It has took several months to prepare and plan, but we did it ! an evangelistic mission trip. This time our vision involved driving into villages and speaking to everyone including adults and children , inviting them to an event in the evening. This event provided games, songs craft prayer and a preach.
The team we took include 4 members of our church from Bury fellowship Ruth,Ian Rod and Ron and Kelly From the upper Room. Ron had a refurbished camper van which he drove through Europe with Victor to Moldova, and returning to the uk with Ian. It took 4 days travelling by ferry to Calais, Holland, Germany, Hungary and Romania.I have wrote a small write up about each day for you to get a picture of what was involved.
Friday evening day 1
The journey began on a late evening in Manchester coach station, the team came together and we travelled to Stansted on a coach for a 5 ½ hr journey and an hour stop in Birmingham station. With very little sleep we arrive at Stansted at 4 am, trying to find seats were we can have rest. We however decided to go into the airports prayer room for so that we could pray together in the quiet. The prayer room was a tiny room with a few chairs surrounding the room and prayer mats in a corner and a few Koran’s and bibles on a shelf. It was an interesting moment praying in a small group whilst someone was in the background praying on the floor on their mat. God hears our prayers in whatever place we are whatever circumstance.
Saturday day 2
The flight was a uneventful 3 hours full of Moldavians who work and live in England and were travelling back to their home towns or villages to be reunited with families for a short while. Safely on ground the whole plane cheered and clapped being thankful and grateful for a safe flight and landing.
Victor had set off to Moldova on the Monday the week before in a campervan and met us at the airport with a minibus, it was great to be reunited with him and also to see My Nephew Roman who guided us out of Chisinau. The heat hit you as you got off the plane , good job I warned people to put something cooler in the bag to change into. We arrived 3 and a half hours later in Cahul were the team will be staying for the next 12 nights. We however do not get the comfort of the hotel and are staying with our parent in laws in Pascani. It was fantastic to be reunited with and see my mother and father in law whom we love very much.
The main eatery in Cahul is Andy,s pizza and this is where the majority of our evening meals will be at, including Rafaelo and Bistro bar. Pizza, burgers and salad on the menu which should be satisfying enough.
Sunday day 3
This was a resting day and a preparation day ,the team came to Pascani and we went to the local Baptist church and worshipped there. As you know it is very different from England and women sit on one side and the men on the other. The congregation sang hymns and even if we did not understand the songs the music touched our spirit and we were able to follow some of the tunes. Victor and Rod was able to say a few words and Kelly shared a word as well, we were welcomed by the congregation and said the peace with everyone.
We walked to the other end of the village so we could show the team the schools nursery and the lake and a trip to the local shop for ice cream. The weather was so hot we couldn’t walk too far and returned to the shade of a very welcomed gazebo.
Planning and practising the songs was the itinery for the rest of the evening and meeting lots of young people of Pascani and Manta and a man who reaches out to people in the community called Grisha a wonderfull man of God
Day 4 Monday
The plan for the day was to drive to the village and split into groups and went to each house giving out leaflets and inviting people to come to the meeting for 5 pm. People were prayed for in their homes and the teams talked to them about Jesus. Ruth and I had to do a lot of gardening to clear the long grass, rubbish and spikey thorns that covered the ground we wanted to use, in very hot weather we cleared the mess closely observed by a few neighbours who enquired as why we would come from England to clear their mess and preach to them. We explained we were Christians and we wanted to share the love of Jesus to them.
The children’s ministry was planned for 5 pm and I organised a parachute game based on creation and the fall of Adam and Eve. Some of the children had never used or seen a parachute so we practised moves of high an d low and balancing a ball around the chute. The children absolutely loved it and most of the team were involved in the story of creation. We sang songs with a lot of improvisation and help from Rod and Ian who played guitar, Ruth on the keyboards and Moldavian people to help with the singing. It was a challenge to mix the two together but God worked in the situation and the children listened, each child received sweets , ice-cream and a drink .
