Moldova: Victory in Vulnerability
5.30.2013
by Allie Bergeron, Sophomore

The uncertainty with which most people guess where Moldova is (Africa? South America?) is pretty much what I felt boarding the plane on May 9. Although we had been having team meetings for months, I really didn’t feel as if I knew my team or exactly what the trip was going to look like. This all girls team left Nashville as primarily 10 strangers, but we returned home 12 days later as something much closer to sisters. That is not to say my fears were for all for naught. God blessed our team with unity and even the ability to enjoy one another’s company, but other parts of the trip were just plain hard.

Moldova is a small country in Eastern Europe tucked between the Ukraine and Romania. Since the Soviet Union dissolved and Moldova became an independent country less than 20 years ago, this relatively new nation has been challenged economically, socially and politically. The poorest country in Eastern Europe, Moldova is unfortunately known to be the most highly human trafficked country in this part of the world. Despite these struggles, thanks to ministries such as our host partner, Franklin-based Justice and Mercy International (JMI), there are people who care enough to provide hope to this beautiful nation.

During our trip, we were exposed to poverty, to affliction, to an incredible amount of orphans and to human trafficking. Although we couldn’t offer solutions to these problems, we did have the amazing opportunity to aid these children through knowledge, art, food, smiles, hugs and the powerful tool of prayer. In the schools we were able to talk about trafficking and offer some prevention ideas. Our team’s talented art therapy student led several exercises that allowed the kids to express their feelings without words. While, at times, frustrated with an inability to communicate, the power of God’s love helped us overcome our lack of language.

I was so amazed by Moldova. There is something special about these people who were so genuine, honest and open, yet who were always willing to listen to our story or tell their own. Truthfully,  I’m not so sure what our team’s impact was. On past missions trips I have been so blessed to see the fruits of my labor, however, I’m learning that's not what God calls us to look for. I’m not sure what exactly I was expecting when I stepped off the plane onto Moldovan soil. Maybe I expected that we’d see some instant conversions. Maybe I expected that I’d be able to take down the Moldovan Mafia and rescue women from prostitution. Obviously, that didn't happen, but I think it’s okay for me “not to know” when and how we were used. I am learning more to trust that God will take every single one of our actions, our words and our smiles that was made in Moldova and turn it for His good and His glory.

Our team was blessed to be a part of this tiny chapter. We could not have done any of it without the wonderful opportunity that the Lipscomb community has offered us to serve and partner with ministries such as JMI. We could not have done it without our supportive and encouraging friends and family. Finally, we could not have done it without the green light from God.

Even though we have left beautiful Moldova, I ask that your prayers continue to pour over this country and its people. To learn more about the ministry of Justice and Mercy International, visit their website at http://justiceandmercy.org


 

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