Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sharing on Missions in South Georgia

Sharing on missions in the former USSR at Broad Street
Baptist Church, Hawkinsville, GA.
On April 24th - 28th, 2014, I (Oleg) visited with friends and supporters in South Georgia (U.S.A.). I enjoyed the hospitality of dear friends Jim and Diana Byington of Hawkinsville, GA. For a number of years the Byingtons served as missionaries with the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention in Glasgow, Scotland.

During my stay in the area, I visited dear friends Waldo and Judy Pharis in Dublin. Judy has been to Moldova several times, participating in Christian women's conferences and evangelistic outreach. Waldo and Judy hosted us on a number of occasions during our travels in the United States.

With friends in Christ from Evergreen Baptist Church,
Cochran, GA.
On Saturday, April 26th, I had a brief conversation with Dr. Dennis Phillips, Director of Missions at Pulaski-Bleckley Baptist Association. As we talked, we remembered wonderful times of joint ministry in Moldova in 2008 and 2010. Dr. Phillips is a mission-minded pastor who travels extensively to Ecuador, Kenya and China.

On Sunday morning, April 27th, I shared on missions in the former Soviet Union at Broad Street Baptist Church (Jeff Waters, Pastor). Rev. Waters came to Moldova in 2010 and preached in a number of churches in Kishinev (Chisinau) and Beltsy.

During Sunday evening worship, I addressed the congregation at Evergreen Baptist Church in Cochran. This is a church that was founded in 1809. Friends in Christ hosted us on a number of occasions during our previous visits. I am grateful to God for a blessed reunion.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sharing the Message about the Risen Savior in Twin Cities

For Easter, April 30, 2014, I (Oleg) found myself in the Twin Cities, Minnesota (U.S.A.), ministering in the Russian immigrant community. On Easter Sunday, I had a privilege of sharing a message from 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 at the Slavic Baptist Church of Transfiguration. During the following week I had an opportunity for fellowship, conversation, prayer and counseling among Christian immigrants from the former Soviet Union.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Natasha Completes Spring 2014 Moldova Mission

Launching training program for teens-at-risk of trafficking in
Western Moldova.
Natasha and Victoria returned from Moldova a week ago, completing the spring 2014 mission trip to the country, where we were born. During her trip, together with Vitali and Olga Turlac, and our many partners -- local church leaders -- Natasha ministered to women-victims of human trafficking, teen girls at risk and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families.

Many Christians -- friends of our ministry in the North America -- joined the effort by praying, contributing financially and providing special gifts for children with ASD, their mothers and women-victims of human trafficking. Friends from Gilmour Baptist Church from Peterborough, Canada supplied Natasha with many gifts (teddy bears, scarves, gloves, etc.) that Natasha took with her to Moldova.

Baking class for women-victims of trafficking and abuse in
Southern Moldova.
ANTI-TRAFFICKING MINISTRY. Natasha launched the training program in sewing and clothes alterations in Western Moldavian town of Karpineny. Our mission donated sewing machines to 15 girls that are housed in a transition home for teens-at-risk of trafficking. Girls are already receiving necessary training from trained local Christian women. Our prayer is that by learning a profession, they will be able to support themselves (and their families in the future). We also provided large quantities of non-perishable food for teens living in transition home. During her trip, Natasha shared with girls from the Word and reminded them that God values each one of them.

In Southern Moldova, Natasha visited 10 women that have been through the horrors of trafficking. With help of friends from North America, our mission is leading the effort in equipping a kitchen there, so that women would be able to start a catering business. During her visit, Natasha donated to the women different tools for baking. Together with her, women made and decorated their first cake. Our hope is that by catering for different events (wedding, birthday parties, etc.), women will be able to earn a living and support themselves and their children.

Natasha talks with parents of Autistic child in Moldova.
MINISTRY TO CHILDREN WITH AUTISM AND FAMILIES. On April 2, Natasha spoke at the National Conference on Autism. She shared her story of raising Roman and how her faith in God helped her persevere through hard times.

