Mission and Outreach - Building Up the Local Church
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2007 Moldova Trip Summary

In 2002 members of NPC’s Europe Mission Committee traveled to Romania to meet with NPC mission partners from New Hope International. After discussing NPC work with New Hope in general, they talked about cooperation with New Hope as the latter developed its new outreach in Moldova. NPC and New Hope members then traveled to Chisinau, Moldova, where they talked with New Hope staff there and with long-time NPC friend Valeriu Ghiletchi, Bishop of the Baptist Church in Moldova. During these discussions, the group identified several ministry directions where New Hope and the Baptists might be able to coordinate their activities.

One of the ideas developed was marriage ministry. As was the case in basically all countries of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Moldovan churches had had essentially no marriage ministry during communist times, and no such ministry had developed afterward. New Hope was interested in this prospect but also interested in prepare-for-marriage programs as part of their outreach to young adults and families.

Over the next four years, NPC’s Nurture Pillar, Mission Council and Marriage Ministry worked together to develop a pilot marriage program for NPC’s Moldovan friends. The group focused on the Alpha Program’s Marriage Course, which NPC has used successfully and which has proven very popular internationally, as the best vehicle for their work. They also considered sharing with the people in Moldova other facets of NPC’s marriage program. Because of the NPC’s focus on discipleship, the team prepared for the upcoming trip by concentrating both on the Marriage Course materials and on Greg Ogden’s Discipleship Essentials.

The conference was arranged for June 28-30 at the College of Theology and Education in Chisinau, Moldova. The program went smoothly, and the Moldovans said they appreciated the fellowship opportunities at the conference and the chance to learn about the lives of the Christian communities in both countries. The Moldovans indicated they thought the Marriage Course material would be adaptable to their culture and that they looked forward to working with the Americans to use the Marriage Course materials.

After returning to the United States, the NPC team elected to meet regularly during the fall to determine how best to help its Moldovan friends develop an infrastructure for holding Marriage Courses and for developing marriage ministries at their churches. For the complete summary of the trip, see the Moldovan 2007 Marriage Ministry Trip Report.

Lynne and Gregg Gochnour talk about conflict resolution in marriage.
Gene and Nancy Thompson discuss communication in marriage.

Miley and Howard Tucker-Frost talk about how a couple expresses helpfulness toward one another.
Conference members enjoy conversation during break at conference.

Petru Bragaru and Howard Tucker-Frost lead music in Romanian, Russian, and English.
New Hope International representatives Andrei and Lena Nicolov and their daughter talk at the conference about New Hope activities.

Bishop of the Baptist Church Valeriu Ghiletchi and his wife Marina were the Moldovan hosts for the conference, along with the College of Theology and Education.
The Marriage Course includes time for couples to have intimate conversations with one another. Here participants enjoy a candlelight dessert.

Conference participants conclude their event in prayer for the on-going work of marriage ministry in Moldovan churches.
When the group visited a church camp near Chisenau, they were able to visit the Denstr river, which is the boundary between the breakaway Republic of Transdnester (supported by Russia) on the left, and Moldova on the right.

The NPC group visited Bethany Baptist Church in Belts.
David Wallace and Phyllis Wolfe with their host family at the Bethany church.

Bethany members and NPC visitors enjoy a spirited conversation during lunch at the church.
Howard Tucker-Frost, with Bethany Associate Pastor Peter Galan and member Markia Deriuseva. Galan is the principal contact for the blanket project, and Marika provide the interpretation support.

Dave Wallace and Phyllis Wolfe, along with the NPC team, enjoy a conversation with Ivan Tuchak, Pastor of the Kovcheg (“Ark”) Church in Belts, a church plant from Bethany Baptist.
The new Ark Church. The church, under construction for about 6 years, was built with the help of a generator donated by NPC members.
Sunflowers are a major product of Moldova and are used for both oil and seed.

NPC members visited the Nadezhda (“Hope”) camp near Belts, which is supported by churches in the city. Here the camp provides a program for handicapped children.
The generator used by the Nadezha Camp was donated through contributions from NPC members in 1997. This generator was also used in the construction of the Ark Church in Belts.