Yesterday was a beautiful day. The weather was very hot, but we survived. In the morning we went to a small village about an hour away from Chisinau. Only about 400 people live in this small community and they are pretty much the poorest of the poor. It was jaw dropping to walk into their community. It looked like a third-world country; being out in the countryside, on dirt roads, it reminded me of being in remote places in Mexico. We met with the pastor of the local church and he told us the story of how he and his wife began their church. At the start of their ministry they endured persecution from the Orthodox church and priest. At one point they even wanted to burn down the church. Unlike other churches, this small church only has a few people that show up at the meeting times. Sometimes they don't even have anyone show up, but the minister and his wife always meet and pray for the village or visit the neighbors. While we were there we helped with food ministry. We passed out 12 different food bags to different people in the village. They all contained non-perishable food items such as: sugar, rice, flour, tea, oil, etc. All of the people welcomed us into their small, dirty homes and were very grateful for the supplies. They told us their different stories and let us pray over all of them. Several of them asked us to pray for rain for their farms. The dirt was very dry and their gardens are what provides them with their food for the year, so they were in desperate need of the rain.
After we delivered food we got to visit the art market again. Then we got to meet one of the Moldovan members of Parliament! This was such an honorable experience. When talking to the member, Valeriu Ghiletchi, we found out that he has two sons who go to Belmont! It is such a small world! We met with Valeriu in a meeting room and got to ask him all the questions we wanted to. He told us all about the Moldovan political fiasco. It was astounding to find out about the Moldovan politics and government. Moldova has currently been without a president for 2 years; it sits in the midst of a political gridlock with 46 Communist members and 54 Democratic members of Parliament. Because of this difference, the democratic members cannot vote to have a President elected because they don't have two-thirds of the Parliament vote. In the last two years Moldova has had 3 Parliamentary elections in an effort to try and change the system but to no avail. The brokenness left from the Soviet influence is devastating in this country. It was fascinating to find out about the way the history has formed the current situation. We also found out a lot about the lack of economy here in Moldova, and how the country desires to be in the EU. I loved being able to meet with him and find out more about Moldova. It was also intriguing because Valeriu is one of three evangelical members of Parliament.
After meeting with him we had the night with the Grace House girls. Last night was by far my favorite night until this point. We set up a spa for the girls complete with feet washing, manicures and pedicures, massages and face masks. At first the girls were hesitant to let us wash their feet. They felt really uncomfortable, but after some encouragement they jumped right in. It was so much fun to be able to serve them in such a unique way. By the end of the night they kept telling us about how they felt like princesses. We also got to serve Elena (Grace House psychologist and house Mom) and our cook for the week, Orica. Both of these women loved the salon treatment. As the girls finished their spa nights we had goodie bags for them to take home and we just got to sit around and talk to the girls.
It has been such a blessing to be here and celebrate God's love with these women. They have been such an encouragement and inspiration.