Today we traveled 2 hours south to the city of Cahul to visit the tiny CERI operation there. Just 20 kids in the Transitional Care program - kids who were either orphaned or abandoned, but were over 16 years old, making them ineligible to live in a state run orphanage.I got to meet these kids today. They were working in the city park on a community service project - which they volunteered for - painting all the benches, trashcans and a few other things. They chose the paint colors themselves and decided on the colors in the Moldovan flag. They didn't speak English, but you didn't have to hear them speak to hear their hearts.
PCC is the 2nd largest church sponsor of CERI Moldova. When you give at PCC, part of your giving helps change these kids' lives. That's not a platitude. It's tangible, measurable and as real as the smiles on their faces and the food they eat every day.
I came here an agnostic. I will leave a believer, and determined to do more, because we can make a significant, immediate, substantial and life changing difference here. And we're not just feeding them...and we're not just teaching them how to feed themselves...we're also teaching them about Jesus Christ.
One story, then a big picture PCC Missions note to follow. The kid in the picture below is named Dima. They found Dima when he was a kid in a dumpster, trying to get warm. No one knows who his parents are, no relative ever came to claim him. He's a nobody...to anybody.
But he's worth something to God.
Dima has a hard time staying motivated. He frequently wonders why he should even try to succeed. He has often expressed the heartfelt and logical conclusion that nobody cares and nobody wants him. But these CERI people have the most amazing resolve I've ever seen in my life. They encourage him, got him a sponsor who really, really cares about him, and they say to him, "When your sponsor comes to visit, let's show them the things you've achieved!" So, little by little, Dima makes slow progress and stays with the only people on the planet who care.
I think 999 out of 1000 people would have given up on Dima, but these folks just don't quit, and they rarely give up. Dima - and the 5,000 kids here like him- is why I'm motivated to up the ante in Moldova.
Closing Note: Tomorrow, I'm going to talk about missions on a big picture scale at PCC on this blog. So, if your passion is in Tanzania or Belize (our other 2 international partners) or with the local need in our area at home, you'll want to read tomorrow's post.