May 30, 2010
Until today, we have spent our time with the church leaders (pastors, wives, small group leaders, etc). Today our team went to 3 different locations, worshipping with three different churches.
KK and I went to the Agape Baptist Church and it was a morning we will never forget. The pastor is a young man and God has blessed them with people of all ages…but especially young families and young adults. We will continue to pray for Pastor Victor and his wife, knowing that God is using them to lead their church and to impact the spreading of the Gospel throughout the city. Together with Alex, they have a vision to facilitate a movement of church planting.
Between the worship service and lunch, we went to Illya and Nona’s home. They speak little English and we speak no Romanian, so it was a fun time trying to communicate with two specail people! After tea and coffee, we loaded the food and took it back to the church for lunch with the Conference Leadership Team (at 3pm) and then I preached in a closing service at the Holy Trinity Baptist Church (the church that hosted our Leadership Conference this week). It was a special time of saying goodbye to the host church.
Now we sleep for a few hours–wake up at 3am (8pm NC)–leave for airport at 5am (10pm NC) and depart for home at 7am (midnight NC). We connect in Frankfurt and arrive Charlotte 3pm Monday (that’s 3pm NC time 🙂
Prayer request: A couple of team members have experienced stomach problems. Pray that we will have health and endurance for the trip home.
May 29, 2010
Today was a “day off” in Chisinau. We had a special time with a few of the local pastors and heard more of the story of God’s working in their lives, families and churches.
Alex was raised in a pastor’s home. His father was arrested many times by the KGB–every time his mother did not know where they had taken him, what they would do with him, or if he would return. Their church building in the village was confiscated by the KGB; when Gorbachev took office and instructed them to return the building, it was bulldozed to the ground. They notified Moscow there was nothing to return.
Now, Alex is a pastor in Chisinau and God has blessed his church with the facility that hosted our conference. Ironically, this wonderful facility was built (and never occupied) by the Soviets before the wall fell. Alex’s people bought it at a drastically reduced price and see the hand of God making things right.
Illya was smuggling truck loads of Bibles during the communist era. When the KGB arrested some of his co-workers, he had to flee for his life. He was on the run for 7 years and his wife and two toddlers had to live with family. We sat tonight at dinner with Illya and his pastor son Victor. I will be preaching in Victor’s church tomorrow.
Here are our prayer requests:
1. Pray for our teammate, Pastor Snow. He has been ill for the past 24 hours.
2. Pray for us as our team preaches in 3 different churches tomorrow morning. (while you sleep in the U.S.)
3. Pray for our afternoon meeting with the Leadership Team and the closing service tomorrow evening.
4. Pray for our travel home on Monday. We have great connection in Frankfurt and because of time change, will arrive in Charlotte at 3pm.
May 28, 2010
Today was a very busy & productive day. It started early with everyone gathered for breakfast and then a time of worship.
Next, KK led two sessions for the women. She poured her life into them and I wish you could have seen their response. They said they had never had a time like that for the women. She took time for questions and they were so encouraged and grateful. Some of the ladies told KK, “thanks for coming so far and making such an investment to teach us.” She responded, “It was my privilege to come and I will take that THANK YOU back to the people who made it possible for me to come and to those who are praying right now for you.”
While KK was teaching the women–the men left the meeting hall and broke into smaller groups. I had the privilege of teaching two different groups–sharing a simple vision to multiply disciples. They were attentive, interactive and eager to put the vision into practice.
After lunch I preached to the combined group and challenged them to send Missionaries to other countries. They gladly received the Word.
We concluded the day with a Question & Answer time. They said, “we have never had Leadership training like this –especially not bringing together Great Commission Christians crossing denominational lines.”
After dinner with the Leadership Team we hurried to a concert. A famous Russian rock star, named Sergio, was radically transformed by the Gospel 10-15 years ago. Now, Sergio sings for the glory of God. He has only made two trips to this part of the world since he was saved. Our conference Leadership Team hosted his concert tonight. Young adults packed an old Philharmonic hall and heard a clear presentation of the Gospel. Dozens responded to a public invitation and trusted in Jesus.
What a day!
Tomorrow our team will go different ways. Some will spend time with pastors and others will attend an official function in the city. Sunday, we will preach in 4 different churches and then have afternoon meetings together.
Thanks for praying!
May 28, 2010
The first day of the Leadership Conference was incredible! It is obvious that you have prayed and we are walking in your prayers!
It was hard to know the exact makeup of the group. We have pastors/wives and other church leaders and future church leaders. I have been encouraged to see so many young leaders.
The praise and worship time is electrifying. The room is filled with energy and anticipation. Each message has been translated into Russian and simultaneously they are translating into Romanian and another dialect.
KK’s first session with the women went very well. At the end, one lady came up to KK weeping. The Holy Spirit convinced her of God’s love and acceptance. KK was able to spend some extra time with the lady and her daughter.
- KK leads two sessions with the women
- I teach two sessions to the men on “Multiplying Disciples”
- I preach final message of conference
- Saturday we visit with the people
- Sunday we lead in the churches
May 26, 2010
We had two great days “off” in Germany. I’d love to share it all but it’s bedtime here so I’ll wait until another time. Let me catch you up on things in Moldova and make our immediate prayer requests clear.
Everyone arrived safely to Chisinau, Moldova. We had dinner with some of the pastors who are on the “Leadership Team” for the conference. After a quick stop at the store, we checked in our hotel and our day is about to come to a close (almost midnight–7 hrs ahead of NC).
We begin tomorrow morning with introductions, worship and prayer. We are expecting 350-400 pastors/wives from the area. Here are the prayer requests:
1. Pray for pastors/wives as they travel. Pray they will have open hearts and minds as we meet.
2. Pray for us as we wake up early and go over our notes and prepare to preach and teach.
3. Pray for me as I preach the opening session in the afternoon (2pm here-7am NC time).
4. Pray for KK as she has her first session with the wives tomorrow evening (7pm here-12 noon NC time).
5. Pray that we will be sensitive to the Spirit’s voice and know exactly what these church leaders need.
I will try and update the blog tomorrow evening.
May 24, 2010
When we looked at the “normal” flight schedule for the team, I noticed that we would spend from 7am-3pm in the Frankfurt airport And then I thought…what if we went a couple of days early and spent some time visiting the sites in Germany? Since KK has never been to Germany, this will be a great time for us to look at the majesty of the alps.
In 1984 I made my first trip to Germany. One morning I woke up and spent an hour on my balcony looking at the alps and wrote in my journal: “Father, I ask you for the privilege of bringing KK here before I die.” Today I get a chance to see that prayer answered.
The rest of the teams arrives Wednesday. KK and I will spend today (and tomorrow) in Bavaria.
May 22, 2010
We are very grateful for those of you who have offered to be our prayer partners next week. Every time I share where we are going (Moldova) people smile and give me a puzzled look!
If you have some time, click on these sites and learn more about Moldova. You may notice that some research states that 95% of the country is “Christian.” That means cultural christian (as opposed to muslim, etc.) By comparison, 83% of the U.S. is listed as “Christian”….this might be an opportunity for all of us to learn something about mission/evangelism strategy–huh? (not everyone who says they are Christian has a personal relationship with Christ).
CIA World Facts page on Moldova
Operation World Prayer Page
BBC World News Country Profile