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Taking the "A" Train

Rich Davis on February 16, 2018


Time to confess to our jazz roots! Long ago and far away, we were huge jazz fans and one of our favorite tunes was "Take the 'A' Train" - the Duke Ellington theme song. 

Fast forward to 2018: We are not exactly heading to Sugar Hill in Harlem on the "A" train, but we do feel like we are on a fast moving train where an "A" would thrill most of the passengers. Chișinău is not Sugar Hill but it is covered with a blanket of snow just now!

The students at the Universitatea Divitia Gratiae (UDG) are well into the winter semester and racing down the tracks to the end of the line hoping to arrive with an "A". We too are hoping to arrive with excellence at the next language school whistle stop. Moreover, the church planting team that we are privileged to partner with is well into the foundational phase of the new church plant while soaking in some training on the second-floor observation deck. Please step right up and get on board with us for a quick trip on the Moldovan "A" Train. We'll even catch a glimpse of our new mode of transportation

DSC05601_edited Mike Rummey (ABWE Romania) teaching at the UDG Good Soil seminar

Story Telling

It is good even for university students to learn how to tell stories. Naturally, we are teaching them to tell the greatest story of all time: The Story of Hope. It was a requirement for all of the students in the Church Planting course that Rich is teaching to take the Good Soil seminar. The fact is, it is impossible to plant a church without evangelism. 

Because we have Russian speaking students from Central Asia and Romanian speaking students from Moldova, we asked experienced trainers to come from Ukraine and Romania to present the seminar in each language. Between the administration at UDG, the men from Ukraine and the ABWE colleagues from Romania, it turned out to be a great day. 

Thank you for making this evangelism training possible. Because of your faithfulness, we were able to give all of the students their workbooks, copies of The Story of Hope plus extras for those who wanted to share the Gospel with a friend or family member, refreshments throughout the day plus all the meals and housing for the visiting trainers.

This chronological presentation of the Gospel with fantastic artwork is an amazing tool for anyone who cares to share the good news with folks who have little or no Bible background. Please continue to pray for the UDG students and for their efforts to share the Gospel. If you would like to glance through a few pictures of this event, please click here.

llama270977_smiling_llama_400x400 If you hold your mouth just right . . .

To Tell the Truth

Language learning is WORK! We had illusions that knowing Spanish would ease the learning curve on getting Romanian. Wrong. Actually, knowing Spanish does help a little, but it is not the panacea that we imagined. We missed several weeks of classes when we took the emergency trip back to the US over the holidays due to the death of our grandson and we're still not caught up. After a couple of weeks of language classes in January, Rich dropped out for a while to prepare the course he is teaching at the university as well as having more teaching responsibility in the church plant of Imago Dei. 

Jo Ann was able to continue on with the language class and now Rich is back at the institute with our teacher one-on-one in a tutoring format. We would love to be telling the Good News in Romanian. Please keep praying as we do our best to learn this beautiful language. We're not sure if our llama friend is giving good advice or not!

IMG_1309_edited_edited A common sight is to see Mihai and Rich teaching and training together at Imago Dei and at UDG.

The Tag Team

The Lord was preparing this ministry tag team long before we arrived in Moldova. As we develop the church planting team in the foundational phase of this project, Mihai and Rich are constantly working together. This is also true in the church planting course that Rich is teaching at UDG. Mihai is fluent in three languages and translates for Rich in both the Russian and Romanian speaking classes. 

The developing church already has a name though it is still in the infant stage of development. Imago Dei means "Image of God"and our prayer is that this church might truly represent the image and heart of God in our target area. Before we actually launch the church publically, Mihai and Rich are training the prospective leadership twice a week in evening sessions. They are together most days of the week working on something. 

That brings up an important prayer request. Mihai has been approved as an ABWE partner with the Global Access Partnership (GAP). He has been called by God to serve with all of his heart and life along with his wife Irina. We are praying that the Lord will make the necessary funds available so that he can focus full time on the new church plant among other Christian ministries here in Moldova. Being a GAP partner allows Mihai to have an account at the ABWE home office whereby tax-deductible gifts can be designated to him. 

Tickets have already been purchased and Mihai is traveling to the US just after Easter, staying for a while near our home in the Harrisburg, Pennsylvania area. His English is excellent and to say that he is a blessing is putting it mildly. His energy level takes our breath away! Please pray as Mihai travels to the states that the Lord will allow him to meet many friends and churches that would love to pray for this fantastic family and the ministry here in Moldova. The potential of this couple is amazing. Please drop us a note (rich@abwe.cc) if you might be interested in meeting Mihai in April or perhaps joining his support team through GAPClick here to see a few shots of the leadership training we are doing at Imago Dei.

IMG_1340_edited Our new (to us) 2011 Honda CR-V. Yes, that is Mihai in the background helping us to get the car insured.

Train Without Tracks

This clean machine should get us just about anywhere we need to go here in Moldova. Please look over our shoulders as we share a couple of clips from a recent email to one of our supporting pastors along with a few explanatory comments: 

"During the six months that we have been here (in Moldova), we have learned more about the actual daily life of the students here at the Universitatea Divitia Gratiae (UDG). It turns out that in conformity with the needs of the Central Asian students, the administration compressed the four year BA degree program down to three years. This then causes the workload for the students to increase giving them little time or energy to do church planting on the weekends. The current administration told me (Rich) that it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to expect students to go into the villages for evangelism and discipleship on the weekends. (This may change over time as adjustments are made at the university). 
Jo Ann and I along with some of our Moldovan partners still plan to do ministry in the villages, so we decided to purchase a vehicle that could handle the rough road conditions outside of Chișinău. Two weeks ago (at the beginning of February), we purchased a 2011 Honda CR-V 4x4 diesel that had been imported from Switzerland. The cost was $19,300 USD which was almost $4,300 over the amount we had raised for a vehicle." 
Thankfully, one of the pastors of the supporting church who received this note, along with the missions committee, offered to help cover the cost that exceeded the funds that were raised for this purchase! Praise Him and thank Him along with us! If you would like to see a few more pictures of the car, please click here to go to the Photo Gallery
We are grateful, not only for the provision of this vehicle but for every one of you who pray and give that we might continue mentoring young leaders here in Moldova. This ministry is key to the goal of reaching Eastern Europe and even parts of Central Asia for our Lord. It's a privilege to be teammates together with you.