Sunday, July 31, 2011

Moldova Mission Trip 2011 #2...

 A rich and very full Sunday is drawing to a close over here!  Some photos will tell our story.

Most of us slept quite well but are all planning roast rooster for dinner very soon!  If this creature could crow properly rather than with a mechanical, fake voice, I might not be so perturbed!  And we've all decided that 5am is too early for the serenade to begin!

So we started early and were able to open and sort our boxes of supplies before breakfast!  That allowed a few other things to fit into our day which was nice. 

After a delicious pancake breakfast, we headed to Jesus Savior Baptist Church.  The 2 1/4 hour service included many elements and we knew we were worshipping the Lord even without knowing the language.

Beside the usual sermon at the end, the service included a baby dedication,                                    
 an introduction of a newly engaged couple, which included a call to the congregation to pray for and offer support in any way so that the couple would be encouraged and well prepared for marriage,
 the amazing recitation (at least 10 minutes) by a small boy with voice and hand dramatic embellishments of the Biblical story of
Elijah and the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel, 3 choir numbers sounding like well trained professionals and perhaps nearly an hour of prayer.  There were several times of corporate prayer.  A pastor had a message, then led in prayer, followed by open prayers from congregants and later, after a few people had come forward with written prayer requests, there was more Pastoral and open prayer.

Another element was for visitors to introduce themselves and give a greeting from their home churches.  A man sang a solo and a woman read a lengthy poem.
Traditional group photo on the front steps of Jesus Savior Baptist church following the service.

 We headed to lunch at a pizza parlor where we were joined by the twin girls we help sponsor.  That was sweet as we caught up with their lives.  They have been hoping to immigrate to Italy to be with their mother but had learned yesterday that they were denied visas to leave the country.  They have a Romanian grandfather so will try to obtain Romanian passports and try again.  They expect this process to take a year or two.  They are optimistic though disappointed.
Diane and Phillip Worden scouting for gifts.

The girls joined our team following lunch at the market.  It could not have been a more beautiful day and some found treasure for souvenirs.
 More treasure hunters examining jewelry, Matroushka dolls, art work, etc.
 My husband and I are joined by our daughter as we spent some shopping time with our twin girls.
Elena opening a gift from her other sponsor.

 Following the market shopping outing, we returned to the team house to prepare for a trip to camp.  Our translators arrived about 4, we went over schedule logistics, had a tender time of prayer and headed to camp.  We had learned that the other 2 girls we sponsor were to be at camp.  Almost as soon as we arrived, they found us and our hugs were mutually warm and wonderful!
Sharing the photo albums I created from pictures taken in 2010.

Stella and my Froggy puppet friend helped me introduce ourselves to the children.

Today was change day at the camp as its the last day of the month.  Some children went home and 40 more will arrive tomorrow morning.  But small groups went well and folks have been busy this evening preparing for what will unfold tomorrow!

Now you see why I say it was a full day.  We're so grateful for lovely temperatures, blue skies and welcoming smiles.

Now to get some sleep and be ready for tomorrow.  We're feeling your prayers and support!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Safe Arrival in Moldova...

Team Worden plus Mark
It is Saturday evening and I'm at home in Chisinau, Moldova.  This home for our team for the next week plus a few days is clean, comfortable and welcoming. 

Travel began for the Kerrville team members at 3am on Fri. morning.  Check in went quite smoothly and we had time for breakfast before heading to Detroit.  I was asleep on that flight before the plane took off!!! 

Detroit team expands
The team grew by 3 members in Detroit as others joined us from Denver, CO and Richmond, VA.  Getting acquainted is going well. A treat during our Detroit stop was that the Wordens were able to welcome son James and grandson Constantine for a visit at the airport. 

Detroit mini family reunion

 Slightly delayed departure from Detroit with smooth travel to Frankfurt.  Added another 3 team members there.  A very groggy group boarded Air Moldova and departed there about 3pm.
Phillip grabs some zzzzzzzz's on a tram to the plane in Frankfurt.
 Had a fun welcome in Chisnau by the CERI director here and her 10 month old baby girl whom we're meeting for the first time!