The adult service was led in worship by Ian rod ,Ruth and a little help from Viorel who plays the keyboard as well and songs were sang in English and then the moldavians sang in Moldavian, a few ladies came and sat and listened and Rod gave a short testimony and word as well as Grisha. The people listened attently and the team were able to pray for each one of them and minister to the sick, especially to those who needed a healing touch for their husbands as the village has a big problem with alcoholism. The people that came were some of the ones that were invited in the morning so it was nice to know they wanted to come and listen to the word. People were then invited to ask Jesus into their hearts , very little responded but allowed us to pray for their families. Each team member ministered and prayed, it was fantastic to see everyone working together. The people were invited to come again and invite others for the 2nd day as well
Day 5 Tuesday
Change can be difficult sometimes and some people felt they hadn’t done as well as they could, but each person had done a fantastic job in sharing, playing music and been involved in the activities and however they felt God had been with us and had touched people’s lives. Working with foreign people in a different country and very hot conditions can put a strain on a team, but we have to work with what we have planned or unplanned. I felt that everyone had done amazingly well, considering we had been travelling 40 minutes to a village and staying out in the heat of the sun and ministering for hours. The village has had evangelist in there before and the people would never come to any of the sessions, Grisha said this had been a miracle and a big achievement to get people to the meeting. So Praise God for his grace and Mercy and for the work he is doing in the people. Up to 6 adults were prayed for and gave their lives to Christ. Many alcoholics were prayed for and people had also asked for bibles.it was a fantastic achievement. Teatime was late we planned to eat around 9 but after showering and getting to the restaurant we were eating at 10.00pm
Day 6 Wednesday
This was a day off; ministering in sweltering heat can be exhausting so a day out to a swimming pool which was a special treats for us. It is designed for families and more affluent people who can afford the price of 120 lei per person which is around £5 each. The pool was situated on the edge of a village in a random place, not what you would expect at all, a contrast from the rich and the poor, the pool was amazing and cool but the music was a little loud. Being hot for so long made this trip to the pool more worthwhile unfortunately The heat and the change of water have made people’s stomaches a little delicate so Kelly and Ron missed out on this trip to rest.
in the evening the team were invited to meet the pastor of the Pentecostal church he told us how God provided the money for the church to be built and how he had faith that it would be done. We told him about our mission trip and we had the opportunity to pray for the minister as well as a man and his wife whom are struggling to conceive. The church was amazing and we prayed it would bring many people in to know Jesus Christ.
Day 7 Thursday
The trip today is to Gavanoasa with a few different people Sergiu,Doinita, Grisha, viorel and Dima, all Christians wanting to serve the Lord. The campervan parked up and we found a spot in the middle of the village where two big trees made a fantastic shade and a great opportunity for children to congregate.
In the morning half the team walked round the village in the scorching heat for 2 hours and spoke to people and children inviting them to the evening events. The rest of the team stayed behind praying and preparing lunch fresh salad so the whole team could eat together.
The children were very slow to come and at 5.30 only a small handful of children had arrived, we got the parachute out to play and this made children curious and more children came and joined in the fun. The children enjoyed the creation story and games as well as making salvation bracelets and singing songs. Many children have never been to church so they were introduced for the first time to bible songs which they eventually began to join in singing . All the children again had fun with the parachute and bracelet making.
The adults came and a few listened, one woman in particular came who had lost her husband a while back and he had given his life to Christ got baptised and soon after died. The woman had found this difficult but wanted to hear from us and what God had to say. A young man in his wheelchair was prayed for and several others.
Day 8 Friday
The second day again more children came up to 26 of them , they began joining in the song’s , played a fun game splat the rat which you have to catch a rat down a drainpipes it comes out. The (wooden rat )represents sin, and how easy it slips past us without realising.. and Kelly did balloon modelling which the kids loved.
In the adult meeting I managed to pray for a lady and victor helped pray for the husband and both of them accepted Jesus into their hearts and we prayed for change in their lives which they had requested. In fact the whole team have had opportunities every day to pray for people or lay hands on people for healings.
