Saturday, November 24, 2007

Ministering at a Baptism in Cantemir

We were called to provide a programme and preach the gospel at a baptism meeting at Cantemir Baptist church.

Pastor Volodia and his wife Virginia ( extreme left ) pastor this church and also have a responsibility for several church plants in the surrounding area.

The paralysed girl in the centre is cronically ill and is in fact going blind

Sister Catea next to sister Virginia has a 23 yr old son physically disabled from birth whose disablity means she has had to wash his clothes every day for all his life. We discovered she has an alcoholic husband so no money comes into the house and she has thus been hand washing her son's clothes for 23 years.

We were able to give pastor Volodia 200$ from gifts that the Bayfarm church people left for her to buy a second hand washing machine PTL.

In our programme we brought Vova ( the former mafia man ( and Tanya his wife as well as Aliona for worship.)

Vova gave his testimony ( for the first time in public )

Interestingly enough in the congregation was the assistant chief constable for the Cantemir region who is a member at this church ( In fact he is pictured on the right of the baptistm candidates ( the younger of the two men ))

He knew Vova from his various run-ins with the law and it was wonderful to see the two men having felowship as brothers in the same family after the meeting.

Igor, our youth leader, here on the right of the picture translated for me in the preaching as he usually does. Indeed we have preached the gospel in 5 meetings this month either harvest services or mission meetings and he has translated in all but the last where I preached in Romanian

Aliona has been leading worship in evangelsistic events with me for 11 years now and with brother Sasa Triastar for several years before that right up to his death of cancer.

Tanya, Vova's wife spoke a powerful poem just before the preaching whose theme was "You were my good Christian neighbour and yet for shame you never told me the gospel and here I am now in hell"

This enabled me to start the message off by saying well here we are to tell you the message.

Four people responded to a gospel appeal at the end of the message
The following Sunday we went with the same team to do the same programme at another church in a town called Gurgiulesti
Vova gave his testimony again as it was interesting to see how much he had gained from the experience of the previous week
There are many mafia "friends" that Vova had in this village but unfortunately none was there to hear his testimony
However the mayor of the town was there and was visibly under conviction during the preaching of the gospel but did not respond to an appeal.
We are planning that Vova and Tanya will get baptised in our chruch in either February or March along with, it appears, several other condidates.
The date depends on Vasile Tofan and his programme for next year.
He was a famous Romanian boxer who had prospects of becoming world championj in the super heavyweight division but eneded up in prison in Germany where he got saved and he now serves the Lord and the gospel
He will come to preach in a 3 say mission that we will do that will end on a Sunday with the baptisms
He is also bringing with him a well known former mafia man from Galati so it will be a mafia man festival when this mission takes place
Keep praying for us

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