Today (Nov. 18th 2006), I decided to write about the Moldovans I've met this year so far. The first one I met was Andrew, who came to one of the weekly Wenesday classes (Morris Literacy Project: ESL) earlier this winter with Tony (Bulgraria). He went to the bana with us at my associate pastor's house. I began to me a couple more throughout the year. One was at the college campus during the annual UMM Welcome International Students Supper at the China Grand Buffet (sponsored by Tom McRoberts, Center for Int'l Student Programs Director) late August. The second one is Vadim, who I finally got his name right last night during a farewell party for Ukranian friend/ESL student I've gotten to know.
Firefighter Bond: Minnesota Helps Moldova
by Esme Murphy (wcco.com) "
Lindstrom, Minn. (WCCO) ― Firefighters in Minnesota are reaching out to help those in the impoverished former Soviet Union.
In tiny Lindstrom, Minn., where the water towers says "Welcome" in Swedish, a retired paramedic and volunteer firefighter find themselves in an unexpected international role.
In June, Ron Gruening and Mark Allen were on a church mission trip in Moldova. They stumbled upon a fire department of 85 firefighters in charge of protecting 4.4 million people which is roughly the population of Minnesota.
The men were stunned at the poor quality of the equipment.
"There were very few helmets, they have ten air packs for 85 firefighters," said Gruening.
The only uniforms were rubber slickers, not like U.S. gear that is lined with fire resistant insulation.
Gruening and Allen had found an intense demand for fire equipment in Moldova and they knew instantly that Minnesota was where they could find a supply to help these international firefighters.
In the United States, standards for firefighting equipment are constantly improving so equipment like clothing and helmets quickly become obsolete. So Gruening and Allen have been collecting gently used equipment.
"All of this so far is just fire departments in Minnesota that have made donations," said Allen.
"To have this equipment will be incredible for those folks. It will help save lives," said Gruening.
Gruening and Allen are trying to raise $30,000 to pay for shipping the equipment overseas; a tall order but one they are determined to fill.
Donations can be sent to: Kost Evangelical Free Church
c/o International Fire Mission
37405 Kost Trail
North Branch, Minnesota 55056
"This June, The Advocates met with ten government, social service and NGO professionals from Moldova who visited the U.S. to discuss Moldova’s draft domestic violence legislation, the Law on Preventing and Combating Violence in the Family. Hosted by World Services of La Crosse, Inc. with funding from USAID, the Moldovan delegation spent a half day at The Advocates to discuss legal advocacy on domestic violence issues, in particular with regard to the draft law. The delegates met with Women’s Program Director Cheryl Thomas and Staff Attorney Rosalyn Park, as well as The Advocates’ volunteers, including Board Chair Aviva Breen and Advisory Committee member Mary Louise Klas. "
*see StopVAW website
"Lilia Stepanova was born 1987 in Moldova is a contortionist. She was born in Moldova to parents who were contortionists. At the age of five, her mom started to train and practice with her, giving her the talent on contortionism. She is very well known for performing at many NBA halftime shows. She is also very well known for her talent to do archery with her feet while on hand-balancing canes."
"It has been estimated between 20% and 25% of the population has worked in other countries. What choices have they?
Read about the midnight train to Moscow by clicking on "Read More" below.
If they stay they cannot earn enough to provide for the family. If they leave, their family will suffer. Many never return!
This is a song written by children about this problem."
...Daniel also told me that they have in their class a boy who hasn’t seen his mother for 8 years and he even doesn’t remember how she looks, because he was very little when she left for Italy to work. Maybe this is a reason why some children cry at the the lesson…"
Charity Cup Mission Tour 2
"Charity Cup Mission Trip video to Moldova 2002 "
Kishinev Bible Church - Moldova
"This is an introduction into ministry of Kishinev Bible Church. The church was started in 1993 and continues to reach in to different levels of society with the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
Moldovan Food - Paige Fleshman
"Paige gives her impression of the Moldovan food, you will enjoy!"
