Another amazing day in Moldova. There are so many things I could write about tonight. Lunch, dinner, the zoo, shopping in the world's most disorganized street market, Petrica getting car sick. But, instead of all those, I want to focus on what we did this morning.
This morning we went to Metro (sort of the Moldovan Sam's Club) and bought food for about 50 families. I don't know what all was in each bag, but I do know each bag contained a bag of macaroni and some cooking oil. We took the food to an apartment building that is occupied by deaf people and their families. In Moldova there are very few opportunities for people with any kind of disability, so these people are very poor, even by Moldovan standards. On the way there, D'Ann and I explained to Petrica why we were going there to pass out this food. We told him that we were doing it because God loves us, and a part of receiving that love is to go out and share it with others. We told him that by giving this food to these people, we would be sharing God's love with them. After we arrived at the building, we sorted all the food items into each sack and headed inside to distribute them. There are three girls from the orphanage who live in the building, so they led us around and told the people through sign language why we were giving them the food, and also helped us find out how many bags we needed to leave on each floor for those who were not home.
We were on the third floor before I had an opportunity to give my bag of food to someone. I handed the bag to a woman, and she smiled and signed "thank you" to me. I smiled back, unable to communicate anything else to her. After we had given out all the food for that floor, everyone turned to go back to the stairwell and head up to the fourth floor. I was the last one on the hall, and just as I started to go through the door, I stopped and turned back for a moment. The woman I had handed my bag to was standing there. When she saw me look back, she put her hand over her heart, looked me in the eyes, and without signing a word to me, told me how much our kindness, God's kindness meant to her. I cannot begin to express the emotion that came over me looking into that woman's eyes. I thought about what Jesus said about doing things for the least of those among us, and in that moment I was truly standing face to face with Jesus. I don't know how I managed to maintain my composure while we finished up on the fourth floor, but somehow I did.
I've thought a lot about that woman tonight. I've thought about what a perfect example this day was of what it means to be a Christian. I've thought about how much of my life has been spent doing all sorts of other things besides sharing God's love with the least among us. I've thought about how much this place has changed my life in just a few short months and two trips. I don't know how long that bag of macaroni and bottle of cooking oil will last for that woman. Not very long I imagine. But hopefully what will stay with her (and me) long after it and we are gone is that there is a God who loves all of us more than we could ever imagine or deserve.