Wednesday, October 8, 2014

As I sit here trying to reflect on the last week to share with brain is a blur. So many moments occurred this week that took my breath, brought a smile, or broke my heart. I think this Monday stands out the most for me, though. We took our guests to Straseni (sounds like Strah shane) orphanage. This complex once "cared for" over 300 children. Now, there are over 100 there. Many of our girls and guys came from this orphanage. Some of the most precious people in my life grew up here and Monday was my first time to visit. I had heard about it-but seeing it first hand was so different.
Several of our girls from our house went with us to Straseni.  These girls are family to us. All three of these girls had grown up there. 
We entered through the gates and I was overwhelmed with how much this place reminded me of something out of a scary novel. There was no life there, just concrete buildings surrounded by trees that seemed to mourn the fact that they were there. Everything seemed concrete and gray...but then we stepped off the bus and were swarmed by this humming buzzing packs of kids who wanted to see the Strainii (foreigners). The group of about 40 kids that surrounded us consisted of children mostly 9-13. They were timid and yet curious all at the same time. They were longing for interactions with others but not quite sure how to approach us. Brian instantly made friends with a little chap named Vasille. His choclatey brown eyes lit up when Brian started using his Romanian skills to speak with him. Several kids came up and as we asked them (in Romanian) "what is your name?" They got creative:) Would you believe that Michael Jackson, Spiderman, Superman, IronMan, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Messi (futbol players) all live at Straseni? 
After spending some time just visiting and talking with the kids outside, we stepped into the halls of the Straseni Orphanage School. My sweet, strong Liuba lead us on a tour. It was the saddest school I have ever been in and I was struggling to reconcile how that energetic group from outside was the same group that filled these cold classrooms. We walked from room to room and spoke to the children. The teachers rarely smiled at us or the students. When we walked into one of the classrooms, an 'afternoon" teacher walked through us and one of our girls visibily shrunk in size as this woman passed by. The girl's eyes went cloudy. She whispered to one of us that this teacher used to beat her regularly. Guys, it is probably good that I was not made privvy to that until after we left that woman's room-I was ready to take off my jewelry and take it to the mats with that woman. I was filled with a righteous anger ,guys.
We continued on through the school and entered more classrooms.  One of the girls then wanted to show us the library.  This girl is so dear to my heart and she loves to read just as much as I do.  We went into the library and she lit up and spoke with the librarian who had been there for a long time.  She then told us that she had spent so much time in there.  I am sure it was a haven for her.  The girls joked that she had read every book there.  I said a prayer of thanksgiving to God for that library and that librarian.  I thanked Him for letting me see a place of sanctuary in the cold and drafty building.
We then toured the buildings where the younger children (ages three to five) went to school and lived.  My heart broke thinking of three year olds living there without a momma to hold them.  I was so over whelmed thinking about my girls (because these girls are our family) being there in that place for most of their lives.  My dear sweet spunky girls.  I held back the tears and I stepped outside away from the group and I prayed that God would rain down His love and His spirit on that place in such a mighty and palpable way.  I thanked Him for bringing our dear girls and guys through this place and for using it to make them stronger in Him.  I thanked Him for allowing me to see it and for breaking my heart...and burning His holy fire in me.  I should tell you about the conditions in the bathrooms and kitchen.  But, I won't.  It would make your stomach turn.  Its so unbelievable some of the things that exist in this world...that we don't realize.  So many children live in conditions like this or worse.  They are pushed aside, forgotten, and liven in subhuman situations.  I want you to feel a righteous anger for the disenfranchised of the world...whether it be in Africa, Asia, Moldova, or in your very own community.  People still feel voiceless.  People are still oppressed.  People are still lacking hope.  I just want to open your eyes up to it...ask God what He would have you do.  

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  1. This post and the one on facebook broke my heart. I guess I have always thought that those kinds of places were Hollywood productions for shows like Annie. I love you both and am so proud of all God is doing with you in Moldova.