OM’s involvement in Moldova started with smuggling Bibles and Christian literature into the country during the Soviet Union, of which Moldova was a part. More focused outreaches began in 1995 and developed into a varied ministry in areas like relief and development, youth and children’s ministry, equipping local believers, or offering short-term mission experiences to believers from around the world.
Today ministry is focused on outreach & church planting in the least-reached regions of Moldova, as well as mobilising and equipping believers for local and global mission:
The gospel spread in amazing ways in Moldova when the country first opened after the fall of the Soviet Union. However, there are still significant areas in the country that have never had any community of true Jesus followers established in their midst.
Local Ministry Teams & Church Planting
In our desire to see churches planted in these little reached regions of Moldova, a crucial role is played by our Local Ministry Teams. These are small teams that come alongside local church planters, supporting the church planting initiative in its very first stages. Unlike short-term outreach teams, these local teams live within the community for several months or years, building relationships and maintaining a ministry until a small community of local believers has been established and can continue by themselves under the leadership of the church planter, who remains when the team withdraws.
We offer a variety of projects, especially in the area of relief and development, which - in the context of such church planting initiatives - can be used as outreach resources by meeting some of the desperate physical needs present in every Moldovan community. This can mean bringing a daily hot meal to elderly who have no-one else to care for them, offering firewood or warm clothes during the harsh winter months, providing a family with seeds to grow their own vegetables, or running a Day Centre for the most vulnerable children of these communities. People are grateful to receive much needed help, but also curious about the reason, which provides workers with many opportunities to share the gospel. These projects not only care for people in a holistic way - meeting both spiritual and physical needs - but also help to provide an entrance into new places, opening doors with local authorities and impacting the whole watching community.
We mobilise believers for mission, by helping them to understand global needs and their own potential to bring change, as well as coming alongside them as they take practical steps.
Mobilising the Moldovan Church
We maintain close partnerships with existing churches, and - through publications, organising youth events or speaking at churches - we seek to develop an awareness of global needs and realities, directing the focus of the Moldovan Church to what God is doing and how they can be part of bringing His love to those who have not yet encountered it, in their own country and to the ends of the earth. We encourage the Moldovan Church to pray for the world as well as send and support Moldovan missionaries. Moldovan nationals not only make up the majority of OM workers in Moldova, but also serve in areas of the world like the Middle East, North Africa or East Asia.
Specific short-term opportunities for Moldovan groups help them become aware of needs and possibilities for ministry among their own people as well as offering experiences of inter-cultural ministry in other countries. The Bus4Life, which visits Moldova several times throughout the year, is used with such Moldovan short-term teams, helping them grow in their ability to share the gospel with their own people.
Believers from around the world can get a practical taste of mission through short-term outreaches in Moldova. Coming alongside ministries in Moldova, they experience how God can use them to bring joy, hope and transformation and are encouraged to continue investing their lives in God’s Kingdom. Outreach locations focus on the least-reached areas of the country.
Various training programmes help to prepare and equip followers of Jesus who desire to obey His call, or are already in ministry, but seek further support and growth. Our desire is to not only pass on knowledge, but to come alongside people so they can grow closer to God, find a passion for sharing the gospel and become disciples who themselves go and make new disciples.
Mission Discipleship Training (MDT)
MDTe³ (Mission Discipleship Training - Eastern Europe Extreme) is a five-month course for young believers from across the globe, who desire to be better equipped for global mission or want to get a taste of mission, seeking God’s guidance for their lives. MDTe³ is a unique cross-cultural experience, taking place in Moldova and Romania and focusing on spiritual growth & leadership, mentoring & discipleship, mission & evangelism and cross-cultural adventure.
Challenge into Missions
“Challenge into Missions” is a training specifically for young Moldovan believers, where they are helped to grow in their faith and in their understanding of mission, get equipped for sharing the gospel and immediately put it all into practice. Training sessions alternate with outreaches in Moldovan villages, bringing the gospel to Moldovan communities while equipping the participants for future ministry. At the end of the training students have acquired a better understanding of global and local mission needs, as well as the desire and practical skills to share Christ, whether they return to their local communities or go on to become involved in global mission.
Training local workers
We are constantly looking out to identify specific training needs of Moldovan believers who are already involved in ministry in the least-reached regions of the country and seek to support them by offering adequate training to help them grow in areas like evangelism, discipleship or mentoring.
Besides the cost of running our ministries, our biggest financial challenge is helping to raise support for Moldovan OM workers. To help support the work of OM in Moldova, give here (http://www.om.org/en/give) or through your local OM office.
Come to Moldova for a short-term outreach (1-2 weeks), take part in the Mission Discipleship Training MDTe³ (5 months) or join our team full-time. Please contact your local OM office for more details.