Some questions from Customs officials were deftly handled by Connie and our baggage entered the country.

Two boxes were delayed somewhere but should arrive in a day or two.
Our traditional team photo as we arrive with the city of Chisinau in the background

Our tummy's are full, our beds are ready and no one will have trouble sleeping.  It is cool and comfy.  My heart is singing and rejoicing that God has brought another team together and brought us safely here.  Thanks for your prayers!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Moldova Countdown...

Our Moldova Team 2011 is in the final day of preparation for departure from our homes, families, city, state and nation.  Travel days are Friday and Saturday.  Some of us will depart at 3AM on Friday, have long hours in airports then we will all board Air Moldova together on Sat. afternoon in Frankfurt, Germany for the last leg of our trip to Moldova.  This will be my 7th early August trip.  Memories of precious faces are stirring within me and my heart is ready to spend time with friends I have come to know and love.
Spending time with girls we sponsor - anxious to see them again in a few days.
This evening as I pondered the hours I've spent in preparation, I realized that none of those hours have yet been used to bring anyone closer to a relationship with the Lord.  Have those hours been wasted?  Has it been in futility that I have fashioned schedules, activities and lessons?

My prayer this evening is that all those hours of preparation will be the foundation from which I and our team can be freed to shine God's light and truth.  Our schedule may be implemented upon our arrival at the camp in Moldova or God may allow it to be brushed aside in order for a different plan of His to unfold.  We have been taking seriously the privilege of this opportunity.  Our preparation provides a framework giving us some security that we have things to share.  But more importantly, the memory bank in our hearts and minds will be the reservoir from which His love and truth can flow so that relationships with Him can be birthed and brought to greater maturity.

We're all excited.  Pray with us and for us as we go with trust and confidence in one worthy of being made known.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Moldova Mission Trip on the Horizon...

Our final day in 2010 after we've painted a tee with a symbol of each lesson we taught.
In less than 2 weeks, 13 people from the United States will be traveling to Chisinau, Moldova.  There we will be joined by another team member who gets to live in Chisinau year round.  Our team members come from 2 different countries, 4 different states and 5 different churches.  We will begin meeting as a team at the airport in Detroit, continue adding team members at the Frankfurt, Germany airport and finally be all together for the first time after arrival in Chisinau, Moldova on July 30th. 

The Gazebo holds all of us to start and end our day at camp.
How will 14 people be able to cooperatively get acquainted, live and minister together for 11 days when they've previously never been physically in the same space?
These words of the Apostle Paul to the Romans give me great hope and confidence that this will be  possible:
Romans 15: 5-7
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus ChristAccept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.

Husband John with his boys ages 13-14 in 2010
We selected a curriculum this year which has a lesson on inclusiveness - accepting those with a variety of differences; another lesson is on forgiveness and we'll close with a lesson about salvation. So the verses in Romans which encourage a spirit of unity and acceptance of one another in order to bring praise to God will have to be embraced by our whole team so that we will glorify God with one heart and mouth as we share and model the implementation of the lessons we'll teach. 
  1. Will this be a challenge?
  2. Will this be successful?
  3. Will this be implemented perfectly?
  4. Will the effort be worth it?
  5. Will our team glorify our Lord Jesus Christ?
  6. Will we have a spirit of unity among ourselves?
  7. Will God be praised?
I am prayerfully trusting that the answer to all of the above questions will be "yes" except for #3.  We will not reach perfection as individuals or as a team on this trip but we will forgive and receive forgiveness as moments of friction arise and are overcome.
Meeting with the Moldovan teachers
Our team is mightily encouraged and sustained with the prayerful support of family and friends.  Please pray for the following:
  1. Travel safety
  2. Team bonding cooperatively
  3. Health
  4. Proper sleep / adaptation to time change
  5. God's truth shared in boldly winsome ways
Thanks for being a part of our team. Hopefully I will be able to update this blog each day in Moldova starting July 31st.
I can't wait to get back there!!!