Thursday, August 11, 2011

Moldova Mission Trip 2011 #13...

I'm basking in the joy our team experienced as we served together in Moldova.  The following scripture was put on this blog as a comment for our team.  It was a wonderful encouragement for us.  We all experienced God supplied words and strength as we shared our lives with so many dear people in Moldova.  This scripture is well worth sharing here.
(Isaiah 12:2-6)
"Surely God is my salvation;
I will trust and not be afraid.

The Lord, the Lord, is my

strength and my song;
He has become my salvation.

With joy you will draw water
from wells of salvation.

In that day you will say:

"Give thanks to the Lord,
call on His name;
make known among the nations
what He has done,
and proclaim that His name is exalted.
Sing to the Lord,
for He has done glorious things;
let this be known to all the world.
Shout aloud and sing for joy,
people of Zion,
for great is the Holy One
of Israel among you."
Thanks for sharing this scripture with us, Marge.  You are a much loved sister.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Moldova Mission Trip 2011 #12...

Another two members of the team have arrived home safely!  We left Moldova 26 hrs ago so I'm very ready to crawl into my own bed but I do so as a blessed woman!  God has provided, energized and sustained us. So good to be one of His children!!! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Moldova Mission Trip 2011 #11...

This has been my last full day in Moldova and I'll be heading to the airport in 3.5 hrs. I'm taking just enough time to post some photos to tell today's story. I've spent the whole day with 3 of the 4 girls we sponsor. One of our twins was too ill to meet me today. She is feeling better but her facial paralysis is still affecting her. She is in a 10 day treatment program. Please join with prayers for her full recovery.

The youngest resident of the Team House - Baby Valeria who won all our hearts.

The Belciug family who welcome and shepherd us throughout out whole stay.
Roadside views...

Passing a beautiful lake...

Lush this year throughout the rolling, verdant hills...

Arriving at the camp road, we were met by a herd of sheep and goats...

and their shepherd.

Daughters of camp director and a cook...

Spending the day with 3 sweet girls.

 Viorica and Lena love this whirling ride so did it twice!

 Took my life in my hands with this activity!!!

Boys first

and then the girls.

Elena, a twin...  Just finished a 3 yr. food service high school

Lena, such a loving, servant heart...

Viorica, passionate love of the Lord.

New dress to be more appropriately dressed for church.

New pants for this beautiful, stylish young woman.

Heading to a movie at Malldova

Captain America in Russian with Romanian sub titles...

Sponsors with children and Belciug family for Andy's pizza - the kids' choice!

Pizza with mushrooms, cheese, tomatoes, mayonaise

and corn.

Sharing this day with 3 girls I've grown to love deeply was nearly perfect.  The only disappointment was the illness of one twin and her inability to join us.  The twins have had great discouragement recently as they learned their visa applications for Italy were denied and therefore they are unable to leave Moldova to be with their mother who works in Italy.  They will continue to seek employment in Moldova and work toward another way to reunite with Mom.  But right now improved health is Valentina's great need.

My trip to Moldova is about to end.  I'll be leaving for the airport in 2 hours and hopefully will sleep all the way home.  It has been a blessed trip.  God has been gracious to our team and we are grateful for this opportunity.  The rest of the team has arrived home safely in the states.  Pray for Mark and me as we wing our way tomorrow.  Your prayers have been felt and vital.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Moldova Mission Team 2011 #10...

This has been a relaxing, meaningful day.  Breakfast at 8 then departure for camp at 9.  The 3 children being picked up were all ready when we arrived.  We had my translator, Elena, with us and Mark would have CJ, our driver also.  We found Ms. Lucia to inform her that we were there for the children as previously arranged so she was ready for us.  

One of my girls is having some physical exams in preparation for acceptance at a next school as she completed ninth grade this May and has aged out of the orphanage.  She had the first part of a TB test last Fri. and was to return to the clinic this morning to check that.  We took her there and the girls waited for about an hour while that was happening.  The guys took Vioriel to his dental appointment.  They were finished with his work before Lena was ready so they went to change some money for Mark and me.

While we waited in the shade on a rock wall, we had some good conversation with Viorica.  Also met a gal who is a student at the Music Academy specializing in the cello.  Her English is quite good so we could visit.  She is involved in a church and also has done some Bible Study activities at  the orphanage.  That has been very challenging as she reported that children didn't listen well and were quite disruptive.  I assured her I understood but knew that her efforts and God's word would have a lasting effect. 

When Lena was finished, we learned that her TB test was positive and that she was to return in the afternoon for a chest X-ray and further testing.  The clinic had determined that she had swollen glands in her neck and they said that her positive result might be caused by an infection.  We've learned that TB is quite common in Moldova and from the visual appearance of her arm, I wasn't surprised to hear the result.

