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The Trouble with Tomorrow

Rich and Jo Ann Davis on April 22, 2021

Yesterday

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)

DSC05430 Rich teaching with Mihai translating

The Lord gave us two primary ministries in which to serve while in Moldova. For almost four years we have had the privilege of teaching in the Christian University (UDG) here in Chișinău. The current semester has been the most satisfying teaching experience to date. This will sound enigmatic, but the reason for evaluating the semester so highly is due in part to Covid 19!

It turns out that the university is blessed with many great teachers from other countries who come regularly to teach one- or two-week modules. Often it is a challenge to schedule these international teachers and when the window opens for them to come to Moldova, there is an inevitable rearrangement of regular ongoing courses taught by local staff. Because of pandemic travel restrictions, the ability of modules to be taught has been curtailed greatly. While this has increased the teaching load for those of us who are resident teachers, it has limited greatly interruptions in our class schedule.

This is not to say that there has not been some degree of scheduling changes this semester, but compared to other years, we are praising the Lord! No doubt, the administration of the university would have a different perspective as they face challenges that professors do not.

One of those challenges created a last-minute surprise for Rich. We were already five weeks into this semester when he was asked to develop and teach Church History beginning in March. Since this was a new course for him, it was a scramble to gather resource material, prepare the lectures, handouts, Power Point slides, and get material translated into Russian. You may not have realized it, but your prayers carried us through. There were a couple of occasions when Rich arrived in the classroom with the ink barely dry on the handouts and the translated PowerPoint just downloaded on the computer! Thank you for praying! 

IMG_0191 Tatiana and the children's SS class

The Imago Dei Baptist Church plant continues to grow in number and spiritually. One of the indications of the Lord’s blessings is to see families added to the membership and church members assuming ministries in the church. Some of the men are teaching, preaching, and leading the services now.

The children are also growing in the knowledge of the Word in the dynamic Sunday School ministry led by one of our members who teaches in the public schools. Tatiana has a heart for the Lord and for children. 

Please continue to pray for the church as we minister to the community with compassion ministries. Summer time also brings several opportunities for ministries like camps and retreats. The challenge for Imago Dei will be trying to finance these ministries as the economic situation is difficult here in Moldova to put it mildly. We are praying that the Lord would provide the resources for these life changing ministries this summer. 

Rich and Jo Ann - Anniversary March 2021 Cropped

The 26th of March marked 20,075 yesterdays (55 years) ago that we were joined together in marriage. We were able to celebrate at a wonderful Moldovan restaurant thanks to a generous gift from the Cornerstone SS Class at our home church in Denver, Colorado – Calvary Community Baptist Church. Thank you Cornerstone!

Signs of the times - We had to be rushed out of the restaurant before 8 PM due to Covid restrictions, but thankfully we didn’t have to leave anything behind on the table!

Jo Ann - The Kiss Jo Ann getting a well deserved hug and kiss!

Today

"But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness . . ." (Matthew 6:33a)

We will often share this verse as the theme of our lives because the concept describes the vision and direction for our journey here on earth.

Jo Ann has an interesting schedule between teaching English and Spanish online along with her regular English course at the university. Along with that, one student comes to our apartment for English lessons. Classes will be completed in May and she is getting the students ready for their final first year English exam.

Rich is also wrapping up his courses for this semester and preparing the students for their final exams. We are blessed that the Lord would use us to train many godly young people some of whom will return home to their limited access countries to do great things for Him. The kingdom of God continues to grow despite challenges like a pandemic! Please continue to pray as this semester concludes in May.

Tomorrow

"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Matthew 6:34)

The trouble with tomorrow is that we don’t know about tomorrow! Most of us have tried riding ahead to scout the trail and with prayer and insight determine the Lord's leading. Always, the path will keep us within the borders of His kingdom, but there are many ways and places to serve in His kingdom and to seek His righteousness. 

We are scheduled to return to the US on May 31 and do the routine medical check-ups that we have felt was wise to do every couple of years now. By God’s grace and prayer, we shall be declared fit to go for many years to come but . . . we don’t know . . . yet.

While we are grateful that we could contribute in a significant way to the teaching staff and curriculum at UDG this year, questions abound. Will the situation normalize by next fall so that our presence would not be as vital or significant at the university or are we simply going to be living in the “New Normal” from now on? And as the “New Normal” grows increasingly abnormal and restrictive, will we even be able to return to Moldova? We don’t know . . . yet.

Today, we received an email from the US Embassy here in Moldova:

   Moldova Travel Advisory – Level 4:  Do Not Travel (April 22, 2021)

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Level 4 Travel Health Notice for Moldova due to COVID-19, indicating a very high level of COVID-19 in country.”

This was not the only matter of concern mentioned by the Embassy, however. Transnistria is located on the eastern border of Moldova between Moldova and Ukraine. It is like a province in Moldova, but it is basically controlled by Russia and operates independently of the Moldovan government. Ukraine sits between Russia and Transnistria, Moldova. To be clear, Americans are not welcome or safe entering that area, but we could imagine that there may be more to this warning than is written:

“Exercise increased caution in Transnistria due to the unresolved conflict between this breakaway region and the central government.”

You are no doubt aware that Russian troops, tanks, and other armament are building up on the eastern border of Ukraine where the ongoing conflict continues to heat up. There may or may not be a connection between the Russian buildup on the eastern side of Ukraine and the “unresolved conflict” in Transnistria on the western border of Ukraine, but . . . we don’t know . . . yet.

We do not live in fear of any of the things mentioned above but we do live in a world that seems unstable and uncertain which brings us to the point of this section. Please do pray with us that the Lord would give us clear direction for tomorrow. As Jesus said, Each day has enough trouble of its own."     

We are determined to return to Moldova as the Lord leads in time for the fall semester at UDG. Perhaps the things we do not know now will still be unknown by that time. However, if the door is still open and we are still needed in Moldova, then we will continue to follow His call. Meanwhile, like the old hymn says, “I just live day by day.”

Living Day by Day

As we write our prayer update, this hymn is a comforting reminder of how to seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness in today’s world. We are including the precious words to “I Don’t Know About Tomorrow” below so that you will not need to look it up online. Thank you for your faithfulness in prayer and giving all of which keeps us healthy, happy, and safe serving the Lord here in Moldova.

I Don’t Know About Tomorrow,
I Just Live From Day To Day.
I Don’t Borrow From It’s Sunshine,
For It’s Skies May Turn To Gray.
I Don’t Worry Over The Future,
For I Know What Jesus Said,
And Today I’ll Walk Beside Him,
For He Knows What Is Ahead.

Many Things About Tomorrow,
I Don’t Seem To Understand;
But I Know Who Holds Tomorrow,
And I Know Who Holds My Hand.

Every Step Is Getting Brighter,
As The Golden Stairs I Climb;
Every Burden’s Getting Lighter;
Every Cloud Is Silver Lined.
There The Sun Is Always Shining,
There No Tear Will Dim The Eyes,
At The Ending Of The Rainbow,
Where The Mountains Touch The Sky.

I Don’t Know About Tomorrow,
It May Bring Me Poverty;
But The One Who Feeds The Sparrow,
Is The One Who Stands By Me.
And The Path That Be My Portion,
May Be Through The Flame Or Flood,
But His Presence Goes Before Me,
And I’m Covered With His Blood.