Celebrating 25 Years of Ministry in Moldova

Decades ago American singer Dean Martin sang ‘Memories are Made of This’. Those who had the privilege of attending the 25th anniversary of SGA’s ministry in Moldova could surely re-echo those sentiments. Thanksgiving celebrations took place during November last and were challenging, encouraging and memorable.

During the first part of the weekend we enjoyed fellowship with many of the men and their wives whom SGA supports. For some this was the first time they had ever stayed in a hotel. There were blessed times of sharing from the Scriptures with the aim of encouraging God’s servants to remain strong and to move forward in His work.
Reports from the brothers warmed our hearts as they told of what God had enabled them to accomplish. Vlad, a former Mission School student, described how his attempt to get access into a local school was frustrated by a man in authority. Undeterred he visited the school teachers in their homes resulting in five coming to faith in Christ. Pastor Vlad is now taking another degree which will give him entry to minister in the schools.

Sergey, a Mission School graduate, serves the Lord in Ukraine across the border of northern Moldova. He humbly shared how the Lord had enabled him to expand the ministry to which God had called him. The church of which he is now the pastor had been disbanded and the building confiscated during the Communist era. With the demise of that regime came an opportunity to re-establish a small Christian fellowship and Sergey was called to the pastorate. The church now has ninety-two members, and has planted two ‘daughter’ churches. Sergey also plays a significant part in the Medical Mission evangelism programme in Moldova and Ukraine. This has been much used by the Lord.

Sergey Shalinsky
Doctor Medical

These memorable reports were typical of many others and prepared the way for the second phase of celebration. This was a Sunday afternoon meal attended by representatives of each past student group, their families and other guests. Former students and teachers shared what it had meant for them to participate in the teaching sessions. So many had matured in their service, and how wide-ranging the ministries had become! Significant numbers were engaged in children’s and youth activities. Evan, for example is a pastor but is also the director of Child Evangelism Fellowship in Moldova. The desire to reach children for Christ was planted in his heart as he attended lectures in the Balti School.

Nikolai Malai

Moving tributes were paid to former School Director Nikolai Malai who guided much of SGA’s ministry over all twenty–five years. What sterling work was accomplished by this faithful servant of God. Nikolai has now retired but his service will always be remembered with thankfulness to God.

The final part of the celebrations was a large gathering at Bethany Church when former students, friends and members of the church praised God for all that has been accomplished. It is the Lord’s doing and wonderful in our eyes. One great surprise awaited us. The Deputy Speaker of the Moldovan parliament, presented SGA with a letter in an official bound folder, expressing thanks for the contribution made to theological education in Moldova.

The service also included an act of commissioning of Pastor Peter Mihalchiuk, who has succeeded Nikolai Malai, as Regional Co-ordinator of the ministry of SGA in Moldova.

SGA 25th anniverary service in Balti, Moldova a

Thank You Letter

The text reads: ‘Dear friends, On behalf of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova, I would like to express a profound gratitude to Slavic Gospel Association for a deep commitment and a faithful ministry in the last 25 years in our country. Your investment in church leaders, as well, as community leaders, is a great investment in the future of Moldova. It is an honour to have you as a partner in this great challenge to build a new independent country on the world map. May God bless and reward you for continuous support! Respectfully, Valeriu Ghiletchi (Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of the Republic of Moldova)’.

With rich memories of God’s blessings in twenty-five years past, we look forward with great anticipation for all that our Lord will do in the future.