Friday, July 18, 2008

Sharing the Burden - Leona

On April 17, 2008, eleven of us boarded the plane to travel to Chisinau, Moldova! We were a team assembled to minister alongside of the pastors and people of Bethany Baptist Church. It was amazing to see how this group had come together – eight from Seattle, one from Bellingham, and two from Chicago. Our ages ranged from 47-82 and we were on a mission to minister to the older people whose needs had gripped our hearts.

I was excited to see how God was going to use us. I knew that the elderly in Moldova would feel loved and valued by this team. I also knew that the individuals traveling with us would never be the same. I had no idea what would become of this, but I knew it was the beginning of something revolutionary!

We took money, soup mix, new clothes, books and tons of art supplies. We wanted to share life and color in this gray land. We had the privilege of feeding old people, holding hands with infirmed, playing with street children, sharing communion with former communists, and best of all, listening to the stories of grace and survival.

We have returned determined to continue developing a relationship with these incredible people. Residents at two different retirement communities (Seattle and Chicago) are raising funds to help supply food for the hot lunch program. Our team members are sharing the story of their experiences. A small group is praying for direction for next steps.

We are looking at the calendar to see when we can go again.

Meanwhile the situation in Moldova is only growing worse for the elderly. News reports from June 17 indicate a growing desperation and hopelessness.
We must not quit.

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