November Update

One recent evening, as Stephanie and I were talking together, I told her that if someone gave me the chance to go anywhere in the world and have any occupation I wanted, I could not think of being in any other place, doing any other thing, than what I am doing. Here are some of our joys from the work here in Moldova.

After the children’s home in Soroca had closed, we began work at a new center that opened up in the village of Cosăuți, just 15 minutes north of Soroca. The director has a big heart for the young people in the center and desires to see their lives changed for the better. So far, the young people have been receptive to the Bible lessons. Please pray for wisdom in ministering to these hurting and needy souls.

I will attempt to make a long story short. A widow from the village of Bulboci started coming periodically to our Sunday services in Soroca. She has arthritis in her knees and lives on the very edge of the village, but she would make the hour journey to our church (about half of that time is her walking to the bus stop). Jacob and I had began talking about starting a Bible study in her village.
     At the end of this summer, we found out about a Baptist young man (Alexei) and his mother who grew up in this village. They live in the capital city now but have been praying for many years for a church to be planted in their home village. This year, he has started taking steps to evangelize the village of Bulboci. In September, he organized a medical missions team to come and asked if we would preach the Gospel to those who came to the clinic. We gave the Gospel to around 400 people! Of those, almost 70 asked for us to visit them again and give them a Bible. In October and November, Jacob and I individually met with people and gave them the Bibles and offered home Bible studies. We were encouraged by the responses of people saying they wanted to start reading the Bibles right away. Alexei and his mother will remain in the capital through the cold months and return to help in the Spring.
During this time, we found out about a small group of Baptists and a couple Pentecostals in the village, and some neighboring villages, that had been meeting with a Pentecostal pastor and deacon that drive from an hour away to hold a service several times a month. Jacob and I met with the pastor and deacon to explain our plans of working with Alexei and his mother to start a Baptist church there. In the end, the pastor said they have been meeting with the group for 8 years and have unsuccessfully found someone closer and with more time to invest who can lead the work. They asked if we would take over the group. This past Sunday, everyone met together and was in agreement to make the change. Please pray for us as we continue to evangelize in Bulboci and begin leading the group of believers.

Remember the lady “T,” that Jacob and I led to the Lord in August who had a lot of health problems? Her health had declined so much that I was wondering if she was going to make it. She ended up having another operation at the beginning of this month. When I visited her about a week ago, she seemed like a new person. The doctors are shocked at the state of her health. Even better, she continues talking to family about Christ. Once the busy fall season passes, we are planning on gathering her friends and family at her house for me to share the Gospel with them all. Please pray for “T” to grow in her faith and continue reading the Bible and being a witness.

We are excited to see the positive response to the new monthly women’s Bible study and luncheon. Viola Hughes leads the study in Russian. While most of the women who come are believers, there are some unbelievers who have come. Please pray for Viola and for the Lord to use these meetings each month to encourage and grow the women that come.

Each quarter, Jacob leads a men’s prayer breakfast, too. Though the number is few, it is a sweet time for just the men and boys to be together, sharing our hearts and bringing our requests to the Lord. Please pray for more men to join us

Thank you all for your faithful prayers and support.

