On Sundays, when I can, I usually go to our local Baptist church here. Well, last weekend, I was running by the church in the evening, and a bunch of people were outside playing games. I gave them a wave, and they waved me in “Come here! come here!” So I took a little detour.
Turns out a group of American missionaries were visiting from Tulsa, Oklahoma (coincidentally the same city where I was born) to help with Vacation Bible School (the church’s week-long camp for kids) and visit some orphanages.
So we played some Moldovan games for a bit. It was great.
When I left, I told them I’d come by later this week and maybe we could all get together and do something. I mean, c’mon, how many times do Americans come to town? So I stopped by Tuesday, got to see a little bit of the camp they were doing, and we talked about doing something that weekend.
On Friday, we loaded into a van and one of the pastors drove us around Ialoveni and down to the Mileștii Mici winery, which boasts the biggest wine collection in the world. (Imagine, just a hop, skip and jump away from my town!) Then we continued through beautiful vineyards into Chișinău, where we ate dinner and strolled through one of the national parks, and down by the opera house. Driving back on the highway to Ialoveni, we all agreed to yell “America!” in unison as we drove under the bridge. It was pretty great, and I really enjoyed just goofing off with the group. It reminded me of the trips I used to take to Mexico with a nonprofit in Arizona. Miss those days.
That said, it’s always great to see how many people and groups are investing in Moldova, through so many different channels and from so many different countries. And especially the Moldovans that are working so hard to incite change in their own country. Personally, I’m thankful for this group of Americans who gave their time to come work with and just love the children here. It’s rejuvenating to watch others give their time and effort. I’m sure they would appreciate your thoughts and prayers as they wrap up this week.