“Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27
Pacea Domnului – May the peace of the Lord be with you! This is the greeting the Christians greet one another with accompanied by a kiss on each cheek. Their sacrificial love for the brethren was so evident! One of the things that impressed us about the church over in Romania, Moldova and Transnistria was just how practically their faith was lived out. They care deeply for the fatherless and the widows and there is such a need for the church to minister to them as there are so many orphans and widows. But another thing that really impressed us was they way these dear Christians keep themselves unspotted from the world and their devotion to holiness.
This dear brother in the green coat is a Gideon who has smuggled Bibles into Siberia and many parts of Russia.
This family had been very persecuted by the priest and people in their village and they were needing encouragement. They are trying to start a church in an area surrounded by three monasteries.
This sister is a pastor’s wife and pregnant with their 3rd child. She is due just 2 weeks after me. I greatly admired her strength in living without so many basic necessities, including an indoor toilet!
Another dear pastor and his family. Our missionary friend, Brother Ghiorghi affectionately calls this brother, “John the Baptist”. He has a church in one village and is trying to start another in a village 5 miles away, but he doesn’t have a working car so he has to ride his bike over dirt roads to preach the gospel. He and his wife were such joyful people!
The young man in the striped shirt accepted Christ while we were at his house! He is 17 years old and has grown up in a Christian family and just been a good kid, but Brother Ghiorghi was telling him that God has no grandchildren and he needs to develop his own walk with Jesus Christ. He told him that he can’t just keep riding on his parents faith and convictions, he needs to have the Holy Spirit and listen to His leading for his own life. When Brother Ghiorghi finished sharing, this young man had tears in his eyes and said that he wanted to accept Christ and begin his own personal walk with Jesus. We all knelt and prayed as he prayed to give his life to Jesus. Many tears of joy were shed! Praise the Lord! After that glorious moment, Brother Ghiorghi exhorted him to start trusting God for a wife and to pray for her. He urged him to pray instead of date, and to be a man of prayer, a man of the Word and a man of faith as he waits for God to work. Such great advice!
Another precious pastor and his family of seven children. Their youngest daughter, Sara had been praying all week for a soccer ball and we unknowingly brought them an Energia soccer ball that represents the story of the gospel through the colors. She was delighted that God used us to answer her prayer, and we were so touched to be used as well
This is their oldest daughter, Valeria and her fiance Gregori. They had a precious testimony of how the Lord worked to bring them together. The church encourages the young people to stay busy serving the Lord and pray in faith for a godly spouse instead of dating. It was so beautiful to witness the purity of their relationship. They were to be married 20 days from this picture!
We are all called to be faithful and fruitful! May God help us to bear eternal fruit and build up His eternal Kingdom!