What a joy it is to be back in Moldova! We arrived the evening of March 25th ,with all our luggage, and received a warm welcome back by Moldovan believers. The past 3 weeks here have been a mix of emotions, though. We’ve been tired, happy, overwhelmed, encouraged, etc. We would like to share with you some of these in detail.
Our first week, we stayed with a Moldovan family in Chișinău, the capital, which allowed us to get some needed work done there before heading up to Soroca, which is 3 hours north of the capital. Caleb and Daniel helped me put on our summer tires, I renewed our annual car inspection that had expired during our furlough, and Stephanie had her doctor appointment with Dr. Natalia, who has become Stephanie’s main doctor since the miscarriage of Enoch. Dr. Natalia shared with Stephanie that she and her daughter are reading the New Testament in the Bibles we had given them and that her daughter has been asking her questions from what she is reading, which has been causing Dr. Natalia to consider things more. We were very encouraged to see these steps and ask that you continue to pray for her and her daughter.
Our first Sunday back, I was asked to preach in Romanian in the Chișinău church, which was something I have not done much over the past 8 months. It was great to see friends and faces again but we knew our stay was short. On the following day, I left Stephanie and the children to head up to Soroca to quickly prepare two rooms in our house. Since the places to rent were no longer available, we considered the idea of starting out living in two rooms upstairs in our house while we work on the first floor, rather than renting during the construction. Igor and I put some sheets of OSB on the ceiling joists for the ceiling, put in some outlets, lights, and switches, put insulation above the room we would be sleeping, and put plastic up as the door to that room. The other room was setup as our kitchen, dining, and wash room. It took us all week, but we were able to move up to Soroca on Sunday evening. We are officially now living in Soroca.
Considering all the work that needs done on the house and seeing that some things that the previous owners had done needed to be corrected was discouraging. Quite frankly, I just didn’t know where to begin. I also found out that the city water was not going to be up and running until this Fall. Thankfully, we are blessed to have a public well right outside our gate. During a time of feeling overwhelmed, a group of 8 young people told us they were coming on the next day to help us at the house. They drove the 3 hours up and spent the day taking down the drywall, cleaning the downstairs, helping us organize our belongings, and then they drove the 3 hours back. They brought food and a wonderful spirit. and encouraged us in a most tangible way. God knew we needed that.
We have met most of our neighbors by now and they have been very friendly, helpful, and welcoming. Please pray for Sasha, Anton, Varvara, Anastasia (she’s 95 years old!), Iuri and Lucia, Jenia, Boris and Vica. I have also started witnessing to a man at the piața (market) named Andre. He said he believes about 50% that there is a God. Please also pray for a lady named Maria who works in a little convenience store. Russian is her first language but she also is very conversant in Romanian. She asked me to bring back some Russian Bible literature. I met with her this week on Wednesday and gave her an evangelistic book and two brochures that deal with the deity of Christ. She has read a lot of Jehovah’s Witness literature in the past. She asked me a lot of questions in between times when she had clients. On Tuesday, I am scheduled to visit again and begin a Bible study with her. Please pray for Maria to see the truth from God’s Word.
After getting the drywall down, we were ready for the next step of getting the wiring finished. Much of the rough wiring was already in place, but there needed to be some additional outlets and the breaker box installed. Today, while working on the garden, our neighbor Iuri showed up with his neighbor, Boris, who is an electrician who is back for a short time from working in Russia. Lord willing, he and I will have the downstairs wiring completed in a week. Please pray for our talks about the Gospel to be used of God. Also, please pray for wisdom as we work on choosing our heating method and resolving some other insulation issues.
Ministering to people who speak Russian as their first language has made us yearn even more to have the Hughes join us in the work here. Please continue to pray for them as they finish up their furlough and arrive back here in the middle of June, Lord willing.
There is so much work to be done here, not just on our house, but more importantly in the hearts of the people here. May we partner together to see Christ build His church and change lives for His glory. Thank you for your prayers and faithful support. What a joy it is to serve our Lord and Savior!