Adding Value to Communities Globally, One Life at a Time
This amazing couple were the first Christians in their Moldovan village, Truseni. They became Christians in 1952 under the Iron Curtain. Today the man is 90 years old, the woman is 88 years old. He was the original pastor of the local church we partnered with. They both have cataracts and haven’t been able to read in years. The reason we met them, they wanted glasses in order to read their Bibles.
We made a house call because they couldn’t make it into the clinic. Our doctor looked at their eyes, then looked at Mark. She was certain there was nothing our little readers could do. But God knew what He was doing. We were able to give them both readers that made it possible for them to read their Bibles, a +4.5 and a +3.5! During the testing, the wife said, “Make sure I get the readers because I read faster than him (her husband)!” We all laughed, she got her readers and now doesn’t have to suffer through her husband’s slow reading.
In 1953, the leader of the Communist party, on live TV, yelled from the podium, pounding a shoe for emphasis, that he would show the last Christian to the world on public television. That man is dead. The Communist party under the Iron Curtain, is dead. This couple, they’re alive. They are now able to read, and share with those that visit, the Book that brings life.
Please wait! As I shut the door to the church the people looked at me with longing in their eyes as the sun beat down on them mercilessly. Inside 20 people had taken their seats in the air-conditioned building and were anxiously watching and waiting for their chance to get a pair of glasses. Many could not believe what they were seeing. Each person was called to set in a chair and the eyeglass teams cared for them, checked their eyes, tested for the right power of glasses, talked with them about their spiritual issues, and then were provided a pair of glasses. And before leaving the pastor and Gideon representatives from Moldova offered them a free New Testament. Almost all of them left with one or two—to take to family.
“My dad is an alcoholic and my mom left us, so why should I believe God loves me?”
“My grandma takes care of me because my parents left me because I’m handicapped.”
“If I believe in God and follow him my friends will laugh at me and I won’t be popular.”
Imagine hearing that from one of the boys or girls that are sitting across the table from you drinking tea and eating a cookie after a fun day at camp. Or imagine sitting at a bonfire where they are the last one there and they finally get their thoughts out to begin to process the issue. Maybe it is on a nature hike where you’re helping someone Continue reading “Children Who are Loved, Not Condemned”→
“He is risen” the disciples proclaimed. “He is risen indeed” we proclaim. Have you ever thought about what that would have been like to see him in the flesh, to see the grave clothes folded up and the newly vacated tomb unsealed, and being able to shout: “HE IS RISEN JUST AS HE SAID!”
I can only imagine is an understatement. But what I do know is that I met him and he has changed my life. If you’re reading this then I assume you have too! We are a part of a unique family that believes in the unfathomable riches of God’s mercy and grace. In fact we are part of a worldwide group of people that Continue reading “He is Risen Indeed!”→
Our partner Hope Center in Bulaiesti sent us this update!
This update covers January and February, in January we regularly had 20 – 22 kids come to the Hope Center. Thank you for the gifts you provided for our January Winter Camp, we couldn’t provide the gifts on our own, we prayed to Jesus and God used you to provide.
In February we had a lot of teens come, this is a big deal because soon these kids will be leaving the village to head to university or work. So during this short time that they have with them, they are working hard at teaching them about Jesus’ love and Christian principles.
Thank you so much for your support, that support is a huge blessing for our kids because now they can have good food for lunch, then get the opportunity to bless the 6 poorest families in the village with hot food and a visit.
“Have you heard about the glasses ministry? It is one of the best tools we have to reach people.”
I smiled as the young Central Asian leader went on to describe how they tried to do it in their new church. He explained they thought they could reach 150 people in three days, but after the first day when only 37 people showed up they were discouraged. They had trained, prayed, invited people, and mobilized the believers—why were more people not responding? They came back the next day and Continue reading “300 People Reached in 3 Days!!”→
Our partners in Straseni are planning to take a girl from the orphanage into their home. Axenia graduates from the orphanage in May at age 15. The Ciobanu family wants to give her the option to go to college, find a good job & learn about the love & grace of God.
(A typical Sunday lunch at the Ciobanu family table.)
“Let’s drink tea!” I know that sounds strange, but in a few days, I will be back with some of my friends from Central Asia and Turkey that I have not been face to face with for more than a year, and I can’t wait to see and hear them say that. It is their way of saying “I want to tell you something.” That is something I delight in hearing as it is usually a follow up to conversations we have had over the internet, text and telephone. It usually means that I will hear about what God has been doing in their lives or the lives of people they are ministering to in challenging situations. It also means that I will be up early in the morning and going to bed long after others are sleeping as our time together will be at a premium. Will you pray for those meetings that I will not only hear and listen, but ask good questions and be able to provide wise counsel? We will also be laying out plans for this next year and what can be accomplished. I know this sounds very ordinary, but when you think about the complexity of what God is doing in these parts of the world it is extremely important Continue reading “Tea Time”→