After sitting out most of 2012 on the Missions disabled list, I have been eager to get back to Moldova.  Traveling with one volunteer team after another, I have the opportunity to interpret the country and culture for people who have heard but not seen, including all the things that God is doing here.  I also get to eavesdrop on conversations those volunteers have with the variety of people they encounter in our coming and going. 

A guy named Adam from North Carolina shared a conversation he had with an English-speaking Moldovan woman sitting next to him on our flight from Munich on Wednesday.  According to Adam, this lady was inquisitive about all the Americans on the flight and why we were going to Moldova.  Her supposition was that the only reason foreigners came to her country was to take part in sexual tourism.  She told him that once they had been there, they would never return again.  “There are only two things you need to be able to learn to say in my language,” she said:  “Help!” and “how do I get out of here?”

That conversation reminded me of another that my friend, Jason Cruise, had in the Chisinau airport last year.  As we stood in line to board the shuttle to our plane, a German struck up a conversation about what we had been doing in Moldova.  When told we were there to help orphans and prevent human trafficking, he suggested we were wasting our time; that the problems were simply too great to make a difference.  To that, Jason pulled out his phone, dialed up a picture of one of the young ladies he sponsors, and responded, “It makes a difference for this one!”

On another occasion Jason met a foreign traveler in Germany who, when apprised of our destination, commented, “Moldova…it is the forgotten country of Eastern Europe.”

These random encounters mirror the attitude I picked up on from speaking on human trafficking at a high school assembly in the city of Balti a few weeks ago.  I asked the crowd of about 200 students how many planned to leave Moldova after they finished school.  About 95% of them raised their hands.

Nazareth was the Moldova of Jesus’ day.  It was said that nothing good could come from Nazareth.  But for those who came to know him, a man named Jesus reversed that proverb.

There are two girls I know who are living in an orphanage in Chisinau and who recently made decisions to follow Christ and be baptized.  Those decisions have driven a wedge of hostility and rejection between them and their families.  But they hold fast to their faith and are a part of an increasing number of children – amazing children with phenomenal stories – whom God is raising up in this forgotten, ravished, inconsequential country.

We follow the One who sees what the world cannot.  If the world and even the Moldovans themselves can find no good use for this place, I pray that our presence speaks boldly to the contrary.  Moldova is a field of buried treasure with faces.  If you want to find your own pearl of great price, sponsor a child today at https://justiceandmercy.org/sponsor

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