Providence often provides varying ways for the affirming of gospel ministers. The Apostle Paul assured us that these occasions would come when he wrote in II Corinthians 6:4, “but as servants of God we commend (evidence) ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, …” There are favorable providences when gospel kindness is called for and their are frowning providences when persecution emerges. In this month’s report, Sandu Deac, shares a joy and and a hardship that affirmed him as a minister of God:
“Besides our regular ministry in our church and village, we had two other activities outside the church; a social project and an educational project. Twenty five children with different health issues came to Chernovtsy with their parents for checkups and treatment at the beginning of the month. They came to a clinic here and I was asked to be their guide and translator for the time they spent in Chernovtsy. So I spent four days with them which gave me a very good opportunity to share my personal testimony and speak to them about my life and ministry in Ukraine. As I helped them as a volunteer, they were amazed at why I helped them for free.
I explained to them that I served them because of the Lord Jesus. Some of them were so shocked that they burst into tears, exclaiming that nobody had ever showed them so much kindness and attention for nothing. This was a special time for my family and I as we shared about God’s love and demonstrated it before these children and their parents.
Each of them asked us what we were doing in Ukraine and why? We told them we were missionaries. They didn’t know what that meant. They were so amazed by our attitude towards them that they wanted to find out more about us and about what we were doing here. God gave us grace and we were able to provide a good testimony in front of these people.
AFFIRMED BY PERSECUTION
Brother Gheorghe died this month. His wife had repented and trusted Christ four years ago and was baptized. His son, Arthur, repented last year and he was baptized with his wife. Gheorghe repented and looked to Christ last year and was supposed to get baptized this summer. Before he was saved, he was an active member of the Orthodox Church. He used to sing in the choir with his wife and son for about twenty years. He was close to the Orthodox priest as well. After a while, God opened his eyes to see the lie in which he was living and he decided to seek God. This is why he came to our church. Now following his death, the Orthodox priest wanted to take revenge against his family and he did. But he could only sadden them, nothing more. This family was already suffering from brother Gheorghe’s death. But the priest attempted to insult them because they had chosen to follow and serve Christ.
God gave us grace and strength to stay faithful and helped us overcome this conflict with this zealous priest. The situation was very difficult as the mayor had to intervene in order to defend us. I’ve been through similar situations like this before and when I realized what was about to happen, I asked the Lord to intervene and fight for us. And he did. God fought for us and we were able to overcome. On this occasion, I preached God’s Word for three days to many Orthodox people who were searched by God’s Word. May God have mercy on them and give them salvation!”