Snapshot - Winter

Nagorino at 90

In September an SGA teaching team had the joy of joining with the believers of the Nagorino Church to celebrate its 90th ‘birthday’. The church was constituted in the oppressive era of Communism and despite the suspicion and opposition which then prevailed, was a beacon of Gospel light in the darkness. In the early 1990s a few believers from the neighboring village of Riscani (right next door!) began to attend the services. Nikolai Malai who was then the pastor, with the church leaders, grasped the opportunity to plant a daughter church in that village, and so today ‘mother and daughter’ churches continue to proclaim the Gospel in their respective communities.

The 90th Anniversary Service was one of thanksgiving to God for His faithfulness through the years. The church building was filled almost to capacity, and included some from the village who are still unconverted. SGA team members participated in preaching and bringing greetings to the congregation. It was a particular joy to see a number of Riscani church members joining with the Nagorino believers for this special occasion.

Fellowship continued after the service at an open-air lunch provided by the ladies of the church. All in all it was a memorable day of the power and relevance of the Saviour we love and proclaim.

Afflicted on all Sides but not Distressed

Szcytnica is in great need of the Gospel. Sadly, like many towns in Poland, there is no recognized Bible-based church in the area. There is however, a small group of believers and it was to encourage and equip these believers that Pastors Tomasz Chylka and Andrzej Karzalek recently led an evangelistic team to Szcytnica. They knew it would be difficult, but they had no idea what awaited them.

The opposition started almost immediately. The team experienced continued harassment and even physical assault initiated and driven by the local Catholic priest. Yet, Tomasz explained, there was an openness to the Gospel. He reported: ‘Like Paul in Ephesus there is a wide door for effective work but there are many enemies… God truly blessed our time and we experienced the truth that greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world… There is hunger for the Word of God [in Szcytnica] but also huge spiritual opposition. Please pray for the few Christian families who live there.’

A Special and Memorable Day

For approximately thirty years SGA has enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Pastor Gigi Dobrin and Betel Church in Medias, Romania. It was therefore a joy and a privilege to attend a watershed event in the life of Gigi and Betel Church. On 15 July a special service was held to mark Gigi’s retirement after thirty-two years of faithful ministry. At the same service, Daniel Cioban was inducted as the new pastor. It was a memorable time when the church gave thanks to God for ‘all that was past’ and renewed their trust in Him for what is to come.Furthermore, it was encouraging to hear Pastor Daniel’s desire for the church’s partnership with SGA to continue, and to learn from Gigi that he is willing to teach from time to time as part of our training programme in Romania. Pray for God’s continued blessing on the ministry of both men.