These were the words of Ivan, a village pastor and evangelist in north Moldova, as he looked proudly at the little motorcycle, purchased and presented to him by Slavic Gospel Association (UK) as part of its transport project ‘The Gospel on the Move’.
What he means is that he can go further (and reach faster!) the many isolated village communities in his region, which are spiritually dark and needy.
There are few large cities and towns in north Moldova, and the villages in which the majority of the population live are often difficult to reach. Some roads are little more than dirt tracks. Public transport is poor and often non-existent.
Walking between the villages — the only means of travel for many evangelists and pastors — is time-consuming and exhausting, especially in the extreme summer and winter temperatures common in central and eastern Europe.
Ivan’s ministry has been so enriched and expanded by this practical support for gospel work, and at minimum cost — just £575 for each motorcycle! The spiritual profit is incalculable.
Yuri is pastor of two village churches that are 25 miles apart. He also has an evangelist’s heart, constantly looking for new opportunities to present the gospel. He writes: ‘This motorcycle is very useful; the area is hilly and the roads are very bad in the villages. It is easy to travel by it, especially when visiting ill and old people. My motorbike is very economical and many times cuts down travel expenses…
‘Before we had our motorbike, we had to hitch a ride or go by bicycles, when my wife was pregnant. And one time we had to walk in the heat all the way home and it was very tiring’.
Vladimir is a missionary serving two churches in different villages. Presently, he has to walk three miles to the church in the first village and a further four miles to his second church. Sometimes, in extreme weather conditions, he is not able to reach one or both in time.
He also tells of feeling frustrated that he cannot visit the sick and elderly as often as he would like; the time and distances are just too demanding. There are plans to supply Vladimir with a motorcycle in the near future.
The purchase and provision of these motorcycles to Moldovan Christian workers is part of a larger transport support ministry which Slavic Gospel Association (SGA) has operated for many years.
In some regions and in other countries, a modest, reliable car is more suited to the needs to God’s servants, and it is a joy for SGA through the generosity of many supporters, to be able to help with the purchase, or to buy outright, a suitable vehicle to support ongoing gospel ministry.
These are not luxuries in any sense, but necessities, given the distances involved and the state of many roads in areas where godly men are endeavouring to advance the cause of the gospel.
Vehicles have been supplied to men in Poland, Hungary, Romania and Ukraine, as well as Moldova, where the motorcycle part of the programme has been concentrated.
‘The Gospel on the Move’ project, currently running, is just one part of the varied and wide-ranging ministry support programme of SGA (UK). We give thanks to God for the many believers who pray faithfully and give sacrificially to make it all possible. And we rejoice that countless lives have been touched and changed by the grace of God as the gospel message has been taken to them.