August 2017 Prayer Letter

I sat down to write this prayer letter multiple times over the past couple months, only to have more things occur that were worth sharing. Rejoice with us in the following:
     On June 30th, after our family devotions, our son Daniel asked to speak with me privately.  With tears in his eyes, he asked me when he can be saved from his sins.  We had been talking to him about salvation for quite some time, but the Lord used events from earlier in the day and a talk from our co-worker to finally bring him to see the seriousness of sin and his need of Jesus as his Saviour.  He repented of his sin and put his faith in the Lord Jesus  that night. Please pray for Daniel to understand more and more about this great salvation and grow in the Lord.
     In our last prayer letter, we had mentioned that there were some new people who started coming to services through having attended our Family Conference evenings in May.  One of them was saved and baptized years ago in northern Russia in a Baptist church. She had been attending a Pentecostal church in town until she heard about us through the Family Conference.  She faithfully comes almost every Sunday AM, Sunday PM Bible study at our house, and Thursday PM Bible study.  She loves the Lord and has been a blessing to us personally and others to whom the church is ministering.
Outside of our missionary team, we often have around ten others who come to our Sunday morning service. The Sunday PM Bible study at our house has grown to four Moldovans coming most weeks.  More come consistently to the Thursday Bible study than a year ago, too.  We thank the Lord for the people we get to feed spiritually on a regular basis.
     At the beginning of July, Jacob and Viola Hughes returned to Moldova from furlough.  The next week we held VBS at our house. We thank the Lord that we had more children this year than last year.  A couple weeks later, we ran VBS in Soroca at our meeting place.  On the last day, four girls trusted Christ as their Lord and Savior!  Two of them were girls who had come last year to our VBS.
     The following Sunday afternoon, Jacob and I drove almost an hour away to visit a lady to whom I given a ride back in May. As I often try to do when I pick up hitch-hikers (it is common here), I talked to her about Christ and salvation. She was very distraught with life.  She had cancer surgery at the start of the year, her mother died a couple months after, and she was at the time on her way to the capital city to pick up her brother’s body who had died in a car accident.  We kept in touch off and on over the past several months.  Her problems only increased as she was diagnosed with cancer again and had other complications. She read through a book I had given her on the Gospel. When Jacob and I went to visit her, she said she was ready and wanted to be saved. We had the joy of leading her to Christ.  She wants us to talk with her husband about salvation next. Please pray for “T” and for the Lord to encourage her and help her to grow spiritually and be a light even through her difficulties.
     This summer we had the privilege of seeing the results of prayer and biblical counsel.  A lady who was previously considering abortion, gave birth to a beautiful little girl.  God’s Word spoken to soft hearts is not limited to spiritual salvation but can even result in physical life.
     In July between weeks of VBS, we attended BIMI’s European field conference in Israel.  In our 7 years of being in Moldova, this was our first time to attend the field conference.  Abby and Caleb joined Stephanie and me while the younger three stayed with the Hughes at our house.  The preaching was encouraging and challenging, fellowship with other missionaries uplifting, and sites we saw amazing.  I had so many misconceptions of places and events from Scripture.  I took copius notes and many pictures in order to try and capture the plethora of information during the week.  We thank the Lord for a wonderful opportunity to learn more about Israel’s land and people.  I have already been able to implement in my preaching/teaching the things that I saw and learned.
     In August, our team here in Soroca spent several days together on our annual retreat to pray, thank God for the past year, and plan out the next 12 months.  My big take-away from the retreat is that God had done so much over the past year in answering prayer and working in amazing ways that I can only look forward with prayer and anticipation what the next 12 months hold in store. Opportunities have opened up in two other villages near us.  The harvest is ripe but the laborers are few. Pray for more laborers and these new ventures.
Thank you all for your faithful prayers and support.

2017 May Prayer Letter

How do we feel right now? I think the best way to describe it is that our cup is full and running over. We thank the Lord for His many blessings and His working in our lives and in the lives of those around us.

Praise the Lord that we were able to buy the van mentioned in the last prayer letter. We have already put it to good use with transporting people to church in the extra seats and taking tables, stroller, and other gear in the back to church.


We celebrated the Lord’s resurrection this year on the same day as Easter in America, which is not always the case. Including our family and Sarah, we had 19 people in attendance. We had a breakfast meal first and then the service. This year, Abby has started learning the violin, and Caleb and I started learning guitar. We played for the first time in the service for Easter.

Each Thursday evening in May, in place of our regular midweek prayer and Bible study, we have had a Family Conference. We made a conference workbook and had some free and discounted materials about the home for people. Six Moldovans came the first week, seven the second week, and nine this past week. While this may not sound like a lot, one woman who came the first week has come to every Sunday morning and evening service as well. She was saved and baptized in a Baptist church in northern Russia and had just found out about us. Another couple has come the past two weeks and plan to come every Sunday as well. One of my ESL students has also come each Thursday with her husband. The responses from those attending the conference has been very positive. Pray for the Word to have free course in the hearts and lives of those who have come. Also, pray for the last week of the conference to be used of God as we talk about the dangers of technology, including social media and pornography, and how to enable filters.

