Photo by R/L Telpiz
Meet Ruslan and Larissa Telpiz (Bread of Life, Moldova)
He looked like a regular visitor to the church, but he was actually there for a reason the church-goers that sat around him would never have guessed.
Larissa and Ruslan Telpiz, Bread of Life, Moldova
Photo Credit: Facebook
Years ago, Ruslan Telpiz found himself sitting in a church service in a small remote village in Moldova. He looked like a regular visitor to the church, but he was actually there for a reason the church-goers that sat around him would never have guessed.
He was casing it for a robbery.
Attending the service was the perfect way to memorize the layout. But it also had an effect on him that he never would have guessed: during that service, Ruslan gave his life to Jesus!
He's dedicated his life to letting the Spirit use him to transform the community for Christ ever since.
Ruslan's wife, Larissa, was a founding member of the church Ruslan had attended in order to rob. The Lord had led her to go share the Good News with the youth in this small, remote village in the middle of nowhere.
The village is rustic and difficult. Transportation is mostly done on foot or, for the more "well-off", a donkey-drawn wooden cart. Little is available, and the impoverished villagers work hard to survive.
Photo Credit: Richard Nungesser, Bread of Life
Larissa's work there eventually led to a church being planted, the same church her future husband, Ruslan, was saved while casing for a robbery!
Now the two serve Jesus together, shepherding the congregation of Biserica Crestina Baptista (translated, that's: Christian Baptist Church) and working toward the Lord's transformation of lives in their community with outreaches such as the gift of food parcels and youth outreaches.
Richard Nungesser at Biserica Crestina Baptista in Gotesti, Moldova
Richard Nungesser encouraging the saints at Biserica Crestina Baptista
In May 2020, Bread of Life, founded by ITMI's Richard and Brooke Nungesser, partnered with Ruslan and Larissa's church on an outreach and provided ducks for several hand-picked families in the community with the greatest needs.
These outreaches are tangible demonstrations of the spoken reminder each beneficiary hears, the news that they are loved by God.
In this community where everyone struggles with poverty, the outreaches are often a catalyst for people from the community coming to church - drawn to the love they were shown.
Photos by: R/L Telpiz
The Devastating Effects of the Worldwide Pandemic and Drought
In 2020, Moldova experienced one of the most severe droughts in the past two decades. Wheat and maize outputs were over 50% below average levels in a year that saw the loss of many jobs and incomes during the worldwide pandemic.
Already the poorest country in Europe, Moldova's GDP declined by 8% in 2020.
For a country where only 43% of the population live in city centers with an economy that relies heavily on its agricultural sector, a drought means widespread suffering.
The impoverished families living in villages around Gotesti, Moldova where Ruslan and Larissa's church is located were not exempt.
Gotesti, Moldova is a small village near Moldova's border with Romania.
"The harvest was slim," Ruslan told Richard. But the families from Gotesti and the surrounding villages that received the ducks were in a better position than most.
Livestock Delivery, Round 2
At the end of 2020, many ITMI supporters responded to the acute needs in Moldova by funding the provision for another livestock delivery outreach through our Christmas Giving Catalog.
Ducks were not available in the limited local market at the time of the outreach, so this time, chickens were provided instead (at a similar cost per chicken) for the families that were part of this outreach.
Bread of Life and ITMI would like to introduce you to some of the families who were given a tangible demonstration of the love the Lord has for them, even during difficult times. We can't share their names, but their faces speak volumes about the impact your gifts had on them.
Photos by: R/L Telpiz
In deep gratitude for helping his church demonstrate and declare the Gospel in their community, in a letter to Richard Nungesser Ruslan writes,
"I want to bring great thanks from all those who received your dear help in times of need. We ...thank those who made the donation, those whose names we do not know, but who wanted to share their love with those they also do not know, but in heaven we will see each other. We thank the Lord for you and we want Him to bless you with great blessings according to your needs."
Thank you for making an impact in the lives of struggling and hurting families in Moldova. Thank you for enabling the faithful believers of this small local church to reach the hurting around them with the news that they are loved and cared for by the King of Kings, Jesus Christ.
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