Originally from Romania, Catalin, and his wife Simona, and their daughter Amedea, moved to Northern Ireland in October 2015 to start a new chapter of their lives, bringing with them a desire to serve the Lord here as they had in Romania. Since living here they welcomed a new addition into their family, their son Jayden.
While Simona grew up in a Christian home with her parents and two sisters, Catalin’s upbringing was much different. His father was a violent alcoholic, while his mother abandoned him and his sister when they were just one year and three weeks old respectively. Thrust into turmoil, Catalin spent many years living with relatives and friends, and also spent six years living in orphanages. Unbeknown to Catalin at the time, God was working in the midst of his situation, and his life began to change when, at the age of 13, he contacted Bethlehem Church in South East Romania.
Accepted and loved by the church members, and with the help and guidance of his pastor, Catalin accepted Christ as his own personal saviour. During his time in school, it became clear that he had gifting that could be used in Christian ministry. He was encouraged to develop this further, and did so by undertaking theological studies. In 2011, he graduated with a B.A. degree in Pastoral Theology, and he later went on to complete a Master’s in Theology in 2015.
In September 2011, Catalin became a full-time youth and teaching pastor at Bethlehem Church. For his four years in this role he worked weekly with approximately 50 young people from different cultural, social and ethnic backgrounds, focusing on outreach and discipleship, sharing the Gospel and helping believers grow spiritually. Before undertaking this full-time post he volunteered for six years in youth ministry, teaching/preaching and worship ministry in Bethlehem Church and its twelve sister churches that were planted in the surrounding areas. In addition to church planting, he was also involved in coordinating cross-cultural missions teams. Catalin is currently raising support to begin working with LMI in a joint-role as a Youth and Schools Outreach and Mission Awareness Worker.
Favourite Bible Verses
“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you!”
Isaiah 49:15 is my special Bible verse. I had a rough childhood, having been abandoned and rejected. Lacking parental love and care can be the most tragic experience for any child. But God never forgot me as he always guarded and guided my life. His genuine love gave me strength to overcome every challenge and trial. Now, despite my tough past, I thank God for everything and I know that he loves me very much and gave me a special calling and destiny.