Friday, June 16, 2017

Orhei Vechi Monastery, Ethnic Restaurant, Saying Good-bye, Shopping...Day 7

Our last full day in Moldova has been very special.  Instead of spending our day with a service project and sharing our time with many children, we had this day to concentrate exclusively on the child we are sponsoring/mentoring and have gotten to know at a deeper level this week.  We left the team house about 9AM and drove on roads winding through rich farmland for an hour in order to reach Orhei Vechie Monastery.  This 13th Century cave monastery is very fascinating and affords a spectacular view of the surrounding hills and valleys.  I had been there previously but some in our group had not.
Destination in the far distance...
One photo of roses in a garden outside the welcome center where tickets are purchased.
First stop was an area of early homes which we toured with a guide.

And as I feared, my camera battery expired after the above photo was taken. I neglected to get it on the charger last night!  I switched to my phone for more photos of the day. 
Arriving at the church which is still active at the top of the hill above the underground monastery.
These girls with Sarah were part of her small group of 2 years ago.
Joanna has made friends with the college gals on the team.
Joanna has also been a dear friend to the sweet girl we sponsor.

Heading back down the high hill.
Enjoying another ethnic group of buildings near the lunch restaurant.
The location of this restaurant was gorgeous and the food was abundant, delicious and Moldovan.
Started with scrumptious... all served family style...
Next was Mama Liga and toppings...
Stuffed cabbage and grape leaves...
Grilled vegies...
Filet Mignon...
And unfortunately, I was talking to some children and missed sweet placintes for dessert!  After the -meal was over, we regrouped for a final worship time together.  As we boarded vans for the return to Chisinau, we said Good-bye to some of the children who live in a more northern city.
Prayer, singing, testimony, message...
In the distant hillside there can be seen cave openings used by Monks in the past where they spent 40 days of prayer and fasting.
There had been sweet moments with hugs and conversation during the day with the sisters we have gotten to know this week.  Parascovia is 11, our sponsoree, and Olga is 9.  They were not very excited about photos but we managed a few during the week.  With sponsorship, the girls will soon move from the Hincesti Center into an apartment with an aunt and her children.  We will continue to pray for them as they grow and mature.  When we got to Chisinau, it was time for their departure along with a few other children to their shelter in Hincesti.  I gave them a gift I brought with me and saw them onto the van.
Something to pack in for the future move...
Then there was 45 minutes for shopping at the Art Market...

Lena, age 24, is a girl we formerly sponsored and she came to share some minutes with us.

With our day drawing to an end, we returned to the team house for dinner and packing.  As we got to the house, Joanna realized her phone was not with her.  That created quite some concern but has a happy ending after a number of phone calls to her parents in Richmond, VA and to the phone which finally was answered by a child in Hincesti.  The phone had fallen out of probably her back pocket on the van and wasn't noticed until the children being taken to Hincesti found it.  They had it as it was being called over and over but it took some time for them to figure out how to answer the phone.  Fortunately, the call they answered had been made by Catea, the CERI director, who assured them they were not in any trouble for having the phone.

What to do at that point?  Call a cab, take a translator and head to Hincesti to get the phone.  It was accomplished in about an hour and a half so all is well.

Lots of gratitude for the safe return...
And a stop for ice cream on the way back!!!
Can't end without some flowers to show off.
The week has been full of great experiences, conversations and friendship.  We are so grateful for many things - fabulous weather, terrific planning by the whole CERI family in the US and Moldova, and the care our team has been receiving while here at the team house and throughout the activities of each day.  We will pray that the spiritual seeds sown in lives this week will  bear fruit in the future.  

We will head to the airport at noon tomorrow, spend an overnight in Bucharest, leave from there for Paris early on Sunday and arrive in Houston mid afternoon Sunday.  

Not sure when my next blog will update.  Thanks for prayers.  We have been richly blessed with health, strength and endurance as we shared our lives and the hope that is available to those in a growing relationship with God. 

1 comment:

Margelyn Berndt said...

Grateful to hear how God has continued to lead & use you on your final day. He is a God of detail & has faithfully been at work, as you have been 'Experiencing God' in countless ways. Even in times when WE don't necessarily sense His presence, He is there!

Praying for His continued work of calling those unto Himself & lives open & seeking to grow & walk with Him.

'For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.'
1 Thess. 2:13

Rejoicing with you & praying for your safe return,