On Mission in Moldova
This Christmas season, Texas Baptist college students are taking part in mission trips around the globe. On this blog, we’re going to try to feature two of them. The first will feature posts from Cori Crumrine, a Texas Tech student who is taking boots to orphans in Moldova through CERI’s Boots for Moldova effort. We’ll post as many posts as we can from her during the trip. Check in every day to see what the team is up to. Here are her posts, starting with the most recent:
A Final Word from Moldova
We arrived home safely yesterday evening. Today I have been recovering from a week of hard work and jet lag. I wanted to take a moment and give you a final update on the last couple of days in Moldova.
The most notable day was the afternoon we spent at the disabled boys orphanage. We again fitted about 200 pairs of shoes, but the atmosphere was vastly different here than at any other orphanage in the past. From the moment we stepped off the bus boys were at our sides wanting to shake our hands and have their pictures taken by Americans. I am not sure why, but that was the one thing we were known for at that orphanage, pictures and cameras. This orphanage holds a special place in my heart because I am majoring in Special Education, and these will be the kids I will be working with in the near future. One little boy captured my heart. He had Down Syndrome and while Nicky was fitting him with a hat I walked over to get his socks and he took my hand and walked with me back to the benches where we were fitting the kids with boots. After he had his boots on he jumped in them to test them out. Before leaving, he gave me a hug so I just picked him up and sat him in my lap. Then he put his arm around my shoulder, and my heart was captured forever! He didn’t speak at all, but he would laugh if I tickled him. I didn’t really know what to do or say so I just whistled and he began to giggle. He tried to do it, but only a ‘hum’ came out. We kept going back and forth, whistling and humming. We had our picture taken a couple of times and I look forward to getting a copy of the picture to remember just how precious his smile is.
This orphanage by far,had the greatest need for new boots. Most of the kids stay inside during the winter so they only wear house shoes/slippers, but the slippers were worn out. The insole was thread bare on many of the shoes I saw and the kids were walking on the rubber sole. Most of the socks the kids were wearing had holes in them and were also thread bare so it was a joy to give them something they so desperately needed and the kids were so grateful and excited to have new shoes.
We also visited an adult facility, which is very similar to a nursing home in the U.S. It housed about 300 people who could not be cared for by their families for a variety of reasons. Many of the people living there told our translators they hadn’t had any visitors in years. They said many people were sacred to touch them. All of it was heartbreaking. I can’t imagine the loneliness that they experience on a daily basis even though they are around other people. What we were doing was so simple. We would walk in their room, tell them hello, hand them shoes and socks, pat them on the shoulder or hand and tell them Jesus Loves Them and give them slippers and socks. Some would ask questions about us and want to chat for a minute. I am so curious about the history of the people in there. I can’t imagine the stories they hold and the history they have lived through begin from that part of the world.
That evening we went to an appreciation dinner for all of the teams that had been working that week. It was held at Bethel Baptist Church, which is the church one of the van drivers attends and we were feed a traditional Moldovan meal. It was delicious! At the end of the dinner, we were able to express our appreciation and gratitude to our translators and drivers who made our work there possible. After dinner, we returned to the team house for one last night together. Several of us decided to play one last game of Phase 10 and it ended up lasting until 3:00 a.m., which was good for some of us because we would be leaving shortly for the airport. The four of us from the Texas Panhandle, wrote last minute thank you letters, loaded our stuff and headed to the airport for our long journey home. In total our travel home lasted 24 hours, but it was great to get back to Lubbock and be home.
I greatly miss the people I traveled and worked with. God really pulled us together and gave us unity that only he could provide. The 20 that stayed one more night should have arrived home by now, weather permitting. I know there will be other opportunities to return and serve the kids of Moldova and share God’s love with them again, and I hope to be able to go back. For more information about CERI (Children’s Emergency Relief International) Look at their website, www.cerikids.org
It has been a joy to share this experience with you and I appreciate you time in reading this! Please continue to pray for the work that God is doing in Moldova.
Busy days in Moldova
Things have been really busy around here, and I didn’t get a chance to post yesterday. That was a big day for us. At the first orphanage we were meet by the ambassador for the U.S. to Moldova. He is from Pakistan. We didn’t actually meet him because there was so much media around him and his wife. All of the kids and the staff were dressed in their best clothes and everyone is in a flurry. He stayed for about 30-45 minutes. After putting on a couple shoes, the ambassador went to the auditorium to watch a program they had prepared for him. Then he went to the dinner they prepared for him. One of our translators said it was a Moldovan’s dream meal. We had fried fish and roasted chicken with cabbage, small sandwiches with sardines, cheese and olives. Then we finished the meal with tea! I love the tea here. I am not sure what is different or special about it though.
