On March 27 (Sunday), we drove from Alba-Iulia, Romania to Chisinau, Moldova. It was a very long drive. We arrived in Chisinau at around 8:30 pm.
Monday morning, March 28th, we met with the leader of the Christian Policemen’s group. He and a Christian businessman met with us for prayer. The leader made arrangements for us to go to Transnistria.
There is a Jewish cemetery in Transnistria and we were so glad to be able to visit there. It had a very moving memorial inside and we took some time to remember those hundreds of thousands of Jewish people slaughtered in Transnistria, pray for the land and the people currently there and also minister to an elderly Jewish man who was there to visit the graves of his parents.
We traveled to Transnistria, known in Russia as Pridnestrovie. This area is legally part of Moldova, but after a military conflict in 1992 and a ceasefire which was achieved also in that same year, this region functions as a quasi-independent country. The 14th Russian army has a presence in Transnistria and with the current war in Ukraine, this area which borders Ukraine is highly sensitive. The Russian military does not want foreigners to visit at this time. Our purpose for wanting to visit was to pray in regard to the atrocities which occurred in this region during the Holocaust. This was one of the most brutal and barbaric areas for the Jewish people in Eastern Europe. We specifically wanted to cross over the Dniester River to hold our prayer time in this location. There is much debate over the number of Jewish people who were murdered in this region; however most scholars place this number around 410,000. In reality, when examining how this figure was calculated, the number is significantly higher and closer to 700,000.
What I would like to share about our visit is how G-d moved many individuals to assist us in fulfilling our purpose to pray across the Dniester River. We had to arrange an escort from the Moldovan Police to ensure our departure from Moldova and to the border of Transnistria. From there, we were required to go to the Moldovan representative in Transnistria who contacted the Russian army officials for us to enter into the area we desired. We had to be taken there in a vehicle of the Moldovan consulate’s office with their driver to be observed by Russian (Transnistrian) officials. The fact that so many people were inconvenienced by us so that we could pray was simply amazing. I personally was convinced that G-d wanted us to pray and He moved numerous people, who all treated us with such kindness. We were asked to do something for their assistance. Not to pay a bribe, but to pray for them. They were all concerned what this war in Ukraine would mean for them. There is a possibility that Moldova will be invaded as well.
On Monday evening and Tuesday evening, Baruch spoke at Biserica Golgota. His translator was Pavel (see below). Pavel is an excellent translator [Romanian language] and we were so blessed to have him with us. He and his family run a Christian Retreat Center which is currently housing and helping Ukrainian refugees.
Most of the day Tuesday Baruch taught at a Christian University which trains people to teach and share the Gospel with Russian speakers around the world. There are over 250 million people who speak Russian, may of who live outside of Russia. For all of the work we did in Moldova which needed to be translated into Russian, Michael [our associate from Israel] was there to translate Baruch’s Hebrew into Russian. We want to strengthen our relationship with this university.
Our final stop outside of town was to visit a man who is very active and supportive of the Messianic community in Chisinau. He asked if we would stop by his office to pray for him and the believing community in Chisinau. He does a great deal to support them.
By the end of the trip, we traveled more than 2700 km in 16 days and visited 7 cities. We visited congregations and universities/Bible colleges, taped television and radio programs, established new contacts which we hope to grow, and visited with some of our team members from Poland, France, Serbia, Hungary, Russia and Romania. What a blessing! The fellowship between the team members was such an encouragement. All of the Romania team members were involved in one way or another in organizing, from the place of teaching, to visiting some important places in our little bit of free time, accommodations and eating. Thank you team!