How do I summarize everything I saw & heard & felt today?
I can’t. Not here, not now.
We toured a few of Beginning of Life’s ministries yesterday. We went to the Urban Center, BOL’s headquarters for its youth ministry & trafficking prevention programs. We listened to Vladimir explain the geopolitical history of Moldova & the rise of human trafficking in the vacuum of the collapse of the USSR. The poverty & corruption Moldova has seen since its independence in 1991 is mortifying.
We went to the House of Change & listened to Natalia explain how BOL helps young women get out of sex trafficking, rehabilitates them, & equips them for a future of safety, security, & hope. She told us about the difficulty they’ve found in healing the psychological trauma of the abuse these women have suffered. Of the blessing it is to see lives so devastated, so brutalized transformed & reshaped in time by the steady patience & compassion of their staff.
We visited Alla & her 10 girls at the Dream House. These girls are all social or biological orphans from different villages in Moldova. They were marked by government officials in their villages as girls at high risk for trafficking. So BOL moved them to a secure house in Chisinau, the capitol, where they can go to school, live with 9 other girls their age, & learn to be part of a new family together under Alla’s supervision & care. We talked with them. Jenni sang them a song. They sang Russian Christmas carols for us & showed us a traditional Moldovan dance. We showed them the Macarena.
Today, we visited schools with the Urban Center staff. We tagged along with Petr & Sergei & Sergei (& Sergei & Sergei & Sergei & Sergei) & spent time with middle school & high school students who live in a country so oppressed by poverty it leaves my heart reeling like a drunkard.
It would be easy, with all we saw & heard yesterday & today, to sink into a sense of hopelessness & futility here. Except that we have seen the light in the eyes of Vladimir, Natalia, Alla, & all the rest. A joy founded in the knowledge that our God can accomplish much with a few faithful hands & tender hearts. A satisfaction in the certainty that changing the lives of a few is the beginning of changing the lives of the many. And a courage that could weather a thousand storms, no matter how disappointing.
I am blessed to see such beauty in these people. I love them already.