Wednesday, August 19, 2015

First Day of School

T successfully passed his entrance exams and is preparing to leave home in a couple of weeks to attend school.  He will move a couple of hours away from his family to begin his studies as a healthcare worker.  To help him gather everything needed, we took a trip to a nearby town so he could get photos made for his identification card that will be his pass to the dormitory.  As we were getting ready to head back to the village, I asked if there was anything else he needed to get ready to move.

"I do not have a suitcase." he said after carefully thinking through the long list of things he needs to bring.

It never occurred to me that among his limited possessions, that he would not have a single bag - a backpack or satchel or gym bag - he could use.  Of course we stopped into a store and picked him up a new travel bag.
Image result for back to school photo
T moves into the dorm on 1 September and school begins on the 2nd.  Dianne and I talked about how we both felt a little anxious and also a sense of pride that we were able to assist T.  Thanks to the financial support of faithful donors, we are able to provide T with a scholarship that will pay for his room and board as well as travel expenses.  We will also buy shoes, clothes, and toiletries to go along with that suitcase.

When we were having lunch, T and I spoke about how miserably I fail at taking pictures of the things we do so that other people can see for themselves.  He smiled and said he understood.  Perhaps then he will understand when I ask to take his "first day of school" photo in a couple of weeks.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Miracles through Different Means

We saw Lena* for the first time in several years on Sunday at the conclusion of the Children's Program in a Roma village in Moldova.
I gave her one of the little booklets of Peter & John healing a lame man. She looked at the cover, where we had printed the title in Ursari and Romanian. She puzzled over the words and turned behind her to ask Silvica about the meaning.
"A Beggar Is Changed," she repeated, rereading the words for herself. Then she turned to me with a 800 watt smile and said, "That's me."

Lena* was born with some eye problems. It used to be easy to see that one eye did not function properly. I learned more about this later in the week when Lena and her husband invited the entire team over for supper. While we were eating, she asked me whether Dennis was still alive. I didn’t know who she was referring to. He is an American, she explained, and he had cancer in one eye and always wore a patch over it. Eye problems are very close to Lena’s heart. Even when she was just one years old, one of her eyes was very sensitive to light. Often, she couldn’t really open that eye or stand to go outside. The light hurt her.

Nine years ago she told us, when Ion Matveev was pastor, he wrote several Christians he knew (including Dennis and Keith) about the possibility of Lena getting an eye operation at a hospital in Odessa, Ukraine. Altogether, they contributed the $2-3,000 needed for her passport to Odessa and her operation there. Her eyes were completely healed.
Luba thanked us all. 
“God takes care of us in a big way,” she said with that big smile of hers. Both eyes beamed.

*Name changed to protect her privacy.
P.S. It turns out that Dennis is connected with For God’s Children International, the foundation which supports a home for foster children in Nisporeni. And social media search showed that yes, Dennis is still alive.