God is really working in Craiova, and the church plant here is growing. We started the church planting ministry together with a team in 2020, a group of missionaries with no background in the city and without relationships with the people in the city. Craiova is a city with 234,000 people and only 0.3% born-again believers. Our focus as a church plant is on people who don’t know God.
Our focus as a church plant is on youth ministry. Statistics say that youth are more likely to be open to the gospel and receive God than older people. Besides this, Romania has a communist background, and older people are not open to other opinions besides what the Orthodox priest says. 81% of people in Romania are Orthodox; they consider themselves Christians but, in reality, they don’t have a personal relationship with God. I am constantly involved in youth ministry, evangelism, and discipling young believers. One of the best ways to do that is to have one-to-one discussions with the youth, so I do that during the week. Every Saturday, we gather all of the youth together and have a youth event where we sing, play games, and share testimonies.
This summer, I was part of an evangelistic camp that helped us connect more with the youth for a week. On the last night of camp, the youth were invited to profess their faith in God and their desire to be baptized. I started praying for the youth, and God told me to go and pray for my cousin, Miriam. She said that she felt she wanted to take this step, so I can say that the Holy Spirit worked and led me to the right person.
I have been involved a lot in the digital ministry lately. I believe that it’s a great way to share the Gospel. In the Romanian context, people are persecuted if they go to churches other than the Orthodox Church or if someone talks more about God than the rest of the people do. They associate anything you tell them about God with another religion, consider it part of a bad cult, and instantly reject it. Digital ministry creates a connection between us and the people. I am trying to reach people who don’t know God in this city through social media and let them know who we really are. I can say that a lot of people have come to church because they saw us online. One recent person is Minodora. She had been following our Instagram account before moving to Craiova. Circumstances made it so that she had to move here because of school, and now she is growing in our church and serving.
“Online personal testimonies” is a big project that God has placed on my heart lately. I want to record and edit personal testimonies and promote them online. I strongly believe that this project is a great way to do evangelism and discipleship at the same time. In the context that we live in, people tend to be more open to personal testimonies than to the Gospel. On the other hand, the person who is sharing the testimony has the opportunity to grow in faith and build a stronger foundation as they share how God touched their life.