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Making It Count

Rich Davis on August 13, 2018

IMG_1606 Jo Ann with friend and fellow missionary, Steve Winget, in Kosovo - Spring 2018

Nine Days

July 4th is not normally celebrated here in Moldova, but it became a special day anyway - in our case. For some mysterious reason on that day, Jo Ann was admitted to the hospital with severe sciatic nerve pain. The mystery is that no one could determine what caused that nerve to flare up. It took nine days for the doctors to reduce the pain to the point that she could be released. She is much better and the pain is under control but her right leg has been weakened. That is the leg that was affected by a stroke 27 years ago. 

Many of our friends here in Moldova were praying for us during that time and no doubt so were many of you in your regular prayers. You may not have known that Jo Ann was in need of prayer but the Lord did. Thank you for praying even when you may not know precisely what is happening with us on any given day in Moldova. Jo Ann is working hard each day with special exercises to regain the strength that she needs to be able to walk independently once again. Please do keep praying as our schedule is about to pick up speed. Jo Ann will be back in Romanian language classes in a couple of weeks and it would be a blessing if she could have the confidence and strength to negociate the trip each day. Rich will also return to language classes, but our class schedules are different. 

Rich_D Rich preaching with Mihai translating in Russian

Five Days

We can only praise the Lord that Jo Ann was able to recuperate her mobility sufficiently to attend and teach at the Moldovan Missionary/Pastors Retreat hosted by the Baptist Union. Jo Ann was blessed to have special classes for the wives of the missionaries while Rich held classes for the men and also preaching one of the keynote messages from the book of Ephesians. Please click here to see some fun pictures of the Missionary Camp.

One of the blessing of teaching and preaching is what you learn in preparation. Rich read several books on discipleship in preparation for his men's class. The heart of the issue is that many churches are weak on obeying the Great Commission in the sense that Christ did not tell us to make converts, He told us to "make disciples." And there is a difference. We are usually very good at telling what a disciple is, but rather poor at showing what a disciple does. It was fun to challenge these men, most of whom come from smaller village churches and church plants.

This summer has given us some wonderful opportunities to interact with the pastors and missionaries connected with the Baptist Union here in Moldova and we are encouraged that by God's grace we will have even more opportunities in the weeks and months to come. Our brothers are burdened that close to 750 villages in Moldova have no gospel witness and we are asking the Lord to allow us to partner with these faithful believers to multiply and reach many of these villages for Christ. We are also asking the Lord to put in on the hearts of some of our supporting churches to consider the possibity of partnering with a sister church here in Moldova to start a new church. What a fantastic mission project that would be. Please do pray with us about this. 

111-10 Rich and Mihai teaching class together at camp. It will be something like this as we teach at the university!

Twenty One Days

We just received confirmation that Rich will be teaching the evangelism course this coming semester at the Christian university where classes begin in twenty one days. It turns out that the fantastic evangelism and discipleship material developed by ABWE over the last almost 20 years has now been prepared with a curriculum for Bible Colleges and Seminaries. Once again, the classes will be taught to two different groups: one in the Russian language and the other in the Romanian language. Rich is coordinating with our team at the home office and will be preparing the materials for this essential course during the next three weeks. 

Please do pray for the students that come from some very interesting places and with some challenging backgrounds. They are coming to receive the ministry tools that they will need for serving Christ in their home countries. Please also pray for the Spring semester as Rich has been asked to teach this chronological approach to sharing the gospel for ministry in limited access countries. 

One of the directors of the Christian university indicated that there is still interest in starting a post-graduate course in church planting. More work needs to be done on planning the details of this course and getting it approved in the curriculum, but we are very excited about teaming up with a fellow missionary family for this great opportunity. The general idea is that we would do classroom training along with taking teams into the villages and neighborhoods where new churches need to be planted. Please do pray concerning this new practical course in mentoring for church planting. 

IMG_1305_edited Jo Ann with Lilia, Alexandru and Igor at the Wednesday evening Bible Study with the Imago Dei church plant

Forty Eight Days

We have been praying and working toward the day when the Imago Dei church plant will be officially launched in the target neighborhood of Ciocana here in the capital city of Chisin─âu. By God's grace, the launch will take place on September 30. We have been looking for rental space for the new start up and several weeks ago found a very interesting possiblility. The owner has spoken with us and given us a very reasonable price of $685 (USD) for 170 square meters with classrooms and a large meeting place for regular services. 

We have been trying to develop a core team as we launch this new work, but working with young singles can offen be a challenge. In our view, young Christian families who are well grounded in the faith would be ideal for this ministry. Young, single people have tons of energy and enthusiasm which is great in many ways, but young families could be even more helpful. Please do pray with us that the Lord would bring a solid team of young, spiritually mature families to help with this church plant. Please also pray that all the necessary finances and other elements would come together during the next month and a half as the Lord provides. 

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Unlimited Days?

"Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil." (Eph 5:15–16).

We are doing our best to make our days count for the Lord during the time we have in Moldova. The incident with Jo Ann's health this summer reminded us that we do not have unlimited days. By His grace, we are able to continue serving in the ministries that we envisioned and have an exciting year planned ahead with plenty to do. None of this is possible though without the grace of our Lord along with your faithful prayers and financial support.

As teachers, mentors, counselors, and leaders, these verses in Colosians are a constant guide for us. Thank you for remembering us in prayer as we seek to make "the best use of the time" He is giving us to serve Him in Eastern Europe. 

"Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person." (Col 4:5–6).