Mark and Arleen Rowell CMS short term placement in Moldova.
After some reflections on our circumstances, praying and talking over with friends including Melvyn, and then being interviewed, we have been selected for short-term service (up to 2 years) with CMS to Moldova. This is a new field of service for CMS and the plan is for us to support an English language centre set up some years ago as a ministry of a Baptist church in Cahul. The Church website gives a background of how it was established in 1999 and grown, with many coming to faith in the Lord Jesus. bisericaemanuel.wordpress.com.
Moldova is the poorest country in Europe and poverty means that many working age adults leave the country for offers of a better life. However, it has also made them vulnerable to being trafficked. Having English is a way of helping people find better employment. The language centre has also built relationships with the local community who are mainly orthodox and historically have been wary of evangelical Christians. There are about 400 people, adults and children, now registered with the centre.
Tanas al Qassis is the CMS regional manager covering work and people in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa and is responsible for setting things up with the organisation in Moldova. Philip Bingham is the personnel officer and will help us with the practicalities of getting there and living there. We will also be assigned someone who we are responsible to for the duration of our placement who will provide some supervision and local support.
Our preparations so far are to start TEFL training, which is enjoyable but quite a time commitment. We will both leave our jobs mid-July so we can attend the conference forMission 22nd July to 2ndAugust, a compulsory part of our preparation.
The main languages are Romanian or Russian. Though not needed for doing the actual English teaching, Mark has started to learn Romanian, and Arleen hopes to!
We will have help from the language school to find accommodation, costs are very low compared to UK prices so we are hoping to be able to fund this ourselves.
We’d really like to keep friends back in the UK informed of what we are doing. It would be great to have someone at Gleneagles who could act as a link and maybe distribute updates and prayer requests. We’d also want to hear your news too.
A great encouragement was to find that an assistant pastor from Cahul is now here in the UK to help establish a Moldovan fellowship in Northampton. We really enjoyed joining them last week, getting to know them and a little about Moldova, and hope to go again soon.
We are planning to travel in time to prepare for the autumn semester which begins on Thursday 12th September. Its likely this will be towards the end of August to give time for settling in and finding our feet amongst the many things that will be new.
There are seven full teaching months in the school year, three in the autumn semester and four in the spring semester. We will have no school responsibilities during the Christmas holiday, or in the summer months, June to August 2020, so we hope to return to the UK from time to time, though may also be involved in other activities, such as summer holiday clubs and camps.
Thank you so much for your interest and prayers,
Arleen and Mark