At the second orphanage, we fitted another 200 kids with boots. The last group of kids were very young and very cute, but we had the right sizes to fit each of them. We were able to play with them for a little while and it was refreshing to see them smile and run around in their boots after a long day of work.
Today we went to a smaller town near the Transniestria-Moldova border and gave away another 350 boots. It was about an hour drive each way. On the way there, the roads were very icy and a couple cars collided behind us. Later, we found out the driver of one of the vehicles was killed. Please keep his family in your prayers.
Tomorrow we are going to go to a disabled boys orphanage and fit another 300 or so boots. We don’t know much else about it, but we are looking forward to working there. Please continue to be in prayer for our safety as we are on the road each day. We also need extra strength and energy to continue working and have good attitudes. Please pray for our translators as they work along side us, and we can continue to build relationships with them. We are also running out of sizes for many of the kids, and that is heart breaking. Pray that God either multiplies the shoes or makes the kids feet fit the shoes that we have extras of.
Thank you for continuing to pray for us, we really appreciate it!!
Cori Crumrine (12/17/08)
Boots for those in need
We have just finished dinner on day two here in Moldova. Dinner was great. We had spaghetti and finished up with brownies and ice cream. Today was very busy as we went to two orphanages. At the first orphanage in a little town outside of Chisinau, we fitted about 275 kids with new boots. It was quite an experience. We unloaded most of the boxes off the truck that we had loaded the day before and moved them into the orphanage auditorium and set the up on stage. Then we set up the rest of the room so we could efficiently measure each child’s foot, give them socks, find the right size boots and then help them put them on and check the size. In the beginning we had a little trouble asking if the shoes were too big or too small. Our Romanian needs a little practice, but after the first dozen or so we had things figured out. It took several hours and it was a lot of work, but with each child leaving the room with a smile on their face and a new pair of shoes on their feet it made all the effort well worth it. We also met our translators this morning, and they were instrumental in helping us get this job completed.
After we finished giving the boots away our team leader, Ted, gave a short devotional and told them why we were there. We wanted them to know that we were trying to be the hands and feet Christ by bringing them shoes.
The second orphanage holds a special place in my heart because it is a deaf orphanage and I have always enjoyed sign language and recently completed my minor in it. I was really impressed at the teachers and the director there, they were very attentive and wanted to make sure that each student had boots in the right size. All of the students there were at least 16 years old and very polite and appreciative of us being there. As each student came in and signed to each other and their teachers I watched and tried to catch any familiar signs; I didn’t get many, but it is great to watch.
My team and I appreciate all your prayers and we continue to ask for more. Specifically we ask you to pray that will have the appropriate number of boots for each orphanage and the boots we have will be the right size. Pray that God will provide energy. This trip takes a physical toll on the body and we want to be as energetic, sincere and genuine with our love for the last child as we are with the first. Continue to pray for our safety as we travel, we drive an hour or so between orphanages and for health as we move many many boxes; rolled ankles, twisted backs and torn shoulders are only a box lift away. Finally continue to pray that we can be the aroma Christ as we only have a few to spend with each child.
Cori Crumrine (12/15/08)
On Mission in Moldova
Hello, my name is Cori Crumrine. I am a senior at Texas Tech University and currently serving in Moldova. I heard about Moldova about a year ago through Tech’s BSM and was called to go and work over the Christmas break and again over the summer break. This Christmas I had the opportunity to come back and be apart of CERI (Children Emergency Relief International) as the help give every orphan in the country a new pair of boots.
We arrived yesterday evening on the 13th. We were traveling in a group of about 20 and we all arrived safely and our luggage arrived with us. We are staying in CERI’s Mission House in Chisinau, Moldova, the capital city. This morning the 14th we woke up early and went to church at “Jesus Savior” which is a traditional Moldovan Baptist church. The sermon was in Romanian so I didn’t understand any of it, but I did understand the baptism they had. Over 20 people were baptized this morning and it was really encouraging to see how rapidly the church of Jesus Savior is growing. It is a relatively new body of believers, but is growing so quickly.
After church we ate lunch and then the work began. We headed to the warehouse and began loading 3 trucks with shoes, socks, hats, combs and Bible tracks. It took 20 of us working for about 5 hours to get it all done, but we did it. Part of the group we travel here with left for the north of the country to distribute the boots. Tomorrow will be first day of working with the children and we will also be working at an adult facility.
Please keep my team and I in your prayers as we meet the kids. Pray that we will have the right number of boots and the right sizes. Pray for our safety as we travel to and from each orphanage and that in the short time we are at each orphanage that we will be able to show Christ’s love through our actions.
Cori Crumrine (12/14/08)