IBC Helps EBF’s Indigenous Church Planters
Note: The International Baptist Convention has been supporting two indigenous church planters in Moldova through the European Baptist Federation’s Mission Partnerships (formerly Indigenous Missions Partnerships). 2016 completes our commitment to Gheorge Mikhailov. We are in the middle of the five-year plan of support for Ghenadie Curbet.
Five years ago when Gheorge Mikhailov began being supported by the European Baptist Federation’s Missions Partnerships, the church at Rascani was in the process of becoming a church. Through the result of redefining the purpose of the church, he said, the idea of planting churches in Ghetlova and Criuleni came up. Today the church in Rascani has 50-60 attending worship while in Criuleni and Ghetlova there are eight people attending each of these church plant’s weekly meetings. And, during that five year period, 20 people have been baptized.
The work has not been easy, Mikhailov said. The attitude of the people in the villages was very closed at the beginning. Yet, they persevered — not changing their vision but changing their methods. Social projects within the villages have built relationships there — enabling the people from the church in Rascani to become a part of the villagers’ lives.
The financial situation in Moldova are forcing some people to leave the country and go to work abroad. This affect the churches as well, Mikhailov said. “I realize that I can’t stop this phenomenon. Therefore, through personal example, we have just been trying to encourage the people to trust in God and find a way to survive in our country.”
Mikhailov is grateful for the support he has received. “I do not know how we would have progressed, but I am sure that without the support, the ministry would not have had the results we have today. May God continue to bless [you] to be useful in church planting, both in our country and in the whole world!”
“We thank God that things are going well in the church of Bardar at the moment,” Ghenadie Curbet said. “We do not have big changes, but we rejoice to see the faithfulness of our church members. The people of the village still seem quite reserved, but we are happy that believers realize that all are called to proclaim the Gospel message.”
The church in Bardar continues to use taekwondo as a means of reaching the children in the village. The group which meets for training and Bible study has grown from three to 15 children.
Last year, the church also sponsored day camps for the children in Bardar and in the villages and towns of Vasieni, Pojoreni, Calarasi, and Seliste. More than 300 children came to these. A week-long overnight camp had more than 100 children come — most of these from the day camps.
The church has also started monthly fellowships in members’ homes, aiming at reaching unbelievers. Pray that all the ministries of the church would grow.