With a population of 4.5 million, Moldova is the smallest and most densely populated of the former Soviet countries. It is also considered one of the poorest nations in Europe, with an annual income of about $880 USD. It is home to a mixture of peoples - Moldovans, Russians, Ukrainians, Bulgarians, and a Turkic people group, the Gagauz. The Moldovan people are mostly Orthodox. Although few attend church and many have never heard the Gospel, the Moldovans are considered spiritually open. Evangelical churches are growing despite occasional persecution and increasing poverty.
In 1998 OM started a team in Moldova which has now grown to a big team of about 40 people with ten different nationalities. More than half of the team members are locals.
The OM Moldova team works alongside existing churches to help them be more active in sharing the love of God, discipleship and developing new fellowships. They help to raise awareness of missions in churches and encourage Moldovan Christians to be more involved in local and world missions. This is done partly through discipleship and missions training programmes, like “Challenge Into Missions”, a ten-week programme which is held twice a year, involving both theoretical training and practical outreaches in Moldovan towns and villages.
Another programme called “DELTA” is aimed especially at young Moldovan believers who think about leaving their country in search for a better life abroad – a problem very common in Moldova which also affects the church. Through a year of serving in Moldovan churches they can grow in dedication to serving God wherever they will go, and hopefully many will develop a vision for mission in their home country.
Many nationals have been serving on the OM team in Moldova, while several have gone into missions in South and Central Asia, Northern and Central Africa and the Middle East. Short-term teams have participated in the Love Silk Road campaign in Central Asia. Every summer, OM Moldova receives a significant number of international teams who spend two weeks reaching out to Moldovan villages through day camps for children, sports camps or building playgrounds.
LOCAL MINISTRY TEAMS
The base team is located in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. There are also two local Ministry Teams. One team is based in Paicu, a small village in the south of Moldova. This team started developing a new fellowship some years ago, and also faciliates feeding programmes and other much-needed ministries to children and the elderly. In 2009 they started to reach out to five other villages in the area.
The second team is based in the north of Moldova, and works in the small town of Rezina and surrounding villages, which is one of the least evangelised areas of the country. They support the local churches in reaching out to their communities through outreach programmes, relief projects for children and elderly, or youth programmes such as Sports Ministry and English lessons.
Sports Ministry has become an important aspect of OM Moldova's ministry with 15 soccer teams trained by Christian coaches throughout the country. OM Moldova provides training for the coaches and organises tournaments and summer camps.
OM Moldova is helping to make good Christian literature available in the national languages, Romanian and Russian, by importing books and selling them at reduced prices, especially in rural areas where people usually have no access to literature.
RELIEF AND DEVELOPMENT
Moldova has a very high rate of unemployment, especially in the villages. This is the result of 70 years of oppression as a member of the former Soviet Union when private enterprise was forbidden. Nowadays, many people try to find work in other countries, leaving their children in the care of grandparents or neighbours at home. OM Moldova wants to help develop an infrastructure in Moldova to enable micro-businesses and job creation. An intensive business course is hosted regularly, and of the business plans submitted by the end of the training, some are selected to receive credit from OM Moldova. OM also has several Day Centres throughout the country where extremely poor children can receive a hot meal and help with their homework after school. Various Elderly Projects also provide hot meals or monthly food parcels for poor elderly.
Contact OM Moldova for more information.
Thank You for the country of Moldova, with its hilly, fertile countryside. Thank You that the Moldovans are spiritually open and the churches are growing in spite of occasional persecution and poverty. We pray that Your love will reach this poor, socially instable nation and bring hope for a better future.
Thank you for considering a gift to further the work of OM. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to call us on 1-800-899-0432.
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