Today was a most excellent day in Moldova. There are lots of people who want to blog great stories of the day, their week – their experiences on this great trip to minister to orphans in Moldova tonight. And I know I blogged yesterday and don’t wanna hog the blog (that rhymed!). But I had a wonderful surprise tonight when we worshiped with some Moldovans at a church plant in downtown Chisinau and I wanted to share the blessing with all of you.
Our friend Dorel Iseanu, the former National Director of CERI Moldova, is now pastoring full-time in Calarsi and just launched a church plant downtown in a book store across from the Stefan cel Mare statue. When we arrived at worship tonight, I was so excited to see my friend John Koon! He is a missionary with Word Made Flesh in Moldova who used to intern for us while I was on staff at Rolling Hills Community Church. I realized late last night that I hadn’t told him I was even in the country! When I saw him I was so shocked that we were in the same place! He ended up translating for our service and it was great to see him.
What really blessed me beyond words was when Ilie, Ed and Igor walked in. I was so surprised to find out that 3 of the boys who I had in Bible study every year at our camp for orphans at Chsinau’s Internat #2 orphanage from 2004-2007 attend this church plant every week! There were lots of hugs, lots of smiles and lots of great conversation from these boys who are growing into great, Godly young men.
They were so excited to see me – to tell me about the apartment they share, the English they are learning and were rushing to sit by me. But the best part of the night was worshiping together. As the worship music started, Dorel was so great to sing part of the songs’ verses in Romanian and some in English. Ed, Igor, Debra from our team and I would just weave in and out – the boys would sing Romanian; Debra and I would sing English. We’d sing Romanian; they’d sing English. We’d all sing Romanian; we’d all sing English. Hearing these friends belting out praise to God was so moving. These boys – whom I invested so much in during their jr. high years at camp – were now reading their Bibles, smiling from ear-to-ear, singing praise to God at the top of their lungs and Ed even reached over, put his arm on my shoulder, and prayed for me during the closing prayer. Hearing this young man that I’ve ministered to for so many years pray for me – even after I haven’t seen him in 3 years – was such an unexpected blessing.
Throughout the service, at different times, I, too, was grinning from ear-to-ear, in tears, and almost asleep (these late nights are catching up with me!). But I’m so thankful for this unexpected evening as I wrap up this great week of ministry in Moldova.
Thank you so much for your prayers, your support of our work and for being a voice for these sweet orphaned children in Moldova. Praying for safe travel tomorrow and while I’ve absolutely loved the chance to be in Moldova – this country I love so much – again, I’m so looking forward to seeing my amazing wife and awesome son who have been praying for me all week and are anxiously awaiting my return. 🙂