Mission and Outreach - Building Up the Local Church
International Partnerships > Moldova > Marriage

Marriage Ministry Project

NPC members from the Missions, Nurture, and Marriage Ministry (Congregational Care) programs in 2008 established the Moldova Marriage Ministry as a joint program with project involving NPC, New Hope International, the Moldovan Baptist Union, and the Alpha Ministries Marriage Program in London. The preparation for this program began in 2002 after NPC members learned from our Moldovan partners that developing support for marriages within Moldova and having some sort of marriage enrichment program would be helpful.
NPC efforts to respond to this request led to a trip in Summer 2007 to Moldova and continues as an on-going ministry. The program is currently led in Moldova by Slavic and Alla Vereniuc and is managed through the Moldovan Baptist Union with the involvement of NPC, Alpha Ministries, and New Hope. In March 2010, the project hosted an event at NPC highlighting some of its recent activities. Valeriu Ghiletchi was the guest speaker at the event.

NPC funded this program from 2008 to 2017. For information on the current program, see moldovamissionnetwork.org
Slavic and Alla Vereniuc
 Slavic and Alla Vereniuc

Activities 2011-2017

When Valeriu Ghiletchi and Ion Miron (left photo, second and third from left) were in Washington in May 2017 for the Billy Graham Association conference for the Persecuted Church, members of the support group met with them to discuss ministry strategy, with special emphasis on the Marriage Ministry. Ion discussed establishing a non-profit in the US to assist with fundraising for marriage and family ministry.

In November 2016, members of the Moldova support team traveled to Chisinau to discuss NPC’s support of UDG, the Shaw Grant, and the Marriage Ministry. Two of the team members traveled to a Marriage Course seminar held in Tiraspol in the Transdnester region. The team also attended a family conference at the Baptist Church in Ceadir Lunga, in the Gagauzia region.
Marriage ministry members went on a mission trip to Moldova in May 2014 to assist Slavic and Ala Verenciuc with a training conference The goal was to help couples from around the country become familiar with Alpha’s The Marriage Course as part of the effort to expand the Marriage Ministry to both Russian- and Romanian-speaking communities. The mission team, composed of David Wallace, Phyllis Wolfe, and Howard Tucker-Frost, also visited a church in Belts to learn of its support of a couple who had adopted two orphans. In Chisinau they visited UDG and the Moldova Baptist Union to talk about education, social work, and Marriage Ministry objectives. During 2015, the effort will continue to broaden the outreach.

Alpha USA in 2014 featured the Marriage Ministry in a special article. Alpha leaders noted they were excited about the international outreach of a US church that had enjoyed using TMC for its own congregation.

Serghei Potorac, Slavic (center), and David Wallace


Marriage Ministry team members review strategy issues with Slavic.

NPC in November 2013 hosted ministry co-leader Slavic Verenciuc to NPC for consultations on ministry strategy for 2014. The group, assisted by able interpreter Serghei Potorac, discussed issues such as training conferences, volunteer recruitment, and follow-on activities. Ministry members were happy to welcome Slavic for his first visit to the church.

Angelica and Mihai Caraivan

In October 2012, Marriage Ministry members assisted Mihai and Angelica and their Moldovan helpers to accomplish the long-awaited expansion of the program to the Russian-speaking areas of northern Moldova. This trip was also important because of the discussions that took place regarding the management of the program as it was transitioned to the care of the Moldovan Baptist Union. The Moldovan Baptist Union leadership is committed to continuing its cooperation with other denominations, and this interdenominational orientation for the use of Alpha Ministries, and New Hope. Plans for the future include providing the course throughout Moldova, continuing to work with different denominations in the country, and making it possible for course attendees who want to pursue study of the Bible or further study of marriage issues to be able to do so. NPC members continue to provide input for the ministries’ leaders and NPC works closely with the Baptist Union to assess progress.

In October 2011 David Wallace, Phyllis Wolfe, and Rev. Doug Learned assisted Moldova Marriage Ministry leaders Mihai and Angelica Caraivan to train 12 Romanian-speaking couples to expand the ministry in the central and southern parts of the country. During the trip, the three NPC members were able to visit NPC ministry friends both in Chisinau and in Belts, and Doug presented a sermon on the Sunday the group was at Bethany Baptist in Belts.

First years of the program

The program was led in Moldova from 2008-2010 by Petru and Viorica Bragaru, two young Christians who brought significant Christian experience in business, media, and music to the effort. Petru and Viorica began their first course in Chisinau in fall 2008 and have led many courses since that time. As of spring 2010, approximately 185 couples in Moldova had been able to participate in the Marriage Course. Response to the project was strongly positive, and the strategy for the project included developing local and regional leaders to run the course in their areas of the country. Petru and Viorica helped develop new Romanian-language publications of the participant’s manual used in the course, a ministry website, as well as a Romanian-language DVD of the program (a Russian-language DVD was already available). In spring 2010 Petru and Viorica moved to the United States to be with family members, and the leadership passed to Mihai and Angelica Caraivan. Mihai and Angelica had been involved for a long time in Baptist Union youth work. Mihai and Angelica attended the 2007 conference in Chisinau, where Mihai had served as an interpreter. The Marriage Ministry is grateful for the leadership of the Caraivans; during their period with the program from spring 2010 to fall 2012, about 100 couples participated in The Marriage Course. The website for the ministry is www.familiacrestina.com. Click on "English" to see the English-language pages.