What a Difference a Decade Makes!

Today there are churches in five villages & hundreds gather each Sunday … [but] John & Gaby are not content with that.

It was in 2007 that David Chidesa was introduced to a community of people in SE Ukraine, which was treated with much disdain by its neighbours.  The people were known as the ‘Valahi’ and they spoke a language which was close to Romanian.  Their peculiar dialect immediately set them apart from their neighbours, as did their impoverished living standards and conditions.  More concerning still was their spiritual ignorance, but David soon discovered that there was spiritual hunger and an openness to the Gospel.  He began to visit the village of Poroscovo regularly, and set about renovating a small, dilapidated building in which to hold Gospel meetings.  That first simple House of Prayer became a base for evangelism and played a vital part in reaching many in the community for Christ.

God moved in a thrilling way among that people group, and in time provided a couple who had a deep sense of calling to minister to them – John and Gaby Patrash.

John & Gabriel Patras

With David they threw themselves into the work, helping families materially and practically, at times providing even basic essentials for living, but primarily bringing the message of new life in Christ to these people.  Very quickly their House of Prayer became too small, and a new, much larger building was erected to accommodate the growing numbers attending the services. Recent reports indicate that God has been blessing in an unusual way and the new building is already filled to capacity on the Lord’s day.  John and Gaby are included in SGA’s Leadership Support programme, and are encouraged by the prayers and regular financial aid sent to them.

Poro 4
Bible & Construction a
Poro 3
John Patras 2

Growing knowledge of the area brought concern for the many villages around Poroscovo which were in spiritual darkness.  John and Gaby began to visit and witness in Remeti, Mircea, and Svaliavca, calling at every home in these villages with Gospel literature.  God blessed their work, and people were saved in each place.  They ventured to another village, Obava, and the same thing happened.  Burdened for each of these communities, they asked for prayer for the purchase of land and/or suitable buildings in all four villages.  Their mission was urgent, for false cults were hard at work in the region.  They were concerned to establish Houses of Prayer and a regular witness in each place before these cults got a foothold.

Through the prayers and financial support of SGA and other concerned believers, a building has been purchased and renovated in Svaliavca, and a plot of land purchased, and a building erected in Remeti.  This has been of immense help in establishing a solid, stable, long-term Gospel witness in these villages.  Outreach continues in Mircea and Obava, where meeting places have also been secured to provide a ‘home’ for believers and provide a degree of protection from the errors of false cults.

Just over ten years ago, no Gospel witness existed in these communities of ‘Vahali’ people.  Today there are churches in five villages, and hundreds gather each Sunday to worship the Lord.  John & Gaby are not content with that.  They have their sight set on more possible church planting opportunities, and they ask for prayer for the extension of their ministry to the ‘Vahali’, so that many more men and women, boys and girls will be brought to the Saviour.