Saturday, October 5, 2013

September 2013 Moldova Mission Trip: Bringing Hope to Those in Despair

It is good to be back home and reunited with the family after two weeks of intense mission travels in Moldova! I am so excited to be with Natasha and the children, Roman and Victoria, again.

I can say with full assurance that God blessed the September 13-30, 2013 Moldova mission trip and granted to us good opportunities for Christian witness and practical help to those in need.

Cathedral of Nativity (left) in Moldavian capital and World War II Memorial

During the first week, two Christian friends from Birmingham, Alabama, Judge Edward Vines and Benjamin Byerly, joined Vitali and I on the trip. Edward has been on mission trip with me previously to Rep. of Georgia. While in Moldova, we visited two most prominent Moldavian universities, the University of International Relations (trains future Moldavian diplomats) and the University of Slavic Studies (a branch of Moscow State University), where we had an opportunity to address the faculty and the student body.

Lecture at the University of Slavic Studies, Moldova

Judge Vines lectured on America, its Christian Foundations and the Importance of the System of Checks and Balances with an extensive discussion that followed. Edward stressed that "the Founding Fathers had wisdom to place into the Constitution those mechanisms that serve us well to this very day."

At the University of International Relations, we were welcomed by the former Vice Prime Minister of Moldova, Dr. Valentin Stepanyuk, who expressed a desire to establish partnerships with schools and scholars from the United States.

Visit to the University of International Relations, Moldova. Welcome by Dr. Valentin Stepanyuk

Seeing Chisinau, the capital of Moldova, and visiting the home of my (Oleg's) parents

A retired minister with more than 40-year tenure in Christian service from Peterborough, Canada and a dear friend Ralph Mann, joined Vitali and for the second week of the trip. Together, we traveled to churches in the Northern, Southern and Western Moldova, where we preached Christ. We visited a group of women-at-risk and their children, observed a local church's ministry to street children and addressed the youth-at-risk in a small town close to the border wit Romania.

Presenting Tablet PCs to Autistic Children (Chisinau) and Visiting the Centre for Youth-at-risk (Western Moldova)

During the trip, we provided sewing machines, fabric and baskets to women-at-risk, hand-made dolls to children, supplied food bags for elderly widows, sponsored meals to street children, provided financial support for local Moldavian missionaries and children's program in one of the churches in Southern Moldova. We also were able to distribute multiple copies of the book I Am A Woman Created in the Image of God written by Joyce Wyatt and recently translated by our ministry into Russian.

Purchasing sewing machines in Moldova (left) Janna, 26 receives a sewing machine

One of the young women, Janna, 26, that received a sewing machine just wrote me that she got her first order to make a dress for her neighbour. Sewing machines provide for women-at-risk a tool for making an income and returning to normal daily life. More than 100,000 Moldavian women have been trafficked out of the country for prostitution and slave trade.

Sewing machines provided for women-at-risk from Moldova

One of the great experiences was a visit with two groups of autistic children and their mothers. This is a new ministry avenue that we are pursuing this year. As you know, our own son Roman has Autism Spectrum Disorder, which makes the issue very personal.

Thank you from the women and children of Moldova!

Autism is something very new for Moldova. There is just a handful of trained professionals in this area of medical services. We provided three tablet PCs for the use of the children, brought supplies for activities and training manuals for psychologists that committed to learning more about the syndrome. We also provided food backers and finances, so that children would be able to attend the local children's activities centre for one week.

Helping children with Autism and Feeding Street Children

I could go on and on, telling of wonderful blessings that we experienced during the trip while sharing the Gospel of Christ and meeting so many new people that we were able to help. All of this would be impossible without your participation. THANK YOU so very much for enabling us to show the love of Christ in distant places of the world! Your prayers and donations do make a practical difference in the needy world.

 Preaching the Gospel of Christ in Moldavian churches

It is true that the need everywhere is overwhelming. It has been estimated that 1 of every 8 people living on our planet goes hungry every day. However, we can help one person at a time. There is no greater joy than to feed a hungry child or give a sewing machine to a woman - victim of human trafficking. It means a world to them.

Please, continue to support our hands in ministry. Thank you once again for your generous and sacrificial support!

Photos: Turlac Mission, 2013.