Humanly-speaking, Moldova doesn’t have much going for it.
The small, landlocked country between Romania and Ukraine is riddled by poverty, corruption and the significant effects of mass-emigration. Young people see so little hope in their country that they are leaving the country in droves.
Moldova remains shackled to her Soviet past, where communism largely succeeded in draining people of hope. Most Moldovans are nominally Orthodox Christians but there is a significant number who have been raised as atheists in the Soviet Union. Andrei (not his real name) was brought up in such a family. God was considered to be a lie created by the Church to manipulate the masses. Andrei entered into adult life with no contact with authentic Christians and zero interest in spiritual matters. But in 2017 a series of events in Andrei’s life shook him to the core, both humbling him and sparking a desire for true hope in life.
In God’s gracious providence, he joined an English conversation class run by Crosslinks mission partners in Moldova’s capital, Chisinau. From day one it was clear he was searching for something more in life, as the atheism of his upbringing offered no hope at all. At the beginning of this year he joined a church camp in the mountains, spending a week studying the theme of grace in Luke’s Gospel. This was the first time that Andrei had ever opened a bible in his life.
As the camp progressed, it was clear that the Holy Spirit was at work in Andrei, stirring his heart. He was starting to understand his deep need for God’s grace and that real hope - now and eternally – can only be found in Christ. The week after the camp, in his first ever one-to-one bible study, Andrei’s only question at the end was, ‘How can I be saved?’
Andrei has continued to show spiritual hunger as a fledgling believer and is little by little discovering in Scripture the riches of God’s glorious grace. He is taking hold of the living hope through Christ of a heavenly inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading. ‘For the first time, my life has both a foundation and a future because of Jesus.’
There is much spiritual darkness in Molova, much hopelessness and much superifical religious veneer. Yet, in the midst of that darkness, the light of the gospel shines.
Pray for Moldova…
• That Christians will be able to point their countrymen to the hope that is found in Jesus.
• That believers will stay in Moldova for the sake of Jesus and the advancement of the gospel.
• That the evangelical churches will be firmly rooted in grace instead of legalism; rooted in Scripture rather than evangelical tradition.
And for Andrei…
• That he will count all things as rubbish compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ and mature as a believer.
• For increased wisdom and zeal for him to share the gospel with his family, colleagues and friends.
Graeme and Bequi Innes (pictured top) work with a church in Chisinau, Moldova.
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