ABUNDANT BLESSINGS

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What an amazing grace to have my sins forgiven by Jesus Christ and to be sent as His worker to spread the Gospel to the people around me. Recently, I felt an abundance of His blessings during the week of July 12th when a group of 60 believers from Bucharest came to help us with multiple projects in Icoana. This group consisted of many different ages, from the very young to the old. All of them represented the hands and feet of Jesus during this time spent together.

The six different projects aimed at the same goal of spread the Gospel and love of Jesus. Our projects included: VBS for children, Sport activities for youth and teenagers, Visiting poor families, Medical check-ups, Renovating and Street evangelizing.

I thank God and give Him praise for…

  • Sending people here to support us and work with us

  • Receiving all the official approvals to organize these events

  • Uniting the hearts of our church members toward this goal

  • Opened hearts among the locals

Also, through God’s grace, at the end of July, my wife delivered a healthy baby girl. I was very nervous that she will go into labor during the events but our God had everything under control. On July 26th, 6:20 pm, our daughter Maysa Ciudesnic came into this world. Livia had a natural delivery and Maysa weighed 4000 g and was 54 cm long. Praise God for the power that He gave to my wife and for His protection!

Thank you for your prayers and I ask you to keep praying for us:

  • Pray for the people who heard the Gospel to come to Christ

  • Pray for the kids and youth from Icoana to seek God

  • Pray for financial support regarding needs like food for poor families, fixing the church building in Icoana, and for other outreaches

  • Pray for Livia’s recovery and for our daughter’s health

Octavian Ciudesnic - PIEI Missionary

ABUNDANT BLESSINGS (II) – VBS FOR CHILDREN

During the 3 days of evangelizing we had a major focus on children. Wanted them to hear the Gospel in a way that they can understand and be captivated by it. Our theme for the children event was “Joseph – Mysteries from Egypt”. Our kids learned more things about Egypt, about the culture, food, but the most important thing they learned was a part of this country’s history. Mr. Carter an archeologist taught them how God changed Joseph’s life.

The children had a great time learning all these things and we had many kids attend every day. The most amazing thing was that they came even on a rainy day because they were curious how the story unfolds (many of the children walk to VBS). 

We wish and we pray that all those children who come from broken families to have a hope for the future through remembering the story of Joseph. We know that God can do miracles in their lives and we pray that their hearts will open to receive His love.

(Cultural Note: With an 80% unemployment rate in this region of the country many children grow up under the care of extended families, as their family tries to earn an income from another city or nation. Often children feel powerless to change their future and quit school before 4th grade cascading the growing problem. A story like Joseph’s; being from a broken home, sold into slavery, condemned for things he didn’t do and much more would relate to them in a personal way. Half of the job of a missionary in this area is to bring Hope.)

Octavian Ciudesnic - PIEI Missionary

ABUNDANT BLESSINGS (III) – SPORT ACTIVITIES FOR YOUTH

Another target we had in mind was the youth. Experience taught the very efficient to draw them to spend time with us and to build relationships is through sports. Everyone loves to play different games like football (soccer) or archery so it was a great way to get to know them better.

Even if they were mean and not very confident in the first day, it was great to see how they started to trust us and to share personal stories with us. At the end of the program they ask our guests when they will come back. All of this was possible because they received love, care and attention from us. It is very important for the young generation to have older people to encourage, advise and to love them.

Another aspect we learned was the power of our own testimonies and our example. I remember a funny quote saying “If you want to see if a Christian boy is the real deal, play a soccer game with him”. One of our desires for the young boys in Icoana is to give them the chance to see in real life the behavior of true Christians: how they live, talk or how they react during competitions. As a teenager, this was a huge help for me in my path to Christ. I pray that these days planted a seed in their hearts and made them aware that there is something much greater than this world has to offer.

Octavian Ciudesnic - PIEI Missionary

ABUNDANT BLESSINGS (IV) – VISITING THE POOR

Visiting the poor was another thing that God put on our hearts. We visited 20 poor families who were in need of clothes, food and most of all, love and hope. We prayed a lot for that and I think God worked in their lives. The bonds built with the children during the VBS were so deep that they stayed until every leader gave them a hug. When we went to see them in their houses, they didn’t even care about our gifts. All they cared was to spend time with us and to receive our affection. A little boy actually cried when the time to leave came.

