Kevin Turner* is from southern Moldova
and speaks a dialect unique to only certain areas in Moldova
and a few other places in the world. When he became a Christian as an adult,
his heart became burdened to reach his people.
He learned from friends about a particular people group that
spoke his language, a group he had never heard of before, and he began praying
with his family for these people. For three years his family prayed for these
people they had never met.
After that time God led Kevin and his family to leave Moldova
and move to another country in order to minister among this group. Kevin serves
in an area of the country that he described as very plain; a place not
welcoming for tourists. But this is where God led him, and so this is where he
Kevin works in five communities where he passes out
Christian literature, organizes summer camps for youth, serves among the poor
and seeks to meet people and share with them the gospel.
Before Kevin and his family moved, God used Kevin to make a
difference in three Moldovan villages as a missionary/church planter.
Kevin is temporarily living in Moldova
while he awaits approval to go back to the country in which he is serving.
Kevin said he attended the pastor’s conference sponsored by the Baptist State
Convention (BSC) and the Baptist Union of
Moldova because “discipleship and evangelism are my main task.”
The two-day pastor’s conference was part of the launch of
the BSC’s Great Commission Partnership with Moldova.
The conference featured John Ewart, associate vice president of project
development and director of doctor of ministry studies at Southeastern
Baptist Theological Seminary, speaking on prayer; Allan Blume, pastor of Mount
Vernon Baptist Church
in Boone teaching on disciple-making; and Bobby Welch, strategist for Global
Evangelical Relations for the Southern Baptist Convention, teaching on
evangelism. Welch also preached during the two evangelistic rallies on the
evenings of the pastor’s conference.
“Truly, I received encouragement,” Kevin said. “You can’t
see this very often. It is very rare a conference like this happens.”
Adam Moore,* a 2009 graduate of the Bible
College in Chisinau, also came to
the conference. He said at the conference he was reminded that Jesus Christ is
the head of all things.
The teaching Moore
received at the conference encouraged him to pray and ask God to “change my
heart and vision so that I may have more of your heart and vision.”
Moore is serving
now in a village church in Moldova
that went through a difficult period prior to his coming. Moore
is helping the church as they try to recover, and doing what he went to the Bible
College to do: give His life to God
and serve Him.
Jesus Christ as His personal Lord and Savior in 1999 at age 14. He had been
sick with a heart condition (a condition he still struggles with sometimes but
cannot do anything about because he cannot financially afford it) and did not
know what to do. “One day I just said, ‘God, help me,’” Moore said.
One of the hardest aspects of ministry for Moore is dealing
with loneliness. “This conference was the answer for me,” he said, as the
conference provided opportunity for encouragement and fellowship. Moore learned
much from Welch’s teaching on evangelism. Welch encouraged those in attendance
to be motivated to share their faith with others, and to see evangelism as
closely tied with discipleship. “A person can’t claim to be discipling if he
isn’t doing evangelism,” Welch said.
Welch reminded pastors that God’s love compels Christians to
share their faith with others. “It is important for us to be looking for the
lost. You must have a heart for it,” he said.
“If you’re going to motivate others, your own heart has to
be revealed. Let’s face the truth: the reason most of us pastors don’t talk about
our experience in reaching lost people or attempting to reach lost people is
because we don’t have a story to tell.”
Pastors cannot expect to have a story to tell if they are
not praying about that story. In Ewart’s teaching on prayer, he challenged pastors
to pray evangelistically. “If we would pray this way, we would see the world in
a different way,” he said. In other words, Christians would see nonbelievers as
God sees them; as lost and helpless and without a shepherd.
“If you want God to reach Moldova,
then the people of God in Moldova
must be on their face before God,” Ewart said.
Prayer and evangelism are both aspects of discipleship.
As Blume taught on this topic, he reminded pastors that
discipleship really begins with a recognition of God’s grace. “Grace and truth
— those two words separate the Christian religion from all other religions of
the world. Grace is the key to all the Christian disciplines,” Blume said.
As Christians remember that God has freely poured out His
grace on their lives, they will have no other response than to extend grace to
Blume also talked about various models for making disciples.
For example, the Bible calls believers to have the discipline of an athlete as
they prepare for the task of disciple-making. Believers are to have the
dedication of a farmer, working hard but trusting God with results.
Believers are also to have the endurance of a soldier. “The
soldier keeps focus on his responsibility and doesn’t get entangled with other
affairs of this life,” Blume said. “A soldier must be committed to the
long-term. We must endure.”
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[email protected] or call (800) 395-5102, ext. 5654.
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