The Bible studies with the one man I had mentioned continue to go well. Since then, an older woman also wanted me to start Bible studies with her. Her son was coming to our church periodically before he moved to the capital city to find work. I am currently covering the topic of salvation with her. Please pray for salvation to be clear to her and for the man to grow in his walk with the Lord.

The lady I had mentioned in the last prayer letter who comes Sunday night to our home Bible study recently married and now comes with her husband each week. Ironically, her husband is the Orthodox young man whose father had told me I could not talk to his son when I had called a couple times. The Sunday evening Bible studies started three years ago with just a neighbor. We now have five coming regularly. Please pray for the work to continue to grow, not just in the city of Soroca, but also in our village of Zastînca.

My wife’s younger sister came to visit us for a week, along with her husband and three children. The week was one of needed refreshment, encouragement, and fellowship. We thank the Lord for the opportunity for them to come visit us.

Thank you all for your faithful prayers and support.

2017 March Prayer Letter

What else can I say other than God answers prayer!  Join us in thanking the Lord for the blessings mentioned below and petitioning for the following requests.

Jacob and Viola made it back to America safely for their furlough. We thank the Lord for the safety thus far in their travels (I believe over 3,000 miles thus far in the span of just about a month). Please continue to pray that the Lord will strengthen, encourage, and refresh them during their time visiting churches, friends and family.
I had specifically requested prayer for help in using my time wisely and keeping up with my responsibilities during the Hughes’ absence.  Thus far, the responsibilities are being fulfilled, in part due to the Lord providing some Moldovans to help in different aspects. Please continue to pray for me in this area as a number of unexpected but good responsibilities have been added to my schedule recently.

Thank you for praying for us to find a van.  After much searching, praying, and seeking counsel from many sources, we decided on a van to purchase for our family.  As I write this, a friend of mine from Soroca is on his way to Germany to check out the van and Lord willing make the purchase.  The trip is about 25 hours each way, non-stop, add in the times to fill up, cross through customs at borders, and it is over 30 hours each way.  Please pray for him and his co-driver to arrive there safely, the van end up being what we are expecting, the money transfer to arrive without problems, and for them to make it back safely with the van. 

We thank the Lord that we were granted the two year residency permits.  I always rejoice to see the new residency cards in hand, thankful for our service to Christ to continue here in Moldova. Though we will not be attempting this in the near future, please pray for us to receive permanent residency permits in the future. I inquired further at the migration office if this is a possibility for us.  I was given a paper with the list of requirements, which we currently could meet, if we took a language test and worked on a couple other documents. This is a goal of mine within the next 6 years.  Our lawyer said they don’t give out permanent residencies.  Maybe the Lord would see fit for us to be the first.

During our ministry team retreat in August of last year, we specifically began praying for two things. First, we saw the need to gain entrance into people’s inner circle.  We had people coming to services but not willing to come over for a meal or allow us to personally disciple them.  We also saw that people we witnessed to through day-to-day life or visitation were not interested in us going further with the Gospel than the first visit.  We began asking the Lord to allow us to enter into people’s circle of influence.  Second, we started praying that God would raise men that we could disciple and lead along for Christ.
Over the past couple months, we have seen answers begin to both of these requests.  One lady who had visited us our second year started coming regularly with her daughter to our Sunday evening Bible study.  She was facing a very serious decision in life. Through a couple long conversations and much prayer, she chose to do what was right.  Another man has started coming regularly each week and was also counseled in an important decision.  He also has seen the validity of the biblical counsel he received and is following the Lord.  On a weekly basis, I have been meeting with another man, going through a discipleship course.  He lives outside the city in a village and would like to see a church planted in his village.  I am also working to start a weekly discipleship with another young man.  The majority of these have been men!  Please pray for the Lord to continue to work in the lives of these dear people and to raise up strong, male, godly leadership.

Over the past couple weeks, I had tried to call a young man in another village to see if we could meet and talk about salvation.  Both times I called, the young man’s father answered the phone. He asked me numerous questions very rudely and refused to let me talk to his “child,” a young man in his 30’s.  I was told to never call again, and he made some threats.  I thought that the door was closed. Much to my joy and surprise, the young man showed up at our house Sunday evening!  He did not have time to talk much, but we did get to start talking. Please pray for this young man, who is strict Orthodox, to meet with me again and allow us to open the Bible to see what salvation really means.

