The Long Haul Missionary
By Gary McLain
Ghennadii Muzica and his family moved to the US about six years ago from Moldova. With four kids at home he didn’t feel as though he could go back to school so he studied for his commercial driver’s license and began providing for his family by doing “long hauls”, driving a semi-truck across the country.
Ghennadii was born into an Adventist family and baptized when he was 16. He always participated in church activities, but in his heart he wanted to do something more than just go to church once a week and return his tithe, especially after reading the Great Controversy. Reading about the reformation and the great people who shared God’s word in such trying times made him feel he needed to do more.
There were times he thought he could be more active in witnessing if he had more money. Maybe someday he would have more money, and then he could witness! Then one day he realized he was thinking about it all wrong. He didn’t need a lot of money! He could work for God now!
Ghennadii is good friends with a pastor in the Ukraine who does evangelistic work, and decided to support him. “Every time I helped him I felt very satisfied.” he says. “I have the great privilege in that my wife supports me in my effort to help others.”
He supported the missionary pastor every year financially. But when he read the Bible, Ghennadii noticed that Jesus paid a lot of attention to personal relationships with people. Ghennadii felt he needed to do more than send money, and came to the conclusion that just financially supporting someone is not enough. You need personal interaction with people! He felt that for him, just giving money for missionary work was the easy way out and that he should sacrifice more. “The Bible says if it is needed we should even sacrifice our life! The basis for our religion is love and if we love then we sacrifice whatever is needed for that. “The biggest sacrifice is our time,” remarks Ghennadii.
Ghennadii began to pray a lot. “God, open the door for me. What can I do to tell people about You?” God impressed him to buy books and share them with people he came in contact with. Steps to Christ was his book of choice. He thought it should be to easy to just buy a hundred books and hand them out or leave them in places for people to find. After thinking a bit more, Ghennadii decided he wanted to give these books to people he came in contact with personally. So he purchased 200 Spanish copies of Steps to Christ, 200 English copies of Steps to Christ and then sent an order to Moldova for Steps to Christ in Russian.
On his first long haul, after purchasing the books, he took 35 or so books with him. “I prayed to God that he would send people to me that would accept these books. To my surprise, when I began my trip home, I had no books left! God had sent 35 people across my path. – People that I needed to come in contact with.” The only problem was that he had no books for the way home. As he passed through Idaho he came upon a hitchhiker. The hitchhiker’s sign said “Baker City.” Ghennadii’s first thought was he needed to pick him up so he could give him a book. But then he remembered he was out of books. He went ahead and stopped to pick him up. Ghennadii often picks up hitchhikers so he can talk to them. First off he puts Christian music on, and then he asks them if they are willing to listen to it. As he became acquainted with the hitchhiker he told him that he usually gives books away but that he had run out. So Ghennadii asked if he could mail a book to him. Since Ghennadii was driving, the hitchhiker texted Ghennadii his mailing address. When Ghennadii got home he mailed a Steps to Christ to the hitchhiker and several days later got another text from the hitchhiker thanking him for the book.
“I realized that if we want to do something, even if it’s small, God will bless by sending the right people to us.”
Ghennadii doesn’t speak much English or Spanish but he was able to approach people and offer them books and they were happy to receive them. “In my understanding, God can make the stones speak, and I may be one of them!”
This is just the beginning of Ghennadii's story! You can read more stories in The Long Haul Missionary series. Just look for the new column in each month's eCommunique!