Bees cause a church to grow

written by Esther Hippel

When the warm spring air is filled with the humming of bees in the Moldovan village of Răzeni, it is a sign of a functioning ecosystem, of plants being pollinated and of food growing. It is also a reminder of God’s faithful provision.

This is true in a special way for Andrei Șoiliță, a 26-year-old inhabitant of that village, as these bees literally provide his livelihood and are also God’s tool of using this young man for His kingdom.

Andrei grew up in a believing family, where he also developed his own personal faith. At age 13 he started to become interested in beekeeping and after finishing school decided to learn this profession and make it his source of income. Starting humbly with one single beehive, within two years he succeeded in growing this into a real business of 120 hives.

This is also how he became connected with OM Moldova, as he applied to OM’s B4T (Business for Transformation) initiative, which offers training, consultation and loans to Moldovans who want to start their own business. Many Moldovans who contact B4T possess the necessary skills in a certain field of activity and the motivation to turn this into a business to be able to provide for their families, but have no knowledge about business matters, managing money, legal requirements and the like, while also lacking the funds to get started. This is where B4T helps them, as the training courses teach more about the financial and administrative side of business and also offer the possibility to receive small loans.

Andrei received a loan which helped him replace old hives with new ones, thus becoming more efficient in his business, which allows him to provide for his growing young family. Recently he and his wife had their second child, and are raising their two small children as well as seeking to serve God in their community.

Andrei was considering how he could bless others through his business. When he renewed his equipment, he decided to give away part of it, along with some of his bees, to three other men whom he also began to instruct—passing on the knowledge he had acquired through his education, the B4T training and his experience.

Through his generosity and investment, these three men became Andrei’s friends, whom he continued to mentor and witness to by his words and life. One of them started attending Andrei’s church and after a while came to faith himself.

Blessings have multiplied in this village, as the church has grown and more people have obtained the means to make a living - all because of one young man, who received help and was willing to invest and share it, letting it flow over into others’ lives in love and generosity.