This summer, Debbie Rowley led a team of KidZ at Heart trainers to Moldova. It was KidZ at Heart’s second trip to this former Communist bloc country. What a joy that KidZ could train teachers in this place where God’s name was “stomped out” for 70 years! That is truly a miracle. Read on—here are great stories that came out of their time with the eager learners who attended the KidZ training, as told by Debbie.
In Balti, Brother Oleg spoke with us for a long time after our first day of training. This man has a huge heart for children! He lives in a village of about 300 people. His church has 15 members and he has 10-15 children in his Sunday school class, ages 5-12. He has also led a summer day camp this summer with approximately 40 kids! He proudly showed us photos of his own two children who had recently been baptized, as well as his Sunday school and day camp kids.
Oleg cares deeply for his church. The building has no electricity, so for some time the congregation had used candles. However, he now runs a long extension cord from his home to the church so that they have electricity. He also cultivated the field around the church and planted “broom corn.” At harvest, he and other church members gather the broom corn and spend a lot of time and energy making brooms. They then sell these brooms to raise money for the church, primarily for the children’s programs. They make about 400 brooms every year!
Pray for them, as now there is competition from imported brooms that sell for less. (And they’re only charging about $1 for each broom!)
But wait, there’s more! Oleg drives a van to pick up children for Sunday school. He also has earned such respect and trust in the public school in the nearest large village that he has been allowed to teach the children four days a week, training kids to be aware of human trafficking, alcohol, drugs, etc. He has been given a great way to reach into the community—and now he has skills that will benefit both the kids in his church and the kids in his schools!
During a worship service after the training was over on the first day, Oleg asked two of us share our testimonies. He spoke from John 14:6. Afterward, a young teenage girl came to Oleg who had traveled from an outlying village for our training. She wanted to receive Christ as her Savior! Although she had grown up in the church, she felt she didn’t have a personal relationship with Christ. What a blessing that we got to be part of her spiritual journey both through our training that day and our testimonies that night!
Oleg’s employment consists of only a couple of hours on a couple of days a week. He told us he earns very little money, but that it’s “possible” to live on it (although clearly it is not easy). We felt honored to get to know Oleg and see him live out the gospel! And he was eager for us to be sure that we greeted our churches for him when we returned.
Please pray for Oleg and the others who learned new skills at the KidZ at Heart training in Moldova.
We were delighted to meet some “alumni” of the last training as well as eager learners who attended the KidZ training for the first time!
We spent a lot of time talking with Dima, a young man about fifteen years old. He lives in one of the transition homes in Balti. He has a great talent for languages, and has big dreams. He clearly has a lot of hurts from his past life that need healing, but we’re so glad that he attended our training. We believe God will use it to help him fulfill his God-given destiny. Please pray with us that God will heal and restore his brokenness as He provides Dima with a future and a hope.
Another man who attended the Chisnau training told me, “In other seminars I learned that the lesson is the most important thing. But now I realize the child is most important. I must consider the child’s life outside the 1-2 hours a week I have with him.”
Pray for these brave teachers who are learning—and implementing—great ways to connect kids to Jesus around the world!
The Towns of Cahul and Chisnau:
We all know that if a pastor cares about children and has a vision for reaching them, it changes the focus of the church. The Cahul training impacted many pastors who attended! One pastor told a team member after the training that he felt that reading Scripture to listen to God was very important and that he was newly inspired to help his church return to the practice of Scripture and listening.
Another wonderful learner and teacher we met was a young woman who needed to ride with the team back to Chisinau (the capital), a trip of about an hour. This young mom had clearly traveled a very long way to come to the training, and no buses ran as late as the end of our training day. So, she and her pastor needed a way to get back to Chisnau. She told us that she wouldn’t be able to attend the second day of training, so we were very glad she got to attend for at least one day.
Her pastor explained that she was asking him good questions about how to know she was hearing from God. She is only 26 years old and was abandoned by her husband. She lives with her young son and three other children of single moms who are working outside Moldova.
We were surprised and delighted to see her at our second day of training! She told us that she didn’t think she could find anyone to care for the four children so that she could come back, but God graciously connected her with someone who kept the children so that she could attend. The fellowship and teaching was a great blessing to her!
Please do pray for her, that God will provide for her in every way. (Her pastor is hoping to introduce her to a young Christian man he knows). When we dropped off her pastor, he had tears in his eyes. He thanked us sincerely for coming. He said they very much needed this kind of training.
So, many churches were blessed, because many pastors were blessed. Young mothers were blessed, who will teach their own children and the children of others—and all are now better equipped to connect kids to Jesus in ways that work best in their own cultures!
Want to be a part of this kind of God-adventure? There are plenty of places around the world with men and women like Oleg waiting to be trained—who will then impact the children of their own countries! Learn more about joining a team.