In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, missionaries in Western countries had a great deal of activity and impact in the lands of Asia and Africa, and through them the gospel spread widely. In the twentieth century, especially after World War II, when many countries were liberated from colonial rule, the access and influence of missionaries began to be limited. God gave the American evangelist John Edmund Haggai the vision to prepare influential leaders in developing countries and equip them to evangelize the peoples they come from. Thus, in 1969, the HAGGAI Institute was founded, to which leaders are invited to be intensively trained for almost a month. One center is located in Singapore and another on the Pacific Ocean island of Maui. 25% of the leaders are church ministers and 75% are lay leaders, but they are dedicated disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and are prepared to make an impact through the gospel in their area of activity. Until now more than 100,000 men and women from 110 countries have passed this training. Recognized leaders from developing countries who are specialists in their field and can provide a role model in the subject they teach are recruited as teachers at this institution. Each teacher is asked to develop the course with a solid biblical foundation and illustrated with personal experience. Research shows that every leader who undergoes training at the HAGGAI Institute trains and influences another 159 leaders over the next two years. In 2007 God gave me the grace and made me worthy to be the first in our country to benefit from this training which was then passed by several men and women from Moldova. Another grace I received from God was when the leaders of the HAGGAI Institute selected me to go through training and become one of the teachers. Since then, I have had the grace to take part in the training of many leaders in different countries and in their invitation to conduct seminars in their home countries.
Between March 6-17, 2017, I was invited to teach 60 leaders from 29 countries of the world such as: India, Thailand, Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, Bolivia, Togo, Tanzania, Saudi Arabia, Egypt (a priest Coptic), Ethiopia, Madagascar, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Congo etc. Among the participants were renowned surgeons, scientists, politicians, businessmen and, of course, pastors and priests.
Toto of the Philippines was so badly affected by drugs in his youth that he saw no other solution than to end his life, but when he learned of the Lord Jesus Christ, he believed in Him, he received forgiveness and power through the Holy Spirit and his life was completely transformed. Once released from drug dependence, Toto went to medical school and then became the most famous psychiatrist in the country. In addition to his clinic, he opened a rehabilitation center for drug addicts and every year hundreds of people receive treatment and release through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, following the offered treatment program. Upon returning home, Toto wants to implement inductive Bible study in the rehabilitation center’s program as a daily discipline.
Vio from the Philippines is a high-ranking officer in the country’s Ministry of Interior and the leader of the Christian Police Association. One day, when I taught about evangelism through information technology, he went to his room and contacted his former classmate who is seriously ill via Facebook and, after presenting the gospel to him, led him in prayer to Christ.
Abubackr who is from a Muslim country in Africa miraculously came to Christ. His older brother was the first to become a disciple of Christ when he went to work in the capital and met Christians there. When he returned and said this at home, Abubackr took a knife, knocked him to the ground, and only his mother’s desperate cries stopped him from inserting the knife into his brother’s heart. Their father, who was a mullah (Muslim priest at the mosque), insisted day and night that his eldest son leave Christ until one day, when the father was at home, the Lord Jesus appeared to him, stood with him and told him not to persecute his son, but to believe that he and his whole family would be saved. The father immediately left the house and began to proclaim the gospel to all the people in the village, even if it could cost him his life. Abubackr insisted on visiting their country to teach ministers how to study the Bible inductively and how to teach in their underground churches. He also asked us to send teachers to train English teachers to teach them the English for a New Life method and thus to preach the gospel.
One day, as I was teaching a lesson on evangelism through social projects, I illustrated with the help I gave to women in prison by buying a pair of winter shoes and a textbook, “Lord, Heal My Hurts” by Kay Arthur. Volunteers who serve there have the opportunity to follow the lessons from another room. At the break, Jeanne Penner, a volunteer, approached me with great pleasure to tell me about the impact of this Bible study on her life. As a child, she was sexually abused by her father and did not tell anyone, but the injuries were serious and as the years went by the situation became worse. She began to have nightmares every night and in her dreams of horror she was abused again by her father who was already dead at the time. She went to doctors, psychologists, counselors of all kinds for 7 years, but no one could help her with anything until the day she took this course and started studying. As soon as she realized that she was in a spiritual struggle, she applied the strategies she studied in the Bible and received full deliverance. She thought before that she would never be able to start a family after the tragedy she went through, but God gave her the power to forgive her father and gave her full release. Two years later, she married Kenneth, with whom they have a beautiful and happy marriage.
On the way home, we visited Leonardtown Baptist Church and Redeeming Grace in Lexington Park. Both are located in the state of Maryland, USA. Pastor Allan Acker led teams of believers in these churches who wanted to help us in the work we do in the mission points of the Church of the Annunciation. Thank God for the beautiful reception we experienced and for the over 200 believers who came to hear about the work in Moldova and to pray for our country. Thank you very much to the Lord for all those who want to come next summer to help us in the day camps.
I invite you to pray together for the leaders who have gone through this preparation to implement everything on their return and through them to strongly advance the gospel in their countries. Let us also pray for the day camps we are planning for this summer with the Buna Vestire Church and to which Christians from the United States will come to help us.
Translated by Olya Trikolich