Sunday, March 9, 2014
Your giving to World Evangelism Fund (WEF) helps the Church of the Nazarene to enter new world areas with the transforming power of Jesus Christ.
The nation of Moldova is one example. Prior to 2010, the denomination had no presence in this former Soviet nation.
In Moldova, alcoholism and addiction are widespread problems. Nazarene leaders wanted to send missionaries to begin a new work in Moldova. They sent Sergei and Irina Talalay, Russian Nazarenes who had received a call to ministry. Sergei was a former alcoholic who had found freedom through Nazarene addiction rehabilitation ministry in Russia. They decided to launch addiction rehabilitation work in conjunction with church planting.
World Evangelism Fund provided the operational budget to send the Talalays to Moldova. Nazarenes' giving to WEF funded an apartment where the couple could live while starting Nazarene ministry through Bible studies and church services. Nazarenes' generosity also provided resources for hosting kids’ camps and an adult family retreat.
Three years later, they have a worship service on Sunday mornings, and a regular Bible study with a core group of about 40 to 50 people. The children’s ministry is thriving.
One of the new believers is Nikolay Colesnichenko. Nikolay had been an alcoholic for 20 years. As is traditional in Moldova, he began drinking wine at the age of 2 or 3. After returning from a tour in the army at age 20, he began drinking heavily.
“At the age of 40 I was a walking corpse,” he says.
He drank three bottles of vodka a day just to feel normal; his body trembled constantly and he lost coordination. Nikolay repeatedly promised his wife, Tatiana, and their children that he would quit, but he failed over and over again.
On his way to work one day, he saw an ad for addiction rehabilitation. When he answered the ad, he met Sergei and Irina.
“I came to the office of Open Hearts and there I heard about Jesus, the Good News, the Word of God. After the third meeting, I repented of my sins. God miraculously touched me, put His arm around me and gave me freedom.”
He began attending the worship services held at the Talalays’ home. His wife was afraid he had gotten involved with a cult, so she came with him to see what was happening at these meetings. Soon his wife committed her life to Christ as well. Both of their adult children have attended the church.
Nikolay has now been sober for 3 years. He is working a steady job now and is trying to pay back the financial debt he accumulated during 20 years of alcoholism.
“God is putting things in order in my life. He is restoring family relationships, healing the wounds of my loved ones. Since the day I repented and accepted Jesus Christ, God has answered me and my prayers and supplied all my needs according to His will.”
Through your giving to World Evangelism Fund, the Church of the Nazarene entered Moldova, where a fledgling church is growing, and where the Holy Spirit rescued Nikolay and his family from the ravages of alcoholism.
World Evangelism Fund: Be part of something larger.
Talk about it
- Should the Nazarene denomination continue seeking to enter parts of the world where there is little to no Christian witness?
- Should we enter new areas where other churches are already at work?
- How do you feel about knowing there is a fund you can contribute to which sends Nazarene missionaries to places like Moldova?
- Many people think to plant a new church, it is best to do overt evangelistic activities, such as knocking on doors, performing street evangelism and hosting revival services. What kind of ministry did the Talalays start with? What do you think about that?
- Why do you think Nikolay, who was seeking relief from alcoholism, was open to receiving Jesus Christ?
- Did this addiction rehabilitation affect just Nikolay, or extend to others?
- How can you participate in WEF giving, and pray for this new work in Moldova?