It’s very painful to look at a child’s face and to see pain, sadness and loneliness. Little Daniela is an example of this. Her parents are divorced and in different countries therefore she is raised by her grandparents. When we asked her to tell us what can we pray for, she asked us to pray for her parents to come home together. This is all she wanted.

Pray for these poor families and for those lonely children to see the love of the Father and to trust in His faithfulness.

(Cultural Note: SEE NOTE from VBS)

Octavian Ciudesnic - PIEI Missionary

ABUNDANT BLESSINGS (V) – MEDICAL CHECK-UPS

The villagers from Icoana had the opportunity to be checked by an experienced team of 12 doctors specializing in different practices like pediatrics, orthopedics, dentistry and general medicine. We also had a table with medicine for the ones who need and can’t afford them.

Even though this was an outstanding opportunity, the wicked one did his part and tried to keep the people from coming. One of the ways he wanted to discourage us was the fact that exactly that morning was an event for remembering the dead at a local church. Most of the locals were there and they came only after that even though they knew about our event for a while.

Nonetheless, we felt the presence of God and His faithfulness. Because we had no one at the event, we sent a few people from our team to go and to remind the locals about what we are doing. They couldn’t find anybody on the streets so they stopped and they prayed. After they said “Amen”, four people showed up, and then another one until we had 60 people coming.

(Cultural Note: The dead are often feed at the graves, prayed for, and remembered in traditional type church serves.)

Octavian Ciudesnic - PIEI Missionary

ABUNDANT BLESSINGS (VI) – CONSTRUCTION WORK

Through God’s provision, we managed to replace a part of our church’s fence and to repair the front side of the iron fence. God was in control even in these small things. The amazing thing was that during those days, we had an amazing weather that allowed us to work to paint and with electric tools. Praise to God!

This project was a response to the prayers of our church because the fences are more than 20 years old and they made the church look abandoned or neglected. (Cultural Note: In a village, the way a house looks on the outside is like an introduction for the people who live in it. If you don’t take care of your house, you can lose the respect of the others.)

We are happy to be a testimony for the people even through these small details. We pray and we know that God will give us the financial resources to finish what we started.

Octavian Ciudesnic - PIEI Missionary

ABUNDANT BLESSINGS (VII) – EVANGELISM

Besides the usual street evangelism and giving people a New Testament or a small brochure to point their attention towards God, we did something different this time. Because our team was very big, we were able to organize an evangelistic event in the park every evening.

Even though there were not many people coming, we were happy to see 10-15 people who came every day. Also, we are happy for many others who passed by and for the ones who heard the songs and the Gospel because they live very close to the park. Some drivers stopped their cars to watch us for a while and then left.

The most encouraging moment for me was on Sunday. It was raining and we had to cancel the event in the park. I was surprised to receive phone calls from people asking if there will be a meeting tonight. The joy was even greater when the rain stopped we were able to go there again.

We did our best and we know He will do the rest! We pray that these 3 days of activities to be more than just projects. We want them to be a seed in those people’s hearts and to guide them to God.

Octavian Ciudesnic - PIEI Missionary

UNITED IN CHRIST FOR MISSION MATTHEW 28:19-20

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This advice was the main theme at the 37th Baptist congress where I’ve been for the first time. Being a PIE missionary, I was very encouraged but also very overwhelmed by the presence of God and the Holy Spirit. In my church we are usually 17 people at worship but this time I was in the middle of 686 men willing to sacrifice everything for God. It was an amazing experience. When a candle is lit, it lightens a little bit the dark but when 686 candles are lit, they lighten the whole darkness. The most special moment was when we started to worship because I could feel my body shivering. After that, when we gathered to pray in groups of two-three, beyond our words  we could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit moving among us.

Besides all these experiences, I was happy to see my brothers’ hearts for mission. We didn’t talk about complicated strategies but about the fact that we need to focus more on simply doing it. There is nothing out there stopping us, we have everything we need to do it and just like someone said “ministry is done by doing ministry”.

Please pray for our baptist leaders to be more focused on ministry and for the new people there to be fully devoted to God and filled with wisdom.

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Kids’ ministry

This month, on June 1st, we had a special event for kids and we were thrilled to have 33 kids with us. They probably thought there will be something interesting and indeed it was. For the first time, they had the opportunity to see a bible story using an old school device and they were truly captivated. We had a lot of fun together through games, songs or bible verses and we blessed them with bibles appropriate for their age. I pray that God will open their hearts and give them the desire to read it and to live it.

