Friday, December 05, 2008


Well, faithful readers, I guess I owe you an apology for such a long delay between postings. I ask myself why and realize that last weekend, for example, I basically didn't want to go anywhere or do anything as the nasty cold that was being passed around found its way to my house. So I made chicken soup and drank hot lemon and lots of water and tea and honey and hoped it would all go away. Being at work on Monday and Tuesday was miserable but by Wednesday I was feeling better. Thursday was a lot of nose-blowing and today, while I felt fine, I still break into coughing fits every so often. So that's my excuse for this week.

But on to more interesting topics now that I have fully played on your sympathy. For any of you who are going through the same misery with a nasty cold, you have my sympathy and I hope you are feeling better very soon. My team-mate, Butje, tells me that if you take echinacea regularly you won't catch cold. He is from Indonesia and after his first nasty confrontation with winter colds in this very different climate he discovered echinacea and he swears by it.

So the big news this week is very disappointing news. The couple from Chile who we were hoping to get into Moldova to work with us here have been denied their visa. No more chances to reapply anytime soon. No explanation or reason given - just a no. And on top of that, the Australian couple who had been here and had to leave temporarily (we thought) have also been denied the possibility of re-entry. No reason given. This was not expected at all and so now they are sitting in Romania and need to decide what other country they might like to serve in. Please pray for all these dear friends - this has been a very stressful time for them and now all their plans need to be readjusted.

And now we start the journey towards Christmas. I have noticed recently that Moldova is becoming more and more westernized. A big new mall just opened - the "Mall Dova" - if you can bear it! And in the shops there are Christmas products already for sale. Because Christmas here is celebrated on January 7 (Orthodox calendar) to see Christmas paraphernalia so soon seems a bit odd. The celebrations here are generally not nearly as materialistic as they are in the west, but I can see it moving in that direction.

I have been assigned with the task of finding a restaurant where we can go as a team for our Christmas celebration. The per/person cost is something we are trying to decrease as our team is so large now but it's not easy to find a place that is affordable. Albine and I went to a few potential venues today and were shocked at the prices some of them are asking. Our favourite and would-be choice is a lovely new place on the edge of town that fits all our requirements perfectly except for the fact that the cost per person starts at 600 lei - the equivalent of $60! I think I picked my chin up off the floor before we left the restaurant. As we drove back to the base, Albine was telling me about visiting a 'feeding the elderly' project that we have in one of the villages. As she described the condition that many of the seniors live in it was hard to reconcile their desperate reality with the amount of money that we might spend on a simple team celebration. This is one of the challenges of living in a poor country. We don't have western salaries as the American embassy employees would have but even a missionary budget is better than that of many Moldovans. A constant issue to grapple with is that of financial inequality and how we as Christians are to handle our money - wisely and generously - ; recognizing that all things come from God.


  1. Barb, I've had a cold for the last two weeks, so i completely sympathize with you! I hope you feel well soon.
    I'm so sad about the Chilean this the same couple who has been studying Romanian with Dana for the last few months? I'm sure God has an amazing plan through this, but I know this must be hard for them.
    Haha..."Mall Dova?" Seriously? Vai de mine...

  2. Anonymous6:15 p.m.

    Berwick Nova Scotia Group spokeperson Roberta sending
    an email to Barb.