Friday, July 22, 2005

We left our hearts ...

We’re home … but we have left our hearts in Moldova. A piece of each child – a smile, a hug, a tug on my sleeve, the feel of their bony little bodies when we embrace, the squeeze of their hand when we pray, their tears when they are hurt or sad – is now a part of us forever, burned into our memories and etched on our hearts. I hope and pray that they were as blessed by our presence as we were by our time with them. I know that we will relive every moment and pray for them constantly until we are with them again.

The presence of God was in every corner of the camp, every day. Others have written about our activities and many, many special moments throughout the week – there were so many that it’s hard to limit comments to a few. But several additional occurrences also made a particular impression on me during the last couple of days. First was the interest of the teachers in our worship services late in the week. I think their interest had a two-fold source, in addition of course to the Holy Spirit working on them all week. First, we had a little “recognition reception” for them on Friday afternoon to acknowledge the very important role they play in the lives of these many children every single day. Maybe this attention we focused on them made them more curious or accepting of our other activities such as worship (and maybe we will have our little reception earlier in the week next time!). More importantly, I believe that our team leader Bill Lovell’s promise on Friday morning to reveal the secret to happiness at the Friday night worship time brought 6-7 teachers to our gathering that evening. Regardless of their motivation to get within earshot, these teachers heard The Word delivered in a beautiful and moving way that night. May our prayers for their hearts to be opened to the saving grace of Jesus Christ be answered quickly, that they may be strength and light to the hundreds of children in their care each day.

Another few moments that brought me totally to tears was the Saturday night talent show by the children. Not a shy bone in some of those little bodies – they are real performers! Songs, poems, skits – each was delightful! But the most powerful and moving event occurred when a group performed a skit that was a take-off on a skit entitled “Choices” performed by some of our team members early in the week. On their own, these kids choreographed a skit wherein a helpless cripple tried to reach the open arms of Jesus but was continually surrounded and blocked by tempters wearing headbands with the Romanian word for “Evil”. The cripple made the right choice and sought Jesus, and it was a tender and awesome demonstration of the kids’ understanding of our Biblical message for the week. My tears flowed from emotion, but it was hard to be sad at the end of a wonderful week upon seeing this message from Deuteronomy brought to life in their dramatization.

We attended church at Jesus Savior on Sunday, and I am convinced that when we are greeted at the Pearly Gates one day the angels there will be singing in Romanian. The voices in the choir were nothing less than heavenly. To worship there with our sponsored children on Sunday morning was another highlight in a week full of very special moments..

I am thankful and humbled by the opportunity to have been on a mission team to carry God’s word to these beautiful children of Moldova. My prayer is that their hope and trust in Jesus will give them courage and strength to make good choices and that God’s angels will surround and protect each one of them every single day.

Blessings,
Marilyn and Joe

2 comments:

  1. They are truly, permanently etched into our hearts!

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  2. Hello Everyone,

    I just wanted to say that I miss all of yall and I know that you truly touched the kids hearts. I know because they would come up to me and tell me all about thier new freind of the day.......Or before the group would come(if they knew you from another trip)they would be sooo excited and say "I can't wait until Marilyn comes, or Bob, or whoever......Then they would want to know the exact time the plane would leave the states and the exact time it would land in Moldova and all the places in between.....
    They wanted to know what yall would be eating for dinner the night you came in and what time you'd go to the camp the next morning....All sorts of questions!! Just know that you really touch thier lives and it's precious! They enjoyed crafts and everything but they told me their favorite thing was just sitting and being with you and watching you try to speak to them in the little Romanian that you knew....They love it! There were great times and great memories that'll never be forgotten! I'm listening to Steven Curtis Chapman now and he's singing "Speechless"....WOW! great timing there, Steve! I love and miss you guys!

    ~In Christ,
    Christina, gandly land, (for Mihai) Cristinel.......

    Isn't Jen like the greatest you guys??? WOW!

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