Women’s ministry

This month, we also had the privilege to apply what we learned at the congress with the women from Icoana. Joined by a family from Cluj, we had a special meeting were we talked about the women from the Bible. This first meeting was about Eve and at the end of the meeting, three ladies expressed their desire to come to church and they really did. Praise the Lord! Please pray for their hearts to open and to receive the Gospel.

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Short term mission team

Next month we will have with us a group of 52 brothers and sisters from Bucharest. Their desire is to help us spread the Gospel in villages like Floru, Icoana and Ursoaia. We are happy for their serving hearts and we pray for these events to have a big impact in this area. Our greatest desire is to see people coming to Christ.

Our family

We, as a family, are very happy knowing that our baby daughter is coming soon and to see how God takes care of us and provides every day. Livia and the baby are healthy and the pregnancy is going well. We also pray for a safe delivery and for our boy, Caleb. We also trust that God will give us the car that we need and pray for.

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Please continue to keep us in your prayers!

With love and joy in Christ,

Tavi and Livia Ciudesnic

What you can’t fit in a picture

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Fellowship

It is said that a picture is worth a million words but there are some things that a picture can’t capture. Especially what the Holy Spirit does among us when we gather in His name, spend time together, meditate on His Word and even when we eat together. Something amazing happens when our big family joins to glorify His name. During this kind of fellowship, the Holy Spirit turns discouragement into hope, sorrow into joy, division into unity and we enjoy the time spent with God’s children leaving everything else in His capable hands.

In our community gatherings, everyone who seeks the Lord is welcomed. It doesn’t matter if you are Romanian or American, rich or poor, young or old. If you seek God from all your heart, our church is opened for you. This is a special place where the only thing that matters is the fact that Jesus Christ died and resurrected for every person in this world!

Our hearts are filled with joy when we have guests and we can share testimonies of God’s works in our lives. This is why you are welcome to visit us anytime.

Kids’ ministry

Besides our weekly gatherings, we continue to share the Gospel with the little ones through songs, games, cartoons and creative stories. Our greatest desire for our children is too see Jesus as He is and how important it is to listen and apply His Word.

Social activities

Another great joy for us is the possibility to help people in need from Icoana. Through God’s grace and with the support of people, our project “A fishing rod, not a fish” is expanding and people are overwhelmed by God’s faithfulness. Through this project we want to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our community.

About us

We want to thank you for your support! Your prayers, encouragements and financial support means a lot for us and for our mission. We know that we can’t do this without you, that’s why “For we are labourers together with God” (1 Corinthians 3:9).

We are deeply grateful for God’s protection so far! Our boy Caleb is healthy and very energetic. I am also happy that my wife, Livia, is healthy and ready to welcome our baby girl in July.


Keep us in your prayers! Please pray for:

  • a healthy and easy delivery;

  • a good car for our family; our current car is damaged and the repairs cost more than the car itself;

  • resources to prepare our future baby’s room and the inside of our house;

Octavian Ciudesnic - PIEI Missionary

“A man reaps what he sows” (Gal 6:7)

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Evangelizing and social support

It’s spring again. Everyone in Icoana starts to prepare the land for spreading seeds on it while we do the same thing. Using these moments, I spoke to people about “the good seed of the Gospel” making reference to their material need. No one wants to work their land and to put inside a useless seed. In this way, I talked to people about the importance of what we grow in this life and what we are going to reap. Just like the way we prepare the earth before planting seeds, we pray for the hearts of the people to be ready to receive the Gospel.

Youth ministry

We are very happy for the fact that last month we started regional youth meetings. During these meetings, young people are exposed to the Word of God, they have the occasion to interact with other Christians, they hear another type of music during worship and of course, they have many funny activities.

Kids’ ministry

This month, because we had mother’s day, we did something very special with the kids for their mothers. Besides games, songs and bible verses we did these special vase for the mothers. In this way, I learned once again that God wants and can use each one of us to encourage someone.

Women ministry

This year, for the first time, God made possible a special meeting for women. Together with one of our partners, we created a special evening for the ladies with the purpose of making them feel appreciated and loved. I was pleasantly surprised to see so many answers to our invitation. Even though we expected to see a maximum of 30 people, we had around 40 women there. What makes us even happier is the fact that most of them were non-believers and they had the chance to hear the Gospel.

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Please pray for:

  • The good seed of the Gospel to plant roots in the people’s lives;

  • The young people of Icoana to know Jesus;

  • A worker in kids’ ministry;

  • The women who heard the Gospel;

  • The development of the women’s ministry;

  • Our financial support so we can be able to do different project here;

A God of wonders!

