Hi everyone. We’ve been experiencing some technical difficulties with the internet where we are staying, but tonight we figured out that we can borrow a cup of wireless internet from the neighbors. 🙂
What follows are the team blog posts from yesterday and today.
It’s my turn to blog, so salut! There have been some problems with the Internet connection I think, but we’ve been connecting with people just fine. Every family, translator, and orphan we get to know is so great. In fact, I’ve been having trouble wrapping my mind around how many small, yet incredible, communities there are in this world. What’s really sad is how difficult the circumstances are, and how much worse they are in most other orphanages. The place we’ve been building beds for these past 3 days was originally a sports camp. When that died out, it was adopted as an orphanage, and the facilities are said to be considerably nicer, and the yard has a soccer field and courts for basketball and volleyball. We have so much fun with the kids, but they must really be having one of the greatest weeks ever. There’s a lot of love out here, and from what I’ve heard, that’s not the way things usually are.
We finished the rest of the bed frames today. Fifty of them. Riley and I were a quality team, while William, Taylor, and Cody were “the pit crew”, which was in constant competition with the Moldovan translators’ team. Twenty eight of the beds were assembled and moved into the rooms. The tradition of talking to the kids in the room about why we have come, and what the beds mean, is incredible. The kids come into the room and we tell them we’ve had fun with them and we love them, but that the reason that we are here is because of Jesus. We tell them that the beds should be like a hug from God, a safe place, and a symbol of love. There’s a lot to say, that’s just the start, but I need to get upstairs for our meeting, and let Stuart publish this.
Ahh…so, I have FINALLY made it back to the place that stole my heart 2 summers ago!! This week has been GREAT! All of the kids are SO precious and I wish, as always, that I could bring them all back with me! The kids here just have this amazing way of touching my heart with their sweet smiles and their eyes filled with both life that is just waiting to burst out and a longing for a sign that someone loves them. These signs that they are searching for are in no way extravagant, in fact, they are things that I take for granted daily. A hug, a smile, someone’s hand to hold – this is all that they want, just to know that someone cares! In my youth group we are often told that a person needs to have at least 8 personal touches a day. These kids are lucky to get 8 a month. Take a moment to think about that…how many hugs or pats on the back do you give/receive a day? That’s not something that we ever really take the time to think about but when you do, especially from this perspective, it brings me and hopefully you to a realization of how many blessings God has put in my life! I could go on for pages and pages about all that has happened this week and the amazing things that God has revealed to me, but unfortunately time is short and for those of you who have been to Moldova know that the #1 thing to remember while here is BE FLEXIBLE! I am so excited to continue in the work that God has prepared for us the rest of this week and live out the rest of the stories that I will be able to come back and tell! (Although, I am not so excited to have to leave here so soon! Like I said, these kids have stolen my heart and I have no intention of ever giving it back. 🙂
Hey everybody! It’s 9:49 here in our wonderful villa in Moldova. This country is beautiful. For the past three days, it has been capturing my heart. I love it here!
Today we got to put twenty beds complete with mattresses, pillows, and blankets into five rooms of four. From the moment we got to the orphanage to the moment we left kids were swarming us. They were willing to do anything and everything to get those beds into their rooms. From carrying wooden planks to manhandling mattresses up stairwells, the kids’ hands were open and ready. The enthusiasm in their eyes makes me want to cry every time. My heart almost bursts. I love them.
After the beds were in the room, we got to pray for each individual who would be sleeping in the bed. I personally got to pray for two boys. They both had families, and one of the things that struck me was that these boys had stayed at the orphanage an extra week just for us. On the first day, the orphanage director said, “We have waited for you for over a year.” I don’t know exactly how that made me feel, but it was incredible. Before I came, I knew I loved these kids, but when I knew they’d waited for me and that they were anxiously awaiting this day, I knew they loved me too. Kelsey, one of our team members, said tonight, “Your love language translates.” Even though, I don’t speak the same language as Marina or Lenuta or Vitol, a simple hug, a game of Alla-Dough (a hand clap game the children taught me), or a smile means the same thing in any language. It means friend. I hope that as this week continues, Jesus becomes their friend. This is what we’ve been talking about in our Club.
Pray that we have time to grab a translator and get to talk to these kids one on one. Noapte Buna!
Hey there, It’s Riley Moore. I hope all is dandy back in good ole’ Tennessee. We certainly are having a ball over here in Europe. Moldova is a special place. In a land of sadness and brokenness, we have surely seen joy and full hearts. It is true that these children come from shattered families. They are forced to feed solely off of the attention they receive from the orphanage teachers shared by over 100 other similarly needy children.
We cannot pretend to hide the darkness that looms over the lives of these children like a yoke on an ox. But, neither can anyone pretend to deny their piercing rays of light – the light of their smiles and their laughter as they gleefully chase after Taylor Brasher or me in yet another rousing game of “locca!” or tag – the light in their voices as they shout and cheer in one of our die hard soccer matches – the light in their precious brown eyes as they resound in laughter at their torment of Jerad and Cody – the glee of their giggles with Annie Martin as she tosses aside any pride and gets just as silly and crazy as any of the young Moldovan girls she’s befriended – or the delight of our affectionately named “Popeye” or “Hercules” when William “oohs and ahhs” over the “mass” of his muscles, or humbly lets him lift him up, so Popeye may prove his manly strength.
None of these things could be dreamed of in a place as forgotten as a Moldovan orphanage without the unfailing love of God. It is a love that has been thrust on us, and only by His grace we have been blessed with the opportunity to keep it flowing to these beautiful Moldovan people. We are all Princes and Princesses of the same ruler, and it is magnificent to be able to enjoy His kingdom with them so far away from our physical home.
Please pray for understanding in the hearts of these children, that they would know that they are dearly loved by all of us, and our maker. Pray for hope and peace in their minds as they grow up in such an unfortunate setting. Pray for strength and unity among our mission team, and for the health and wisdom of all here.
Thank you and blessings,
Riley Schilling Moore