Why Moldova….

Friday the 21st I video called my kids from camp and they were full of questions. The more they asked the more they began to care about these people that dad traveled half way around the world to serve. 
I told them about Ivan. He is the main Moldovan leader. Ivan is deaf, he is third generation deaf. His mother was raped, and everyone told her to have an abortion. But she didn’t want that so she went through with the pregnancy. His mother raised him as a single mom for much of his life. She sent him to the Deaf school in another city because that’s where his Babushka lived and wanted him to go. (The women run much of the family affairs) At the deaf school Ivan met a school teacher who saw something more than a boy who got into fights, caused trouble, and was basically written off by everyone. She saw a soul that needed Jesus.
Ivan is incredibly intelligent! He fluent in Russian sign language and American sign language. He moves from RSL to ASL seemlessly and so fluidly its hard to tell when he chsnges modes. He can read and understand Russian, Romanian, English, and some Turkish. He has been formally trained as a chef. Ivan is 20 years old. 
Unfortunately Ivan can’t even get an opportunity for a job interview, because his ears don’t work they assume he can’t do anything. The deaf community is limited to mindless factory work at a pay that is ridiculously low. The average Moldovan household income is about $300 per month. Ivan lives on about $27 per month. 

Ivan’s story is just ONE of the many stories of the Deaf here in this country. 
The deaf schools are more like orphanages. Parents send their kids there and leave them. They may only see them once a year, maybe. The European Union has a thing about having no orphans, their solution is is close the orphanages. So many deaf children are denied a simple education because the state won’t allow the schools to accept new students. So the kids grow up with no language. No language means they never have the simplest of opportunities. These kids are treated like trash. 
The families that do have dad in the home, he isn’t engaged in anyway with his kids. Many dad’s are abusive, especially to children that are viewed as broken. 

There is a boy here, Catalin, he is 10. He thinks he is still 9 because his birthday wasn’t celebrated. This year he was placed with a family. Up till this year he has lived his live in the orphanage. He has no language skills. None what so ever. He gestures and points and shows you what he wants. But he has no language. How will this little boy ever hear about a God that created this whole world and made him? Are this heir kids like this in America? Sure. But the percentage of the Deaf community in America that have no access to language is laughable, compared to the percentage here. 

Are their churches here? Sure, the people that set them up, taught them grace, taught them love, have long since gone back to AMERICA!  Leaving these churches to fend for themselves. Unfortunately the Orthodox influences here are far too heavy for young new believers to stand against. Even here in our camp, we have kids who are smokers, they can’t just stop it’s not that simple. But the deaf leaders here are having a fit because “how can we allow such people to be here in camp?!?!”

Because of the heavy Orthodox influences here they are more concerned with the sin than the soul. Trying to get them to understand that Jesus came for, and was a friend to the sinners is a hard task. The soul rectified and justified will clean up the other areas as God sees fit to convict. Behavior modification without a soul modification is empty works, and profits nothing. 

The work here seems endless. But the opportunity to share the love of Jesus with these people, the chance to minister to them in a way no one ever has is huge.

So why Moldova? Quite simply because no one else is doing it. How can they understand if no one tells them?


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