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On a Thursday, when I usually have a meeting with the believers from Icoana, I went to our church in Floru and when I got there, I saw a big pile of wood in the front yard.  I was very happy to see that my brothers in Christ are good workers and they worked things out but I wondered where the money came from. 

My joy was even greater when I found out that nobody knows where the wood came from. We thought that a woman who wasn’t there at the time was responsible for this but, when I met her, she said that she has no idea what I am talking about. At the end of the day, absolutely no one could tell me what happened.

We are very happy to see God at work. Just when we ran out of wood, God was faithful and took care of our needs. We don’t know how He did it but I am sure that only He could do it.

Praise the Lord!

Octavian Ciudesnic - PIEI Missionary

A fishing rod, not a fish!

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I am happy to say that God started in my heart a new project in our mission in Icoana. Even though I was praying and thinking about this project for a while, I never had the courage and resources to begin. At the beginning of the year, I got a phone call from a brother in Christ and he asked me if I need a goat for myself or for a poor family. Knowing that I don’t have enough time to take care of animals, I decided to give it to a family with four boys from Icoana. The only income they have is their father paycheck and the children’s allowances. I know this family and its needs since I moved here and I am full of joy knowing that we can do something for them. Glory to God!

We wish to develop this project. We live in a rural area so there aren’t many jobs around here and we thought that this could be a great help for those who want to work to have their own food.

The project’s costs:

  • a goat and hay: 200$

  • a greenhouse: 500$

  • a spin: 300$;  a hive: 60$; a swarm of bees: 75$;

Please pray for:

  • the development of this project;

  • the people to find Jesus in their need;

  • the Gospel to break through their hearts;

Octavian Ciudesnic - PIEI Missionary

New year - New challenges

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The Bible says: "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." (James 1:2-3). This is something we and the villagers of Icoana also want this year. Regardless of all the problems we are going to face, we want to enjoy the blessing of being with God in every aspect: joy or sadness.


I already know that this year will be full of challenges: our boy Caleb is growing and he is  very playful, while we're already expecting another baby. At the end of the day, we are grateful to God for our health!
As for our mission, we are planning new projects for this year. We want to organize a youth summercamp and another one for children. Also, we want to spread the Gospel in Ursoaia village (near Icoana) using the evangelistic newspaper "The Lord's Way".


Because we know that nothing is impossible for God, we invite you to join us in prayer in the following aspects. We start this year with confidence because we saw God's blessings in 2018 as well.

Please pray for:

  • a healthy pregnancy and an easy delivery

  • financial resources for our ministry

  • a youth leader

  • another 70% to cover our personal budget

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Lots of joy in a box – part III: When joy overflows

Joy is the feeling most appropriate to describe the birth of Jesus. With the help of believers from Icoana and with pastor Alex Ghita, we could be a blessing for the kids who come weekly at “Kids Club Icoana”. We had a special meeting and we watched the episode “The First Christmas” from the series “Superbook” and we found out why we sing carols to Jesus and not “Happy Birthady”. Even if He was born like us, He is not quite like us. He has no beginning or end. He is eternal and it doesn’t make sense to sing “Happy Birthday” to an everlasting God. At the end of our meeting, we offered each of them special presents. We pray that these efforts will not be in vain and we are eager to see God’s work in their lives. Pray for them to receive Jesus and the Gospel in their hearts!

Octavian Ciudesnic - PIEI Missionary

Lots of joy in a box – part II

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This Christmas, while celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, we had for the first time the opportunity to bless the kids from Icoana with gifts. We caroled together, we listened to poems, we shared the Gospel with them through images and the most important thing, we thanked together for the most precious gift we have ever received: Jesus Christ.

Razvan, my helper in these activities, is a young man who showed us again how important is this ministry during holidays. Reminding how happy the gifts made him during childhood, he insisted to join me in the ministry. Therefore, he lent a hand in sharing the presents and in anything he could in order to make this project successful. His availability was remarkable especially because he isn’t born again but he is familiar with the Gospel ever since he was a child. He is close to the Kingdom, but not in it. Pray for him and for his salvation!

Octavian Ciudesnic - PIEI Missionary

Lots of joy in a box

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This year, through the power God gave us and with packages from CHF, we managed to offer some presents to people from Ursoaia, a village in Icoana, where we want to see the Gospel shining bright.

