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Moldovan women hungry for spiritual truth
Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications
April 15, 2011
6 MIN READ TIME

Moldovan women hungry for spiritual truth

Moldovan women hungry for spiritual truth
Melissa Lilley, BSC Communications
April 15, 2011

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

Baptist Church

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.

BSC photo

Women sing during one of the conferences led by N.C. Baptists to train Moldovans in March. The Office of Great Commission Partnerships sent a team to work with the Baptist Union of Moldova. See photo gallery.

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

English.

“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

ministry.

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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