Baptists in Moldova
Moldova is a country situated between Romania and Ukraine that is populated by 3,5 million people. The nation is comprised of several ethnic groups - 75% are Moldavians speaking the Romanian language; the others are Ukrainian, Russian, Gagauz (Turkish), Jewish and Roma people. The predominant religion is Eastern Orthodox Christianity. The capital and largest city is Chisinau.
Moldova is a rural country. Its exceptionally fertile soil is among the best in Europe. An irony is that in spite of its great potential, Moldova is listed among the poorest countries in Europe… About one million Moldavians happen to be the work migrants scattered all over the Russian speaking world and in Western Europe or USA.
The Baptist Union of Moldova has experienced excellent growth since the country gained independence in 1991 and the number of Baptists has doubled. The Baptists have enjoyed freedom to preach the Gospel, train leaders and carry out fruitful missionary activities. There are numerous indigenous leaders that are actively involved in planting new Baptist congregations. The missional commitment of church planters is admirable. Some of them have been supported by the EBF and find below just two testimonies.
Mission Partnerships' Church Planters
An indigenous church planter Alexandru works with much dedication among the people of village called Drasliceni and he wrote in his last report:
Our church members continue to grow spiritually. Because of the pandemic, we connect online with the mother church "Jesus the Savior" in Chisinau. We help some elderly people in order to enable their participation in an online worship. We pray and hope to return to meet in person again. We continue teaching the children as they memorize the bible verses and love to pray. Before the pandemic, we had organized several public events with some evangelistic aspects, like the women’s day, music concerts and festivals at local school, but have not got satisfactory results.
We thank the Lord that He helps us to overcome different obstacles. It was a time when our local public authorities and some neighbors were not friendly to us. Although, we have persevered in our faith and seen a change of their attitude. Currently we pray for a church building in our village, since there are some new people who are ready to attend our meetings, but do not feel comfortable to visit regularly a private home for worship.
Whenever the mother church organizes conferences or trainings for leaders, we do our best to attend. At the moment we have about 20 people including the children.
Another indigenous church planter - Petru ministers passionately in the village called Taraclia and this is what he shared in his last report:
Five years ago we prayed to the Lord for a clear vision and therefore decided to invest more time and resources in the children from our village. Of course, there are no immediate results because the work with young generation requires much patience.
During this time some children from our group have gone abroad with their families, others have grown up and gone to continue their studies but some of them have remained in the church and are already involved in the ministry. It takes about four years to complete a full cycle. Now we have a new group of young people that we are training.
Currently there are 15 church members in the congregation. During the last five years three several converts have been baptized. Some of our teenagers have a desire to be baptized and we are preparing them in hope to celebrate in the spring.
Before the quarantine, we used to meet several times a week and namely on Sundays for the worship service, on Tuesdays for the Bible study, on Fridays for the children’s ministry and on Saturdays with the teenagers. Currently, we have suspended the children’s meetings until the situation improves. We continue to meet with the church either in small groups or online.
We can cover all the expenses on our own. However, when we have summer camps or other costly events we can turn for an outside help. Several times the Bible Mission have come to our aid by partly covering expenses of our mission activities.
The indigenous church planters in Moldova have very good influence on many local people. They successfully make friends with new contacts and try to disciple those who are willing to grow spiritually.
The Baptist Union of Moldova in cooperation with mission partners makes efforts to train and send indigenous missionaries to villages where there is a spiritual potential.
Let’s pray that the people of Moldova will continue to be responsive and that the native mission workers will be able to use the present opportunities of sharing the gospel with their countrymen.
Planting new churches together! For the glory of God!