The arrival in Moldova of the Project Bartimaeus team of optometrists and ophthalmologists from Poland had been much anticipated. Ever since their visit last year, interest had grown in the local community of Gotesti and none more so than among the Baptist Church congregation led by Ruslan and Larisa Telpiz who were to host the team.
When Ruslan first met the team of Christian opticians he invite d them to visit Gotesti and help meet the needs of local people struggling with eyesight problems. The volunteer team from Poznan in Poland are on a mission to reach people’s hearts with the gospel as they examine their eyesight and prescribe the correct glasses for free. Back in Poland the team raise awareness of their mission by speaking at schools, universities and in local communities.
Over the five-day mission in Gotesti, two teams of doctors carried out over 250 consultations in the Baptist church building, each lasting around 20 minutes. The church members were involved in all the aspects of this ministry, including organisation of patient lists, and providing meals and accommodation for the team. Everyone invited their friends, relatives and neighbours, and priority was given to the children from Day Care Centre and their parents.
Ruslan said, “I was surprised to see people who once persecuted us for our faith attending our church for a medical consultation and with a different attitude. They were able to see by our behavior, the care and love we had for them and we were able to share the gospel. I was also impressed by the team’s attitude and touched by their love and patience towards each person. Some of the people were old, others bad smelling, hard of hearing or giving wrong answers to their questions, but the opticians were always full of compassion. Every person given a prescription returned to the church in October to receive their new spectacles.
We prepare songs and a Bible message. Most of them haven’t heard a Christian song or a Bible message in their lives. For that day we pray because they’re going to come for sure.”
PHOTO CREDIT: Richard Nungesser
Find out more about TEN’s work in Moldova.