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Metamorphosis

Rich Davis on February 14, 2020

103-0336_IMG Young girl praying in India

 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2).

Many of our readers are good Bible scholars and are aware that the word “transformed” in Romans 12:2 comes from the Greek word “metamorphosis.” One commentary explains that this word could be translated into some languages as “become different than what you are.”

Ashok - new house church House church in Kolkata -circa 2006

Gaining New Skills

Part of becoming different is learning what needs to change and is an essential part of Christian discipleship. Being a disciple of Jesus, by definition, requires life-long learning. We have discovered that in our ministries as teachers, we are constantly striving to learn more so that we can teach more effectively. We love to learn how to use spiritual tools so that we can place them in the hands of our disciples.

A wonderful opportunity has just become available where we will receive training in the amazing ministry of communicating the gospel to children. Reaching children for Christ is essential when planting a new church like the Imago Dei Baptist Church. New material has been developed by colleagues at ABWE for reaching children. The pastor of Imago Dei, Mihai, headed up the translation project in the Romanian language and now we are anxious to launch a powerful children’s ministry here.

In consultation with ABWE leaders and administrators around the globe, it was determined that the most cost-effective way for our team in Moldova to get this training was for us to travel to Kolkata, India and join one of the special training events. Four of us are planning to attend the training in India including Mihai, Tatiana, Jo Ann, and Rich.

The Lord has provided funds for Mihai and Tatiana’s trip and training costs for which we are thankful. Tatiana, her husband, and two children are a wonderful Christian family that has become members at the Imago Dei Church. Tatiana is a teacher in the public schools here in Moldova and is gifted in so many ways. Her heart is to see an effective children’s ministry raised up at Imago Dei. Please pray for all of us as we travel from April 5 – 10 and learn how to implement this innovative material.

Ashok & Mai Ashok and Mai

Meeting Old Friends

In 2006, Jo Ann and I spent a year in India and during that time made several special friends. On one occasion, we traveled to Kolkata to visit a dear single lady missionary from one of the New Life Baptist churches in Lima, Peru. Carmen was working in Kolkata alongside a very dynamic pastor who had just resigned the pastorate at the William Carey Baptist Church in order to start a new church. Yes, this was the church that William Carey founded in 1880. Ashok Andrews and his wife Mai are amazing servants of the Lord and we have high hopes of reuniting with them during our week Kolkata.

61802930_10217207485773173_1222127687036829696_n Jo Ann, Irina, Delia, Rich, and Mihai at the airport

Gaining New Friends

We have been praying for months about a possible trip to the states to encourage our faithful friends and partners, Mihai and Irina Chisari. Both Mihai and Irina have committed to serving in the pastorate of Imago Dei full time, but it is challenging to start a church in the capital city. Mihai is a national partner with ABWE in what is called Global Access Partnerships (GAP). One of the blessings of this relationship with ABWE is that the Chisari family can share in many of the positive aspects that US-based missionaries have under the mission.

Just this week we received the great news that Irina and daughter, Delia were granted their US visas. Once we knew that the whole family could travel to the US, we decided to join them and lend all the help we could. Jo Ann and I want to introduce the Chisari family to as many friends as possible during the short time we will all be in the US. Our plan is to arrive in Pennsylvania at the beginning of May and travel in that state and others on the east coast during all that month – May 1 - 31. This schedule will allow us 5 Sundays in the US. We are praying that even with such short notice, pastors and mission leaders will open the doors to their churches to allow all of us to share the exciting ministry we are doing together here in Moldova. Please pray with us as we contact friends and pastors so that our schedule will fill up allowing us to share the vision of reaching Moldova for Christ during this short trip. At this point, it looks like we should be having meetings in Pennsylvania, Washington DC, Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee.

No More Tests

Paul tells us in Romans 12:2 to test or prove that our transformation agrees with the will of God. This life-long project can be interesting as we see God bring circumstances into our lives by which He intends to accomplish a beautiful metamorphosis. Because change is a life-long project, the testing and proving of our transformation will not end until our life on earth ends. We will not be disappointed when the project has ended, and we stand complete in His presence in Heaven. Until that blessed moment, we keep on keeping on for His glory. Thank you for praying and giviing so we can continue to grow and serve here in Moldova. We are looking forward to seeing many of our friends on the eastern side of the country in just a few short weeks!

We are grateful for those of you that have increased your monthly support as it has helped greatly. Please pray that the Lord would complete what He began in this area as we are experiencing a $500 monthly deficit.