God’s Power at Work

A visit to some of Europe’s neediest ethnic groups by

General Director Derek Maxwell

Western Ukraine is an area of small friendly towns, green coniferous forests, crystal clear mountain rivers, and a spectacular mountain range – the Carpathian Mountains. It was there that Stuart Hine, while on an evangelistic mission, was inspired to create his English version of the hymn, ‘How Great Thou Art’.

After crossing the border from Romania, we were confronted with very challenging road conditions. Cars trudged along on almost non-existent surfaces as clouds of dust engulfed us and temperatures soared. One could have been tempted to turn back, but there was a motivating factor. We were going to see evidence of ‘God’s power at work’, changing lives and communities.

After travelling for several hours, we reached the small community of Svaliavka where a building has been refurbished for a new group of believers. There we were greeted by the SGA sponsored missionary, Vasile Lakatos, who supervises the work. The building was full of both adults and children, enthusiastically singing God’s praises.

From there we travelled to Poroscovo where a large proportion of the population are Valac, a small, marginalized, illiterate, poverty-stricken community ignored by most, but not by God. In 2007 David Chidesa, an SGA-sponsored missionary, heard about these people living in impoverished conditions, without the hope of the Gospel.

Following David’s fruitful evangelism, a building was erected and a congregation established. Soon after, John and Gaby Patros also sponsored by SGA, felt called to join the ministry team. As well as preaching the Word, they are involved with providing essentials such as food, clothes, and medicines.

Tablets Medicine
shoes family
Roma Boy Sad
school bag equipment

On our arrival in Poroscovo, a meeting was hastily announced to commence one hour later. Soon people began to gather until eventually over three hundred came to hear God’s Word.

A new versatile building accommodates the worship services and the after-school homework club. The previous generation of Valac had no educational opportunities. Now David and John are providing school uniforms, shoes, and schoolbags so that children will be accepted in school and have an opportunity to improve their outlook.

God’s power is at work and He is building His church among the Valac people. With many converted and lives transformed, there is now hope in what once seemed a hopeless, impossible situation.

Derek's Trip 2

Our next stop was Remeti with a population of eight thousand. One year ago there was no evangelical church, indeed no believers, but praise God that has all changed. Peter & Valentina Osmochescu and their two children moved to Remeti almost one year ago. Before their arrival a plot of ground was purchased with the help of SGA funds, and an attractive building erected. Today there are more than sixty-five regular attendees with a growing children’s ministry and healthy youth group. We praise God together for His amazing power and saving grace.

Peter and Valentina, one of the 70 missionary families sponsored by SGA

Our final stop was Obava with a population of 2,000, yet no believers. The purpose of our visit was to locate a suitable building for evangelistic activities. A building has now been rented, and a Gospel outreach established.

The missionary team is dedicated to the work and they enthusiastically serve the Lord. As the Gospel reaches hopeless, despairing people may they experience the greatness of God in His delivering saving power!