I left Odessa early Saturday morning with my father and my father-in-law for a weekend of ministry in and around the town of Faleshti, Moldova. Vasiliy Kaletnik, one of our partners, invited us to come and visit him and preach in the church is where he works. By Saturday afternoon we were already preaching at the closing ceremony for a children’s camp. I brought my unicycle along and did a little sermon using it, of course the kids loved it!
In about 48 hours we spoke seven times in seven different places! Although it was tiring it was also a great pleasure and privilege to see how God is working in this small town and in the villages that surround it!
I quickly noticed that in Moldova the orthodox church is stronger than in Ukraine. Quite often along the road there are orthodox shrines with a picture or statue of the crucifixion and a skull and crossbones below it. These are places of worship for the people and are also considered a blessing for the area. Often they are near wells and at crossroads. Most people in the villages don’t have running water in their houses, so there are a lot of wells.
On Sunday we visited four churches. The first service was in Faleshti, which is the mother church and where Vasiliy lives. We then traveled to the village of Chilacou. The church there started just 2 years ago and now there is a small group of believers that meet regularly. My father and I both preached and enjoyed listening to the children as they recited verses and sang.
I couldn’t think of a better group of men and to minister with –My father, who has over 30 years of ministry at Discovery Baptist, -Vasiliy, who also has ministered for over 20 years in Moldova and has started a number of churches, -My father-in-law Vladimir, who has served as a deacon for many years at Gospel House church and now is working with us in Odessa.
In the village of Sarata there is a brand new house of prayer. Vasiliy charged Boris with the ministry in that church. Please pray for Boris and pray for the believers in Sarata.
This family is from the village of Chilacou. They have 5 children and a cow. Shortly after they believed and started attending church someone poisoned their cow and she died. Thankfully their brothers and sisters in Christ helped them buy a new cow! Unfortunately in many of these villages the orthodox priests work very hard against the believers.
The last village that we visited was right on the Romanian Moldova border. They named the village “Russian Valley” however I found out that only a few people there spoke Russian! We enjoyed a wonderful church service with them on Monday morning. They met in a family room in the home one of the believer’s. I preached in Russian and Vasiliy translated into Romanian, my father also preached. This week the church is conducting and outreach for children so please keep them in your prayers!
Pray for Vasiliy and his wife Olga. It is hard work and they need of more men who can lead churches that have started up in many of the villages. Pray that God will send men who can care for these churches and continue to preach the good news of Jesus Christ, there are enormous spiritual needs! 25% of the Moldova population works in another country in Europe. This results in many broken homes without fathers or brothers.
Thankfully we know that with Jesus Christ there’s hope for changed lives and changed hearts! We can see that already happening in these small village churches!
Before we left the Faleshti I talked with Vasiliy about how we can help his ministry. I suggested the possibility of doing a Good Soil evangelism and discipleship seminar for his churches next spring. He was very excited and open to the idea. We also talked about the possibility of starting institute classes in his church next year. This would help train a new generation of leaders within the churches.
Please pray that the Lord would allow us to move forward with these plans to strengthen the churches in Moldova.