Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Canadians

They're here! Finally a whole team of Canadians have come to help us in our work here. This group has come from my home province of Nova Scotia and are spending a week in mission in MD before heading off to the Baptist World Youth Congress in Leipzig, Germany. It's wonderful to have them here. Yesterday we went to stay in a small village in the north of Moldova where our host pastor is serving the young church plant there. Here you can see Rob, leader of the team, teaching the children how to sing 'Head&Shoulders, Knees and Toes". That's Viorel on the right, who is translating for our team. As well as learning some Moldova phrases, the team is working hard to learn some Moldovan songs which they can then teach to the children. They did very well today with "Isus iubeste pe fiecare". The women of the church are feeding our Canadian young people very well and nobody is complaining about the food - it's all so good! It's a good thing, as they need lots of energy to keep up with the kids they are working with. All afternoon Tuesday the group played football with the village children who had come to the program. The village they are in is very beautiful and all is green and luscious-looking. The church itself is absolutely lovely and as well as a place for the children's program, it also provides a place for the team to stay - and an indoor bathrooom and hot showers as well!!

Here's our Canadian team along with the children who showed up on the first day. They're standing in front of the lovely church where they are staying. Please keep this group and the children whose lives they are touching, in your prayers.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Celebrity Status!?

The strangest thing happened in church this morning. I heard English being spoken and I turned around to see which southern state our guest was from. (We have a lot of American visitors in the summer from Southern Baptist churches which partner with churches in Moldova.) As I was chatting with a very sweet young lady named Lindsey, a man a few seats over looked at me, leaned across and said, 'Your name's Barb, isn't it?' I was a bit surprised but thought maybe I had met him at a missionary gathering or something. As we shook hands and he introduced himself he said, "I recognize you from your blog. I read your blog!" He then went on to laughingly suggest that I'm famous now, and I laughed too, sort of.

I suppose when complete strangers recognize your face from some public forum, that could constitute celebrity status. It's actually been pretty cool to have met several people, both online and in person, who know of me through my blog. It's a bit disarming, too... I always stop to think "what have I written and is it all stuff that I really want to share with complete strangers?" The thought has occurred a few times to restrict access to my blog but then I think, no, I'm not pouring out my guts here, just sharing some of the realities of life in Moldova and some of my own personal journey and experiences. Several people have found my blog because they were looking for information about Moldova. And many people have commented that the number of pictures that I post really makes it interesting. So I continue to seek to please my public. :-) But more than I want to please my public, I want to please my God. Therefore, I want to tell you more about God's work in my life. He's done some pretty amazing things and after all, this blog isn't about making me famous. As one short-term missionary put it, 'I want to make Jesus famous.' So if writing this blog can help to make Jesus famous so that people see him and recognize him for who He is, and want to get to know Him - I have done what I ultimately and truly want to do.

This morning in church there were some other people who were making Jesus famous. Six new believers were baptized by immersion. Before they were baptized they each stood up and gave a word of testimony, sharing how they learned about Jesus, repented of their sins, and how Jesus Christ has changed their lives by offering them forgiveness of sins and eternal life. Living your days without feeling guilty all the time and without being afraid of death... that can only be a good thing, don't you think? If you want to know more about Jesus, please feel free to make a comment or to e-mail me directly at I'd love to introduce you to my best Friend, my Saviour and my Lord. He is the One you want to know.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Missionary Life

So, you may ask, what do missionaries actually do? Let me show you:
They leap over walls in a single bound. "...and by my God do I leap over a wall." Psalm 18:29

They feed the multitudes.

"Then Jesus broke the loaves in pieces and kept giving them to the disciples to pass on to the crowd.
All of them ate and were filled." Luke 9:16,17

They ensure that there is fuel in the tank to keep the vehicles running.

"...and then you can help me to continue my trip,..."
I Corinthians 16:6

Where life is empty and colourless, they bring the colour and joy of God's love.

'I said, "I am falling"; but your constant love, O LORD, held me up.
Whenever I am anxious and worried, you comfort me and make me glad.' Psalm 94:18,19

And as they enjoy close fellowship, they are always learning more and more to love one another.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! Psalm 133:1

This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you. John 15:12

After a week and a half of working with children and youth in the hot summer sun, missionaries are glad for a break. They appreciate Jesus' words to his disciples.
He said to them, "Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest for a while." For so many people were coming and going that they didn't even have time to eat. Mark 6:35

Missionaries go out to the streets and fields to invite people in. Some are happy to come to hear good news and others, though welcomed gladly, choose to watch from afar.
Then the master told the servant, 'Go out into the streets and the lanes and make the people come in, so that my house may be full. '
- Luke 14:23

They are always encouraging people to reach up and find God.

From one man he made every nation of humanity to live all over the earth,... so that they might look for God, somehow reach for him, and find him. Of course, he is never far from any one of us. Acts 17:26,27

Missionaries bring new life into the Kingdom!

Jesus replied to him, "Truly, truly I tell you, unless a person is born from above he cannot see the kingdom of God." John 3:3

Where there is an emptiness, the missionary will help people to see that the shape of that empty place is the shape of the cross.

Through the Son, then, God decided to bring the whole universe back to himself. God made peace through his Son's blood on the cross and so brought back to himself all things, both on earth and in heaven. Colossians 1:20

And we watch and wait for the day when Jesus will come again in the clouds and in glory...

Then the Son of Man will appear, coming in the clouds with great power and glory. Mark 13:26