by Steve Davis
How do you define a modern day miracle? Does it take crossing seas on dry land or would you settle for commanding a mountain to be cast into the sea? When it comes to miracles, most of us prefer something personal. Something that would benefit “me”. Perhaps a winning Powerball ticket. Or maybe something less materialistic. Maybe the rescue of a failing marriage, or healing from a life-threatening disease.
As we look toward several upcoming trips to Moldova this summer, I’ve been reflecting on some past experiences. Last summer, I had the privilege of living among orphans, social orphans and some of the poorest of the poor in Moldova as I have many times. Many of these shared their stories with me. Their stories are sacred accounts of wounds so deep they would rival your worst nightmares and call your most cherished beliefs about God’s love into question.
From one girl I heard about parents whose marriage and family were torn apart by alcoholism so completely she was remanded to an orphanage because she was habitually found sleeping outside her home. Another girl lost both of her parents in a car accident a few years ago and is now living with a verbally abusive aunt and physically abusive uncle.
So what constitutes a miracle for such as these? We experience miracles every year in Moldova. One of this year’s best was at the graduation ceremony we attended celebrating the successful completion of our transitional living program for 11 of our students. In addition to the usual dinner, recognition and speeches, we added a new wrinkle this year – a dance. We called it “prom” for lack of a better term. For prom night, we hired a live Moldovan band and, for two hours, we danced the traditional dances of the culture under Christmas lights and moonlight (to which we added a few country-western line dances to the mix).
The dancing was not the miracle, of course. The miracle was the total joy expressed on the faces of young people who had lost everything in life but their hope. For a few blessed hours, they were unburdened – free. Their laughter. Their smiles. Being a part of God’s larger family – the “many more fathers and mothers and sisters and brothers” promised by Jesus so long ago, now expressed in full bloom through the embrace of sponsors and our volunteers.It was a sight to behold. It was healing. It was impossibility, but nothing is impossible with our great and gracious God. A new tradition was born. I dare say that was not the only miracle. What about Americans living for a week in a now abandoned orphanage with no running water?…crying at the airport because they did not want to leave…professing their desire to come and live and minister here to children who had nothing to offer them in return, save the simplicity of their love.
Yes, we were healed too. Healed of our self-centeredness. Saved from our shallowness. Touched by God in the form of His dispossessed and impoverished children who showed us that, truly, all we really need is Jesus. In America, that is a miracle, is it not?
Would you join us in the afterglow of these miracles?
- Join a trip. Contact [email protected]
- Sponsor a child today! Contact [email protected]
- Tell a minister friend or pastor that God is doing a new thing in Moldova and to contact[email protected]to get involved as a church partner.
- Sponsor a tableat our September 19th Gala and invite your friends to join you and remind them to bring their checkbooks!…(I say that with no apology whatsoever; there is no better way to spend money than on God’s most vulnerable children)!
As awkward as I am, I have danced with the stars…REAL stars. Would you care to dance?