We caught up with Melanie Weekly, who, along with her husband Jimmy, recently returned from a week-long trip to Moldova with JMI. They spent the week in Risipeni Village, where teamed up to lead out in the Recreation portion of camp. This was Jimmy’s second time to Moldova, an Melanie’s first.
Check out the interview below to read about their experience.
JMI: Give us a brief background as to WHY you felt called to Moldova.
Melanie: Honestly, I didn’t feel like God was calling me specifically to Moldova. I’m being honest because I’ve found a lot of people feel this way, and then don’t go on mission trips at all because they don’t feel like God is calling them to any specific place.
I went because my husband, Jimmy took the leap of faith last year,and had such an amazing experience that I had to see Moldova and its precious children for myself. No more excuses. There will always be excuses. Ignore them and go. Everything will be ok at home without you for one week.
JMI: Did you have any fears going into your time serving abroad? Were there any major obstacles that made it difficult to make the trip happen?
Melanie: Every parent has fears about leaving their children for the week. As a mother of two young kids, my mind always thinks worst case scenario. I kept telling myself 2 Timothy 1:7- God did not give me a spirit of fear. This anxiety is not from Him. I will persist and I will serve Him, not my fear.
JMI: What are some things that were different than you expected?
Melanie: Since Jimmy had been before, I honestly felt pretty prepared. I had seen pictures and heard stories of the kids so I felt ready for camp life too. What I didn’t expect was how close you would become with the kids, and your teammates. You’re with like minded people all week, that are just amazing to be around.
JMI: What was special about serving together as a couple?
Melanie: I think what was most special about serving together was getting to see Jimmy be a spiritual leader. He was in charge of leading all the kids in a salvation prayer, he did a devotional one night for our team and prayed out loud with the kids and with our team several times (something I struggle with). I was so proud of him!! Also, we experienced the sights, smells, and sounds together. Now we have someone, right in our own home, that gets how special Moldova is.
JMI: How do you foresee your week serving orphans in Moldova affecting your day-to-day life in Franklin, TN?
Melanie: I used to have an idea of how I wanted to raise my kids. Serving orphans for a week has solidified how I will raise my kids. Right now, they have no perspective on how lucky and blessed they are to have running water, electricity, toilets, food, a bed, and parents that love them. Their only worry is if they’ll get a toy on our errand run to Target. Puhhleaase. We will get them serving in the Franklin/Nashville area and when they are old enough, they will go on mission trips with us for sure!
Want to support the work in Moldova, or join a mission trip? Click here to explore donation options, and email us at [email protected] for trip information. Don’t forget to reserve your seat at the 2015 JMI Benefit Gala, on Tuesday, September 29th! Register here: https://justiceandmercy.org/gala/