Monday, September 22, 2008

Moldova, part doi

I'll just start by saying that I have wanted to go to Moldova ever since last summer when my friend, who was the leader of the trip this time, went and came back with incredible stories of the people there. Not to mention that I feel really connected to Eastern Europe for some reason. I keep getting the chance to go to different countries (Czech Republic, Croatia, Moldova, etc.) in that area of the world and I really love it there. And I'll just go ahead and get this out of the way: yes, this trip was particularly difficult for me due to two incidences that sort of "hemmed in" my time there. The first is that, after months of praying, we found out that I was pregnant just three days before I left for the trip, creating in me all sorts of thoughts, feelings, and questions that I had never had before and allowing no time to process these things. Secondly, the "morning sickness" for this pregnancy decided to rear its ugly head on the very day we left Moldova, associating the time there with being nauseated all day every day for me. (Morning sickness, schmorning sickness.) That's why it has taken me a full two months to both process the trip and be ready to write about it, because I had to come home and process being pregnant for the first time in my life. (And thankfully leave the nausea in the first trimester.)

So, what exactly did we do there? We were primarily there to provide instruction about how to put on a summer camp and then serve as back-up during the week of that camp. For the weekend before the camp, we (me and the one other girl and three guys from the U. S.) met with the camp leaders and counselors, building relationships with them and teaching them how we "do" summer camps here. When the students came on Monday, we also tried to get to know them, attending all of the sessions they had, playing games with them during breaks, and teaching English classes in the afternoon. I probably should mention that we participated in their sessions thanks to our wonderful translators, since Moldovans speak both Romanian and Russian, and often both in the same sentence. It was a true joy to get to know some of the students. Those that knew any English at all were pretty eager to talk to us. My personal favorite was a boy named Octavian who came up to me on the first day of camp and said, "Hello. My name is Octavian. My favorite food is Coca-Cola. My favorite drink is pizza." It was fun to sit with him during the week and just teach him words because he wanted to learn. He would point to things and say them in Romanian, then we would teach him the English words.

I also had a great time getting to know the counselors at the camp. They are trully amazing people. Most of them were early college age and were trying against all odds (poverty, difficulty leaving the country, etc.) to get good educations in order to have good professions. Most of all, they showed a genuine love of the Lord in all that they did, sharing with us all that they had even though we have so much more. Despite all of the physical beauty of Moldova, the breathtaking sunflower fields, and Lord of the Rings-like cliffs and valleys, the true beauty of Moldova is the people.

It's always encouraging to me to go to another country and see the body of Christ at work actively there. Whether it's Moldova, Honduras, or even China, it continues to remind me that what God is doing in His redemption of His people is much bigger than me or even the whole scope of what I know.

He is at work and He is trully awesome.

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