The Challenges of Church Planting in Moldova

Roy Stiff, a member of All Souls, posts from Poland, where he is currently the Eastern Europe representative for the Global Church Movements ministry of Cru, which is still known as Campus Crusade for Christ or “New Life” internationally.

In June, Roy married Agnieska, a Polish native. Their wedding service, as Roy describes it, “was just the right balance between being somber and joyfully glorifying the Lord for His faithfulness.” As for the reception, joy predominated. Roy and Agnieska and guests danced until 2 am.

 

I have just returned from Moldova where I was part of a weekend conference for all the leaders of the home churches and groups in the country. There were 72 people present, mostly couples, who came to be encouraged, as well as spend time in strategic planning for the next school year. My role was to motivate us all in the area of prayer, both personal, and for the ministry. By all accounts, and only by God’s grace and power, it went very well.

It is truly a privilege to be involved in the lives of these men and women. For this reason, I would like to share this privilege with you, by introducing you to a couple who are leaders in the ministry, and on staff with Cru Moldova. I am greatly encouraged by their story, and I believe that you will be also. In reading this story, please keep in mind that Moldova is the poorest country in Europe, that since the fall of the Soviet Union, the population in Moldova has shrunk about 30‐35% as there is a steady exodus of people leaving in order to find work. One of the results of this is that all medical care in Moldova is cash only, up front before treatment, including for operations.

When I first met Igor & Eugenea Juicov, they were just coming out of a period of severe testing. About 2 years ago, they were leading a house church of 14 members. It took 1 ½ years of ministry for the church to reach that number of faithful members, but it only took 2 months for their church to be reduced to 1 member plus themselves. Most of the members moved out of Moldova looking for work simply because they could no longer survive economically. At the same time, Eugenea became sick with life‐threatening digestive tract issues, and was hospitalized.

The prescribed treatments that the hospital recommended cost $30,000, a fortune by Moldovan standards, and they did not have even a fraction of that. And, at the same time, a high percentage of their support from Moldova dried up as most of their supporters also left the country looking for work. You can imagine their emotional turmoil.

Igor fasted and prayed, asking God for healing, provision and wisdom. He describes God answering him with such peace, such as might be found in the eye of a category 5 hurricane. In spite of the strong temptation to leave staff in order to find work to pay for treatment, Igor and Eugenea decided to stay on staff. In what can only be called a miracle, God provided the funds for treatment, and Eugenia became better, something that wasn’t a foregone conclusion, even with treatment. Igor, and eventually Eugenea as her health improved, kept sharing their faith, and their church, which before had taken a year and a half to reach 14 members, in 2 ½ months reached 15 members of new believers. God has replaced some of their support, so that they can put food on the table, for which they are very grateful. But they still need to raise another $700/month.

I would like to ask you to pray for Igor & Eugenea, thanking God for meeting them in their desperate time of need. Please pray that God would continue to bless their ministry, and please pray specifically that their house church would soon be able to plant a daughter house church. Their son David has neurological issues. Please pray for him.

If you would like to pray regularly for Igor & Eugenea, please contact them at igor.juicov@cru.md. If youwould like to support them, one time or regularly, you can do so at: https://give.cru.org/0902680.