Voicu and Ana Marian are originally from Romania and spent many years in the U.S. They found the Lord through the ministry of Alliance Friends Church (Evangelical Friends Church-Eastern Region) and then heard the Lord calling them to go back to Romania to be a witness for him. Since the year 2000 they have been doing just that, primarily working with young people but also ministering to families whenever possible. As the young people have grown up and gotten into various professions the Lord has given the Marians the opportunity to stay in relationship with many of them.
Here is how Voicu and Ana responded to the four questions that I sent to all our missionaries last week:
How is COVID-19 affecting those who live in the area where you live and minister?
- Like the rest of the world, Romania is affected by this crisis, especially with all the workers returning from Italy, Spain, and other western European countries where they lived and worked for many, many years. Most of these are required to go into quarantine for two weeks, but lots of others have re-entered unchecked.
- On March 16 the president declared a state of emergency for at least 30 days. All schools, churches, restaurants and other similar businesses are closed until further notice. Because of the panic, many people have stocked up on basic foodstuffs, which has already created some shortages.
How is this situation affecting the ministry you lead?
- Since schools are closed we no longer teach on the premises, but we’ve had several students come to our home for English tutoring, one or two at a time. Their parents have given them permission. As far as the wood shop, it will be off for the rest of the state of emergency. The same situation is with Sunday evening youth meetings. We continue to keep in touch over the phone with every one of them, trusting God to protect the seed that was planted.
What are some opportunities you are seeing for sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with those who don’t know him?
- Ana has 5 new students, (young professional women) who are now working from home and needing additional English training. She has been teaching them separately in our home, which is compliant. This has given Ana a chance to share her faith while meeting an urgent need.
- As we still interact with people in the village, we share a message of hope, pointing people to the Bible. On March 15 we had church in our home. We watched a message on video with another couple, parents of a former student. We noticed that their hearts are more open during this time, but they also feel safer in a home setting. Afterwards we served lunch and it was a blessed time.
What are two or three prayer requests we can use to pray for you and those you lead?
- We would appreciate prayers for safety. Even though we haven’t had any cases of COVID-19 infection in our area, we need God to protect us from sickness of any kind. And please pray against the spirit of fear that has gripped many people. Please pray for continued open doors for ministry.
Voicu and Ana close their report with a verse. They are encouraging us all to hold on to this truth: “If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” Romans 14:8.
While we are providing this special round of updates to EFM’s largest email list (due to the world-wide impact of COVID-19), we will continue, as always, providing brief praise and prayer requests from each contributing field through our monthly EFM Prayer Letter. This is the easiest way to get regular, brief updates from missionaries and national leaders. If you do not currently receive the EFM Prayer Letter, we encourage you to subscribe by clicking the button below.