Sunday, March 6 in Southern Moldova
Nadie prepared a great breakfast for our first morning in their home. It is nice getting to know Anatol, Nadie and their three boys, ages 13, 11 and 7. The boys have a lot of energy, especially young David!
My good friend, Misha, picked me (David) up at 9:30 to transport me to the village of Vidul lui Isac where I preached in Brother Andrei’s church. Andrei is Naty Tully’s father. The church building was pretty full, about 200 people. After preaching on Romans 14:1-12 and building unity in the church we went to the home of Andrei and Lydia Ciobanu, Naty’s parents and enjoyed a delicious meal. I enjoyed the fellowship with the Ciobanus and with Mish and Angelica Caraivan. I especially like Lydia’s stuffed red peppers!
After resting a bit, Misha drove me to the village of Colibasi (Ko-lee-bahsh) where I preached at 3pm to a group of about 350-400. The people are very warm and friendly. I met Scott and the Dunas family back in Cahul around 6pm.
Scott left a few minutes after I did and preached in the First Baptist Church in Cahul. Immediately after preaching he was taken to Emmanuel Baptist Church to preach. This is the church where Brother Anatol Dunas is the pastor. Afterward he returned to the Dunas family’s apartment where Nadie prepared and served lunch.
After I arrived back home, Scott and I compared notes and worked on getting ready to teach Monday and we enjoyed a light supper with the Dunas family.
Monday, March 7 in Southern Moldova
Nadie prepared breakfast again for us. This dear lady just had surgery last Wednesday! The conference began with Scott teaching the group of 70 people an overview of Pre-marriage Counseling. Then I taught on the Bible Basics of Marriage and Progressive Sanctification. With translation this took six hours. These folks will sit and listen intently for two hours, but coffee break is important to them so we learned not to cut into the coffee break with our teaching.
When they take coffee break, the all gather around small tables, maybe 4×4, without any chairs and remain standing the entire break. There is a man in the church that makes tea so he provides tea for all the church functions. It has an unusual flavor that is quite tasty.
Like the coffee breaks, lunch was served in the basement of the church … yes, they sit down for lunch! Brother Anatol kept the schedule moving with only 20 minutes for the coffee break and 45 minutes for lunch.
After the conference sessions we returned to the apartment and repeated our evening routine.
Tuesday, March 8 in Southern Moldova
Today we shared teaching on the Wife’s Role and the Husband’s Role and I (David) taught on the Four Rules of Communication. Some of the folks have been through at least part of the training we have provided before while others have not been exposed to biblical counseling before.
Several young pastors came to me today telling me about some of the struggles they are having in counseling and asking for suggestions on how they might get more training to be better prepared. When we began working with the church in Moldova, our hope was that at least three churches would take the teaching seriously and begin doing biblical counseling and at least one would eventually become a training center.
Today is Mother’s Day in Moldova so we took our host family out to dinner. They chose a local pizza place. It was fun and the pizza was good.
Wednesday, March 9 in Southern Moldova
Today we covered Forgiveness and abbreviated sessions on Parenting and Finances. We finished off the conference with Biblical Principles of Sex. Response overall was very good with lots of questions on the last session.
At lunch we shared a table with Anatol, Andrei and Lydia. The discussion was centered around their observations about how the churches in the Southern Region had taken up the challenge of biblical counseling. They told us of various churches doing biblical counseling and of the need for more training. They have invited us to return to do a series of conferences and perhaps set up some consultations via Skype. They think that if we would work with the handful of churches that are serious about biblical counseling for a few years they could take up the gauntlet and carry on the ministry.
After we finished our teaching, they honored us with small gifts to express their appreciation. Then we got in a van with Brother Igor and he drove us to the village of Antonesti (Ahn-to-nesht). We stopped in Chisinau for pizza. Igor’s two older boys, Theofil (11) and Marco (7), seemed to particularly enjoy it.
We arrive in Antonesti at about 10:30 and settled into our new home of the next 3 nights. Antonesti (Ahn-to-nesht), is a village southeast of the capitol city of Chisinau (Kee-shih-now). We are staying in the simple 4 room home very dear young couple who speak very little English. We are grateful for their willingness to open their home to us and serve us with what they have.
We had tea and visited with them until after 11pm. We understand that he is a farmer and a pastor. He farms potatoes, sunflowers, corn, wheat and walnuts and they also have 21 pigs and four young bulls.
Thursday, March 10 in Southern Moldova
It turns out the tea we were served last night had plenty of caffeine so we did not sleep so well.
We were served potatoes and meat for breakfast. Yum! Everyone showed up at the church at about the same time so set up for the conference took place from about 9:45-10:15 Then we got off to a relaxed start in the basement of the church. There were about 35 men and women in attendance representing about 10 different churches. Scott started us off with an overview of Premaritial counseling. I followed with Bible Basics of Marriage and Progressive Sanctification. Somehow my grandson Jacob seemed to come up as an illustration in all my sessions. He is now an international celebrity!
Scott ended the day with the first part of the Husband’s Role.
The outdoor temp is in the 20s to low 30s while the temperature in the basement of the church is about 60 degrees. I don’t think the dining room we ate lunch and supper has any heat. The temp in there is cold enough to see your breath.
It’s good to be back ‘home’ where it is warmer. I probably won’t update the blog tomorrow night as I have been invited to preach in one of the churches. We covet your prayers as we continue to serve the people here and will send updates as we are able.
David and Scott