Ilie pastors the church in Rosa Stanca that has had an impact in the suburbs of Cernauti. He is an itinerant preacher among the Ukrainian, Russian and Romanian churches from the Ukraine and travels each year to visit the three churches he planted in the area of Ulan-Ude, Siberia. Ilie and his wife, have three children. Ilie has related how their church was plagued by the flu this winter. However, he was able to adjust his ministry in such a way that he maintained the pace of his service. He reports, “Eighty percent of our church members had the flu in December, so I had to adjust my plans. Still, through God’s mercy, I managed to maintain balance. My family and I have avoided the flu this year.”
Two years ago, a group of nearly twenty refugees came to Chernovtsy from the church in Pervomaisk. They came from a church with three hundred and fifty members. The church building was burned by the Russian Orthodox fundamentalists and they had to flee, leaving everything behind. They were sheltered for a year in the Romanian Bible Center in Chernovtsy. Then, they decided to do something and went to Ternopol, where they planted a church in a neighborhood where there was no Baptist Church. They focused on the street children and on young people from families with difficulties. We decided to visit them in order to encourage them in ministry and propose a long-term partnership. We wanted to leave on November 27th, but the driver got sick with the flu and we had to postpone the trip. Then almost all the members of this group got sick, but we managed to take the trip on December 11th. We also met another group in Ternopol that had come from Jitomir. The Lord brought all of us together to strengthen each other in the faith and to praise His name. I gladly preached the Word of God there. We are thankful to the Lord for using us for His glory. In the evening, we had fellowship in the pastor’s home, who is also a refugee.
Another evangelistic opportunity was provided when we had to get approval for heating the church building. We need to get this approval every year and need a lot of time, money and patience for this. In order to get the approval, we had to get 18 signatures from 18 different offices. When I was in the first office, the Lord led me to preach the Gospel instead of getting angry for all that lost time. When I entered the first office, the man I found there started asking me all kind of questions about the Bible and about faith. I talked to him for about an hour. So, I understood what the Lord wanted me to do and I preached the Gospel in almost all eighteen offices!! May the Lord open their eyes! Please pray for those people! ■