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The Moldovan Report

Rich Davis on September 20, 2016

DSC04064_edited Our hosts for the week - Vadim Bulgac and his lovely family

The Trip

At the close of our last newsletter, we mentioned that we would be traveling to Moldova in September. The safest route took us from the Washington/Dulles airport through Vienna, Austria and then to Chisinau, Moldova in Eastern Europe. At last, we had arrived in the city which is the home of the Christian University that we had traveled so far to see. 

We arrived on Saturday afternoon and Rich was invited to preach the next morning at the Hope Baptist Church. That first Sunday in Moldova was full of first impressions and one of them was a strange mixture of frustration and joy. The frustration was that we couldn't understand part of the Romanian language, and the joy was that we could understand a good bit of it - being a romance language! By the time the week ended, we were convinced that we must go to language school and learn that beautiful language. 

Vadim is a faculty member at the Universitatea Divitia Gratiae (UDG) which is the Christian University that we were visiting. He and his wife graciously invited us to stay with them and their girls during our time in Chisinau. What a blessing they were and already we feel like we have made dear friends in the Lord. Between using English, Spanish, and sign language, we managed to communicate pretty well. 

Because we wanted to learn as much as we could about living in Moldova, Vadim and his wife Ina took us grocery shopping, to the mall and even shopping for chocolate at the chocolate factory as well as several other interesting attractions! Check out some of the sights we captured during our first venture in and around Chisinau. Given the current value of the US dollar, we didn't feel like the cost of living for most things were very expensive, but the Moldovan's do struggle to make ends meet.

2016-09-05 15.16.15 Rich and Jo Ann with Mihail in the middle

The Interviews

Dr. Mihail Malancea is the President of the University and a very capable leader. We learned from him and others that UDG is the key training center for students all over Eastern Europe and Central Asia. At the moment, the student population is just under 200 and 55% of that group comes from Central Asia. There are countries that are recognized by missiologists as limited, restricted or creative access countries. These are countries where it is not possible for a foreign missionary to get a visa but that doesn't mean that the gospel can be kept out. What a blessing to know that we will be teaching and mentoring men and women who will return to their countries prepared to be lights in the darkness. 

As we ended our interview with Dr. Malancea, he presented us with a letter of invitation to come to the University to teach and to mentor students. A couple of areas of mentoring included working with students or graduates in planting new churches as well as leading summer mission trips with students to the refugee camps in Lebanon. Spiritually speaking, we feel like kids in a chocolate factory. These are the things the Lord has prepared us for and given us the heart to do. There is little doubt that we have a wide door open to us with the opportunity to make a significant difference for Christ both in training students in Christian Higher Education and in church planting. Rich has already been scheduled to teach his first course next spring! 

We also met with Ion Miron who is the Director of the Association of Baptist Churches in Moldova. His great burden is for the more than 750 towns and villages in this country that have no gospel witness. Some Christian leaders in Moldova understand about pastoring in an established local church, but almost none have the missionary heart or vision to start new churches. Ion invited us to come to Moldova to survey likely areas for church planting and then to mentor church planters in fulfilling the Great Commission. 

We felt humbled by these gracious invitations from some of the key Christian leaders in this country. It also seems very apparent to us that the Lord is indeed leading us to partner with these godly men as they seek to train leaders and also reach the lost both in and beyond their country. 

There are several challenges before us as we journey down this new road that the Lord is opening before us. One of those challenges is raising the financial foundation necessary to be effective in doing the Lord's will in Moldova. Please add this prayer request to your regular communications with the Lord. 

DSC03785_edited Jo Ann and a student from Central Asia

The Next Step

At the moment, we are taking care of some necessary details here in Pennsylvania before traveling the familiar road to visit many friends and each of our supporting churches. Please pray for us as we do our planning and scheduling. Please also pray for the board and administrators at ABWE as they prepare the way for opening this country for our mission. It would be such a blessing to see younger missionaries joining us as we partner with our brothers and sisters in Christ in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. 

Not everyone receiving this letter will be present as we report in the churches here in the US. Even so, you may enjoy seeing some of the photos we captured on our last day at UDG. Check out some of the presentations that students from each country at the University made representing their culture. This is a whole new world for us!

We are asking the Lord to help us schedule our reporting ministry in such a way that we can be a blessing in each church and arrive in a convenient time. Because we must travel to each coast and almost to the borders of Mexico and Canada, it will take much wisdom from the Lord to arrange this travel schedule. We are very much looking forward to seeing those who have been praying and financially supporting us for many years. Thank you for your faithfulness and for allowing us to be a part of your effort to reach the world for Christ.