Monday, July 17, 2006

I have been transported

After a 45 minute ride to Falesti we arrived for our first full day at the camp. The countryside of Moldova is so beautiful. There are huge fields of sunflowers and vineyards sometimes on both sides of the road as far as you can see. It is hard to believe that a country so rich in agriculture it so poor in so many other ways. Arriving at the camp for day 2 wasn't quite as overwhelming as yesterday. Some of the children greeted us at the front entrance of the camp because they knew to watch for us today. They are so excited when we arrive. They immediately come running and want to hold your hand and hug you. There is one little girl in particular (Mihaela) who picked me out the very first day in about two minutes and now has become my buddy for the week. She is 11 and she also has a sister at the orphanage who is 13. Whenever we have worship or any free time, she immediately appears by my side. Everyone told me before we arrived that this would happen- there is always one that becomes your friend for life. They just so long for attention, it is their opportunity to feel special to one person for at least one week out of their lives. I guess what I have been most shocked about is just the extreme conditions these children live in 24-7. There is no way to adequately explain unless you have been here and touched, seen, and smelled the atmosphere of the camp. I am in the group that works with the preschoolers (ages 3- 7). They are so adoreable. We waited for them to wake up from their naps so we could spend some time with them. When they wake up they get up, make up their beds and put on their clothes without any help - even the three year olds. They were so proud to recite rhymes and sing songs for us. Again, it is difficult to express in words what this "world" is like here. (Yes, I do feel like I have been transported to a different one!) The children are so precious and no different in their desires, loves and fears than my own children. Their smiles are contagious and they so long to be loved. God reminds me today that although these children barely have enough to survive - "even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ is for all those who believe; for there is no distinction" (Romans 3:22) To Gary, Caroline and Audrey - I love and miss you. To Mom - Happy Birthday!

10 comments:

  1. Anonymous12:47 PM

    Shelly,
    We are praying for you and the entire team each nite. We miss you, but are doing great. Try to stay dry - I hope you took enough warm clothes. Have a great time and I know you will want to bring Mihaela, your new buddy, home.

    Take lots of pics!

    Love XOXOXOXO

    Gary, Caroline and Audrey

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  2. Anonymous1:24 PM

    Shelly, It is quiet next door but I hear Tucker so he is doing well. Sydney has been praying for the mission trip. Saun is going through separation anxiety with Katlyn going off to college. She said she wished we didn't have to go through it with the girls but it sounds like you will be going through it soon with Mihaela! I met Shelly, your realtor friend, at the swim team banquet and it was like having a substitute for your calm spirit around. You are missed here but doing great things there for God. Jeff is ready to make whatever meal you want!
    -The Keeters-

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  3. Anonymous1:50 PM

    Hi Shelly,
    I read your message and it brought tears to my eyes. It's amazing how we take things for granted and forget the simple pleasures we are blessed with (love, hugs kisses, attention, etc). I'm happy you have this opportunity and know God will use you to do his work. Enjoy your trip ~ I'm praying for you. I'm heading to Nashville this afternoon to spend tomorrow with the girls so I'm looking forward to the day of fun. Love you!

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  4. Anonymous7:43 PM

    Hi,Mommy
    This is Caroline I miss You very very much and hope you are having a very good time. Bring home lots of pics especially of Mihaela. Tucker is doing pretty good. Remember to write in your journal. I am writing in a notepad about things daily that I am going to share with you. Andrea is here and Grannys behaving. I am taking lots of pitures and I found a album to put them in. I love you so much.

    *LOVE YOU LOTS : CAROLINE*

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  5. Anonymous7:46 PM

    Granny says....things are going well here and the girls are really being good. The refrigerator has been cleaned out and your 'bowl' cabinet is now organized! All the laundry is done!! We're looking forward to your return and are glad things are going well with you. Enjoy your trip.
    Love you lots,
    Mom

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  6. Larry and I read your blog..it was very interesting. It's hard to imagine how people live until you experience it. We take too much for granted. Larry said to tell you "hello" and to prepare yourself to leave there with a broken heart. More later, love you, Sue

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  7. Mom and Andrea are on their way home from Nashville. I just talked to Caroline. They've had a good time today with Andrea. I read the other blogs today and each one shares a different story. They are all so interesting. It's HOT here. I'll send more tomorrow. Love you, Sue

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  8. Anonymous2:46 PM

    Hi Shelly,
    Things are going well here. I had lots of fun yesterday with the girls and Granny. I know they miss you and will be glad when you return. Gary's being a good 'Mr. Mom'!!! The blogs are interesting...wow...how fortunate we are. I'm glad the rain has stopped and the weather is warmer in Maldova. Hang in there & I'm praying for you. Love ya~Andrea

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  9. Anonymous10:12 AM

    Hey Shelly,
    Thursday morning update - things are going fine here and we are staying on schedule. We miss you bunches and cant wait to see you on Saturday. Glad the weather has improved - it sounds as if things are going great there. I anxiously await the blog updates each day - its great to hear the stories of the impact you guys are having. We had a small birthday party for Granny before she left. Nana is in town now for the second shift and is keeping us in line. Caroline has been journaling and taking pics all week so that you will feel like you didnt miss a thing. I know that the end of the week is going to be the most difficult part for you when you have to leave - we are praying for you and the team each nite.

    Cant wait to see you on Saturday and hear all the great stories.

    Love you bunches XOXOXO

    Gary, Caroline and Audrey

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  10. Caroline9:37 PM

    *Mama*
    I hope you have gotten your notes this week - we are missing you and will be glad when you come home. We have a surprise for you. We are praying for you. Today is Thursday we went roller skating with Bella. Tucker is going through a good stage today he ate well and is roudy. We have plans for when you get home. Tomorrow we might be going to bowl with Bella tomorrow. Be sure to call us when you get back in the USA. We love you so much. See you soon.

    *LOVE* *YOU* *LOTS*:

    *CAROLINE*

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