Stefan cel Mare si Sfant (Stephen the Great and the Holy)
"(English subtitles). The Battle of Vaslui (also referred to as the Battle of Podul Înalt or the Battle of Racova) was fought on January 10, 1475, between Stephen III of Moldova and the Ottoman Beylerbeyi of Rumelia, Hadân Suleiman Pasha. The battle took place at Podul Înalt (the High Bridge), near the town of Vaslui, in Moldova (now part of eastern Romania). The Ottoman troops numbered up to 120,000, facing about 40,000 Moldavian troops, plus smaller numbers of allied and mercenary troops.
Stephen inflicted on the Ottomans a decisive defeat that has been described as "the greatest ever secured by the Cross against Islam," with casualties, according to Venetian and Polish records, reaching beyond 40,000 on the Ottoman side. Mara Brankovic (Mara Hatun), who had formerly been the younger wife of Murad II, told a Venetian envoy that the invasion had been worst ever defeat for the Ottomans. Stephen was later awarded the title "Athleta Christi" (Champion of Christ) by Pope Sixtus IV, who referred to him as "Verus christiane fidei aletha" (The true defender of the Christian faith).
According to the Polish chronicler Jan Długosz, Stephen did not celebrate his victory; instead, he fasted for forty days on bread and water and forbade anyone to attribute the victory to him, insisting that credit be given only to "The Lord""
"Ken Goodmiller is packing his bags for the unhappiest place on earth.
The minister for the Covington, Va., church plans to travel to the nation of Moldova this month. Between Romania and Ukraine, the former Soviet republic is about the size of Maryland. It’s home to 4.5 million people.
It’s also the least happy country on the planet, according to a new book. Journalist Eric Weiner surveyed people around the globe about their levels of contentment and published his findings in
“The Geography of Bliss,” released Jan. 3.
Other studies of global happiness list Moldova among the world’s most miserable nations, alongside the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe.
Moldova is the poorest nation in Europe. Envious of their more prosperous neighbors, Moldovans also have no “abiding faith or culture on which to rely,” Weiner wrote.
Goodmiller plans to visit what Weiner calls the happiest part of this unhappy land. The minister hopes to strengthen small Churches of Christ in the cities of Bendery and Tiraspol, near the Dniester River in eastern Moldova.
People in the region, called Trans-Dniester, have fought for independence from Moldova and have semi-autonomous status. The shared struggles in the region have created a greater sense of unity — and happiness, Weiner found.
John Crosslin, an elder of the Covington church, met a woman from Bendery while teaching Bible in Ukraine in the mid-1990s. Crosslin conducted a gospel campaign in Moldova and baptized about 35 people. He continued to make trips the country, and invited Goodmiller to join him about seven years ago.
The churches in Moldova have experienced baptisms in the past decade, but numerical growth is slow, Goodmiller said. The country’s economy is a contributing factor. Since Moldova became a nation, nearly one-third of its population has left, seeking employment in other parts of Europe.
That’s helped create a leadership challenge for Churches of Christ in Trans-Dniester, Goodmiller said. Few of the country’s church members are adult males. Most are older women. The majority of people in the region claim Russian Orthodox as their faith.
Goodmiller said he’s seen evidence of spiritual growth among the Moldovan church members. He plans to conduct a week-long gospel meeting during his visit and wants to launch programs for the congregations’ children.
Such efforts, combined with lots of prayer, can go a long way toward increasing Moldovans’ happiness, the minister said.
Moldova Mission Trip
"October 2007 mission trip to Moldova . . . group from Enterprise, AL"
"NABAT 2005 MOLDOVA CHISINAU!!!!! "
Moldova Worship Song Isus e vieu!
"www.serbiamission.org This vieo is a man leading a song with accordian in a Moldovan church. I apologize for the poor video. Support missions to Eastern Europe"
"Moldova (MNN) ― The ground is beginning to dry in Moldova, but below the surface, it's still spongy following the floods that devastated villages last month. Many homes collapsed, but the government has promised that every home that was destroyed will be replaced.
