Bună seara from Moldova!! This blog post comes to you straight from the couch at Grace House. We’ve just closed out on our first day in Moldova and what a doozy that first day has been! We haven’t stopped going-going-going since meeting at the Nashville airport yesterday morning. Though there was a delay with our flight out of Dulles, and a resulting sprint across the Munich airport, we all arrived on time and safe in Moldova Sunday morning (minus 26 of our checked bags! We are hopeful those will arrive tonight around midnight and a big THANK YOU goes out to the guys who are heading out tonight to retrieve the luggage so we will have all our supplies for the first day of camp tomorrow!)
After a delicious lunch at Andy’s Pizza (mayonnaise and corn pizza! seriously!) and a short walk through the art market downtown — we all headed to Grace House. As someone who has worked stateside with JMI for several years — it was such a wonderful thing to finally see Grace House live and in person and to meet Alina Magdaliuc (JMI’s national director for the Moldova programs).
After a DELICIOUS – Gustos! – dinner provided by Victor and Valentina — the girls and I all headed down to have a short devotional/get-to-know you time with the Grace House girls and Elena Vasilachi (the in-house psychologist). It turned out to be a wonderful time of reflection for all of us — as Ingrid led a discussion on what it’s like to be a woman — and how God made each one of us as a unique and beautiful woman. One of the Grace House girls read the scripture below from Psalms — about God knitting us together in our mother’s womb. That we are each wonderfully and remarkably made.
Psalm 139:13-16 (HCSB)
13 For it was You who created my inward parts; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise You because I have been remarkably and wonderfully made. Your works are wonderful, and I know this very well. 15 My bones were not hidden from You when I was made in secret, when I was formed in the depths of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw me when I was formless; all my days were written in Your book and planned before a single one of them began.
As she read the scripture — the sweetest smile filled her face. She said that verse made her feel unique and important. You could tell how much it meant to her that GOD thinks she is unique. Wonderfully made. Beautiful.
Then Ingrid asked each girl to name three things that made them beautiful. It could be something internal or external. How quickly it became obvious that this is something ALL girls struggle with… feeling beautiful. It’s so much easier for us to tell someone else positive things about themselves…. than see beautiful things in ourselves. So many times we depend on other’s for our perception of our own beauty. Eventually we did go around the room, and each girl shared three things. We are compassionate. We are friendly. We are giving. We have beautiful brown eyes. We love our unique freckled skin. We are good moms. We love our desire to serve and do ministry. We have beautiful smiles. Some of the things shared showed how much we as women feel beautiful because of our relationships with others… and some struggle with the physical representation of beauty. (Ingrid also read a passage from the book Captivating — which spoke of woman’s innate desire to feel beautiful.)
I was amazed at how quickly we were able to connect with the girls and each other in this time together — and it was purely because we all let our own guards down and were vulnerable with one another about how we see ourselves. And how we, as girls, need to build one another up and encourage each other to OWN their beauty and say – yes – I AM BEAUTIFUL, inside and out, because God knit me together and everything HE has made is beautifully and wonderfully made.
Prayers and Preparations
I can’t wait to spend the rest of this week getting to know the Grace House girls — and tommorow meeting all the girls in my Bible Study group. It promises to be a week full of God doing amazing things in all our hearts.
Please pray for all the children we’ll be working with this week — that their hearts would be open to what God has in store for them this week. And pray for our team — that we wouldn’t hold anything back. That we won’t pass up a single opportunity to show His love to these children. Pray that we would all be PRESENT in each moment — not be worrying about the schedule, the next days plans, or anything other than just being HERE. That’s what we’ve been called to do this week — be HERE and be HIS.
‘Til tomorrow … this is Lacy signing off and going to get some sleep :)