From the clinic we drove to the downtown area for some shopping/strolling/eating time.  We girls chose to stroll as there was a park nearby which I hadn't seen previously.  The girls said they see it all the time.  It was well populated; had a very nice playground for little children; some fitness equipment for adults; some inflatables and paths throughout the grounds.  Quite pretty.

Downtown Chisinau in front of the Parliament Building with Viorica and Lena.

Center of Chisinau in the background.

Translator Photographer took a photo from 4 different angles.

Beautiful day for a walk in a park at ciy's center.
 Following our stroll, we headed to Malldova which was near the clinic Lena needed to go to at 1:45pm.  Vioriel could eat at 1pm following his dental work so we all were able to eat at the food court in the mall.  This mall opened a couple years ago but I had only been there once before for a very short outing to grocery shop.  All is modern and attractive.  FC was quite large.  Our food was tasty and we had plenty of room in their dining area.  LaVerne and Regina were having lunch with Connie and they came there for lunch as well.
Lunch at Malldova including Regina, LaVerne and Connie.

The girls ordered Chicken Shish!  Chicken & fries but no kabob.

Our order came from the restaurant just beyond us.  Large food court but not many shoppers on Monday.
 Lena had to say good-bye as soon as she finished eating in order to get to where she would have her further testing.  I hope to see her again tomorrow around 11am.
Food Court included a Mexican Restaurant but we didn't try it.
Viorica and I had about an hour before we needed to join the guys for the trip back to camp with our kids.  We decided to stay at the mall to "site-see" but that wasn't very engaging for Viorica whose feet hurt and who wasn't interested in buying anything there anyway.  So we decided to get some ice cream and sit down for a chat.  That was a sweet time.  Viorica is very tender hearted and is very drawn to spiritual things.  I learned that she attends Sunday morning and evening church during the school year, any Bible Study that is offered at the orphanage and reads her Bible every morning.  Another ministry does a Tuesday night Bible Study every two weeks.  A woman who lives quite near Internat 2 has opened her home for a Sat. Bible Study.  There was a fellow leading that study but he has gone as a missionary somewhere and he put Viorica in charge.  She now prepares questions from her Bible reading which she uses with the Sat. group.  She has no Bible Study aides but her Bible is well worn.  I told her how much it pleased me to see her eagerness to study the Bible and lead others to do the same.  I shared some of the things God has been teaching me this year and as we parted, she said she would share my story with her roommates.  She wants to become a Doctor someday.  I have confidence she'll have an impact on her country and the world in time.  She's 15 years old - one more year at Internat 2.

Our van was met by some of the usual guys who must hear the noise of the vehicle as it turns onto the gravel road leading to the camp entrance.  Their big smiles are a warm welcome.  They are there to have some good natured sparring with CJ who knows, cares about and enjoys hanging out with them.
Friends met Vioriel as he returned to the camp after his day with Mark.

These guys love CJ, our translator/driver, so they show up at camp when he drives onto the grounds. 
It's been a great day.  Can't believe my update is written by 7pm!!!  Yeah!!!  I'll get to bed early tonight!

I've just learned Elena, the twin who's not sick, will join us tomorrow about 11am.  I'll have 3 girls and appreciate prayers that this will be a great time with some girls who do not have a mother with whom they live.  And these girls have major things they're facing - health problems, school acceptance needs, job needs...  I'm so grateful that CERI is here for these children facing challenges and giving them God's truth as they do it.  What a privilege to be involved with this ministry.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Moldova Mission Trip 2011 #9...

The day started at 6:00 AM when seven team members rose to prepare for their trip to the airport.  All went well until the time came to unload the checked bags from the van.  One bag heading to Richmond, VA was still at the team house.  But a taxi was called and the bag was delivered in time for everyone to check in and get through security. 

My day continued with breakfast and a drive to Jesus Savior Baptist Church.  Since it is the first Sunday of the month, it was communion Sunday.  And because it's August, the youth choir sang - 3 numbers. One song was CROWN HIM WITH MANY CROWNS. Terrific!

The service began with the congregational song, HOW GREAT THOU ART and a little later the next hymn was OH, HOW I LOVE JESUS.  I tried to follow the Romanian words on a screen but sometimes sang in English.  It's always a worshipful experience to share familiar hymns with brothers and sisters singing a different language - a little taste of heaven.

A lady with an excellent voice sang a beautiful song accapella.  Guests in the service introduced themselves and shared greetings from their home churches.  Three girls and a sax player lead singing during the offering.

This week another newly engaged couple was introduced to the congregation and there was admonition and prayer for the whole church family.  This couple is part of the deaf ministry of the church. 