Thank you all for praying for us and the work here in Moldova.

January 2017 Prayer Letter

I am still dreaming…and praying and working, along with the others in our team. Sometimes our dreams seem to fade and other times seem to take steps towards fruition. I dream of our church plant becoming a full, unified body of believers serving Christ whole-heartedly. I dream of seeing people becoming disciples of Christ and then leading others to follow Christ. I believe in this dream, because I believe it is God’s dream, too.

On November 20th, Caleb followed the Lord in believer’s baptism. Due to the colder weather, we rented the Adventist building for a Sunday morning and used their baptismal. Please pray for Caleb to continue to grow in Christ and follow Him.

ESL Ministry
In the past, Ala was the only student who consistently stayed after the English lessons for the Bible study. Another lady has recently been staying more consistently.

For our last ESL meeting before the holiday break, we invited the students to a special Christmas lesson. We announced the week before it that we would be talking about why Christ was born and how one can be saved from sin. Thirteen students came and heard the Gospel! Continue to pray for our students to repent and trust Christ.

Bible Club
Shortly after writing our last prayer letter at the end of October, all the children stopped coming to the Bible Club at our house. We prayed for wisdom to know whether or not to stop it altogether. Last week, I saw three young teens near our house and invited them 30 minutes before the Bible Club. They came that day and came back again this week, along with two of Abby’s friends who had stopped coming last Fall. Please pray for this ministry to continue.

Back in September, when we started holding a Bible Club at a children’s home in town (“Azimut”), we were told that it would be closing down after a couple months. Well, the home is still open, and we continue to teach them the Bible each week. Even though we are going to be a blessing to the children, we feel the children are a great blessing to us as well.. The 15 or so children there range from age 2 through teenagers. We appreciate your prayers for these children to come to know the Perfect Father.

Sundays and Thursdays
At the end of summer, a man who was faithfully coming on Sundays and Thursdays suddenly stopped coming and did not respond to our phone calls. For months, we have been praying for him. Recently, he started coming again and brought another young man with him, too! What a joy it was to see him again. Please pray for “V” to grow in the Lord and for us to have a part in it.
We have another older man who started coming. Jacob and I will be starting discipleship meetings with him this week. Please pray for us as we find out more about where he is spiritually and lead him in the next steps for Christ.

Odds and Ends
We would also ask for your prayers on several other areas:
Please pray that we will receive two-year residency permits. We turn in our documents for this over the next week.
Pray for us to find a good 9-seater van at a good price.
Pray for the Jacob and Viola Hughes as they head back to America for a 4 month furlough (and pray for us as we fulfill their roles in their absence).
Please pray for the government here in Moldova. The socialist president won in November and is already pushing to close some ties with Europe and press for a close relationship with Russia. It is hard to tell what the future ramifications of this will be on us here in Moldova. As Scripture says, please pray for the leadership and for us to lead a quiet and peaceable life here.

Thanks again for the thoughts, prayers, and support. We LOVE serving the Lord here and count it a privilege to represent you and our Lord in Moldova.

October 2016 Prayer Letter

Last month we were bombarded with a number of emails from a supporting church, letting us know that they had prayed for us and for the work here. We were very encouraged. Usually much time and thought goes into what to include here, so we loved hearing that people, like you, ARE reading this and praying for us. Thank you!

ESL Ministry
In September, we started back again with the English ministry. More students have been coming regularly so far than the Spring semester. This week, we had 13 adults in the beginner’s class and 8 students in the advanced class. Ala, who stayed faithfully last semester for the Bible study afterwards, has continued to stay and hear the Word of God. A new student, Tatiana, joined us this week, had several questions afterwards, and seems open to the Gospel, which was presented. Please pray that the seed that was planted would grow and not stolen away or choked.

Language Teacher
God answered prayer and provided both the ladies and myself with a language teacher, Ina. Sarah and Jacob’s wife, Viola, have Romanian lessons with her three days a week, and I have Russian lessons with her twice a week. Ina’s religion is Yoga but is very open. She is constantly asking more about what the Bible teaches. Pray for her as we continue to give her the Gospel. Also, please pray that the Lord would greatly bless our progress in these languages.

