Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Making A Decision

I could see her thinking. The Holy Spirit  was working on her heart.

With my translator at my side, I was preaching about hell, driving home the point that a true picture of God does not include the tyrannical belief in eternal torture in the flames of hell. Her face seemed to say that she understood and she wanted to believe in such a loving Heavenly Father, but still, she hesitated.

I showed from the Bible that there is no support for such a doctrine, that the wicked will be burned up, turned to ashes. There is justice, not cruelty. God’s purpose is to purify creation from sin. She looked at me intently, gathering what was being said, and answering thoughtfully along with church members and others as I checked for understanding. I made the call to come forward, but she didn’t move.

For some here in Moldova, making the decision to follow Jesus all the way can be very difficult. Their current church ties might entangle them. Family bonds could hold them fast. And in keeping the Sabbath, threats to what little income they might have might intimidate them. All may play a part in holding back decisions.

I talked with her after the meeting, pleading with her to come to Christ. She smiled shyly into her lap. I told her that tomorrow we will talk about baptism, and it was time for her to make the decision to change her life. The Spirit tugged at her heart, she lifted her head and said quietly, “I will.”

Did you hear that? Angels in heaven singing. Please pray that she, and many others, follow through for Jesus.

Ron IMG_6163.JPG


Constantine’s mother died when he was only four. His father died soon after as part of the Russian army. Left alone with several siblings, it is surprising that he was the only one separated and put with a different uncle.

Unfortunately, life in his new home didn’t go well. He was not allowed to attend school at first, and when he was, he had to walk miles there and back. When it came time for university study, he was told there would be no help from the family. Still he was determined and went to take the entrance exams. He found a place to stay, but the problem was, he had no food.

For two weeks he didn’t eat. Other students noticed, and they helped him with food. He made it into the university, trained, and became a French teacher. Still life was difficult, since teachers, even today, only make about $200 a month.

Despite the hardships, he raised a family, and his daughter became a Seventh-day Adventist. She invited him to our meetings. The picture is of Constantine with one of our It Is Written volunteers, Pastor Victor Maddox.

Constantine has been faithfully attending each night until a couple of nights ago I saw him putting on his coat. What was happening? Did I offend him? His daughter and her husband put on their coats as well. From the pulpit, I could only wonder what the problem was as I tried to focus on the presentation.

As soon as I was done, I asked around. Constantine had been taken to the hospital. What was happening with him? With not much way to communicate I had to wait until the next evening to ask about him again. The doctors found some irregularities but nothing too bad for a man of 81 in a country where the average lifespan is 71. When he came back, I mentioned to the congregation that it was good to see him back. He beamed brightly, settling in for the presentation.

Afterwards, I talked with him and the pastor, through my translator. How have the meetings been? Very interesting. Did you understand everything? Oh, yes.

Then I brought it home to his heart. Would you be willing to study with the pastor and be baptized? He paused. Looking directly at me he said, “I’ve been wanting to do that for a long time.”

It is amazing to see the Lord at work! There are others like Constantine, and your prayers are reaching the ear of the infinite God who touches hearts for Him.


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Mingle With Men

“The Saviour mingled with men as one who desired their good.” {MH 143.3}
“The Saviour mingled constantly with men, not to encourage them in anything that was not in accordance with God’s will, but to uplift and ennoble them. “I sanctify Myself,” He declared, “that they also might be sanctified.” John 17:19. So the Christian is to abide among men, that the savor of divine love may be as salt to preserve the world from corruption.” {CT 323.1}
This is part of the work of evangelism here in Moldova. The It Is Written team here is reaching out and touching lives right where they live. Many people here in the capital of Chisinau live in small, Soviet era apartments where the living room, dining room and bedroom are all one room. And it seems that in every home we go into, they are setting food before us. I know, I know, missionary work is supposed to be filled with hardship, but wow! The people are so kind and gracious, ready to share, and even to send us on our way with fruit, grape juice, and baked goods.
In the meantime, we get to sit with them and hear their stories. We are able to encourage them in the way of the Lord. Many families here have members that have emigrated overseas and the church feels the loss. Additionally, many members have believed that evangelism doesn’t work anymore. It is easy to be depressed about the decline in the church, but with Jesus there is hope! By coming and doing these meetings, not only are non-Adventists hearing the message, but our own members are encouraged. They see that they too can still touch lives.
And so they are talking to their neighbors, inviting them to the meetings. Door to door surveys have been encouraged, some members talking to everyone in their building. One called the office saying, “I did the survey, and now I have 25 people who want to study the Bible! What do I do now?”
This is our work--wherever we are--to be like Jesus, to uplift and enable.IMG_20170219_133516.jpg

Friday, February 24, 2017

Preaching in Moldova

Take a look at the picture. It has Jesus looking down lovingly on our planet in the center. It has
a blue, yellow, and red striped map with some kind of crest on it. And it has some words that we don’t understand.
This is the first slide people see every night when they come into our churches for the
evangelistic meetings. They see Jesus as the center of our work. Yes, we will preach
enthusiastically on the Sabbath and the state of the dead, but Jesus is the heart of it all. We
want people to love Him with all their hearts, and recognize Him as the Lord.
It is exciting to see the happy faces come in, rosy cheeked from the cold outside. Many feeling
strange in this strange church and they don’t know the songs. But they know that these people
welcome them and are willing to take time to befriend them, showing them the love of Jesus.
There are about 23 It Is Written speakers opening the Word of God all over this country pictured
on the map. Everywhere there are people coming into our church for the first time. From north to
south, in city churches and country village chapels, Jesus is being preached in a new, and for
some, a startling way. This whole land is being given the opportunity to come to know a
personal Savior.
Oh, yes. What do the words on the picture mean? They say, “Moldova for Christ.”
Moldova pentru Hristos.jpg

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Moldova, Here We Come!

At 30,000 feet, am I closer to God? At least with all my electronics in airplane mode I have less distractions for my prayers.

Lord, what will be on the other side of this ocean? What will You make of our little efforts in the evangelistic meetings we will hold?

“It is not the capabilities you now possess or ever will have that will give you success. It is that which the Lord can do for you. We need to have far less confidence in what man can do and far more confidence in what God can do for every believing soul.”

That's so reassuring to know that You are leading this work in Moldova. Success is Your domain.

“He longs to have you reach after Him by faith. He longs to have you expect great things from Him.”

So, what will it look like, Lord? Will lives be changed? What can I expect? I'm eager to see You at work. What can I do?

“Put your talents into the work, ask God for wisdom, and it will be given you.” {COL 146.4}

We’re on our way!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

A Wonderful Homecoming

What a joyous time coming back to Lakeland to our church family who has given, worked, and prayed so much for this trip!

In the next few days we'll get into more of the stories and see some pictures and video of what the Lord accomplished.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Those Crazy Missionaries

"You must be crazy to go there!"

I've heard that before when I've told people where I was going to work for the Lord. That's OK. If Jesus is sending us there, we'd be crazy not to go. If we're going to be crazy either way, we're content to be crazy for Jesus, if that's what the world would like to think.

So here we are, your crazy missionaries!