Olga & Gelu C.
Pastor - Cahul, Moldova
Gelu is part of the mission team from the church in Cahul. Gelu serves as the youth pastor there. Gelu and his wife, Olga, have one son named Robert.
Testimony of Conversion
I was born and grew up in Moldova in a family who did not know God. But in 1994, when I was fifteen years old, God began to bring people into my life to show me the way to Him. My spiritual journey started with my grandmother. She was a Christian, and she read her Bible every day. This made me curious and I wanted to know what the Bible was about. In response, she told me an interesting story about her Bible. She had an old Romanian Bible from the time of the communist period when such books were forbidden. She told me how the Bible came into our country “illegally” from Romania, and how some Christians from our villages helped others to have Bibles.
Because of this story, I began to read in the Bible. I started in the Gospel of John, and soon began to attend the Baptist church in our village. After a while, some friends explained to me the Gospel. I passed many days thinking about what they had told me, but one day my best friend who knew Jesus asked me straight, “Where will You spend eternity? I remember how that night I prayed and accepted Jesus in my life as my Savior and my Lord. Soon, I was involved in youth meetings and God began to change my friends and me. Thirteen of my twenty-seven classmates became Christians. Then, other teens from different classes also came to Jesus. In a short time, we had forty to fifty youth at the church.
All of these things were signs of a spiritual revival that had come into our country and the rest of Eastern Europe. I remember how one of my teachers mocked us for being Christians and made us feel bad by telling lies about our church to the class. Then one day, she came to our church. My friends and I could not believe it when we saw her crying during the service. Another teacher named Anastasia, was very dedicated to the communist ideology and was always fighting against Christianity. However, in 1994, God touched her and transformed her life. For many years after that she was one of our Sunday School teachers.
In that environment of deeply searching after God’s Word and will, I started to ask myself, “Where should I go for my studies?” “What university should I choose for my future job?” My desire was to study history and Romanian Literature. My idea was to use my future job as an instrument for ministry. I was praying and looking for possibilities to go to a university in Romania. In 1997, God led my life in an amazing way. I came to know brother Anatol Dunas, who was already a student at the Christian university in Oradea, Romania where I was hoping to attend. With his help, I was able to get into Romania and to apply for the university. At that time, something happened that was very unexpected. Because of some problems with my documents, I had to choose another university or switch my major to pastoral theology. There were only a few hours to pray until I was forced by circumstances to make a decision. When I look back now, I can see God’s wisdom and sovereignty working behind all the circumstances. I praise Him for the simple and childlike faith that He gave me in that moment. I became aware that God was calling me into the ministry to become a pastor. I applied for a pastoral theology degree, and in 2001, I graduated from Emanuel Theological University in Oradea, Romania. Since that time, I have been involved in the ministry. I worked about four years in Romania. Then in 2005, I returned to Moldova and began to serve at Emanuel church.
Olga’s Testimony (Gelu's Wife)
I learned about God from my grandmother who was an Orthodox believer. She taught me the Lord's Prayer and many other prayers. As a child, I understood the justice of God, but I knew nothing about His Love and mercy. My home where I grew up was not a peaceful place. There were many tensions. My mother was an example for me, but I cannot say the same thing about my father.
When I was nine years old, some missionaries near our house opened their house for children’s Bible club meetings. That was something new and interesting for us. In that place, I heard for the first time the Good News about God's love and forgiveness. I can say that I was born again even at that age. I was amazed about everything that I learned about God.
When I became a teenager, things began to get worse. I started to like TV shows more than the Bible club. I was convicted about my absence from the meetings, but I could not break free from my favorite TV shows. However, when I was sixteen years old, I rededicate my life to Jesus. I understood what was missing in my life. I needed to read my Bible in order to have daily fellowship with God. In this way, I began to grow in my knowledge and obedience to God.
When I was eighteen years old, I went to Cahul University. There, I began to attend Emanuel Church and I understood another part of my life that was missing. I needed to serve God. I was a shy person until I began serving others and participating in the different church ministries. I was released from my timidity and friendlessness. Soon, I began to be involved in youth ministry, small groups, girl’s ministry, and other church activities. More and more I was beginning to understand God's call for the ministry and for His Kingdom.
When I was twenty-three year old, I was married and soon came our first child. Our family is where God is working most in my life. I can say that my seeking after God and my dedication became deeper. At the age of thirty, I can see how God has worked in me more patience, wisdom, and maturity in my relationship with my husband and other believers.
For six years, I served in the children ministry at our church. Now, God has sent another person to take my place, and I am dedicated to the discipleship of my children. However, I have the same desire: To know Him more.