Moldova Missions Trip – Day 8 – Thursday

Click the picture to see our photos from our day off in Moldova.

A Day Off

Today, we took the day off.  It was deemed that we would take the day that has the worse weather of the next three days because we need to do concrete work on the two nicest days.  That is good news since we were quite tired from the last few days of intense work.

Besides having a day off when we need it, we woke today with our water working.  Yeah, what a nice shower we had.

We started our day with the devotional time spent reflecting all the things that were done yesterday.  See yesterday’s post to see what we did on that busy day.  We had at least four different ministry opportunities yesterday.

After another great breakfast, we boarded vehicles and went to Old Orhei.  We visited several old ruins, some dating as far back as the 1300’s.  We toured an old monastery that was carved out of limestone completely underground.  Click the picture on the left so see photos of this marvel and other very interesting sites at Old Orhei.

On the way back from Old Orhei, we visited a church in Butuceni, which is one of several churches in the area that is pastored by the same man.  We met a few of the ladies from this church while working on the Orhei church, and one of them showed us around the Butuceni church.  We gave her a ride into Chisinau for a class she was taking.  We had the opportunity to share with each other, and show a lot of photos to each other.

We took a tour of downtown Chisinau.  Chisinau is the capital city of Moldova and has around a million people living there.  There is a stark contrast between the typical country Moldovan and most of those living in the city.  In my opinion, it seems like when they gained freedom from the Soviet Union, they went complete bonkers.  Most of the people wear black leather looking clothes.  The girls wear several inch high heals, with short short mini skirts or overly tight pants.  The music and media is just crazy with the stuff.  The traditional people still wear scarves, long skirts, and wool socks.  It seems that the people went from being slaves to communism to slaves of the world.  Either way, they sure need Jesus to give them true freedom.

We were brought to a small very smoky Greek restaurant for lunch and had Gyros.  They were good, but we were glad to get out and get some fresh air.  While at the restaurant, we were privelaged to meet Troy and Heidi Darren who are also missionaries in Moldova.  We had a good discussion about the problem of trafficked women in Moldova.

When lunch was done, we walked down to an area in downtown Chisinau that had an open air market.  The market consisted mostly of art and Moldova memorabilia.  We spent a couple of hours there with some members of our team wheeling and dealing with the different vendors selling their wares.  It was fun, but neither Carol nor I (John) are any good at wheeling and dealing.

At the appointed time, we gathered once again, and went to take a tour of the “House Home of Hope”.  “The House Home of Hope” is due to open up in a week or two.  Wow, it was nice!  The House Home of Hope is a long term home for trafficked women that escape from their captors.  It is hoped that this will be a safe place where they can be loved, healed, and restored.  We had the privilege of anointing and praying for the rooms in the house.  It was a powerful time in the presence of the Lord.  He loves to restore the broken and forgotten of society.  We will hear many miraculous stories from the House Home of Hope in the future.

We needed to stop by Andy and Nancy Raatz home to exchange some tools that we will need for our concrete work tomorrow.  For our evening culinary delight, we went to… “McDonald’s”.  Yes, good ole’ American junk food.  At home, McDonald’s is very near to the bottom of the list of my favorite places to eat.  Today, it was quite high on the list and it was good to eat ordinary food for a change.  We were told ahead of time that this was not like our McDonald’s at home.  While the menu is the same, (other than the beer they served) everyone dressed up to go to McDonald’s.  It is like luxury dining for the Moldovans.

After dinner we joyfully went back to the Pentecostal Union where we played a good game of cards while we wound down.  It is now past midnight and we are due for another early day tomorrow.  It was a good day, but we didn’t get much rest in it.  The fellowship and fun we had made it worth it.