Moldova State of Mind

Coming home was easy. When we landed stateside in Chicago, I practically kissed the ground. For the first time in two weeks, I could actually read billboards and converse with English-speaking strangers and – gasp – I wasn’t the only tall, blonde person! Be still my beating heart..

While I was waiting to go through customs, all I could think about was the fact that my friends and family and my warm, cozy bed were just one more flight away. I handed my passport over to the customs agent (like way too enthusiastically) and then he said, “Welcome back, the States have missed you!” ……just kidding, he was grouchy and kind of mean and he just handed my passport back like it was no big deal. Psh. But believe me when I say, that did not stop me from literally dancing my way down the obnoxiously long hallway that we were forced to walk through in order to officially enter the U.S.

I was home. And it was hard not to be excited about that.

But it didn’t take long for me to realize that maybe being home wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought it’d be. People started asking me about my trip, which obviously makes sense… But I didn’t know what to say. The question, “How was your trip?” quickly became my worst enemy. I’d hear those words and it was like my mind would just shut down. Even three weeks later, I’m still sitting here struggling to put it all into words.

One word comes to mind: ineffable. My good friend Merriam Webster defines ineffable as something “too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words.” Sounds about right. I’m not going to sit here and write out every single detail about the trip because (a) who wants to read a novel and (b) words just simply won’t do it justice.

I mean, it wasn’t like anything huge and crazy and unbelievable happened… It’s actually the small things that stand out to me the most. Like when I saw Chisinau for the first time. Or when I noticed how ironic it was that such beautiful countryside surrounds a place that knows darkness and depravity all too well.

Like when I saw a blind woman being forced to beg on the side of the road.

Or when we stood across from a neighborhood entirely inhabited by pimps and just prayed.

Like when I realized that it’s still possible to worship, even when the song’s in a different language.

Or when I stood alone in the middle of an empty soccer field at the orphanage and cried, just because.

Like when Valentine and Daniel gave me flowers and I didn’t have the heart to tell them I was allergic to them.

Or when they’d laugh at me when I tried to speak Romanian and couldn’t roll my r’s..

Like when Cristie laid his head in my lap and fell asleep. Or when I was hugging him goodbye for the last time and I couldn’t bring myself to let go first.

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It’s the smallest things that always seem to move me in the biggest ways.

And I’ll never forget the time my rowdy, ornery group of boys had to come up with our team’s name and motto. Amy and I were practically taking bets on which ridiculous name they’d choose… team awesome sauce… team chupacabra… team fire breathing rubber duckies.. No. They chose “Speranta,” which means hope. And they chose “Speranta Moare Ultima” as our team’s motto. Hope dies last.

I didn’t know at the time, but that was the first of many more surprises those boys had in store for me.

My heart breaks every time I see those faces. Who knows where they’ll end up? They belong to a culture that practically welcomes violence and oppression.

I’m gonna be brutally honest for a second… Statistically, the majority of the girls in that orphanage will end up in forced prostitution. And statistically, the boys in that orphanage will be the ones selling them. That’s almost surely the future that awaits those kids outside the gates of that orphanage if evil were to have its way.

Enter New Hope Moldova – the ministry we worked with on our trip. Lemme tell ya, that ministry is doing amazing things. Their passion for Christ and their passion for the children of Moldova are evident in everything they do. Their motivation and dedication to make a difference in their country is absolutely inspiring. The people at New Hope Moldova are the kind of people who make you question what you’re doing with your life. Not in a bad way, but in a way that truly motivates you to spend your time doing something that matters.

The people I met and the memories I made have truly changed me. Now that I’ve been there, now that I’ve seen, I can’t go back to the way things were. I miss those kids. It’s so easy for me to begin feeling helpless because I’m here in the States. But that’s absolutely the opposite of what I should be feeling. It’s my job now, to tell their stories, to be their advocate, to be their prayer warrior, and to enlist others to pray on their behalf!

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about them, and I pray that never changes. To my supporters: thank you. Your prayers and donations played just as big a part in all of this as I did. I have just one more thing to ask of you all: pray.

Pray for the children you see in these pictures. Pray for the people of Moldova. Pray prayers of hope and peace over the trafficking victims and pray prayers of revelation and heart-change over their traffickers. Pray for New Hope Moldova, that they would remain strong and faithful throughout their fight against human trafficking. And pray for me, that my life would be spent pouring into others, and that I won’t, even for a second, forget the things that truly matter.

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7 thoughts on “Moldova State of Mind

  1. I love this post! You have no idea who I am, but I had the same experience with Oleg in Moldova this past October. Several men in our church went to cut and deliver firewood to the villages of widows so they would not freeze to death over the winter. We ended up helping 13 families all together. We also spent some time in the girls’ homes and at the special needs orphanage. We worshiped, laughed, and just spent time with them. I am going back this October, and I am so excited I can hardly contain it. This was a wonderful post that summed up many of my feelings. Thank You!

    1. Oh my goodness, what a small world! Oleg and his ministry are absolutely fantastic! We spent some time in the special needs orphanage in Orheiu as well. That’s so exciting that you get to go back! Mark my words, I’ll go back one day. (:

  2. One word that I can think of when it comes to my wonderful niece Chelsey Webber is ineffable because no matter what I say there are no words or emotions to describe my love for her and how proud I am to be her Uncle. Chelsey you are so wonderful and I love you. Its people like you and all the others around the world working to put Gods words out there and show people that there is hope no matter what the circumstances are as long as you have God in your life and let him take control and lean on him to comfort and protect you. I am so deeply proud of you and love you more than words can explain. You are an angel and continue to do what you do best, being you! I love you so much. God Bless you my wonderful niece.

  3. Chelsey, reading this and thinking of you brings tears to my eyes. I am so very lucky to have you in my life and you’re doing such amazing things. You’re such an inspiration and I love you more than words can say.

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