We met with pastors from the north today. In fact, we were less than a mile from the Ukrainian border. Wow, unmatched passion and action plan. I’m seriously blown away. These guys have their act together!
We heard specific needs and hopes for partnership. These gents have faithfully planted churches across the region since the mid 90’s and are still going strong. For the first 5-8 years the process moved rapidly. In the past 3 years, with the mass exodus of people seeking work in other countries, many of those who have come to Christ through the ministry have moved, leaving very few believers behind. It’s great that those new Christians have taken their faith with them to share with others, but one can quickly see the desperation in the eyes of these pastors – a passionate cry for reinforcement.
The region now has one evangelical church for each five villages. That would be the equivalent of one church in Leland which would serve the needs of Riegelwood, Delco, Bolivia, and Town Creek with the vast majority of the residents never having heard the saving Gospel of Christ. Ghenadina Bulgari pastors in Larga, Briceni. Ghenadina passionately plead for help. He serves three congregations in three different villages. It wasn’t hard to see his desperation or the commitment to fulfill his call. Ghenadina had an opportunity to move his family of six permanently to the US a few years ago and leave the work in Northern Moldova. He says he just couldn’t. Let me tell you, I am challenged and more energized than ever in my calling to River of Leland. I will forever be grateful to this, my brother in Christ!
For years under communist rule, the Church faced a negative propaganda campaign across Moldova. Today, they fight an uphill battle as most who remain in the villages have spent their lives immersed in communist teaching. Few trust the teaching and all work is slow and based entirely on relationships built over time.
I see many opportunities for River to partner with these churches. Please join me in prayer tonight as we lift up the pastors of the Northern Region of Moldova.
Enjoy a few pics of the day. Just to the far side of the mountain you’ll see in the first pic lies the Ukrainian border.