Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Remembering Moldova...

I spent some time yesterday placing over 120 of my Moldova pictures in an album. I'm not yet the creative memories type album person, though I'd like to be and may get there someday. Right now I feel it's an accomplishment when I get photos into an album with slots so that others can see the sites and faces that held my time and attention for a week but continue to hold my heart with deep concern and interest.

There are 11,000+ children living in boarding schools - essentially orphanages - in Moldova where the population is 4.5 million people. 87% of these children have a living parent but those parents are unable for many different reasons to give them care. Children begin school at age 7 in Moldova so that is the youngest age of the children living at boarding schools. They age out after grade 9 - usually about age 16. And then what? If there is no one to offer a home, these children are on the streets.

Fortunately for Moldova, CERI, Children's Emergency Relief International, has a strong presence in the country and provides services for the children who apply for and get accepted into the Transitional Living Program. This program intentionally provides support to children who get accepted into a school for higher education and training. To fund this ministry, sponsors are sought for the children, funds are sought from donors and some funding comes from grants. While in Moldova recently, I learned that 27 of the 100 children currently in the Transitional Living program are waiting for sponsors. So much more could be done if sponsors were found for those children. Because costs for the ministry have exceeded the income, there have been recent cut backs in personnel and services. This fact is heart breaking for me. I've seen first hand how hard the Moldovan CERI staff work and I've seen the benefit of their important ministry.

To sponsor a child in the Transitional Living program, the cost per month is $100.00. Children a little younger can be sponsored in a Quality of Life program for $70.00 per month. My husband and I have the privilege of partnering with friends to sponsor a set of twin girls. We had the joy of spending a few hours with them while we were in Moldova recently. During the year we're able to communicate through CERI staff in monthly email letters. We are planning to add a couple more girls to our sponsorship family as soon as the paperwork is processed. I can't think of a better way to spend some money than to help children have the opportunity for education and training along with the love and truth of God's word shared through His people.

Please consider child sponsorship for Moldova. How rewarding it is to pray for a child who longs to have a caring person consider them worthy of love, attention and a little financial help. What a joy it was for my husband and me to witness the commitment to Jesus of one of our twins while we were with them at a camp in Moldova a few weeks ago. And now we can encourage the spiritual growth of these girls while praying that they will not fall prey to traffickers or other forces of evil.

There's a child waiting for you to want to be their sponsor.

P.S. If you're following this blog and wonder about our boxes, they are still lingering in the airport while more needed documentation for clearing customs is provided. Keep praying.

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