In April Heartcry for Change’s Moldova Project Coordinators, Gill and Paul Trevor, traveled to Moldova to review the projects (including in the village of Cornesti and the girls’ homes in Riscani) and get involved in some outreach events in the city of Balti and surrounding villages. They were joined by others from the UK, notably The Dawn Kids team. Here is Gill’s report.
‘Suddenly’ is very much a God word but it is also true of spring in Moldova. On the Monday the last snow fell, all twelve inches of it, but by the time I touched down on the Thursday (29 March) there were just a few gritty, grey mounds at the side of the runway and the temperature was already climbing.
The trip started with a wonderful conference in the church in Sculeni. Gordon will remember preaching to a small congregation in a dark ground floor room about three years ago, but as we arrived the church members, plus Sharon and Bill Blyth and others, were putting the finishing touches to the new second floor meeting room, a light filled space overlooking the village. The River Conference took place over four days, focused on the life giving flow of the Holy Spirit and the River of God, and everything from the new room to the wonderful young people who led the Sunday morning service seemed to reflect ‘the new’. We prayed by the real river, The Prut, which forms the border with Romania and shared the Good News with people in the village and in an old people’s home. Wonderful relationships were built with the pastor, his wife and church family, and we had a very precious time of prayer for all the Moldovans as God spoke to the UK team about serving.
Although we had celebrated Easter the previous week in the UK, the Orthodox church has a different calendar and so we had a second Good Friday and a second Easter Sunday. We joined the church in Ungheni on Sunday morning and it was wonderful to see the new growth and freedom and then it was a real joy to be with the church family in Cornesti village. This little church is now bursting at the seams and they are looking to build a new second floor room like the Sculeni church. The children gave a wonderful presentation and new life continued as three young men gave their lives to the Lord at the end of the meeting. We all then enjoyed a barbecue on the lovely patio area behind the church (now permanently clear of rubbish!).
Next was a trip to Riscani to catch up with Charlotte and Johannes Pederson, see the girls at Pilgrim House and see the progress on the refuge. Again as we sat in the beautiful spring sun looking out at the girls’ home, the white fence, the blossom and the fresh grass and leaves it seemed that God was shouting out to us, “Behold, I make all things new”. Little by little Moldova is finding itself and is finding its unique sound. Please continue to pray.
Moving on to Balti Paul and I met up with Pastor Anatol and again heard good things about what is happening in the church but also learnt of the challenges the young people face: how do you go to university if you cannot afford to move to Chisinau (the capital) and rent an apartment and there are no part-time jobs? How do you break out of a cycle of TB where you get taken out of an unhealthy situation, get well, and then get sent back to that same unhealthy situation? Jesus has the answers; we are looking to see how we can partner with Him.
Finally, in Balti we joined Raluca at the girls’ dormitories at the church where the Dawn Kids were going to be based. The Dawn Kids are a group of young people from The King’s School, a Christian school in Harpenden in the UK. Like YWAM King’s Kids they have a heart to share their faith through dance and drama and together with four members of staff 14 youngsters aged 12-16 came to Moldova for a week.
It was a very special time. Starting at a local village school Dawn Kids played table tennis and basketball with the children before sharing their dance and drama programme, encouraging the Moldovan youngsters to join in. Later they went to Casa Helen to sing to the elderly residents. Saturday, involved two different children’s clubs and then Sunday, following a presentation in the morning service, we got ready for a big youth event. This was a great time involving all the girls from the dormitories, the local youth from the church in Balti, all the young people from Sculeni, Cornesti and Ungheni. It was an opportunity for them to worship and pray together and have fun, fellowship and pizza! It was exciting to see the relationships growing and the freedom being released.
Could this be topped? Monday was a holiday in Moldova so was more relaxed, with time to do some prayer walking in the city and teach the Moldovan girls some of the dances. Again it was lovely to see the way God joined hearts across the language barriers.
Tuesday saw Dawn Kids once more on the minibuses and off to Pelenia. Pelenia is the largest village in Moldova and the school treated us like royalty, receiving us with gifts and a welcome presentation celebrating their nation, a tour of the school and refreshments. When Dawn Kids did their presentation on the school playground the primary school joined us and over 200 children joined in singing and dancing. We are not sure who was most blessed.
The final presentation was at one of the best secondary schools in the city and there was a degree of nervousness and a realisation that the reception would not necessarily be like the day before, however, it was no less warm, Dawn Kids joined several English classes, played basketball and during their presentation God evidently touched the students particularly through the drama.There were tears on both sides as Dawn Kids bid farewell to the girls in Balti and got ready to fly back to the UK. It was an early 4am start but the young people took the bumpy ride to the airport in their stride this time and it was a remarkably hassle free passage across the border.
After such an action-packed trip it was good to have a few days in Ungheni to process all that had happened and begin to think about how we can continue to partner with the people and support all the good things that God is doing in Moldova at this time. Thank you for all your prayer and financial support.