This morning we attended the only evangelical church in the village of Balasanesti. We arrived early, and so as the saints came marching in, we welcomed them with the traditional Christian greeting, Pace Domn lui (“The Lord’s peace be with you”) and shook their hands, many of which were deeply stained from shelling walnuts. As at most Baptist and Pentecostal churches in Eastern Europe, the women kept their heads covered with scarves during the service, and they sat on the right side of the church while the men sat on the left.
The pastor, Ion Rotaru, and his wife Nina, were successful singers in Moldova before they came to the Lord. But after their repentance, they could no longer sing at events from which most everyone staggered home drunk. Now they, along with their twelve (yes, twelve) children, sing for the Lord, and we enjoyed several of their special songs during this morning’s church service. Heaven’s Family staff member Bob Collins delivered a great sermon with the help of our host, Ghiorghi Cazacu, who interpreted for him. And I had the privilege of dedicating to the Lord the most-recently-sprouted Rotaru—one-month-old Lia—who politely slept through my sermonette.
The primary reason for our visit to Balasanesti was to meet Ion and Nina’s son Daniel, who was born with cerebral palsy and consequently confined to a wheel chair—until recently. Through Heaven’s Family’s Critical Medical Needs Fund, Daniel received surgery on his legs a few months ago that has enabled him to walk with the help of a child-sized walker. His daily physical therapy includes repeatedly pushing a plastic four-wheel toy up his driveway, and then coasting it back down with a big smile on his face. Ion told us that Daniel is determined to walk on his own. — David