“This is the closest description of what we’ve seen the team develop in. It’s drawing upon the strengths and talents God has given each of us – and using that in a team for His Glory. To make Him famous!”Emily Spicer, Moveolution Europe Team, Moldova 2019
It has been one week since our Moveolution Europe team landed back in the UK from their 10-day mission trip in Moldova. How did God stir up faith in the community and our team?
From Moldovan-style horse and carriage commutes to sharing the love of God with over 65 children, our team were taken on a whirlwind of a journey with God this February.
We partner with OM Moldova, a mission organisation who started sharing the love of God in Moldova by smuggling Bibles into the country during the Soviet reign, to reach children and families in Palanca.
“Having the pastor share his vision on the first night then enabled our team to know how to partner, get on board and be one cohesive team working together. “
Emily, in our team, helped keep us updated while in Palanca, Moldova. You can read her awesome diary updates for further reading, but here are some of our highlights from this years mission trip.
“We thank God because it has been the most incredible experience, living in the wonderful village of Palanca.” Moveolution Europe Team, Moldova 2019
The team started each day in quiet time with God, centred around a morning talk with one of our partners. This quiet time was an incredible way to focus on how God was speaking to the team and the Moldovan people and to put Him at the centre of our lives.
“At first it may have seemed a lot, but has been a divine treasure for truth and talking point amongst the team,” Emily shared. “It starts the day with God first and our priority, which is a model for life back home.”
The team felt encouraged to praise God and give thanks in all circumstances for what He has already done and promised – before the situation! The team’s trust in God grew and each step unfolded with God’s provision.
Time with God helped the team grow spiritually and ignited communications with God. Reflecting on God moving in the situations and praising Him for how he was working in Palanca brought a model for back home!
Visiting families in their homes was an amazing way to share the love God has for the people in Moldova.
Each house was different, however the team all agreed that the Moldovan people are all extremely hospitable. The team were deeply touched by their need and love for God!
Visiting the families was an incredible opportunity to share our story, pray for their individual needs and listen to the circumstances of the families.
“When visiting people in houses it was challenging to be in small groups – but it meant we were encouraged to speak up and share our story”.
Moved by the powerful stories of the families, our team were so encouraged to share the stories of how God had moved in their lives. Many families faced difficult circumstances, who needed the hope of Jesus.
“A lot of houses we went to wanted us to pray for health because the access to healthcare isn’t great,” shared Ali. “A lot of Moldovan’s struggle to make it to 60,70 years of age; they work hard young and get worn down.”
The team gave food parcels to the families to help nourish their bodies and told stories of hope to bring the love of God in those situations.
“Refreshing and real, the experience of house visits has been a mixture of challenge and inspiration”
In the home of one of the families the team visited, a mother with a four-month-old baby felt God in a personal way. Through the love she had for her son, she was able to understand how God unconditionally loved her and died for her. She “would die for him”, her son, just as Jesus died for her. God showed up.
Another family felt particularly touched by one of the team sharing how God had shaped them. They became more interested in how the Bible was relevant in their lives today. They began to understand how God could speak into their needs and circumstances through the bible.
Children’s and Youth Programmes
During the mission trip, our team ran and hosted children’s programmes at one of the local churches in Palanca.
Venturing out into the village, our team also went into the community to invite youth to an evening service which they also hosted.
Eager and excited, the team welcomed over 40 children on the first day and over 65 children the other days to watch plays of bible stories, do arts, crafts and games, as well as pray for the children.
The children became more open and eager to participate over the course of the programme whether it was through listening or playing games.
Things got serious during the making of paper aeroplanes and they enjoyed playing with them afterward. The games brought them such joy!
At the end of the programme the team prayed individually with each child who attended the programme, bringing an opportunity to speak God into their lives and fill their hearts with the deep love of Jesus.
The team felt grateful then to have specific time with the youth. There is something special about “Teenagers reaching Teenagers!”.
So many of the teenagers in Palanca came to the programme and engaged with what the team shared. The evening was extremely powerful.
“We reflected a generation that was listening to God and that was evident in testimonies.”
“It was great to hear the pastor of the church say he was incredibly grateful for what we did. The impact it had on the children and youth was so great, it filled his heart with joy.”
Re-familiarising themselves with life back home after being taken out of their comfort zones and into God’s hands, the team are putting what they have learnt into action!
One week since returning, how is God continuing to impact our team?
Physical and Spiritual Thankfulness
Culture shock sunk in this week, as the team were faced with the luxuries which we take for granted.
During their time in Moldova, the team were faced with seeing a lack of healthcare, sanitation and safe water.
The team have come home truly appreciating and thanking God for those things which some of the world do not have access to, sometimes out of no fault of their own.
During the mission trip, one of our leaders, Tom, guided the team through a quiet time. In this time he highlighted that in order to live like Jesus we must thank God ahead of the situations we face.
“This isn’t just a nice saying,” says Emily. “We saw this embedded into Jesus’ ministry, such as before raising Lazarus from the dead (John 11:41-43, Luke 9:16)”
The team are integrating both forms of thankfulness into their personal lives, but also in their youth ministries back home.
In Bicester, the team are putting God first by challenging themselves to praise God before their youth groups or places they serve in. Thanking God ahead of what happens.
Appreciating God’s Provision
Fabian, a member of our team, says he has been changed since the mission trip in Moldova. “I am thankful to God that He will always provide and meet every need we have, both physical and spiritual,” he says – even if this isnt how we always expect.
Facing desperate circumstances, the team sometimes felt helpless. One of the things that the team has appreciated since being home is trusting God to meet these needs and not relying on our personal strength.
The most powerful reaction is prayer and to trust God with providing for us.
Vicky was overwhelmed with the hospitality of the Moldovan people. “I am looking for ways to carry the hospitality of the Moldovan people into my core values in my personal life and in ministry.” Vicky shared.
To learn more about what the team got up to, read our Mission Diary, written by the wonderful Emily on our Gap Year Programme.