YoungLife Team – Day 4

Today we finished putting all of the beds into the kids’ room. It was so awesome to see the excited and grateful faces of these kids as we put brand new beds in their room. I am so blessed that I got to share with these kids a little bit about why we were building these beds for them. They seemed to put it all together and really take a heart for our message. The best thing about these kids is their attitude. These kids are orphans who have poor living conditions and wear the same clothes every single day. I never saw one frown in all of the days I have been at the orphanage. Their eagerness to help us build the beds was amazing. Anytime they could lend a helping hand, they did. It is a refreshing spirit that you just do not see a lot of in America anymore. These kids have really given me a greater appreciation for my parents and family. The other day Vasile (the smallest, cutest six year old Moldovan you have ever seen) and I were playing tag. I was running away and he tripped and scraped his knee. I went over to him to comfort him, but he refused to let me see him cry. Since they have no parents, they have been taught to show no emotion. When this happened, it really broke my heart. I thought back to when I was a six year old boy, and I put myself into his shoes. If that had happened to me when I was six and didn’t have my mommy to run to who would kiss it and make it better, I don’t know what I would have done. Vasile didn’t have that mommy to run to, he had to deal with it himself. No child should have to be so tough at such a young age. Today when we had club, we gave each of the kids a plain white t-shirt. We gave them markers and told them to write on each other. It was so awesome to get a chance to write these kids encouraging messages, and then to have them write on us. I got to write on their shirts “Jesus loves you. You are a precious Lamb of God. You are so beautiful.” There are twelve Jon’s at the orphanage, so we came up with little nicknames for each. There is one in particular that we call “Mexi Jon.” He is this big, quiet Mexican looking kid, one of the older boys. At first, he was of course too cool for the Americans, but as the week wore on, he began to play basketball with us and come to club. While we were writing on each other’s shirts, he came up to me and wrote a big long part, taking up the entire shirt. He wrote “Jesus loves you. I think that you are a best friend for all of these little kids.” This message really touched me. This kid just got exactly why we had come – to show that Jesus loves all of his children. These kids are so precious, and I don’t want to leave them. Saying goodbye tomorrow will be truly difficult because in only a few days I have made a relationship with these kids. I’ve made memories with them, and have grown to love them. It is as if they are like my own brothers and sisters, because they are my brothers and sisters in Christ. Tomorrow is not goodbye – tomorrow is see you later. I know these kids; I have felt their spirits when Jerad presented salvation to them. Even though I may never return to Moldova, I will see these kids again. I will. One day when I enter the kingdom of Heaven, I know I’ll see little Vasile giggling his head off. I will see Andrian flexing his muscles, and Jon dancing to “Live your Life.” There will be no need for translators or “I don’t understand you.” It will just be pure joy, all given because of Christ’s amazing grace. Sincerely, Cody Taylor
Hello everyone. It’s hard to find words to say when I find myself sitting here speechless. What can I say to capture the emotions of overflowing love, satisfaction, yearning, heartache, and exhaustion that I am feeling? How can I possibly convey the physical nausea I get when I realize that tomorrow is the last day we have to spend our time in the orphanage and that in two short days, we leave Moldova for good? I expected to have my heart changed on this trip to Moldova, but I was not ready for the reality and intensity of what God had in store. It just makes me laugh how I keep on trying to put God in a box and predict everything that I thought I would feel, think, and see in Moldova, and He always proves me wrong. You’d think I’d give up by now… What did I think I would feel on this trip? The word that sums it up is satisfaction I suppose. I didn’t think that I would connect with the children all that much nor desire or enjoy the hard work we would be doing each day. What have I felt now that I am here? Ha. Wow. Um….well seeing as I’m crying as I’m writing this (this being the SIXTH-yes sixth its serious- time for me to cry today!) I have felt immense emotional attachment to each and every one of the children I have come into contact with. I have loved building the beds for these children who are so selfless. Today was our last day of building the beds and some of my team and I were literally complaining that we didn’t have any more beds to build. I have felt the absolute exhaustion of waking up at 6:30 I think it is (I’m not sure- there aren’t many clocks around here-I think that’s a good thing), working a full day, and not being able to crawl into bed until around 11:00 or 12:00. I would not trade that feeling of exhaustion for anything. What if we were not tired? What if we were not drained? What if we were not put to the test or emotionally stimulated? It just wouldn’t be real, and it definitely would not be the life-changing and unique experience that this trip has been to me. I was going to write on about what I would think and see on this trip and what I actually have thought and seen here, but I can’t! For one, I just realized that my blog is already longer than some others’ were (I’m new to this whole blogging thing – I’m more blogging just to counsel myself! Haha) secondly, I am really tired, and third, I don’t think I am being a good representation of what this trip is like and how amazing it is! So let me try this again in a short paragraph and just explain a few things that I have experienced here (here we go again!): I have experienced the humility and love through the humanity of the Stepanenco family whose house my team is staying in. They each take part in providing us clean towels, hot and fresh breakfast and dinner (and homemade dessert-mmm!), and not to mention 14 beds for our team to sleep in. I have experienced the love of education through Elijah who I have conversations with daily about how to pronounce English words with an American accent and a “southern American” accent (today I taught him that in the south, rather than saying “hello” we say “hey yall!”). I have experienced this awesome concept of knowing everything you need to know through absolute silence. I can’t wait to tell you all more about this trip. I don’t want to say that I don’t want to go home, but I guess I just don’t want to leave. Thank you all for your prayers. I love you all! With so much love, Anne Elizabeth Martin]]>