People are seeking and wanting some Hope in their life, Jesus can give this hope and we are here to send that message to people
The meetings end fairly late what should be an hour usually is 2 hours so by 9 pm we are leaving the village, that includes packing the musical equipment away dishes, clearing rubbish . the journey takes between 30-40 minutes and we are fairly tired and hungry. Looking forward to a meal we drive to a restaurant and realise the whole town is dark ! there is a power cut and the manager tells us it should come on in 10 minutes as it happened yesterday as well. The power does not come on and we are wondering what to do eat in the dark (no ) or wait a little longer ……… we eventually decide on a 24 hr shop that sells pastries ,pies and cakes. So we pile in the shop which is in darkness and using light from our phones we fumble around choosing food and Ian rifling through the fridge in the dark for drinks. So this evening is spent in the only place that has a little light left and that is in the open park sat on a bench surrounding by mosquitoes!! it was an interesting evening .. However no one went to bed hungry the pumpkin pies potato pies and cakes were delicious and made a change from again Andy,s or Rafaelos.
Day 9 Saturday ( Day Off)
Today is another day of rest and especially those suffering the side affects of Diarrhoea . those who can will wander round the market , especially Ruth and Kelly who enjoy a daily browse round the market place looking for interesting stalls. With it been so hot the treat for the afternoon was a swim in the local lake in Cahul. With this heat and dust it makes people feel very tired and lack energy, so a swim to cool us down was the plan for the afternoon. To the locals it’s a man made beach and families gather with their vans,cars and bring out their barbecues and have a fun day out. This is a treat for them. The water was amazingly cool and if you shut your eyes and nose you would actually forgets you were swimming in a lake
Our evening meal was finally at a new place called the bistro ,the food was a change from pizza and was amazing!
Chicken in sauce with traditional mamaliga (polenta) and sour cream
Day 10 Sunday
Today as it was Sunday we went to Grisha,s house church in Manta, it looks like a garage outside but inside it was a lovely little place for people to congregate and worship.
Rod gave a word ,Grisha and Victor translated, our team did English worship songs and we joined in with Moldavian hymns, It was a nice contrast. Grishas wife after the service brought out homemade stuffed peppers and vine leaves, and they humblled themselves and served all our team with food first and they waited to eat after us. People are very generous, welcoming and humbling .
Day 11 Monday
Today we went to the last village of the mission trip and this is called Cocoara. There are other Christian people who are from another village who have been trying to evangelise here and be involved in childrens camps. They had shown an interest in helping us and had planned to meet us in the morning. This plan however did not happen and the lady was too busy with summer camps to help ,so we carried on as planned without these groups of people. Again with it been so hot in the morning by 9.30 10.00 groups of us split and walked through the villages speaking to ebery household inviting them to either childrens group or the adult service which would be held in the evening.
Rod and Victor went together and me and Grishs wife Catea came with me. The Moldavian’s took the lead in discussion with the neighbours and English people would initiate a converstion if we could ot praying for people if they wanted to. I spoke to people who were open to listen and were very friendly, especially when they knew you were Ebglish. people said they believed in God and showed some interest and would try to come to the meetings. All the children’s eyed lit up when they heard there would be childrens activities. .
The houses were so mixed from each other, you could have a house all done up with a Mercedes outside in the garden and others were so poor and basic that they looked like they didn’t have enough many or food to manage, such a contrast. Having spoken to many of the people myself this day you realise that the majority of families have one or more members of family who have left home to work abroad and bring money back to clothe feed their families and this is what you see when you look at a house that looks wealthy. People have brought money in from Europe to build their lives up otherwise they would never be able to afford such luxuries as brand new cars and new roofs etc. Other people spoke of their loss of families and how one man told me his wife went to work in Israel 5 years ago and had never come back. This man had lost his children and all work in France and now he rarely sees them. He is alone and felt really sad and bitter about been abandoned. That Gentleman later we were able to pray for.
Today approximately 30 children came to the activities understandably it is a bigger village ,again we played games and used the parachute as a basis to talk about creation and the fall of Adam and Eve, we used the bracelets to talk about salvation and why Jesus died for us. Most children recognised who Jesus was and why he died on the cross each child was asked to write sins down on a paper and we talked about putting them on the cross on which Jesus carried our sins forgave us and died for our sins so we may have eternal life. This was a practical way of saying sorry and then I asked everyone to pray with me for Jesus to enter into their hearts. Each child wanted to know Jesus and have him be with them forever.
