"A whole generation that could have led Moldova was taken away"

Changing mentalities: Iurie’s story

I was in the army. When the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, there was a real danger of civil war in Moldova.

Iurie, one of our team in Moldova, has seen the events of recent history unfold, from the break-up of the Soviet Union to the military dispute over Transnistria – to the challenges the nation faces today.

But in Iurie’s life, the most significant event of all was the day he became a Christian.

He said, “I was given a Bible in the army. As the years passed, I read it more and more. Nobody taught me anything, I learned from the heart. In 1997 I became a Christian.

 


We were taught not to strive, not to think, not to do anything to earn money.”

“In the year 2000 a Baptist pastor in Chisinau asked me if I would become a leader of a small congregation. I said ‘No, why me? I do not know anything’, but the pastor insisted, he knew I could do it, he had spotted something in me. Now I look back and I realise that God has always empowered people who feel they don’t know anything about faith.

"At first I was very nervous preaching, but step by step I started ‘swimming’. Now it is automatic and comes from my head and from my heart. Three years ago I began working as a Family to Family coordinator for MWB. I support numerous families in Chisinau, materially, emotionally and spiritually.”

For the 55 families and 58 children that Iurie works with, he is the expression of Christian love. His patience, understanding and caring are an important part of changing people’s lives. Iurie explained that his biggest challenge is changing mentalities. He said, “Achieving this is not so easy. For 50 years under communism, the Moldovan people had relied on the state.

"After World War 2, anyone in Moldova who had a business, an education, anyone who could be an intellectual threat or who had ideas was sent to the gulag in Siberia. Communism ripped the desire and motivation out of our country. We were taught not to strive, not to think, not to do anything to earn money.

“My wife's father was a hard-working blacksmith, trying to improve his family and make his way in life. He was sent to Siberia. He never came back. A whole generation that could have inspired and led Moldova forward was taken away. The Family to Family to programme seeks to change this, step by step, slowly improving each generation of Moldovan families. Our aim is to help them to stop sinking and to swim.

"While working with people, I am lifted up by the hope that arises in people's eyes and I am hurting to see their difficulties and pain. All this work is possible due to the strength we receive from God through His Word. Please pray that I will find the best ways to encourage them."

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We have 27 staff members working with sponsored families in Moldova; a total of 70 staff working with families across our six field countries.

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