This was our day to travel to Tiraspol. We departed at 8:30AM and returned at 7:30PM. It was another sunny, beautiful but plenty warm day. We traveled through a part of Moldova which was new to all but the drivers. We saw fields of newly harvested grain, cows in pastures, goats being herded along the roadsides, corn fields, vineyards and villages. The road was pretty well maintained. At the border, there were 3 parts to the crossing – Moldova check-point, Transneistria check-point which included a form to fill out in duplicate and an inspection of the interior of the vehicle. We could stay on the van for that. There were no problems but the line of cars and trucks was long and the process lasted at least an hour. It was nearly noon by the time we arrived at the Baptist Mission Chapel where we were met by Brother Peter and Brother Stepan. They welcomed us, had a prayer, helped us decide how to proceed and went with us to the store to buy groceries. The store was nearby and had 2 ways to purchase items. Since we were buying in large quantity, we went to an area where people buy wholesale. There were enclosed glass display cases which showed all available items and their price. Connie and the house cook, Lilia, chose the items and placed the order. Our van backed up to a loading dock and we loaded the $918.00 worth of rice, oil, canned meat, sugar, pasta, tea, cookies, jam, canned milk, etc. We took everything to the Chapel and John and James Worden created an assembly line on the grass along the street where we were parked. Using large shopping bags we’d purchased, we filled 2 bags for each household holding all items which we then distributed to homes later. With 28 people at work – team + translators – that task flowed quite smoothly. But everything had taken quite awhile so it was nearly 2pm and time for lunch. We headed to Andy’s Pizza – another lengthy process for 28 people to order and be served. We had hoped to go to 25 homes but we split up and went to several streets where we took food to homes where someone was available until about 5:45. We then took the undistributed bags to the Chapel where items will be taken to other people in the near future. The water has receded for the most part though is still high in the river and some yards still are under water. We could see the high water line on homes – about 4 feet up on many buildings. The homes we were invited into were really a mess. Supposedly the water rose during the night very quickly. People were awakened by sirens in their city. Water was already coming into their homes. There was little time to move things to a higher level. We saw lots of ruined furniture, walls, floors, yards, unstable buildings etc. The people to whom we gave our food and clothing were very tearful and appreciative. Most wanted to talk about their loss so we listened and gave hugs and told them that we cared and wanted to help in a small way to ease a tiny portion of their great pain and loss. We told them that God loved them though we couldn’t understand why this had happened to them. Some of the homes we visited were quite new. Probably many of the homes have been built over a long period of time by the owners and represent many hours of labor and much money. We wished we could have been there longer but we are grateful for the time we had. We arrived back in Chisinau – fairly short, smooth border crossing – to go to a restaurant for our meal to express our appreciation to the team of people who have supported us this week and made this possible. We didn’t have time to get our prepared gift bags to give each one before we went to the restaurant so we will distribute those tomorrow. We have had a wonderful team of capable translators, van drivers and a cook.
We will have our last day at camp tomorrow. It will be a big day – very special and emotional for all of us I’m sure. Please pray that what ever is essential in God’s scheme will be communicated, received and remembered.
11pm and time to sign off for today.