Since I was a little girl, I dreamed of having a big family, but that did not happen. At least until I got connected with JMI.
But that is a long story! Steve Davis (or Papa Steve, as everyone calls him) started bringing American teams to Moldova, and I helped as a translator with these teams. The first couple of visits to Falesti orphanage broke my heart. It was hard to see the children who had necessities, but no love. I could not understand how it felt because I was the only child in my family, and my grandmother also gave me all her love, but I could imagine how much it hurt. I still remember some of them even now: small, scared, and dirty; And my heart remained with these children. Forever. Steve offered me a part-time job, and I started visiting the orphanage regularly. But I did not come to bring letters or gifts. I went to spend time with them, to talk to them, to ask how they were doing. If I ask myself who gave more during these visits or who received more, the answer is always clear to me: I received more love and attention from them.
When Steve offered me the position of the National Director, I was scared. I did not know what to expect and if I was equipped. But I think these are the doubts and the fears that all those called to ministry go through. My husband Vlad supported me and accompanied me everywhere in the first couple of years of the ministry.
In Chisinau, I met the first generation of Transitional Living kids, and I fell in love again. Selecting new TL kids for the next school year was not easy, but with a lot of prayers, we did it. These kids were not easy to deal with, a lot of them had been through trauma, but the amount of love they offered was immense. It has always been such a joy and blessing to see them grow, their lives transformed, and to see them come to Christ.
Being a part of such a great ministry is very humbling. I realize nothing can happen without God – His guidance, direction, and help. I always remind myself that this is His ministry and His children that He temporarily entrusted to me.
During my tenure as National Director, the Lord has grown the ministry. We now have 25 people on staff and nearly 700 children sponsored in villages. We also have four transitional living homes, social apartments, and a non-residential program. Every minute in this ministry is a blessing. When it is hard, it is a blessing. It teaches me a lesson, even when I cry, it is an excellent lesson.
Every person working for this ministry and every child is essential. We are one big family, and it is MY family. When people ask me about my family, it is hard to answer and not to look crazy in their eyes. I thank the Lord every day for the big family He gave me – the boys and girls, my brothers and sisters – in Moldova and other countries.
Be careful when you pray, they say, because one day your desires become a reality.