Friday, November 20, 2009

In her own words.

Irina is one of the girls I have gotten to know best during my time in Moldova. Watch her tell her story here.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

"Queens" of the Dance.

Some of the girls put together a little dance in honor of the Cameron's Scottish roots...when you know where and what these girls have come from seeing things like this is, well, miraculous.


video

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

enjoy the ride.

"What's the driving like in Moldova?" you may ask...well, let me show you. Feel free to put your hands up and scream "WEEEEE!" at any time. Enjoy the ride.
video

So, as you can tell, it could very possibly be the ride of your life. My fellow Uganda go-ers may beg to differ, but I did not experience being ejected from my seat in Uganda, and here it has happened...at least 3 times. [Sidenote: there are no real "traffic laws" in Moldova and I suppose that explains the numerous graves (yes, graves not memorials) that are on the side of the road complete with etchings of said deceased's face.]

triumphant testimonies.

Stella's House in the midst of releasing a DVD with all the girls telling their stories along with a CD they have recorded. While I have been here the girls have been videotaped telling their stories, some for the first time. Tonight, Luida,one of the girls who speaks very good english, helped translate Stella's story- one full of scenes of abuse and abandonment. During the translating process Stella burst into tears and ran into another room. She told us that she did not want to tell her story. She was ashamed, and said she did not want people in America to hear it. Immediately, Mr. Cameron took her aside and spoke to her from scripture...

"We have conquered Satan by...the word of our testimony..." Revelation 12:11

How true it is. The story of God working in our lives is all we need to prove Satan wrong on all counts of condemnation he sends our way. It was so beautiful to see this 15 year old girl smile and nod realizing this truth for the first time and being set free to tell her story and rejoice in the pain and suffering she has endured to point people to Jesus-the One who has transferred her from the dominion of darkness, into the kingdom of light and into the arms of Jesus.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

miracles.

The past couple of days have come to be one of the biggest blessing I've received. I am so grateful to here, hearing the stories and seeing the miracles God is doing within this ministry. I have seen the gospel changing lives as an obedient and called people say "Yes" to the vision birthed out of concern God has put in their hearts. It is bigger than any of those involved and is a picture of what it means to be totally dependent on God. Knowing that if He doesn't come through...it's all over. The good news is He has come through (He always does) and continues to come through. Over and over I have seen with my own eyes the reality of God's promises....

"A father of the fatherless and a judge and protector of the widows is God in His holy habitation. God places the solitary in families and gives the desolate a home in which to dwell." Ps. 68:5-6

As orphans in a corrupted country like Moldova, these children grow up in conditions that could be likened to a third world country. One shower. Cold water streaming from a hose. Hard beds. A hole for a bathroom. Corruption within the child protection services. The list goes on and on. Nothing is as hearbreaking as knowing they never heard the words, "I love you." As I have heard the stories (which i would love to share with you) and seen what God is doing in the lives of these girls, as they have literally become part of a family that loves them dearly, I am reminded that every human life has purpose and potential.

They are...
Artists.

Music makers.
Dancers.
Singers.
Leaders.
Writers.
Dreamers...

They are now in an atmosphere where they can flourish into the women God has made them to be, without the suppression that evil (the orphanages, the traffikers, the abusive parent...) brings about. It is a beautiful thing to see them embracing Jesus, their talents and each other. My words can not yet convey what I have seen and heard from some of these girls (I am still processing how to best put it into words). Everyday they spend here is a miracle. And the miracle happens in the mundane. Things like cooking, cleaning, homework, warm food, smiles, bursts of laughter and countless other things we all take for granted everyday.

After all I have heard and seen in the past 5 days comes down to the one reality none of us can escape...

JESUS.
His rescue.
His sacrifice.
His love.
His abundance.
His LIFE.
His redemption.
His story.
HIMSELF.



Thursday, November 12, 2009

so far.

My time here has been busy already....here are some brief blips about what it's been like so far...(more in-depth analysis later :) )

After almost 24 hours of flying in an airplanes and waiting in airports, we made it to Moldova.

If Drive Shaft (shoutout to LOST fans) was a real band, I definitely would have sat next to them on the plane. Let's just say a party was happening on aisle 46...the whole 8 hours.

Frankfurt airport = most confusing airport ever

Europe smells funny...what is that???