Ursoaia it’s a village with approximately 400 inhabitants and none of them is a Christian. Through the gifts we gave, we had the opportunity to tell them about “the most precious gift” received from God: Jesus Christ. Also, we offered them the Word of God where they can find more details about this precious gift. It’s amazing to see the joy on their sad faces and how much their hearts open for the Gospel, to know more about the gift we talked about. I asked some of them questions like “What we celebrate on Christmas?” or “Why do we offer gifts only now and not the entire year?” and they didn’t know the answers but they were happy to find out. I told them that the reason for giving gifts on Christmas is the fact that God was the first to give and we do that so the people can remember His gift.

Sharing the Gospel in this way caused them embarrassment for their lack of knowledge but on the other side, the Holy Spirit woke up their curiosity which made them to say “Maybe you can visit us again sometime because we didn’t know the answers to your questions”. We pray and we ask you to join us in prayer for the establishment of a fellowship group in this village! May God open and prepare the hearts of these people!

Octavian Ciudesnic - PIEI Missionary

During winter we count the clothes

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Before the first snow, God helped us to be an encouragement for a few families in Icoana. Through a program developed by Alex Ghita, 5 children were blessed with clothes and shoes for the winter.  The joy was even greater because two mothers joined us for shopping.  On the road I didn’t do much to evangelize them because one of them asked me: “Were you always like that?” (a Christian, different).

Pray for these families to know Christ! Pray so we can have a better relationship with them! Pray for these kids so they won’t forget God’s love for them!

With 200 RON we bought:

Milk and cookies

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This week, our meeting with the kids was a special one. Besides the fact that we had the first snow, we gathered at our house to enjoy the bible lesson and two episodes from “The Book of Books”. We were surprised that the kids wanted to meet at our house and not at church even though at church we have a bigger screen.  We had a great time together while we enjoyed milk and cookies, a blessing from God.

Pray for us to be a light for these kids so they can feel God’s presence in their lives.

Important: Select Fund: ROMANIA MINISTRIES, Sub Fund: 24270 from the donation form

The Repentance of a Missionary

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The Bible says: “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed” (James 5:16). This is what I want to ask you for the sake of God and the ministry in Icoana. I don’t know how much study and exegesis must be applied and invented to get to a better understanding of this verse, but if I don’t apply it in my life I’ll never experience the power of God. I try to be brief so here we go:

Ever since I started to think that I will serve in a ministry, I was warned by my brothers that I’ll have to face 3 big temptations that every man faces: the love for money, pride and women. I confess that I fought and I still fight against all of them. That’s why I confess and I repent. But I think that repentance and this bible verse imply more than a simple affirmation. There’s got to be a way to defeat them. Have a look at how I do it:

1. The love for money. I will do my best to look at and speak of other people needs instead of my own. For example: pray for Alex Ghiţă, teacher in the E2E program and the man used by God to bring me in Oltenia. Pray to God because He has all the resources to cover the taxes for Alex’s employment record book. He serves a small church in Stoborăşti that can’t cover his taxes. Alex and his family have already 10 years in the ministry and in this whole time they could contribute only 2 years to have a pension later.

2. Pride. In this case, I’ll use Paul’s approach: “So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me” (2 Corinthians 12:9b).

3. Women. Yes, I am married now but this doesn’t protect me from the temptation. Either through the women around me or through pornography, the battle always reaches my thoughts. For me, it’s even harder because before I became a Christian, I fed my mind with pornography for a few years. So how can you fight it while being married? A dear brother of mine once told me: “make a beauty standard out of your wife”. I won’t let myself drawn by someone because no one is like my wife. She is one of a kind and the most beautiful woman I know!

Even if I know all these things, I need the power of God to achieve them. Please pray for me and Alex Ghiţă

Important: Select Fund: ROMANIA MINISTRIES, Sub Fund: 24270 from the donation form

News from Icoana

Hello! We're sorry we haven't shared much with you for so long about what happened in Icoana, but thank you for praying for us.

As a result of your prayers, God blessed us with a summer full of activities, through which the Gospel was shared, and many other blessings.

The most significant events for us consisted in the birth of our first child and his incredible growth, the first baptism of three beautiful and dedicated

souls for the Lord, the first football championship with local youth and the first camp of children full of avant-garde and enthusiasm. In spite of this, God also 

responded to our prayers and He blessed us with an 8-seat bus to help the mission field in this area. 

Don't we have a faithful and gracious God?

Important: Select Fund: ROMANIA MINISTRIES, Sub Fund: 24270 from the donation form