This is it. The last blog from Moldova. The time here has flown by. It has been well worth the preparation, the trip and enduring the heat! A piece of my heart stays here each time I leave as the Moldovan friends I have here are so dear. It's a privilege to join them in communicating Christ's love and redemption plan to children from an orphanage. They faithfully keep working with these children year round. It is making a difference in many lives.
It was a delight to have 2 boys serve with us this week as helpers who have come through the orphanage and were in the camp our first years here. They are now in an apartment and continuing their education. They are maturing young men who helped us alot with the children and our activities. It's great to see that children can come through childhood without the support of a loving traditional home when they have some significant adults in their lives who nurture and care for them.
Our 2 girls arrived about 11am today and we spent until 5pm with them. The amusement park was open so we went there first. The ticket price for the several rides available for teens is quite low. We gave them a set amount and they decided how they wanted to use it. They started on a ride similar to a Scrambler or Tilt-a-Whirl. We decided to join them and it was a thrill! They loved it and went back 2 more times - 1 of those with us again as well. We also all rode/drove the bumper cars with some boys who were from the orphanage also. They suggested another park with rides after that first small park so we went to that and rode a small roller coaster and swing type twirling ride.
After those rides we decided it was time for lunch - it was almost 2pm. We had pizza at their favorite spot. Afterward we stopped at an outdoor market where a wide variety of booths sold an endless array of all sorts of items. Each of the girls picked a clothing item for school. We also bought them some personal items. They were very appreciative and pleased with the day.
It was time to take them back to camp after shopping. We also saw the camp director as we returned them and thanked her for allowing them to spend some time with us.
We left with some sadness but also the satisfaction of having had some extra time with them. Their world is challenging but they have some seeds of God's truth sown in their hearts and have wise, godly CERI staff available year round to give some support. We will continue to pray for them and write letters through a translator who works for CERI. They are loved - especially by a Heavenly Father who will continue to draw them to Himself.
We'll be leaving in 5 hrs for the airport as our flight leaves Chisinau at 4:45am!!! I'm about completely packed and finished with my "wrap-up" responsibilities. Now to get a few hours sleep before the long trek home begins.
My heart is full of gratitude to God for all that He has provided for our team during this mission trip. We have been sustained, enabled and conformed a little more closely to His image through this trip. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement. Continue to pray as Robert, Mark, John and Linda travel home.
Psalm 119: 9-11