Moldova (MNN) — It's an almost exclusively orthodox country, where less than 4% of people actually know Christ. It's in Europe but is poorer than some African countries. And it also has the world's leading per-person alcohol consumption rate.
Moldova is a nation full of troubled hearts.
Although there are several ministries throughout the small, Former Soviet Union nation, still few have clung to the real message of the Gospel. The nation can use any new outreach tactics.
Enter Ashley. Ashley is a young woman who chose to spend her summer in Moldova with Operation Mobilization doing missions in a very unique way.
Although Ashley originally intended to move to Kenya short-term with a mission agency, a year's delay in travel led her to beauty school instead. When she completed her year-long program, she still had missions on her heart but was not so sure anymore about going to Kenya with the mission agency she'd originally contacted.
Around the same time, Ashley heard about OM, and got an interesting pitch from her father: "Why don't you do hair and missions?"
Ashley tells OM she started actually thinking that cosmetology and missions might go together well. "When you go to the hair salon, you end up talking to the hairdresser for about 30 minutes. What if I could spend that half hour talking to someone about Jesus?"
Ashley was still interested in an African nation at first, but OM Moldova grabbed the opportunity to spread the Gospel in a unique way to the beleaguered nation.
So for the last two months, Ashley has given over 250 haircuts to OM staff, and, more excitingly, local Moldovans. Even with the language barrier between Ashley (who's American) and her clients, she was still able to communicate the Gospel through teammates. And people were more than willing to listen.
Ashley describes one particular memory. "One time, I gave three sisters haircuts. The third girl was so fussy that her sister heard the Gospel and accepted Christ into her life before I was done!"
Ashley now has a vision to open a hair salon with a coffee bar, where Christian literature is sold and the Good News is proclaimed. Pray for this vision to catch the eyes of others who might work with Ashley to combine the unique gift of hairdressing with the awesome privilege of sharing God's Truth.