Please continue to pray for Ion and Elena Gireada as they wait on the Lord for a child. This month, Ion relates how he invested his time in gospel enterprize:
God’s ministry in Tereblecia
The Ukrainian people celebrate Christmas in January and we organized two evangelistic church services on this occasion. Eight non-believers attended each evangelistic church service. We also had guests from other villages and from Romania as well, who sang and preached the Word. On January 7th, in the afternoon, I went caroling with a group of young brothers and sisters. We visited 18 families this way. They welcomed us and some of them even asked us to go inside. They usually had guests and we sang carols, preached the Gospel and prayed for those families. We also invited them to church for the next day. Some of these people started crying when we were praying for them and for their families. We passed out 18 calendars with Bible verses and we also gave Bibles to those who didn’t have one. Only four of these families didn’t have a Bible. Out of all these people, only one old man came to church the next day, because I gave him a ride, as he is having a leg problem. People are hospitable, they accept the calendars and the Bible we give them, but they reject repentance. And those who want to repent are prevented by their relatives and by the Orthodox priest. This old man’s name is Costica. He started reading the Bible and said he wanted to repent. He came to church for the first time and he enjoyed it. After the church service, I took him back home and invited him to come again the following Sunday. That night, all the people in the village knew that he had come to our church and the priest started criticizing him. On Saturday, I asked a believer to visit Costica and to ask him if he wanted to come to church the following day. Costica’ s wife came to the gate and didn’t let our brother go in. She and her son, who is a police officer, had rebuked Costica and threatened him not to come to our church anymore. They also told us not to visit Costica again and to leave him alone. We are praying now for Costica, who understood he needed to repent, but his wife and son are against his decision. Please pray for this man and his family that the Lord would save them.
I also visited the mayor and the ex-mayor. They welcomed us in their homes, I shared the Gospel with them and I prayed for them. The mayor said he would come to church the next day, but he didn’t. Still, he called me and apologized for not coming, telling me he had to take his father-in-law to the hospital, as he had had a heart attack. We keep praying for all those who heard the Gospel this month that the Lord would save them. Our duty is to plant the seed and the Lord will make it fruitful in due time.
4-5 new persons have started attending the church each Sunday. They said they wanted to repent. May the Lord help them! After the church services I talk to them and tried to help them understand the Gospel and how important it is for them to make peace with God. Please pray for the people in this village who have heard the Gospel so many times last month and last year as well. Please pray that they would repent.
On the last Sunday of this month, Aurel and Tinuca Zegrea celebrated their 50th anniversary. They have been church members for 18 years, along with two of their children and their spouses. Their son is a pastor in the village of Pueni. On this occasion, they prepared a love feast for the entire church and also invited their non-Christian relatives and friends to attend. So, this was another good evangelistic opportunity. About 10 non-believers heard the Gospel on this occasion and then we had the meal together.
God’s ministry in Bahranesti
With God’s help, I visited this church 4 times this month. I preached four sermons and I carried on the Bible study in Matthew. After the church services, I offered spiritual counseling to 8 believers and two young people that are going to be married. I also visited three families for prayer and counseling. The believers went caroling on Christmas and they passed out 50 calendars. People in this village are hospitable as well, but they don’t want to hear about repentance. We keep praying for them that the Lord would search their hearts and save them. Many people from this village heard the Gospel this month and last year, but nobody has repented yet.
God’s ministry in Chernovtsy area
I visited Jesus the Savior Church in Chernovtsy once this month, along with a brother from Romania. We also visited the church in Stanesti, where he preached the Word. I offered spiritual counseling to 20 people. Most of them have health issues. I have also spent some time with a former pastor, who is having problems with his wife. She wants to leave him. She told him she didn’t love him and has never loved him. He is broken-hearted and doesn’t know what to do. He is 38 years old and they have 4 children together. I will meet with both of them this week in an attempt to help them. Please pray for the family as only God can change their situation.
I had two regional missionary and pastoral meetings for fellowship in the Word, prayer, testimonies of ministry and for planning new ministry projects.
At the middle of the month, my wife and I, along with the secretary of Nehemiah Mission, traveled to Dej, Romania. We visited three churches in that area where we met with a family that wants to get involved in the missionary work in Transcarpatia area, where we have two churches in Dibrova and Alba, but no missionaries. This family will start working in that area this spring. They will only be there two days a week in the beginning. There is a great need for workers in all three regions inhabited by Romanians. Please pray for this.