Jesus Savior Baptist Church introduced a newly engaged couple from their deaf ministry. 
The interpreter shared with them the admonition to the congregation to encourage and mentor
this couple and then the prayer for their marital preparation.
The main sermon of the morning was brought by a man from Warsaw, IN, Jim Mugg.  He was in Moldova for the umpteenth time at a conference training and encouraging Moldovan missionaries.  He's been coming here since 1991.  I had heard his name from a Facebook friend who is in the same church with Jim so I was thrilled to get to hear this man preach in English which was translated to Romanian and to meet him afterward along with his friend, Bruce Shown.   They had brought DVD's in Russian which have recently been created by my friend, Lane Anderson and the ministry he heads, InterComm International.

Communion Service begins.

Pastors and Deacons serve the wine.
 Following church, we headed to Andy's Pizza for lunch and to meet Elena and Valentina, the twins we sponsor.  But I soon learned that Valentina was in the hospital with partial paralysis of her face (from what I think I'm being told) caused by 'sleeping in a strong draft'.  Elena and an aunt arrived for lunch and I learned some more details.  The girls had been at their Grandmother's in a village quite far away.  Valentina started noticing swelling in her neck on Friday.  She began to develop facial drooping symptoms by Sat. so they boarded a bus for Chisinau.  Sat. night about midnight they called an ambulance to take her to the hospital.  Dr's apparently think treatment will correct the problem so Elena was headed to a pharmacy after we ate to fill prescriptions.  They have talked to their mother in Italy and she plans to send them money for "treatments".  This is quite frightening for Valentina which certainly is understandable.  A CERI employee went with her to the pharmacy.  Before we parted, we found a relatively quiet place on a park bench where I could pray with Elena and assure her of my continued prayers.
Andy's Pizza was just across from this huge flower shop!
So elegant!!!

Added a bit of site-seeing to the afternoon.

Impressive Monastery I hadn't seen before!

Flower box #1

Flower box #2

Flower box #3  -  I love flowers!

Found a wedding in progress inside the chapel.

Couldn't understand the Gregorian Chanting.

Fairly recent restoration with government funds.

Our day included the evening service at Bethel Baptist, the oldest Baptist Church in Moldova.  It celebrated it's 100th anniversary a few years ago.  Enjoyed the wonderful music, the Russian language everything and a guest speaker, Jim Mugg.  Great sermon the second time too!!!

Will have breakfast in the morning then head to camp to pick up 2 girls we sponsor in order to spend the day with them along with Mark and his boy.

Another gorgeous day in all ways!  Now to get some needed sleep!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Moldova Mission Trip 2011 #8...

Our Saturday started with a shopping trip to purchase supplies for a few repair projects and another trip for grocery staples to give 32 adults living in a facility for people aged out of orphanages needing help to survive on their own.  After arriving at Vatra Center, we assembled bags of food.
CJ and John assessing the bench needs before a trip to buy supplies.

Part of the crew was assigned the task of scrapping and painting the front gate.

Some of our clothing was reserved for the residents of this home.  Most have no jobs and no means to pay for their needs.  Only their room is provided so food and clothing are desperate needs.

Pizza, beverages and cookies were brought in for lunch.
Lena tackled a gate.
Viorica volunteered for a door.
Two girls we sponsor were
picked up at camp to join us 
in this work project.  
They were hard workers and 
carefully painted their area.
Great crew for the wide front gate.
Phillip joined the crew that painted the small but high gym.

Working side by side with translators to provide needed sprucing up to a worthy facility owned by the city.

A set of guy twins in the Transitional Care program joined our work force.  They got to work with the bench crew.

Sibling translator bench painters!
Just enough gray paint to cover the back gate.

Great Mother / son helpers!!!

Petru and Vasilie have just graduated from the orphanage and will start in the Transitional Care program this fall.

Joined by a few residents and our translators, our tired, sore but faithful team endured yet another group shot!

Team Worden and Lena and Viorica.

A day of community service gave a lift to the stretched Director and staff at Vatra House.  This home houses 32 individuals with a variety of handicaps.  But the Director is providing opportunity for learning and training so lives are improving in many cases.  Funding is a problem so basic needs are difficult to meet.  It was a joy to serve in this meaningful way.

A refreshing shower and a delicious supper were a real treat following this day of labor.

Following supper we shared a profitable time of debriefing.  We are a terrific team and there were good ideas for some ways to tweak the ways we carry out this opportunity.  We also shared a highlight of the week and there were many different things mentioned.  We have been blessed by the Lord for this time and place.

Eight folks leave on a flight at 8:45am tomorrow morning.  They will spend a night in Frankfurt due to the earlier cancellation and rebooking of a Monday flight.  They'll return to the states on Monday.  Two others will leave Monday and the last two of us will leave on Wednesday.

I will spend time tomorrow with the twins we help sponsor starting at Jesus Savior Baptist Church in the morning.  We will probably do some site-seeing after lunch somewhere.

I am blessed... but a little tired too.