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September 2009
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November 2009

I Have a To-Dream list, not a To-Do List

It is amazing how sweet the early morning can be.  It is only about 6:30 am, so I actually feel like I slept in!  Since the clock change last week, I keep waking up earlier than that, so feeling so rested today.

I slipped out of the hotel room this morning (we are all in Romania at our team retreat), walked to the hotel restaurant, and starting enjoying wi-fi and a cup of coffee.  My journal and a book are next to me. 

Early mornings are like a fresh start.  The slate is clean, the to-do list is fresh, and the mind is clear from the mental sticky notes that accumulate with every cell call and email.  I can understand Psalm 23--the still waters and the green pastures.  All is right with my soul.

One of the things I'm beginning to learn is there is never an end to the needs and to the opportunities in Moldova.  I see the girls and children at the Home of Hope and I think about the countless that we have not yet found.  I see the drunk staggering down the street and my heart wonders why he is so desperate for one more drink, whether the turn is weather will make this the last day of his life.  I see the kids in the field, spending all day watching a bunch of sheep, and wonder if they will ever have someone talk to them about God's purpose and vision for their lives.

The day slowly pulls and tugs at my peace.  The mind is continually thinking about the needs.  I have big dreams to reach the kids, the women, and the needy.  But each morning gives me a fresh start, a fresh moment to turn a new page, start a new to-dream list.  What kind of dreams is God going to give today? 

It's early morning.  God-time.  Time to dream and start it all over again.

Time Has Stood Still Once Again

DSC_3718 I don't know the actual physics of it, but these photos show you that time runs at a different stream here in Moldova.  About 2 1/2 weeks ago, we finally installed a new oven in our kitchen. The old one was running on barely one burner, thus we finally sprung for a new one.  With our house being a "hotel" hosting someone most of the time, AND with a wife that is a master chef, we decided to get a little bigger one than before.

So a friend hooked it up, got it wired in....and the glass shattered.  They had turned it on to test it, and with about 5 minutes of heat, the supposedly-tempered glass went everywhere.

We have a guarantee, right?  That should ensure a replacement quick, correct?

NO.  I have called, visited, cajoled, been irritated, argued, discussed, pressed, and pleaded for 3 weeks.  And last week I was PROMISED that the man would be out today to repair.  Today.  Today. 

DSC_3717 I assumed that meant "at this present time, before the strike of midnight."  Apparently Today can stretch into 5 days, thus the miracle of time-warping.  What I once thought was 24 hours can miraculously turn into 120 hours.

So if you are struggling with getting enough done Today, just move to Moldova and work with service support.  You'll have plenty of time!  (because that 120 hours is still growing...and the oven is still in pieces.)

Interesting People

Life is full of interesting people.  I am continually amazed at the interesting people I meet, wishing I had a few more hours or days with them to get to know them and their stories. 

_D2X0137wtmkThe photos below are of two sisters, both still living in Baraboi, a village not far from Mihaileni.  I was there with the church last week (and a team of Convoy of Hope interns).  The interns are spending a month in the area, working with the churches, doing compassion work, food distribution, and health care issues.  On this day, we were helping the church give some food care packages to about 150 people, the most needy in the area. 

_D2X0136wtmkWhile there, I spent time talking with these two sisters.  They were so thankful for the help, appreciative that the church would care for them.

We talked about life, their other sisters (still 2 more), and about Christ.  Yet I walked away with questions.

What has their life been like?
What are their greatest memories?  Had they ever been married?  Kids? 
What was life like here 50 years ago?  Where they ever afraid of the "evil" Americans, like Americans were afraid of the "evil" Russians?

Did she ever hear much about Jesus during her life?  Has life been good or hard?

Perhaps I'm just curious, but I'm intrigued by people.  Their faces speak volumes to me, questions that remain unanswered. 

And if their stories are interesting to God, they are interesting to me.  After all, they are His children too.


The Natashas

If you have ever read much about the issue of trafficking in Eastern Europe, one the recommended books to read is The Natashas.  It is a descriptive book written by a Canadian journalist, and though slightly dated already, is very compelling.  I believe the accuracy is pretty good, even though the issue is rather sensational.  Of course, it is hard NOT be be sensational with the issue if you really share the stories of what happened.

The reason for the title is that there are SO many women who have been trafficked from the former Soviet Union that "Natasha" had become a slang word for prostitute.  (Natasha is one of the most common Russian women's names).  When the USSR collapsed, the door opened for the wolves to attack this area, recruiting and deceiving countless women.

But as a I lay in bed the other night, I was thinking about what has happened since that book was published.  All I could think was, "Who is doing anything to reach the Natashas?"  People's hearts are moved, they are sad, but is anyone really doing anything?  I know we finally have the Home of Hope Moldova running, but that is just a start.  Is there ever going to be anyone else willing to commit to doing more homes, more DEEP work in Eurasia? 

I know this area of the world doesn't have the "cool" cultural stuff like other areas of the world, but it is just as important to God.  We don't have "color," or "dance" or even notoriety.  (I still have people wonder if Moldova is in Africa).  Our area is hard to work in, difficult to get living permits, and without any on the 10 wonders of the world. 

The Natashas are still here, still need help, and still need the Church to make a commitment to DO something.  SO many people are asking "what can I do?"  We just need more people to start doing something, to dive into the deep end and start work, even if they don't feel like they are capable or have the resources.

I pray that The Natashas becomes a book that is so outdated that we can now toss it aside.  Until then, I guess we keep working...and praying for more people to join the team.

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