Pastor Cristi Golas and his wife, Cami, lead a church in Pitesti, Romania called Adunarea Speranta Vie (Fellowship of Living Hope Church). This is a sister church to Valley Free and Prairie Hill Churches, which was planted in the 1990s by Evangelical Free missionaries Mike and Sandy Sindelar. Over the years, both Prairie Hill and Valley Free have sent individuals and teams to assist with the ministry, and helped to fund construction and maintenance of the church building there.
Sometimes MCEE (another Prairie Hill Missionary Partner) provides funds to aid the ministries of Living Hope Church too, from the proceeds of Legacy Thrift in Crystal. This thrift store has appreciated volunteers from Prairie Hill in the past, and could use more volunteers now. Former Prairie Hill Pastor Jerry Erickson and Mike Sindelar (Pastor of Valley Free in Chaska) both serve on the MCEE board.
Some of the special projects administered by Pastor Cristi/Living Hope Church and funded by MCEE the last couple years include COVID related efforts, and more recently setting up a coffee house, library (including a section on "Christian life during the time of Romanian Communism") and playground at the church, offering babysitting and workshops (e.g. art, gardening, English) to the community, and even starting a paint ball ministry that involves both outdoor activity and discipleship of young people. This is part of an emphasis called Striga Visul Tau (Shout Out Your Dream).
Living Hope Church hosts weekly worship services, Bible studies, and outreach events. Oftentimes, the individuals they reach are those who are homeless or from disadvantaged neighborhoods. Pastor Cristi and Cami have used large shipping containers (provided by MCEE) in city parking lots as makeshift ministry centers to tutor or disciple youth. Highlights of their ministry also include bringing young people to camps, conducting AWANA at the church, and providing shower and laundry facilities at the church for homeless people to use.
There are 12 main neighborhoods in Pitesti, Romania. Pastor Cristi has a vision of reaching each of these neighborhoods with a unique ministry that serves the specific needs of that community.
Living Hope Church currently focuses on the Razboieni and Coremi ghetto neighborhoods, which are considered to be the poorest in the city.
Our vision for these neighborhoods is to be a bright light of hope. We will love the unlovable. We will be friends to the lonely. We will show people that there is only One Perfect Friend who will never leave them, nor forsake them, even if the world rejects them. - Cristi Golas