‘He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.’ Colossians 1:28

Firstly, we’re really grateful to you all for partnering with us as we head to Moldova. We’re hugely blessed to have so many people keen to pray for us and our work in Chişinău. We’d love you to join us in prayer for our preparation and planning in the lead-up to January.

It’s been a long time coming for us – we first spoke to Crosslinks in early 2022 and have had preparations for going to Moldova on our mind since then, and Sarah first visited in 2018! So do thank God that things have moved on such that we can hopefully go in January, and that the political situation in Chişinău means that it is currently safe to do so (something which has not been a certainty in the last few years).

We’re keen to keep in touch while we’re away. We’re hoping to send a prayer letter every month, but we’ll also be posting regularly on our Instagram account ‘@gurtlersinmoldova’. If you’d like to keep more immediately up to date with what we’re up to and how you can pray for us, while seeing some of Chisinau, do follow us there!

The reality of moving is becoming more real for us, which is both exciting and scary. We recently spent time with a Moldovan teenager who had come to visit his aunt (a member of our church), and he expressed how different our church was to the Orthodox churches in Moldova, where most people are just going through the motions without really believing. He also said that his Mum would never let him go to a non-Orthodox church as Moldovans see any non-Orthodox churches as ‘not proper churches’. This sums up something of the opportunity, need, and challenge of evangelical mission in a country like Moldova; there are many nominal Christians in desperate need of the gospel and good Bible teaching, but also an underlying suspicion towards anything that isn’t Orthodox. Please pray for the evangelicals in Moldova, that they would grow in their knowledge of Jesus and have boldness to share it with their neighbours. And pray that we would be able to serve the church well while we’re there.

Praise God that we have the financial flexibility to take some time without full-time jobs over September-December so that we can prepare. We’d appreciate prayer for the practical decisions involved in an overseas move, such as where we’ll live in Chişinău, what to do with our stuff in the UK, when to book flights. It all feels slightly overwhelming at times, so please pray too that we’d trust God’s sovereignty in these plans.

We’ll mostly be working in Russian, which Matt speaks – though he feels he’s got rusty in the past few years – and Sarah doesn’t, though she has started learning. Learning a little Romanian will be helpful too. Please pray that we’d give a good amount of time to practicing the languages before we go, so that we can communicate better with the church and the local population.

Over the next few months, we’ll be visiting our partner churches to speak about our plans. If you’re part of any of these churches, we’d love to see you on one of the following dates:

  • Sunday 1 October: Christ Church Huntingdon
  • Sunday 22 October: Bishop Hannington Church, Hove
  • Sunday 29 October: Castle Sowerby Chapel, Cumbria
  • Sunday 19 November: St Andrew the Great, Cambridge

Please pray that we’d communicate clearly and enjoy fellowship with the congregations in those churches. Please also pray that we’d be growing in our own relationships with Jesus over the coming months as we read his word and meet with his people.

Finally, please pray that we’d be able to raise the financial support we need and trust the Lord as we wait. Join us in giving thanks for the generosity of many people; even £5 a month is great help! Consequently, we’re on our way to reaching our target, but there remains a shortfall of about a quarter of our budget. Pray for the Lord to provide, and for our upcoming church visits to be helpful occasions of building prayerful and financial partnerships with both churches and individuals. If you’d like more information, do visit www.crosslinks.org/gurtlers or email us via matt.sarah0409@gmail.com.

Thank you for your prayers, please do let us know how we can be praying for you.

Love in Christ,

Matt and Sarah

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Give thanks for...

  • Plans moving forwards
  • Time away from work
  • Provision of financial support

Please pray for...

  • The evangelical church in Moldova
  • Practical preparations
  • Language learning
  • Church visits

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