Cigs here, cigs there, cigs everywhere

Needless to say, I don't speak Romanian. I'm getting really good at charades.

It's freezing outside.

The mafia. Next door. Enough said.

A rooster never fails to doodle dee do every hour or so...I kind of like it.

Orphans singing praises....beautiful.

We spent the morning unloading a truck of a 4 month supply of basic supplies...the govt. has cut off aid to the orphanages here. Which has put the orphans of Moldova in quite a predicament...thankfully we will deliver shampoo, soap, toothpaste, and other things to the orphanages tomorrow.

Swine flu frenzy is here. Everyone has a mask and the girls are out of school for 2 weeks. Crazy.

McDonalds at 1 a.m. turned out to be quite the experience as inebriated locals jamboreed around our van. It was one of many Culture lessons.

These girls are precious. Their stories are heartbreaking, but their hope is secure. Many of them have come to know Jesus and it is a joy to be here experiencing love, hope and LIFE with them. Many of them have seen parents murdered, experienced abuse, lived on the street or known only a filthy orphange as home. They have been told they are nothing, that no one will want them and that their children will one day sleep in their beds. But that is no longer their reality. They have been rescued. The Cameron's have selflessly brought into their family, and into what it means to be loved and love. Something they have never known. Their laughter is contagious and their love for one another reflects something pure and real. I'm reminded that we need people. We need love. Love is here. Love saves... and always wins.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Moldova.

Some of the girls who live at Stella's House. To learn more about Moldova click here

I was given an opportunity last week to go to Moldova with a family who has an amazing ministry there that my church supports. I found out Wednesday that I would be leaving this Tuesday and coming back the 21st! So, it looks like this time next week I will be in a country I didn't know existed 3 months ago with people I have not even met. I'm excited and looking forward to the adventure. Most importantly, I am expectant for what God is going to do during my time there. I am specifically praying about how God can use me to partner with them for his glory in the lives of these precious women in a dreary land. I'd appreciate your prayers as well!

It's very difficult for me to put into words what they are doing, but watch the video I promise it's worth the 6 minutes...

If you're like me, you may have had no idea where Moldova is...I had never heard of it until I read Not For Sale by David Batstone - a book about the horror of human traffiking. Moldova is one of the primary countries for traffiking and is one of the poorest in all of Europe. Most people are unaware of the thousands of orphans who are thrown out on the streets at the age of 16 and trapped into the sex trade (some orphange directors even work with traffikers to make a buck or two) which is one of the most profitable crimes...raking in a grand total of 31 billion annually. The girls I will be with have been rescued by the Cameron family and brought into a home and family they call their own. Their stories are stories of beautiful redemption and a picture of the gospel of grace. I can't wait to share more with you.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

straight off the shelf.

"Ada had to admit that, at least now and again, just saying what your heart felt, straight and simple and unguarded, could be more useful than four thousand lines of John Keats. She had never been able to do it in her whole life, but she thought she would like to learn how."

-Cold Mountain

Monday, November 2, 2009

torches.


We are torch bearers of the Life signaling light of the gospel.
Asking what this means in the places I am and beginning to see what happens when we walk into the dark and remember what we hold in our hands...

"For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. For God who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 2 cor. 4: 5-6

"Men die in darkness at your side,
Without a hope to cheer the tomb;
Take up the torch and wave it wide,
The torch that lights time's thickest gloom."
-H. Bonar

what i love about monday's....





I used to not be a fan of Monday, but things have changed.
I made a decision a few months ago since I was going to be in Montgomery for this period of time, I was going to BE THERE--meaning I was going to make the most of my time here and not sit around and wait for something to happen. The biggest blessing by far has been my time tutoring kids at Common Ground http://www.cgmal.org/ I spend at least 2 days a week at their office in the heart of the gump helping kids learn to read, calling out spelling words (c-a-t) and trying to remember how to do 5th grade math (ha!) My favorite moments by far have been talking to them about what they want to be when they grow up (Minnie Mouse was my favorite answer), their favorite memories and what they like. Many of their stories are heart breaking and I leave in tears almost every day, but it's the simple conversations, hugs, listening to their "raps" and learning the latest dance moves that God has given me a glimpse of what it means to dream like a child and have faith like a child-regardless of my circumstances. I had no idea I was going to love it as much as I have...Here's a little peek into what I love about Monday's....