Olga, a mother of 8-year old Vadym who has ASD, said, “I am so encouraged by Natasha’s visit. It is not easy to deal with Autism in our Moldavian conditions, where our children receive practically no help. I appreciate what Turlac Mission is doing. I am especially grateful for a tablet PC with special programs that was provided for my son.”

Vadym receives a tablet PC that will help him communicate.
Moldavian society is not yet prepared to welcome children with disabilities. For many years, Soviets tried to hide “imperfect” children by placing them in orphanages in remote areas of the country. The society still has this kind of mentality, not paying much attention to people with physical and mental disabilities. Autistic children are denied admission to kindergartens and schools. There are only a few medical professionals who understand what is Autism.

During her visit, Natasha was able to meet one-on-one with many parents of Autistic children. They shared with her things that they could not share with anyone else. Many moms cried as they shared their stories. Natasha encouraged them to love their children as they are and do everything to make them feel loved.

Natasha with Margarita, the First Lady of Moldova (left).
April 2 -- World Autism Awareness Day.
Natasha met with the First Lady of Moldova, who became interested in helping children with Autism. We hope to bring professionals from North America to Moldova so that they could provide helpful information on Autism to psychologists and medical professionals in Moldova as well as provide guidance for parents of kids with ASD.

At this time, we are looking for Christian professionals who would be willing to come to Moldova for a week of work/ministry. If you have necessary training in the field of study ASD and are willing to devote one week of your time, we would love to talk to you about this possibility. If you know of anyone from your circle of friendship or church family who has training in ASD and perhaps would be willing to go with us to Moldova, please, let us know.

Moldova moms of Autistic children receive
gifts made by Canadian Christians.
Many thanks to so many of you who prayed, contributed financially and encouraged us in our mission efforts. We thank God for protecting Natasha and Victoria.

MISSION TO THE "LAST FRONTIER" COUNTRIES. Please, continue to pray for me (Oleg) as I travel to the "last frontier" countries in May 2014 to minister to persecuted Christians. As you know, our brothers and sisters in Christ from "last frontier" nations are beaten, fined and imprisoned for His name’s sake. They need our help.

UKRAINE UNREST. Please, keep Ukraine and Christians there in your prayers. It seems like clashes between Ukrainian military and Russia-supported insurgents in Eastern Ukraine have already begun. Our prayer is that this will not turn into a full-blown civil war. Christians in Crimea, occupied by Russia, tell us that they experience difficulties in buying food and things necessary for living because of collapse of the bank system. Our mission is doing everything to help those in need in Ukraine. Pray for four Ukrainian missionary families supported by our mission as they help people in distress.

Lord willing, I will travel to the South of the U.S. (Central Georgia and Birmingham, Alabama) on April 24-May 1, 2014. I would be glad to see you, dear friends, and share the story of our work worldwide.

May the Lord bless you all. Please, continue to pray for us as we help one person at a time in the name of Jesus!

To support Turlac Mission, click HERE

Photos: © 2014 Turlac Mission.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Blessed Ministry in Moldova and Ukraine Continues Amid Crisis and Threat of War

Teens at the transition home in Western Moldova
As instability in Ukraine/Moldova region continues, Natasha ministers in the region to women-victims of human trafficking and children with Autism and developmental delay and their families. Natasha and Vicki will arrive back in Canada on April 10th.

MOLDOVA. Just yesterday, I received a message from Olga, a mother of two autistic boys from Moldova. She writes, “I have been so blessed by meeting Natasha. I
Vitali presenting sewing machines at
the transition home in Moldova
was really amazed of how she can stay so positive and faces Autism with courage. She brought to moms like me a message that there is hope. Thank you for the tablet that Turlac Mission provided for my boys, and for the food basket.”

The young women in transition home in Western Moldova already began training in sewing by using brand new sewing machines provided by our ministry. As I spoke with Natasha, she was very excited to see the girls so enthusiastic about learning a new trade. We place much effort in anti-trafficking preventive ministry, since thousands of women from Moldova have been trafficked to Europe and Middle East for prostitution and slave labor.

