Heading for ministry in Ireland but God had other plans

On their way to minister in Ireland, alumnus, Ivan de Lima Goncalves and his wife, Adina, and their daughter were grounded indefinitely, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, while visiting family in Adina’s home town of Moreni in Romania. As a result, they have settled in Moreni and are ministering in the local church and their community. Here is an extract from Ivan’s August 2021 newsletter. “We are thankful to be here in Romania. We are serving in a village church in Bratasanca, a village 20 minutes away from Moreni. Adina is enjoying living close to family and we spent last semester making connections and meeting up with old friends in the area. It has been very fruitful and encouraging to see our Lord giving us the opportunity to talk about the gospel with our friends and community.” “There are so many gospel opportunities in Romania that sometimes we feel overwhelmed. But at the moment, we are concentrating on discipleship, growing in knowing God and evangelism within the congregation in Bratasanca. We started our first small group in February, made up of mainly young families within the church and completed a series that investigates the core of the gospel by working through the Gospel of Mark, called Christianity Explored. The group enjoyed working through the content and having fellowship around the word of God. There is a willingness and hunger to keep meeting and digging into God’s word. Our plan for 2021 is to complete the Christianity Explored series with all members of the church. Since February, Adina has been leading a women’s fellowship group. They have been studying Philippians and also tackling some pressing topics (evangelism, testimony and living out the gospel), all of which will help in building up the church. One of the biggest challenges for our small groups, and the church in general in Bratasanca, is the inward focus of Christian life, which very often excludes reaching out to the lost…Please do pray for us to “reach in” within the church congregation so that, together, we can “reach out” for Christ! Last month we completed the Christianity Explored series with a group of non-Christians in Moreni, made up of neighbours and connections that we have established through random conversations in playgrounds and the park. We praise Him because seeds have been sown, hearts have been challenged and Christ was exalted. Please pray for this small group of non-Christians – that the Lord will open blind eyes. Pray, also, for wisdom and courage to boldly proclaim Christ without fearing men.”

Join us in giving thanks that Ivan and Adina have had such Gospel opportunity in God’s providence despite the pandemic changing their plans. Would you please pray for them as they continue to minister to this community? If you would like to support a GWC student, please click here to make a once off or regular donation to GWC bursaries.