Day 12 Tuesday
Rod ,Ian and Victor met back at the Pentecostal church earlier with a group of missionaries from America, interestingly they were all from European countries but had lived or been brought up in America, there were Romanians, Russians, Slovakians or Croatians as well. They had wanted to know what we have been doing in, mission as they had come to do mission in Cahul and wanted some advice and tips.
The second day in Cucoara we anticipated more children would come so we increased our craft activities to include parachute games,and stories, Kelly did a story using her doll Anna and how she found happiness and peace with Jesus, splat the rat , the crosses and prayer hands. We did not expect so many children to come and Ruth had made up 40 bags of toys, sweets and biscuits . we had to make up more because in total 55 children came to the activities, it was brilliant. I used the parachute to tell the story of the lost sheep and children thoroughly enjoyed running round when they heard the word sheep, shepherd or hill. Each child received juice and ice cream as well .It was a fantastic end to the mission having known we had reached over 100 children in Moldova, and they had heard the message of Jesus on the cross received prayer and had fun at the same time.
People from the Pentecostal church came to see what we were doing and a young girl from the seventh day Adventist church came ,her dad had asked if she could share a song with us. She borrowed the guitar and sang a beautiful song the splendour of the king and young girls came round and listened to her sing, it was so nice.
One of the men from America named Robert came out to Cocoara village to experience and see what we did so he could feed back to his team. He played the clarinet and joined in with worship towards the end of our last night.
I was able to pray with Rod and a Moldavian man for a gentleman who wanted the baptism of the holy spirit so we prayed ,but rebuked him shouting out begging God to come in so that he was able to listen and receive from the Lord. People do not expect from The Lord and they beg and cry out and don’t feel worthy to receive. We spent a lot of time encouraging Christians to pray boldly and to receive from God.
This was the final evening of the mission ,the last village we would be going to and it felt sad really. The support from the Moldavian team was amazing, Grisha and his wife Catea, Viorel and Larisa, and Grishas disciples Dima and Dima and the others who,s names I can’t remember ! . We worked as a team, all barriers came down despite cultural differences, language barriers the heat and the differences we have. God used all things to work together, even when things didn’t go as planned ,the main thing is peoples lives were touched, they heard testimony from each person in the English team, people gave their lives to Jesus. Moldavian Christians learnt from us and us from them how to reach people and how to communicate with a living God.
Day 13 Wednesday
The next day was a time to go and buy presents chocolates etc . This is Ruths favourite morning walking in Cahul market, where she enjoyed exploring the stalls along with Kelly
we then went to victors parents to relax, eat then clean the campervan which has been an amazing asset, especially for using the toilet, handwashing facilities and food preparation ,(especially preparing salad Ruth )
Victors parents home
time to thank them and say goodbye from our team
we invited our Moldavian friend to come and eat with us at the restaurant as it was our last evening together,time to say goodbye to everyone.
Day 14 Thursday
It was an early journey back to Chisinau, only for me it wasn’t !
Victor and I will stay behind and the rest of the team go home and we will try and enjoy a few days with my parent in laws and sister and brother in law. Fortunately for us we had some surplus money and we was able to use it to continue the mission to whatever we felt the need for. So Victor arrives back from Chisinau with boxes of bibles for Adults in Russian writing but Romanian text, these are to give to the people in the villages were we had been on mission and they needed them. The mayor in Pascani and Manta said there was a need to help the elderly and poor with food packages, so we bought food and delivered food parcels to some of the poorest people I had met and vulnerable and sick.
With the help of 2 social workers we delivered in 2 days food to people in Manta and Pascani. God has his plans as well and we did not realise that one of the social workers was a member of the Baptist church in Manta and the other lady we had been involved with 4 years ago when we had taken a team from England to paint homes. This lady was inspired by what we were doing and we were able to minister to her and she gave her life to Christ ,just as we sat at a table eating water melon, how amazing is that !!
These photos show a small amount of the people we gave food to, we managed to give food packages to over 20 people in the villages. We as a team would like to thank everyone who has supported this mission trip with all your prayers and financial support you have given. God has truly blessed this trip.
so you see our last few days turned into continuing mission, in fact mission never stops it’s a part of our daily lives with the people we meet every day.