Natasha in conversation with moms of autistic children
UKRAINE. Because of annexation of Crimea by Russia in March, no former Soviet republic now feels safe, Moldova included. The Eastern part of Moldova is populated by many ethnic Russians that in recent years have been granted Russian citizenship. The fear of many in Moldova is that Russia will attempt to annex the Transnistrian region of the country. People are worried and are in distress.

Natasha speaks at the conference on Autism in Moldova
Just yesterday, in the city of Donetsk, in Western Ukraine, a pro-Russian mob seized the regional administrative building and proclaimed “The Donetsk Republic.” Friends from Ukraine report that these efforts have been supported by Russia. as more than 40,000 Russian troops are gathered at the Eastern border with Ukraine, some analysts predict annexation of Eastern regions of Ukraine by Russia, supposedly “because of request of Russians living in Ukraine.”

One of the Ukrainian national missionaries that we support, Slava, a Christian counsellor, says, “I have received so many phone calls in recent days. People are in distress. Many are shocked at the prospect of the war breaking out. Dozens report severe depression, unusual levels of anxiety and even aggression. People lost their jobs and savings due to economic crisis.”

Alexander, a national missionary in Odessa whom we support, teaches at a theological seminary. His work is vital because he teachers pastors from all over Ukraine who come for module seminars. They scatter all over the country and offer a message of comfort and hope to people in distress.

CENTRAL ASIA. The situation in the “Stans” is of much concern. Believers report that police raided homes of believers. Again, they received beatings, and all of their belongings were searched. We are stepping up our efforts in providing Christians with copies of Scriptures in their own language since many copies of the Bible are confiscated by police every day. We thank God for Christians in Central Asia, and their faithfulness to Christ.

Thank you so much, dear friends, for supporting the work of the Gospel in the former Soviet Union. Your prayers and donations make sure that the work in the region goes on.

You can support our ministry through our partners at World Wide Word. Donate on-line.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Moldova: Natasha Ministers to Women-at-risk and Autistic Children

Teens at the Transition Home in Western Moldova
MOLDOVA. Natasha and Victoria arrived safely in Moldova on March 30th, 2014. On April 1st, together with Vitali and Olga, Natasha traveled to Karpineny in Western Moldova, where she launched a program of training of teenage girls at risk in sewing and alterations. Through your support, our mission provided 4 sewing machines for the training program.

Sewing machines delivered!
15 teenage girls live in a transition home in a small Moldavian town about 40 miles away from the border with Romania. The coordinator of the transition home is our ministry partner Tanya who is a Christian. The home houses girls from families at risk and those that came from the streets. Our hope is that by learning a trade, teens will be able to eventually either get employment or start their own small enterprise that will help them learn income.

While visiting the transition home, Natasha shared the Gospel message, emphasizing that “it is Christ who gives a clear direction in life. He is the One Who helps us deal with our past and leads us into the future.”

April 2 is the internationally recognized Autism Awareness Day. This day is special for our family. Our son Roman is autistic. Also, our little daughter Victoria was born on April 2. She is 1 year old now and celebrated her first birthday in Moldova!

Sewing machines given to teens at risk
On this day, Natasha participated in the first of many get-togethers with parents of autistic children, clinical professionals and psychologists. She shared about her journey of raising Roman. Many parents identified with her. Natasha says, “As I was sharing the story, I saw tears in the eyes of many moms as they all realized that they are not alone in their journey of raising a child with ASD.”

The get-together was attended by the First Lady of Moldova (President’s wife) Mrs. Timofti, who was our downstairs neighbour when we lived in Moldova. The wife of Turkish ambassador in Moldova attended as well.

Natasha talks with moms of autistic
children in Moldova
In the evening, Natasha and parents went to the central park of Moldavian capital and released dozens of blue balloons as a reminder that children and adults with ASD live among us and need our love and acceptance.

Moldova is the poorest nation in Europe that has a struggling economy and many social problems. Human trafficking and lack of attention toward disabled people area are at the top of the list. By sharing our love, resources and the message of the Gospel with people of Moldova, we hope to plant seeds of change in that society. As always, our motto remains the same, “We help one person at a time in the name of Jesus.”

You can become a part of this great work by becoming our ministry partner, praying and making a donation to the work around the world. Your participation is greatly appreciated.