Friday, July 26, 2013

Plans for the Fall 2013 Moldova Mission Trip

On September 13-30, 2013, I (Oleg) plan to visit Moldova. Two dear friends from Alabama will join me during the first week of mission travels. Canadian pastor from Peterborough, Ontario, will join me during the second week of travels. The purpose of the trip is to preach the Gospel of Christ in Moldavian Baptist churches, visit missionaries that are supported through our mission, address university students in Moldova, provide sewing machines for women-at-risk of human trafficking and deliver PC tablets with educational programs and other supplies to families with autistic children.

Photo: Oleg Turlac with Asus PC Tablets purchased for Moldavian children with Autism (Toronto, Canada, July 2013).

Camp for Women-at-risk and Children Held in Southern Moldova

During the week of July 21-26, 2013, Vitali and Olga, together with our ministry partners, held a camp for women - victims of human trafficking and children in the Southern region of Moldova. Vitali reports that the camp turned out to be a tremendous blessing for both women and the children. Vitali says, "Every time we have a camp in Moldova, just seeing the joy in women's and children's eyes makes me want to do more for them." Many thanks for support provided for the camp. At the end of the camp, women and children received large boxes with food (rice, oil, meat and bean cans, sugar, salt, etc.) and hygiene supplies (toothpaste, soap bars, shampoo).





 
 
 
 

Pastor Semchenko's House Arrest Term Extended

MOSCOW, RUSSIA. On July 22, 2013, Evangelical pastor and President of the Russian Evangelical Christian Union Rev. Alexander Semchenko had a court hearing in Moscow. The court extended his house arrest until October 24, 2013. Though Semchenko is charged with economic fraud charges, Christians leaders in Russia believe that he is persecuted by the government because of being one of the major Protestant spokesmen in the country. In 1983, Semchenko was imprisoned by authorities in the USSR for printing of Christian literature.

Photo: Pastor Semchenko gets ready to go to court | Facebook

Persecuted Pastor Zaur Balayev's Wife Loses Battle with Cancer

AZERBAIJAN. One of the missionaries that we partner with in Aliabad, Azerbaijan, Zaur Balayev, lost his dear wife. She was battling cancer for some time. In 2009, Zaur was imprisoned for preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and leading an independent Baptist congregation. Pray for Zaur and other family members in the face of this loss.

Photo: Zaur Balayev | persecution.co.nz

Monday, July 15, 2013

Turlac Mission Registered in Toronto, Canada

On Monday 15 July 2013, our mission organization was officially registered in Toronto, Canada under the name of "Turlac Mission." From now on, this will be the official umbrella for our mission work, which we previously referred to as "Turlac Faith Ministries." The name "Turlac Mission" is simple. It clearly shows that we are mission-minded people, charged with the task of spreading the good news of Jesus Christ all over the world. It also can be used worldwide, especially in difficult places for the Gospel of Christ, where the term "mission" seems to be fairly neutral (associated, for example, with UN mission). We thank God for fruitful ministry worldwide since 2000 and thank you, our many partners, for supporting our work.

Please, notice the change in the web-address for our ministry page: http://turlacmission.blogspot.com

Monday, July 1, 2013

May 2013 Central Asia Mission Trip: Reflections

by Oleg Turlac

As I reflect upon Vitali’s and mine trip to Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan in May 2013, I cannot help but think of the most profound experience that we went through while visiting these two predominantly Muslim Central Asia countries. It is the fellowship with persecuted Christians.

There is nothing more impressive in these two countries than God’s children that remain faithful to Jesus Christ in spite of very challenging circumstances.

In both countries, evangelism and mission work are prohibited. Church activities are strictly limited. Bible possession and publishing of Christian literature is punishable. Christian worship cannot be held anywhere but in registered, state-designated locations. No church that has under 100 members is recognized by the state, which makes most Evangelical congregations illegal.

Hours spent in fellowship, prayer and reflection over the Scriptures in home churches in Tashkent and Gulistan were the most precious spiritual moments, which both of us had in our lives. Some of them took place late in the evening to avoid interference from the police. It was so amazing to read Bible passages about persecution of New Testament Christians while actually being in the midst of persecuted believers.

It brought much joy to me to realize the fact that God used me to train so many missionaries for Central Asia while teaching at the Bible college in Moldova in 2000-2010. On this trip, just like before, I was able to see their ministry firsthand and thank God for making it possible for me to be a part of his great work.

I believe that it was God who providentially made it possible for me to study at the Baptist seminary in Moscow, Georgetown College in Kentucky and Samford University in Alabama so that I could receive education and experience needed for training many pastors and missionaries for the former Soviet Union. Each of you, who helped along the way to guide me, help financially and encourage, is a part of this great work of building the Kingdom of God.

