Costel Ghioanca has been provided ways to remain busy in the midst of the pandemic. In recent months he has enjoyed open doors of ministry that have kept him engaged in gospel work. The past two months he shared how he has been investing his time:
Due to the fact that in February we still struggled with a cold weather we decided to have an online evangelistic project. If we cannot go physically to people why shouldn’t we use the on-line tools that we have? So we prepared a few videos with the message of the Gospel and distributed it online. We also paid for some Facebook ads. We noticed that the project was useful. Some new people started to attend our church and one of them said that he wanted to be baptized. God works in different ways. Please pray for these people that they will come to a personal knowledge of our Savior.
Moreover, I went for a few days to Ukraine, in the region of Odesa. Brother Gireada from Cernauti invited me to come and teach expository preaching to some pastors and workers from that area. Brother Bebe Tomeci, from Brasov, joined me for this trip. We went there and after teaching the pastors for a day, Brother Bebe and I went in the evening to preach the Word in different churches. It was a very interesting experience for us. We saw that people are thirsty for the Word of God, despite the poverty they live in. God humbled me and help me see the need to appreciate more the blessings that I have in Romania. Please continue to pray for the region of Odesa, that God will bless our brothers and sisters both spiritually and materially.
I wouldn’t have imagined that our world was going to pass through hard times like these, when the churches would close. I know, though, that God is in control, that everything happens with a purpose and according to His will.
Bucharest Baptist Association Pastors’ Fast
At the beginning of March, Stefan and I went to Casa Elim Conference Center for a time of prayer and fasting with pastors from the Bucharest Baptist Association. We prayed for our spiritual lives, for a revival, for our churches, and for our nation. We had no idea that in just a few days the coronavirus would reach Romania and change our way of living. It was by the providence of God that we had this meeting because it prepared us for what it was about to come.
I continued to be in touch with Vasile, my neighbor. We are praying for him and his family because after he came to church for a while, he stopped. He is still being influenced by Jehovah’s Witness teaching because many years ago he attended their Bible studies. I was very happy that since the coronavirus problem appeared, he sent me some encouraging Bible verses to which I also replied. It is good that in hard times people look to God for security and I pray that even though the virus is not something good in itself, it will lead to good results in the end. God can turn the bad for good. Please continue to pray for Vasile and his family.
It is true that, since March the 15th, our church building had been closed, as it has happened to all the churches in Romania. However, the church is not the building. We are the church. So the ministry continued, even though we could not meet with each other. We continued to encourage people in these difficult times, calling them, continuing to have Bible studies, catechizing and sharing our recorded sermons. Actually, starting in April we want to use the Zoom software and organize live worship meetings.
This is not a time for spiritual relaxation, but, on the contrary, we need to seek even more God’s face. This is why we decided to have a special time of prayer and fasting for about 30 days with our church members. We believe that God will strengthen us in the midst of these trials and He is going to bring people into His kingdom. Some of our church members have started already to face financial issues. But we trust that the Lord will take care of all of them. We try to help those in need as much as we can.