CSBCDR – Help, Hope, and Healing in the Republic of Moldova

Written By Jenice Moore

CSBCDR – Help, Hope, and Healing in the Republic of Moldova

“We traveled 6,500 miles over 20+ hours and several airports to arrive in Chisinau, the capital of Moldova. We were a team of six CSBC Disaster Relief Ministries chaplains deployed to increase the resiliency of people impacted by the Russian-Ukrainian War and provide training and encouragement for the men and women working to support them.

When the Russian-Ukrainian War began in February 2022, tens of thousands of Ukrainians fled to neighboring countries. Many of those refugees crossed into the Republic of Moldova. According to Mihai Malancea, pastor of Hope Baptist Church in Chisinau, evangelicals took the lead in providing housing and care for those refugees. Churches became safe havens for displaced people. The believers in those churches and other ministries began to form networks of support. They immediately went to work to provide shelter, food, clothing, and emotional care for people in crisis. They did all of this without the benefit of training or experience in crisis management.

Dr. Naomi Paget, CSBCDR lead chaplain, was invited by Iurie Malancea, president of the University of Divine Grace (UDG), to help fill the gap in training. UDG is in Chisinau and is the only evangelical university in the country. Local pastors and other church leaders, people working in refugee shelters, mental health care providers, and university students and faculty were among the 60 participants who attended the two-day training.

Dr. Paget presented the course entitled “Operational Stress First Aid” (OSFA).  The principles of OSFA are founded upon trauma-informed practices of psychological first aid. The training provides tools for care providers to use and teaches helpful actions to support and restore pre-war function and mental health. The chaplaincy team facilitated small group exercises, answered questions, and led discussions within the groups. These discussions allowed the chaplains to get to know the participants and provided many opportunities to share support and encouragement.

The participant’s response to the class was positive and profound. Oksana*, who works in border patrol, expressed the feelings of many when she said how much she wished she had known at the beginning what she knows now. Mikhail* came to realize that he was burned out and feeling guilty because he didn’t want to go back to the border this summer. He realized that, instead of returning, he could recruit and train others who could go. Marina* said that her ministry with women had started to grow, but she didn’t know how to deal with the problems that were coming with growth. Now, she feels like she is ready for the future. For some, the greatest benefit was personal; they learned to recognize and cope with their own stress and with the fatigue that comes from caring for others. Hearing our new friends share their reactions, resolve, and hope for the future of their work was, in turn, encouraging and strengthening for us.

In addition to classwork, the team was able to spend a day in Ukraine. Crossing the border was time-consuming, and we received quite a warning from the Ukrainian border control, but the trip was worth the effort. We visited “Harbor Shelter Christian Camp,” a ministry of Great Change Baptist Church in Izmail. This camp has hosted 3,300 refugees since the war began and has baptized 15 new believers. The facility was built by the Soviets as a youth training camp. Pastor Malancea said, “The Soviets built it, but now believers are using it!”  Currently, it houses about 100 refugees. Additionally, the camp is ministering to war widows and their children. The families are invited to come for five days to be cared for, to rest, and to play.

While in Ukraine, we visited Great Change Baptist Church and spoke with Pastor Edward and Youth Pastor Mark. We enjoyed their hospitality and beautiful campus. This church is seven years old and has about 100 members and about 200 people in attendance each week. The church actively supports the refugee ministry at the camp and works to engage other churches and members of the community.

After meeting many extraordinary people and learning about their ministries, we were driven to the harbor to see just a glimpse of the damages of war. A grim reminder of the fear and stress that is a daily reality for the people of Ukraine.

Our team was blessed to have this opportunity for ministry. We were blessed to have this occasion to support and encourage other believers in their ministry. We were blessed to meet many wonderful believers doing exceptional work. And we were reminded of how blessed we are to live in peace and comfort.

To support California Southern Baptist Disaster Relief ministry as we continue to bring help, hope, and healing to those affected by disaster, not only in CA but throughout the world, you can give online here.

To learn more about getting connected with Disaster Relief, sign up at the bottom of our CSBCDR page.

*Names have been changed

About the Author

Jenice Moore
Region 3 Lead Chaplain, CSBC Disaster Relief

Jenice is a member of Gatetree Baptist Church in Danville, Calif, is a CSBC Board Member, a CSBDR Blue Cap and Regional Chap lead, and has served as chaplain, kitchen manager, and administrative assistant for CSBC Disaster Relief. She did her undergraduate work at Fresno State, and she has a Master of Arts in Religious Education from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jenice and her husband, Ron, have been married for 36 years, and together, they have three grown children, one daughter-in-law, and four grandchildren, whom she calls the light of her life.

Related Posts

Home » News » CSBCDR – Help, Hope, and Healing in the Republic of Moldova
CSBC Logo

Mailing Address

678 East Shaw Ave Fresno, CA 93710

Phone Number

(559) 229-9533

Email Address

Info@csbc.com

Connect With Us

Subscribe to TW@CSBC

Enter your email and every Tuesday we'll send the latest news, interviews, and resources directly to your inbox.

Name
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Subscribe to TW@CSBC

Enter your email and every Tuesday we'll send the latest news, interviews, and resources directly to your inbox.

Name
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
© 2024 California Southern Baptist Convention | All Rights Reserved