Now, as they serve Christ in tough circumstances of persecution in the “Stans”, I made a commitment to do everything possible to keep in touch, pray, visit and support them spiritually and financially.
While being in the midst of Christians that pay dearly for believing in Christ, I realized two things. First, that persecuted Church in Central Asia is in need of support. If Christians are to continue to be a living testimony of God in Central Asia, (1) they need prayer and support from Christians in the West, where churches enjoy freedom. Indeed, there is much we, Christians in the West could do. We can provide Bibles and Christian resources to replenish the supply of literature that is constantly being confiscated by police in believers’ homes. We can provide e-books and tablet computers that can hold electronic Bible and dozens of Christian books in different languages. We can support the mission work, training sessions, church planting and discipleship all over Central Asia financially and help meet needs of missionaries and their families.

(2) Another way we can help is  promote awareness about persecution of Christians in Central Asia among Christians in North America. Believers from Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and other “Stans” want their story to be known to Christians and government in the West. We can spread news in our  families, churches and Sunday school classes, so that stories of oppression of believers for the name of Jesus would be known.

I believe that it is our responsibility to help our persecuted brothers and sisters in Central Asia. As the Church triumphant here in the West, we have many opportunities to serve our persecuted friends all over the world.

Please, help us further God’s work in Central Asia by supporting missionaries there, remembering that it was our Savior and Lord that gave us the charge of going and preaching the gospel of the Kingdom in most distant lands (Mat. 28:19-20)

Many thanks to those of you that prayers for us on May 5-18, 2013 and made our mission journey a reality by donating to the work in Central Asia. Our vision is to keep coming back to this region in the months and years to come to strengthen churches and empower missionaries to do God’s work. Let us partner together in this effort!

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Joys of Motherhood and Challenges of Living in Autistic Reality

by Natasha Turlac

As many of you know, parenthood always has its joys and challenges. For more than 6 years now, Oleg and I have been raising our son Roman who is autistic. Of course, because for the first three years of Roman’s life we lived in Moldova, we did not think of Autism and only toward the end of 2009, we thought that we are to do something to find out what is going on. Autism was something completely new for Moldavian physicians. They had no idea of what we were talking about. It was in the summer of 2010, that with  the help of dear friends from Jackson, MS, we were able to first get Roman examined.

And then, in order to help him, we moved to Toronto, Canada, where Roman was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD - moderate to severe) and received help. But that is not all. It took time for me to come to terms that I had a child with Autism and that my life would never be the same. Those of you who know us, know how much we love missions. You can imagine that my life’s plans had to undergo a major overhaul. Though I would still be involved in missions, a big part of my life now was going to be devoted to Roman and to making sure that he is well and taken care of.

My experience has been that no matter how much you know about Autism, there is something new that you discover with each new day. Though people in the medical profession have been studying it for a while, even they in conversations use the phrase "I do not know" more often than you can imagine.

Is it easy to raise a child with Autism? I guess, not, though such life has its own special flavor. Though life at times is challenging, God uses the circumstances to teach us something good. Because our Creator has a plan for my life, I trust His words, expressed in Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

While raising an autistic child, I am learning to be strong and patient. Roman’s condition helps me to understand problems that many other parents with disabled children face. In my life, I always wanted to help people. I listened to many women-at-risk that shared their stories with me. I love writing and encouraging others.

When I discovered that Roman had Autism, I wondered why this happened. I know that many of us ask the same typical question, "Why me, Lord? Why out of so many millions of people, I have to go through this?" It does take time to come to terms that your own life will never be the same and that
your child will simply be different from other kids. And, it is OK to take time to understand what is going on.

But let me tell you, now I kind of know what I can do with this whole Autism experience. I can use it to do what I always did -- helping others. While living in Toronto, I see more and more autistic children here and there. You can spot them easily -- many of them are fascinated with different electronic gadgets, and typically carry tablet PCs with them. Talking to other parents and encouraging them in their journey is certainly a blessing.

Ministry to other people brings joy. Now, having a second child, Victoria, adds to that joy. I really do not know how much Roman understands about the fact that he has a sister now, since he is non-verbal. But watching him as he kisses his little sister on the forehead or how he brings a dipper, so that I could change Victoria, melts my heart.

I can talk to other moms here in Canada and via Skype and social networks in Moldova and Russia, and share the love of Christ with them. In 2014, Lord willing, I hope to travel to Moldova and tell my story to parents that face daily reality of dealing with Autism.

Indeed, there is more joy in giving than in receiving. I love helping others. It encourages me to hear later of how a kind word or a practical action helped ease someone's life. Each one of us can show the love of Christ to those around us. There is no need to say and do something extraordinary. God uses our lives, blessings and challenges so that we could bless others.

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