Our WorldVenture Global Worker, Gerry Schroeder (Slavic Worship) shares this amazing update about a mentee named Pavel. This mentoring relationship began over twenty years ago. Funds were sent to manufacture a stove in Ukraine last winter.
Pavel writes about his life and ministry in Moldova:
We have now been living in Moldova for nine months. During this time, the war has greatly changed many people’s values, and Christians are no exception. But we are alive, we are together, and we are safe, which is a source of great happiness. Here, every day we meet people who have lost their homes, their businesses, their sources of income, their families, and often, even their dreams. But as they go through trials, most people begin to seek God and value life and their relationships more.
We are thankful to God that we can serve our people and understand them better because we are also not at home. But we feel that we are in the right place at the right time. This is true for both the ministry of Mission Eurasia and the church here in Chisinau. We learned from people in the church that they had been praying for months for an assistant pastor and didn’t understand how God would help them until He brought our family here. Pavel is now involved in preaching, leading Sunday services and home groups, and, together, we minister to families.
During the spring semester of School Without Walls, we taught two courses to 70 students in three locations across Moldova: Teamwork and Family as Mission. It has been a great blessing to be involved in this training program for young leaders.
Our girls minister with us, providing daily care for refugees, giving aid, and talking with them. Toma teaches Sunday school classes and now participates in children’s camps for refugee children as a nurse. Polyanna loves teenagers and finding her way to their hearts. She led an Alpha Course for youth and teens at Church Without Walls, which refugee teens attended as well.
The Lord brought Christina and Sophia into our lives through our ministry to refugees. They experienced many difficulties, including problems with their documents and the health of their child, but they have become family to us within only a few months. We are so encouraged that they have not missed a single church service since the day we met them, and they first accepted our invitation to church. They now have a strong circle of friends as they fellowship with people of faith from our church.
Today, we spoke with several women who have experienced much grief, even without the challenges of war. One of these women is a pediatrician whose son was born with eyes that are not fully developed. Doctors were only able to prescribe him vitamins, telling his mom that only God could help her son’s condition. This mom also told us about her own problems and, at the end, said that what she needs most is simply talking to someone who cares.
Another woman lost her husband nine years ago and is raising their three children by herself. She is in Moldova only with her daughter. Her oldest son is 20 years old and was not allowed to leave Ukraine because he is eligible to serve in the military. Her other son was able to go to Ireland, but he had to leave his 4th year of medical school, because he would have been given a military ID before he was allowed to finish his studies.
Another young woman was able to leave with her two children from the left bank of the occupied city of Kherson. The rest of her family is still there. Her father was a prisoner for four months and is afraid that he would not be able to survive the filtration while leaving through Crimea, which is the only way to leave. They didn’t think anything could be worse than this war, but now flooding has also come, leaving half of their village under water. Their house is on high ground, but they have no electricity, no drinking water, and no communications. This young woman is now struggling with how to still help her parents and 90-year-old grandmother who are living under Russian occupation.
We can’t explain why this war has happened and when it will end. But as we talk with refugees and process their documents, we can share what we have experienced ourselves—that God is with us, He cries and cares, supports and sympathizes, and gives us peace and comfort. We also have the hope that, no matter what happens on earth, we will be with Him in eternity, and we can face both life and death without fear.
During the past nine months, we have been able to minister to more than 9,000 refugees from Ukraine. Never in our life and ministry have we reached so many unbelievers and people in need in such a short period of time! Thanks be to God for His mercy and grace.
Header Photo: “These days we are serving as a counselor at Will Graham two days evangelistic events in Chisinau Arena (Moldova) expecting around 20,000 people! Gospel without walls!”
On your social media, copy and paste the link from this blog to your social media with a written prayer for Pavel and the refugees his family serves. You can instead write out a prayer in the comment section of this blog post. Or share your answer to one of the questions below to your own social media.
- Has circumstances in your life changed or challenged your values or you in a negative way, and how are you fighting your way back to the Lord?
- How do you keep focused on the Lord during difficult times?