Today was a really rewarding day. We got to the orphanage around 9am and unpacked supplies and started staining bed rails and cutting the foam mattresses to size. I rather enjoyed climbing on tall stacks of mattresses all day! We were fortunate to have a group from the local church come to help us. Miss Maria - an older lady from the church & the ring leader - was quite helpful. She worked just as hard as any of us!
Shortly after arriving, we had the joy of watching the sweetest boys, probably around 6-8 years old, in their PE class. They loved having an audience & really had a great time chasing balls around the gym and jumping over a jump rope. I think that class has to be the highlight of their day.
A few of us also stumbled into a room with about 10 little boys -- all too handicapped to walk. They were extremely sweet. Most of their faces really lit up when we talked to them & touched them. One little boy is confined to his bed all day - either on his back or on his stomach. When I went over to see him, as I talked to him and looked in his face, he smiled and made loud noises to show he was happy. He even tried to raise up from his bed. It was the smallest action, but had the biggest impact on my day.
Later in the day, we had the exhilirating experience of playing ball with some older boys --probably 18-25. If you know me, you know I stayed away from the flying volleyballs!
When I decided to come to Moldova, I didn't really know what it would LOOK like - landscapes, city, country, culture, etc. Moldova has rolling hills and quite a few vinyards. We pass them on the way to the orphanage. Other than that, it's a rather bleak place. Dirty, dusty, bumpy, old. It just looks forgotten. Each village on the way to the orphanage has its own well and an orthodox church. Homes are old, with peeling paint and patched roofs. The orphanage is also what you'd expect. Stale, stark, hard, dark. I hope these beds really provide some warmth. The kids are VERY excited about them. Even the little ones talk about it to us -- in Romanian, of course.
God has already begun work in me through this trip. There are challenges to face and fears to overcome. There is also a great reward - which will ultimately overcome any obstacle. I can't wait to meet more sweet boys tomorrow!
Love all of you at home. Continue to pray for our time in Orhei.