During the 2018 summer outreaches in Moldova, one of the ‘River Adventure’ teams was covering a stretch of the river that included a village which teams in previous years had passed by. At an earlier attempt to do ministry there, the local Orthodox priest had caused trouble and the mayor then had refused his permission to do any activities there. This year however, the team had a strong conviction that they needed to go to that village. They tried to get hold of the mayor, but without success. Finally, they argued that nobody could refuse them to put up camp and stay the night to shorten the long journey they’d have the following day, so they decided they would camp at the edge of the village and see what God would do. On the way there, a thunderstorm forced the raft to stop for a while, so by the time they arrived and set up camp it was evening, and as they had to set off at 6am the next morning, there seemed not a lot to be done there. But though they believed God had led them there, what He had prepared for these few short hours was beyond their imagination. They set up the bouncy castle (having several families with children on the team, this would seem reasonable even if anyone should object) – and word spread like fire: Within a short time, many parents or grandparents turned up with their children, excited about this special opportunity. Among the first adults who came was a woman, who had been the local social worker for 15 years. After a short conversation she offered to take part of the team to visit some people in need – people like the 82-year-old lonely lady who wanted to die and was in real need of the encouragement and hope the team brought and also very happy about the food parcel she received.
In the meantime, more and more children gathered at the campsite and while some team members did an impromptu short programme for them, others could talk to the adults standing nearby. Only when it was getting dark the crowd slowly dispersed – but shortly after, some teenagers started to arrive and at around 11pm there were 17 young people of the village sitting at the campsite, attentively listening to testimonies and discussing with the team. One teenage girl was especially open to the gospel and spent a lot of time talking to Petru Castraveț, a Moldovan OM worker and leader of the outreach team. She was not yet ready to surrender her life to God, but a seed was planted. When she was in a difficult situation about a month later, out of all her acquaintance she chose to call Petru to ask for advice: a young desperate girl seeking the fatherly advice of a godly man. May this relationship bear fruit and lead her to find her true Father!

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