Part of Frontline’s vision is to empower and equip the global church to spread the Gospel worldwide, and to help identify and meet their needs. Though we primarily work with churches in Central and South America, the Lord recently has been speaking about expanding east. Several countries and continents stick out in our minds, but one of the opportunities we’ve had for near-term expansion is in Europe. We already started a mission in Spain this year, and felt God directing us to do an exploratory trip to several additional countries in Europe.
Our visit to Paris was a time of revisiting friends and making connections in this beautiful city. Jean-Marc, father of Nolwenn, who stayed with Alan and Heidi as an exchange student years ago, took us around the city and made everything smooth and pleasurable for us. He attended the Hillsong Paris church with us, where we spent a little time speaking with the pastors and exchanging information. Perhaps more interesting was making a connection in the coffee shop right outside of the church. Lucas recently moved to Paris from Brazil, and has many connections there. We are looking forward to seeing how God will use some of these new connections!
Though Copenhagen was a one-day stopover, it was well worth the time. We spent the day sharing our hearts for Brazil with Håkan, a generous donor for our Brazil mission. Håkan drove three hours from Sweden just to meet us for the first time! At dinner, Håkan shared more about his foundation, along with his desire to support children’s ministry in Brazil. He even offered to support this ministry on the spot. After more than six hours of sharing our hearts and desires for the country, we all walked away feeling encouraged by the synergy that God will use to carry us forward.
Moldova was quite an unusual and unexpected leg of the trip. The poorest country in Europe, we were warned that many of Moldova’s people are suspicious of Americans. Some are even told that Americans are stealing their children away (in reality, many leave to pursue job opportunities). Despite this, we felt welcomed with open arms!
The purpose of visiting was to attend a wedding celebration for Galina, a dear friend and former exchange student who stayed with the Winter family 10 years ago. Little did we know that the Lord had something even greater in store for us all!
After celebrating for two straight days, Galina was able to get a meeting for us with a local Moldovan pastor, and acted as an interpreter. We shared our hearts and listened to these like-minded believers share theirs, and describe the needs of Cismichioi—a village near the borders of Ukraine and Romania. They described the need for unity between different denominations and provision to build a church and pave roads. The pastor said it will be easier for us to help in the future since the word had spread in the south about our celebrations with the locals. We are excited to see how God will use this new connection to bless Moldova!
This was a more relaxing day and a half in Landstuhl to visit Heidi’s daughter, Joanna, and her family. We attended their church, fittingly called Frontline Church, and connected with the pastors there following service. We discussed the possibility of them partnering with us in Moldova in the future. This was our hope in continuing our trip—finding more partners to help with the needs of those in other parts of Europe.