Stories

God is calling people to Him from every corner of the globe

Date posted: 19/03/18

 Intern blog Moldova

 

Welcome to part six of the Internship blog as Vanessa Kelada looks back at the Interns’ trip to Moldova in January. Vanessa is based in Dublin and has a love of all things cricket, being both a player and a coach. She is based at Christ City Church, Dublin.

Humbling and encouraging. Those are the two words I would use to describe my time in Moldova. Humbling as I learnt to rely more and more on God’s strength, and not my own. Encouraging as I saw the Lord work powerfully over the few days we were there.

Vanessa KeladaI had no idea what to expect when we all set off from Gatwick Airport. I knew that we were going to be teaching the gospel at a sports camp and that it was going to be very cold (although in reality the elements weren’t as taxing as I had envisaged).

Our first two days were dedicated to us settling in and getting ready for the week ahead. This allowed us to meet Nicolai and the two Eugenes from Admirals Basketball Academy.

Admirals Basketball is a basketball coaching academy for children and adults. It is run by Christians but has a high proportion of those who are not yet Christians attending. Before each coaching session they run a Bible study. They have multiple youth and adult teams in the national leagues and one in the European Youth Basketball League. They also run a development programme for coaches.

It was great to spend time with them, hearing about the highs and lows of their basketball ministry, and what to expect from the three-day sports camp we were to be serving on.

During this time we also prepared all our teaching material, played some sport (including a very competitive game of football), and enjoyed a delicious meal out at a traditional Moldovan restaurant. This was all great, but by the evening of the second day I was itching to get going with the camp itself.

When the 50 or so young people (all aged between 13 and 16) did finally arrive, they were immediately thrown into some pretty high-octane team building challenges. These were run by Pasha (a Ukrainian rugby player who was also serving at the camp) and they swiftly became a regular feature of the week.

Alongside the team building, there was loads of sport. Each morning the young people played football, basketball and volleyball. While in the afternoon we ran a home nations inspired mini-team challenge with England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales all battling it out for bragging rights.

Intern blog Moldova

 

Playing sport with the Moldovans was one of the highlights of the trip and a great illustration of the universality of sport – we may not have been able to speak the same language but that was no barrier once we started playing.

For the Bible teaching aspect of the camp, we were split into two groups of four, and over two days explained the central truths of the gospel to those in attendance. On the first day, using Genesis and Romans, we looked at how sport, just as all of life, has been tainted by our sin, but that Jesus has ultimately dealt with sin on the cross. Whilst on the second day, we walked through the key aspects of the gospel using the 2 Ways to Live framework.

I was personally a little apprehensive about the teaching. Explaining the gospel in such a formal setting is not something I had done much before, and the fact I was doing this via a translator made it all the more daunting!

Moreover, at the start of the camp I wrongly put too much of the emphasis on me and my own ability. I felt it was up to me whether they responded in faith to what we were saying or not. It was humbling as the camp progressed to be reminded that ultimately it is God who opens people’s hearts and eyes to the truth and that my job was nothing more than to tell them the gospel.

Intern blog Moldova

 

But not only was the teaching a humbling experience, it was also a deeply encouraging one. Whilst all the young people had engaged with the material intellectually, our prayer was for this to go much deeper and they would ultimately respond in faith to what they had heard.

Wonderfully, our prayers were answered with many of the young people making a commitment to follow Jesus off the back of what we had been looking at over the two days.

As I travelled home, I was able to praise God for all He had done during our week in Moldova. He had reminded me and the other Interns that the saving work of the gospel is His work, and not ours. And He had reminded us that He is a God who is living and active, calling people to Him from every corner of the globe.

To read the rest of the Internship blog series, click here 


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