Ce Mila

This has been a very full four days. But very rewarding as well. The children at Ialoveni are so precious! Because these children have grown up with no one making excuses for their disabilities, they are amazingly independent. And overall they are so happy and full of life. It makes me happy just being around them! Don is a little boy whose legs don’t work quite right. He limps and uses a cane to get around. Yet he ALWAYS greets us with this BIG smile and is full of chatter. The other day as he was walking across the grass with us, he hit an uneven spot in the ground that caused him to fall down. His cane went sprawling away from him and he lay spread eagled on the ground. But did it phase him? No! In a heartbeat he picked himself up, grabbed his cane, and off he went again talking up a blue streak!
In the mornings while the children are in their classrooms studying, we’ve been hard at work building beds, transporting them across the courtyard and up the stairs (no handicapped accessible elevators for this place!) The guys are amazing in how much they can carry. They pick up the boards and bed frames one handed, while we struggle to carry them in twos! Then bringing up the linens and making up the beds. We’ve had several hilarious moments trying to put the comforters in the duvet covers (umm…Donnie and Jeanine…care to share?) But then we’ve had the extreme satisfaction of looking over our work, seeing the cheery bright yellow bed covers with their fluffy pillows and Bible laid against each pillow. And we can just imagine the joy of the children as they walk in their rooms and see the old smelly beds gone and these bright new beds in their place! It makes all the hard work worthwhile.
Lunch break and then we return to work. Marilyn and I have been privileged to do arts and crafts with some of the children in the afternoon. Simple stuff, but the children have worked so intensely doing their very best work on whatever project we give them. They’ve been so proud of what they’ve created, wanting us to take their pictures and excitedly showing us what they’ve done. Bene, bravo!!!
It’s very hard looking at these wonderful children with their beautiful smiles and individual personalities, and thinking about what the future holds for them. They are obviously cared for here by their teachers. And these children know more English than any other orphan children I’ve encountered. They actually study it in school. Yet in a country like Moldova that is so impoverished, you realize that there will be extremely limited opportunities for a child with disabilities. What will their life be like when they’re adults?
Yet we know that God created these children in His image and He loves them very much. We hope that our week with them has reminded them of that. They have certainly given us much love and many memories. In 2 Chronicles 14: 11 we read, “O Lord, no one but you can help the powerless against the mighty! Help us, O lord our God, for we trust in you alone. It is in your name that we have come. O Lord, you are our God; do not let mere men prevail against you!”
Tired muscles, a few bruises, some sniffles among us, but oh, what a privilege this week has been! How blessed we are to have met these children and learned their names and given them high fives and seen their joy.