By: Leanne Horgan
I have been going to Moldova for nearly 10 years. I am a sponsor of several children there through JMI and I recently had the opportunity to go on a trip with JMI’s Executive Director. I thought it was going to be primarily a house hunting trip to find a new Transitional Living Home for vulnerable boys. But the Lord had much more in store for me. The trip ended up being one of the most personal and touching experiences with the Lord I have ever had. After a few days of looking, God led us to a house that felt like the right one. All was going well and we still had some time left in our trip, which allowed us a chance to go with the local staff as they made their monthly sponsorship visits to the villages. This was where God gave me His biggest gift and it is the real reason I believe I was there. I understand more clearly and felt more strongly than I ever have what breaks His heart and what brings Him joy.
JMI has the most committed, loving staff in Moldova. Each one is sold out to these precious children and their families – because Jesus has moved them to be. One morning, special needs children and their mothers came out in horrible weather to meet us. Sweet mommas who work day in and day out, usually alone, to take care of these children they love as much as I love my own. I saw a Moldovan woman who I thought, through my ignorant judgment, was void of emotion. But not long into our meeting she broke down in a tearful, heart-moving thank you for the gift of diapers– provided by their JMI sponsor. The Lord had only started breaking my heart.
Some children have such intense needs that our staff visits them in their homes rather than at a group meeting. One mother we visited could do nothing but take care of her severely disabled 17 year old son. His needs were so great, her life had to revolve around protecting and caring for him. It was quickly apparent to us that she was such a gentle, loving mother. Rachel, JMI’s Sponsorship Manager in the U.S, acknowledged that we saw her, and that more importantly, her Heavenly Father sees her. We prayed with and for her, which obviously meant so much. I had never understood as personally as I did then the gift God gives us by telling us that He SEES us. In the same way He saw the Samaritan woman at the well, and she felt her own worth in a new way, He sees each of us. Don’t we all want that — to be seen?
I may not be able to solve the economic issues of Moldova. I may not be able to give these children the education, security, and opportunities I had growing up. But I can go and be present. I can be His eyes to SEE and to love the ones that the Lord brings into my life. The JMI staff there are truly doing this daily in the most remote parts of Moldova. Knee deep mud and stuck vehicles will not prevent them from reaching these families.
I am still brought to tears when I think of the blessing Jesus shared with me on this trip. I hope I am never the same. For the first time, I believe I have a glimpse of what it means to have my heart broken for what breaks the Lord’s. My prayer is that we each have the eyes to see as our Savior does. I pray that I will always carry this lesson with me, and that I will live my life with my eyes wide open, to see those around me.
I am as confident as ever in the work of JMI and the staff on the ground in Moldova. They are truly the hands, feet, and EYES of Christ there. If you’d like to give the opportunity to be seen and known to a vulnerable child, I’d encourage you to become a JMI sponsor. It just may change your life too. Simply message [email protected] to join us in this important work.