“Be bold in sharing Christ and in prayer and expect God to use this!”—This was one of the challenges the students of OM Moldova’s ‘Challenge into Missions’ (CiM) training received as they spent their study weeks at the OM centre, getting a deeper understanding of God and of the gospel and learning how to share it with others.
The young believers also experienced this as they went out into villages in small teams throughout the country to practise what they had learnt. It was not always easy for them - being challenged to leave their comfort zone, trying new things, and boldly stepping out with the good news - but they found it deeply rewarding: Not only could they be messengers of joy and salvation for others, but they themselves received joy. They were strengthened in their faith as they saw God honour their trust and use their efforts.
A chance meeting on the road
One participant shared about their encounter with an elderly couple: Meeting them on the road, the team offered to help them carry some bags and as a consequence were invited into their home. After listening to the couple share about their life and hardships, they started to talk about God and eternal life.
“I sensed that I had to pray for them and invite them to receive Jesus, but I also felt I didn’t have the frankness and courage to do it,” the team member shared. “But God gave me victory in my inward struggle and they both received Jesus in their hearts. This experience greatly strengthened my faith and I understood much better how important it is to listen to God’s prompting and allow Him to use me.”
Visiting the sick
Catea*, another CiM student, approached an older woman who had brought her granddaughter to a children’s programme the team was running. As Catea tried to initiate a conversation, the woman said she had to return to her husband who was lying at home, sick with cancer. Catea asked if during their stay in the village, the team could visit this couple to pray for him. The woman agreed and a few days later the CiM team went on that visit, during which both husband and wife turned to faith in God.
“We saw tears in their eyes and a true desire to entrust themselves to God,” Catea shared. “After this we also prayed for healing for the husband. God has not changed; His power is still the same, so we believe He can do much more than we imagine.
A child of God
God’s readiness to answer prayer was also the crucial point of Nicu’s* testimony about this outreach. Nicu was involved in leading youth meetings in the evenings and one time a very drunk young man turned up. In that state he was not able to take anything in, but Nicu challenged him to come again the next evening. He told him to be sober then, because there was something very important he had to tell him.
The young man really came to the next youth meeting and listened as the team was singing and sharing testimonies. In the end they offered to pray about anything the young people had on their hearts and the young man asked for prayer for his mother who was in hospital. When they had prayed and Nicu spontaneously embraced him, the young man started to cry, pulled Nicu aside and told him: “I want to be like you!”
Nicu explained that the difference in his own life is Jesus, and that he needs to receive Jesus in his heart and confess his sins. Not yet sure about this, the young man went home, but he decided to also pray himself, asking God that his mother would be able to come home the next day. The following day his mother really was released from the hospital and when she arrived home, the young man immediately set off to find Nicu. With tears in his eyes he declared to Nicu that God really exists and that he wants to confess his sins and become a child of God.
Throughout the ten weeks of this CiM course, the participants shared the gospel with hundreds of children and adults and saw seeds sown as well as fruit being grown for God’s kingdom. But what may be even more important, these young Moldovan believers saw God use them, and as they return to their own villages and churches, they go with a strengthened faith and trust in a God who acts and with a readiness to be at his disposal, listening out for his voice and prompting. Their ten-week mission experience is over now, but hopefully for many of them their lives’ mission is just about to start.
*Surname not included for security reasons