young girls life, He sent a social worker to intervene. This social worker placed this girl in the home of a Godly lady who was bringing some other girls to this conference. As, the girl told her story with tears running down her face she asked how am I supposed to love a mother who loves money more than her own daughter. This is the kind of life most of these girls face each day. They seldom hear that they are beautiful and loved beyond measure. This is why it is so important for these conferences to be held, these girls need to know that beauty isn’t skin deep and that God loves them more than they could ever imagine.
Today being Thanksgiving we look back and see we have so much to be thankful for as missionaries serving here in Moldova. The Lord has given us many blessings to be thankful for. We were able to enjoy time with our family in the states at the beginning of the year along with securing partnerships and support needed as we headed back to Moldova in April. He also opened doors allowing us to find and rent a new apartment that was more suited for our family. He has blessed us with church in Moldova that we can call home and have developed deep relationships within the church. He also has blessed all of us with good health which is truly amazing. Lastly, over the summer Christy and I began to pray for a need for our family. We had no idea what would happen but we gave the need up in prayer to God. God began to work in our hearts, we defined the need, placed a time frame for it to be meet, reached out to contacts as God directed. Praise The Lord , in just 5 short weeks He provided the funds for a new car for our family, allowing us to remain safe as we travel across Moldova sharing the Gospel and working with various ministries. God is good, all the time God is good!
So as the title of the blog entry says, What are YOU thankful for? We are thankful for the Lord, His Grace, His Love and the amazing life changing stories of people we minister to here in Moldova. God is good, all the time God is good. Be blessed and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.