When Nadea Dunas began a women’s ministry in her church she
did not have anyone to show her what to do or how to get started, and she did
not know who to even ask such questions. Dunas, whose husband is pastor of Emmanuel
in Cahul in southern Moldova,
said starting the ministry was very hard.
Dunas grew up in a church that lacked leaders to teach the
congregation how to study the Bible, or women to teach and mentor other women —
which she wanted very much.
Dunas recently attended a women’s conference at Emmanuel
sponsored by the Baptist State Convention (BSC).
The BSC sent a team to Moldova
to lead in women’s conferences in different parts of the country, as well as
pastor’s conferences and a youth conference.
The conferences were part of the BSC’s
launch of a Great Commission Partnership with the Baptist Union of Moldova.
Dunas called the conference and partnership “a new beginning;” an opportunity
for believers in Moldova,
men and women, to grow closer to Jesus Christ.
One of the things she learned from the women’s conference
was how to share her faith with others. “Sometimes you think it’s so hard to
share the gospel,” she said. “But today I understand that it’s so easy to
begin.” Dunas learned that opportunities to witness often come through small
acts of kindness and simply being willing to get to know people.
Ashley Allen, director of Embrace Women’s Missions and
Ministries, led the teaching time on evangelism, speaking from John 4. Allen
shared how the Samaritan woman who met Jesus at the well that day went and told
others about her encounter with the Savior. Many came to faith in Christ
because of her testimony.
“We’ve experienced Jesus ourselves,” Allen said. “We can be
like the woman at the well and share Christ with others.”
Pam Blume, who has served on the International Mission
Board’s (IMB) Board of Trustees and various BSC committees,
and Bobbye Rankin, wife of Jerry Rankin who is president emeritus of the IMB,
joined Allen on the women’s teaching team. Blume spoke about leaving a
spiritual legacy, and Rankin shared about missions.
Allen and the teaching team heard over and over again women
saying, “I will take this back.”
What they learned that day they will take back to their
homes, churches and communities. With the start of this new partnership comes
many prayers — from this side of the world and from Moldova — that more
training and equipping will take place in Moldova, as well as more laborers to
join in helping Moldovan believers advance the work God is already doing.
Immediately after Allen spoke at the Cahul conference the
women went into a special time of prayer. Allen said Eugenia, the women’s
ministry director for the Baptist Union, sensed God was working in hearts so
she asked the ladies to stop and take time right after the message to pray.
“Women were praying aloud and they were praying so
passionately,” Allen said. “Knowing those ladies were making a commitment right
then to do more when it comes to evangelism was very humbling.”
Revival also came in the hearts of women during the
conference in Chisinau. Rankin spoke from Exodus 15 about how when the
Israelites came to Marah they could not drink the water because it was bitter.
Yet, they cried out to God, and He answered their cries and made the water
sweet. Rankin asked the women to get into groups of two or three and pray.
Throughout the room, women lifted up prayers to God in Russian, Romanian and
“It was a sweet time of holiness as these women interceded
for lost family members and friends,” Allen said. “I can still so clearly hear
the sound of a woman sitting behind me and just weeping and weeping.”
Eugenia Podoleanu works with the Baptist Union of Moldova
and helps churches across Moldova learn more about how to develop an effective
women’s ministry. Podoleanu said the women have longed to be taught and
trained, and the more they learn, the more they will take ownership of
Podoleanu saw a great spiritual revival sweep across Moldova
in the 1990s after Moldova
gained its independence. Now, she said, although people are still open to the
gospel, the interest is not as great. Podoleanu has come to realize, like other
leaders in the Baptist Union, that the best, most effective means of evangelism
is one-to-one. Building relationships with other women and offering special events
very specific to a specific group of women has proven quite effective.
During the conferences Blume used Deuteronomy 6:4-7 and 5:32-33 to encourage women to begin thinking
about the spiritual heritage they want to leave for their family.
“You may not be from a long history of Christians,” Blume
said. “But you can be one who starts your spiritual heritage.”
Blume asked women to remember that God created them to
“proclaim the praise of the one who called you out of darkness. He has given us
the assignment to spread the gospel.” That assignment begins at home, and Blume
said that assignment cannot even begin until mothers and fathers commit to
praying for their children.
“Obeying God does not rob the joy of life,” Blume said.
“Show by your life that a life obedient to God is a joy.”
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