Friday, August 31, 2007

E-mail problems

Hello friends. It seems that I have been having some trouble sending and receiving e-mail. If you have tried to send me e-mail recently and have had no response, please try using my gmail address: or even posting a comment here on my blog. That might be the best idea. I would like to get a sense of how widespread this problem is. The other best way to get hold of me is on Yahoo messenger or on Skype. You can also find me on Facebook. In fact, I am all over the place. :-) Hope to hear from you soon!!

Saturday, August 25, 2007


This week Moldova has been hot. So hot. In the high 30's most of the time. I dare not complain as I am one of the very few people I know who has air conditioning at home. God has been very gracious to me. But I have also been reminded of how easy I usually have it because this week my car has been out of commission. We finally determined that I simply had a lemon battery and today I bought a new one and am trusting all will be well now. But all week I have had to travel like most Moldovans travel - by public transport: bus, rutiera, and 'pe jos' (on foot). By 8 in the morning the temperature was already so high that I was sweating buckets by the time my roommates and I walked the 3 blocks to the bus stop. Then you get on a bus, or a mini-bus if you miss your bus, and either way you are jammed like sardines in a vehicle with little or no air circulation. Personal space is non-existent.

On the way to the bus stop I observe the many people who make their living as vendors of whatever they have to sell: fruits & vegetables, sunflower seeds, watermelons, various sundries from cigarettes (which can be bought individually) to pens to chocolate bars, phone cards, newspapers. From early in the morning they set up their little spot wherever - hopefully in the shade - and hope by the end of the day they won't have quite so much to pack in their bag to carry home on the rutiera or bus. Some people have space in small stores or warehouses where they can leave their wares at night but others just load up a bag or bucket, or truck if they are lucky, each morning and transport it into the city. In the supermarkets and grocery stores you can't find much in the way of fruits and vegetables because people just don't buy them there. It's much cheaper and fresher to buy them in the 'piata' (market).

Today my car is working again. It was such a blessing to be able to drive to the grocery store and carry home my supplies in my car, rather than walking through the horrendous heat to the nearby market and buy only what I could carry back to my apartment. I think the Lord knows that I need to be reminded from time to time that I really do have it easy compared to the majority of people here in Moldova. Not only that, he blessed me with friends and team-mates to help me when I do have car problems. My 'adopted' son Lilian came to my rescue in all the dealings with my car and its battery this week. Next week Lilian leaves for England for four months to take a training course there. I will miss him a lot.

But in spite of the heat and the car problems, I realize that I am very blessed. And so I give humble thanks to the Lord for all He has done for me. May I have opportunity to share the blessings I have received. As the apostle Paul said, "You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion..." (2 Corinthians 9:11)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Causes for Rejoicing

Well, first of all, we are excited that our Brazilian friends have returned from furlough, but I don't have any photos of them recently.

Secondly, we were delighted recently at the return of our dear team member Butje, who went home to Indonesia on vacation, taking his fiancee and came back with his wife. They eloped! Well, actually, their parents probably knew ahead of time so maybe
it wasn't eloping in the strict sense. Anyway, I had a nice visit with them when I had them over for supper while everyone else was still away on outreach. They shared their wedding photos with me so I am posting one of theirs and a photo of them at my place that evening. So this is the second cross-cultural marriage on our team this year. First American Silas married Romanian Mihaela and now Indonesian Butje has married Moldovan Liuba. I had hoped to match Liuba up with my son, but Butje was just too fast! :-) Anyway, congratulations, dear friends!

Third cause for rejoicing is that my dear friend Jurek finally came for a visit, even though it was way too brief.

Mission Moldova

For the last two weeks there have been about 80 foreigners working with us doing short-term outreaches throughout the villages of Moldova. Some of them built a playground and invited the local children to come to a day camp to learn about Jesus. Some of them served the missionaries living in the tiny village of Paicu by improving their living conditions. Often our summer missionaries complain about not being able to have a shower while they are in the villages (no running water, you understand). This group took the matter into their own hands and built a shower for the girls who are serving there year-round! Some of the summer missionaries went to hospitals for children and presented a program, while others visited the elderly in a community and offered assistance with practical needs. Other young people ran a sports ministry, playing soccer with local youth and then sharing about the One who can help us to be victorious in all areas of life. The stories and presentations we heard and saw yesterday were a rich feast of the blessing of God in a country that needs the hope and help of the Gospel. It was exciting to hear the young people speak of the inspirational people they had met in their outreaches - pastors dedicated to the spread of the gospel and the growth of the church, church members of a tiny church doing everything within their power, while calling on God's, to transform their community into a place of hope and blessing. Sometimes you wonder what a 2-week mission can accomplish but when you hear these stories and see the faces of children who are being touched with the love of Christ, and when you understand that the lives of these young people who have come are probably changed forever because of these two weeks, it is a cause for rejoicing.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Visitor from Home

Shortly after I returned to Moldova, my good friend Kathy arrived for a visit. I had just recovered from jet lag when she arrived and subsequently did the same. When in Canada, Kathy and her husband Vern had let me and Marah and Alejandro stay in their house and take care of their van while they were on vacation. They have blessed me in many ways this summer.
So Kathy and I had some interesting times and she got to discover some of the adventure that is life in Moldova. Monday morning she found out about what happens when your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere and there is no CAA to call. Another day she had opportunity to visit one of our day centre projects. On Thursday she and I both had an eye-opening experience when we visited a home for handicapped adults in the north of Moldova, far from any prying eyes. What an assortment of people, challenges and illnesses, and various qualities of facilities within the institution. To our Canadian eyes it was like something out of a 50's movie - do such places really still exist in our modern world? Yes, they do. Unfortunately we have no photos right now as Kathy forgot her camera at the home of a woman we visited and my camera had an unplanned baptism in cola that day, leaving it reluctant to function at all. Other aspects of Kathy's experience included driving in Moldova, celebrating birthdays, shopping in Moldova, meeting the team Barb works with, eating out in Moldova, waiting for Barb to finish her meetings, and only a very slight minimal amount of sight-seeing in Moldova. Whatever else it was, it was a wonderful encouragement for me to have Kathy visit and learn about my life here and some of the needs of this country. Thanks for coming, my friend. Enjoy the rest of your trip!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

World Missions Training Centre

Before my vacation... .... and when I returned!
Thankfully, many things are nearing completion in our training centre. Before I left our prayer for water service had been answered and just this week our electricity has finally been connected. We have been praying for these things for months and months and I know some of you have been as well. Thanks for your prayers. Keep praying for the gas hook-up - it seems nigh impossible but I pray my office and our conference rooms will be heated come November and December. It's wonderful to have this lovely facility ready to use as we have almost 100 foreigners joining us this week for our summer outreach campaign. After two days of orientation in our new building, 9 different teams will be sent out to various parts of Moldova to work in conjunction with the churches in the villages there. Please pray for all the projects that will be undertaken, the children's camps that will be conducted, and the lives that will be affected. We know that God is at work here and we are watching expectantly to see what the Holy Spirit will do in these weeks.