Bible Club and Azimut
In September, we started holding weekly Bible Club at our house. Our team saw the benefit of having a regular spiritual influence in the lives of the children that live in our neighborhood, rather than one week a year with Vacation Bible School. We have been using the Betty Lukens felt each week, which was given to us while on our last furlough. Though we have not had the number of children come that we had during the summer, we are thankful for those that do come.
Each week, after we finish the Bible Club at our house, we pack up and head to a children’s home, called Azimut, to repeat the Bible Club for the 20 or so children there. Please pray that we will have wisdom to minister to these children effectively.

Baptismal Plans
We have two that are wanting to be baptized, one being our son, Caleb. Pray for the other young lady as she has been having challenges over the past month. Also, please pray for the Lord to provide a good location for us to do the baptism. We have requested to use or rent the Adventists’ building in town since they have a baptistry. This Saturday they are supposed to vote on whether to grant our request or not. Due to the cold weather, having the baptism indoor would be preferred.

What can be one of the most exciting and yet fearful things to do as a believer? …go door-to-door sharing the Gospel. Please pray for Jacob and I to have boldness, compassion, and to be filled with the Holy Spirit as we preach Christ and the hope of salvation to people here.
Just a reminder that BIMI has a new mailing address: P.O. Box 9, Harrison, TN 37341. Thanks and God bless you.

August 2016 Update

Much has happened over the past three months so buckle up as I whisk you through the update. During the summer, we broke from some of our regular scheduled events and focused on special summer outreaches.

May was the last month of our English Ministry before summer break. Though many did not come on a regular basis, 40 different people came during our 20 week course. About 7 people stayed at one point or another for the Bible study after lessons. No decisions for salvation were made but seed was planted and watered. Please pray for this outreach as we plan to begin again next month.

Each Friday in the month of June, we held a “Family Evening” outreach next to the Soroca Fortress and park. We offered games, crafts, and pamphlets of biblical advice for 20160617_194009husbands, wives, parents, and children which also included the Gospel. Though few actual complete families came, a myriad of children and adults did come by and participate. We were able to talk to some individuals about the Lord, too.

During the last week of June, my mom, brother, and his wife came to visit. This was my first time to meet my sister-in-law DSC_0334edited2face-to-face and my mother’s first time to be with our two youngest, Ana and Simeon. We enjoyed getting to be with family again.

Shortly after my family left, we drove back to the airport to pick up Deanna, a friend of Sarah Bodaly, who came to help out for a month, primarily with VBS.

Last year we did 3 days of VBS near our house in the forest. This year, we decided to do a 5-day VBS at our house and also redo the 5-day VBS in Soroca at our meeting place. Our theme was Creation with the Gospel being the focus on the end. I had a confrontation 20160721_111408with the Orthodox priest from our neighborhood. He wanted us to take down our VBS sign that was outside our house and to leave the children alone. We continued along without any further conflict with him, thankfully. Both weeks combined, we had 45 different children come. Please pray for these children and for us as we plan to start a one-hour Bible club each week at our house to continue to influence the children that came.

August 1-4, we had our annual team planning retreat. We spent time praying and planning for the next year. We thank the Lord for the team God has brought together to serve Christ13901622_10201811223160501_1134238816_o here in Soroca.

In the past we have requested prayer for our elderly neighbor Varvara. Anastasia, a lady in her nineties, who Varvara cared for in her home for many years, died recently. This has been hard for Varvara and has made her more receptive. I was able to have another conversation with her about the Lord after this and she listened better than any other time. She may be moving in with her sister to a different village in the next few months. Pray she will accept Christ before it’s too late.

Just yesterday, we found out that Sarah and Viola’s Romanian teacher decided to move to the capital. This has left them without a Romanian teacher (and me without a Russian teacher, since the same lady was my instructor). Would you please pray for the Lord to provide a really good Romanian instructor for Sarah and Viola?

Please note that BIMI has a new mailing address: P.O. Box 9, Harrison, TN 37341. Thanks and God bless you.