Little Samaritan Mission was in the village of Purcari offering what relief and hope they could to people who lost everything immediately after the floods came. They handed out rice, dry goods, and detergent, among other things. Blankets were a welcome relief for people who decided to wait up all night for Little Samaritan's arrival because they couldn't sleep anyway.
Before the floods hit, the concern in Moldova was whether or not there would be enough water for the people. They were consuming seeds and watching their grapes "boil on the vine." When the rain finally did come, the rivers that border Moldova and the irrigation canals and the dams could not hold it all.
Thousands were affected, but thankfully, few people were killed.
Little Samaritan heard stories of many people in the village of Purcari. One couple saved every penny for four years to fix up a house that they called their "castle." It was crushed and everything in it destroyed by water.
Many older people watched as the homes they raised their families in were covered, little by little, with water. These people were forced to find housing with friends, family, or other villagers whose homes were not quite as damaged.
Pressure is now on for relief workers and the government; fall has arrived, and the cold of winter will soon be on its way. The Moldova Red Cross has emptied its disaster response stocks and appealed for international help. The Turkish Red Crescent and the French government responded, among others. The International Federation has also appealed for more than a million Swiss francs which has, thus far, been 54% covered. The head of operations for the International Federation is confident that the people of Moldova will get the supplies they need before winter hits.
Pray for strength for the people who must start over--young and old. Pray for LSM as they listen to people's stories and share God's hope. Pray that people will come to know Christ as their personal Savior. "
"The promise of employment and money entices many young women from rural areas to accept transportation to so-called jobs abroad. Once there, however, their passports are confiscated, and they are forced into prostitution.
But the light of Christ shines in these dark corners of Moldova. Young Next Generation Christian leaders at Russian Ministries' outreach center in the capital city of Chisinau (Kishinev) tackle these thorny issues head-on.
The ministry to women caught in the snare of human trafficking began on a small scale for these national workers. But with encouragement and help from ministry partners in the West, the ministry began to take off. "After attending a conference in Wisconsin in 2006," recalls one of the team leaders, "we knew we had to continue our ministry. Once we returned home, we got in touch with 22 women whose 'owner' had been caught by the police. These women put us in contact with other victims of human trafficking."
The two main goals of this ministry are prevention, especially among young people who are at-risk for human trafficking, and rehabilitation of those who are involved in trafficking.
These young Christian leaders from Moldova are convinced that prevention best begins with the next generation of children and young people. With one in nine children in Moldova--about 100,000 children--growing up in incomplete families, Russian Ministries' national workers observe that no one is there to "teach them about the value of their lives, about moral standards, or even about life skills."
Russian Ministries' team of Next Generation Christians, cooperating with public school officials, are in the high schools full-time, teaching Christian ethics, the dangers of drugs and HIV/AIDS, as well as issues related to human trafficking. Throughout the year, 8,000-10,000 teenagers are being exposed to biblical values, and more significantly, building relationships with young Christian leaders.
Then there are daycare centers for children who live in dysfunctional families. In partnership with Youth for Christ, there are 40 daycare centers run by churches in Moldova. Plans are underway for a similar daycare ministry in Russia.
The ministry of rehabilitation for women involved in prostitution and human trafficking is long and hard. Many women want to change but often fall victim to their old lifestyles. Lena had been a prostitute in Chisinau, but after a botched abortion, she wanted a new life.
At the end of 2006, more than 100 people participated in a conference on human trafficking in Moldova. This was the first time evangelicals gathered to discuss the issue of human trafficking and how the church should respond.
God is at work. Pray that this team of young Christian leaders from Moldova will not lose heart as they press on for the sake of the kingdom of God. "
"Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights issued this 60-page report on the trafficking of Moldovan and Ukrainian women for the commercial sex industry. The report analyzes the mechanisms of trafficking in both countries, the governmental response to the problem, and the international obligations of the Moldovan and Ukrainian governments."
*see Mimi Chakarova-Documentary Photographer