Olga is the wife of Gelu Ciorna, a pastor at Immanuel Baptist Church in Cahul, Moldova. They have four children: Robert, Filip, George, and Victoria.
I am blessed to support my husband in the youth ministry. Our target is high school and college students. Besides my family duties, I believe my first priority is to pray for the people we serve. Raising my children takes a lot of time—Robert, the oldest, is in school; Filip goes to pre-school; and the two youngest are home with me.
I meet weekly with a fifteen-year-old girl for discipleship to study the Bible together in my home. I have known her since she was a young child, as she was one of the girls in my kids’ group at church. It was there that she received Christ, and now I help show her how to grow in faith and apply her beliefs in daily life. It is a special time because I can help her in different aspects of her life. Her biggest struggle is fear, and this is where we have been focusing our prayer and working to overcome. It is amazing how God works, touching different aspects of her life. I am glad that she humbly accepts teaching for godly change.
Then there is Victor, a student who first came to our ministry four years ago. He had come to our summer camp, where he heard the gospel, and God started to work in his life. My husband and I have been praying for him, and it seems that now God has touched his heart deeply. We are glad to see the special work God is doing in his life. We invited him into our home and had a blessed time of fellowship. Now, after years when we have been discouraged because we have invested so much in this ministry with the youth with little effect, we are so thankful to God that He brings fruit in His time. One of the biggest changes in Victor’s life is that he started to read the Bible and he is keen to share what God is speaking to him. It was amazing to hear at our last visit with him in our home that now his struggle is how to share the gospel with his family!
Since I cannot spend as much time at the church as my husband does, I help him by keeping in touch with girls from our youth group. Some of the girls no longer live nearby, as they are now in different towns for studies. At college they are facing different challenges, and social networking is a perfect way for me to keep in touch with them. I continue to pray with Tania and Maricica, two girls who are now strong in their faith.
Speaking about my family, I can say that God has allowed in our life both struggles and blessings. We have faced many difficulties with our third child, George, who was born premature (at five months). Even though there have been emotional and physical burdens, God has blessed us richly. I can recognize that God has changed me––the way I see Him––through this more than anything else in all my life. Maybe I can better understand what Job said in his prayer: “I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; but now my eye sees You” (Job 42:5). I saw what God can do; I saw His mighty power. The lesson I learned was to submit to Him and trust Him in all His words. I can say that I appreciate and love His Word more than I did before. George had many problems when he was in the incubator. For three months, I could not cuddle him because he had a heart problem and he could not breathe. At that time, I was asking God when I would be able to cuddle with my baby and enjoy spending time with him. His answer to me was that in the same way He is waiting to enjoy us. Many times we sin, and He can’t enjoy us, and we are hurting Him—but He waits for us. I promised to my God that I would fight sin and fight to bring Him joy. It was hard, but I am grateful for His work in me. Now we are grateful to see how George is recovering and growing.
Also, we are thankful to God for our fourth child—our little girl He gave us. I can see that God used her to heal me. I could not imagine how it would be possible to have another baby. We did not plan for it, but I see how His power is enough for me in all my weaknesses.
We try to share truth with our children in many ways. I enjoy seeing how God is working in their hearts. A few times the teacher from Robert’s school has told us that the Christian education he is receiving is obvious because of his behavior. We are praying and expecting God to do great things through our children and through all of those He has given us to care and pray for.
Stella Makumba: ZAMBIA