Day Center visits
OM is supporting 11 Day Centers in Moldova this year. You can think of it like a hoard in Switzerland. After school, the children receive a hot lunch, help with homework, fun and games, and a Bible lesson. The biggest difference to our after-school programs in Switzerland is the family situation of the children. Many parents have psychological problems, are addicted to alcohol, have little or no income and/or are not present at all (these children live with relatives).
In September and October, I was able to personally visit four of these Day Centers. It was a great enrichment for me. In Corjova betreuen sie offiziell täglich 20 Kinder (und erhalten dafür die entsprechende finanzielle Unterstützung). But since they don’t want to turn away children, in reality there are often a few more children. Somehow the food is always enough for everyone. Galia, the director (left), is a trained teacher, but was unable to practice her profession because of a heart condition. Most of the time she looks after the children on her own, sometimes others help out. At home, she still takes care of her bedridden mother, who actually needs 24-hour Spitex. Maria (right) is the cook and a real Bunica (grandmother), always there for everyone. The two of them love the children and their work and you can feel this in their wonderful interaction with the children.
In Grădinița I met Pavel and his wife Ana. They got married this summer and were recently able to buy a house. Pavel had a tragic accident at 16 and has been paralyzed ever since. He has been working in the after-school care center for 5 years and despite, or maybe because of his impairment, all the children love and respect him very much. He can’t play soccer with them or go on spontaneous outings. Every day he is in need of help and despite everything he is there for these children every day.
He plays games, learns songs with them or actively listens to the teenagers – is simply the good soul in the after-school care center. The children, and especially teenagers, are close to his heart. Unfortunately, many have lost their own hope. That is why he invests his time, his prayers and his gifts in them.
We brought them a few bags of the clothes you donated last winter. Thank you very much for that! However, I was so encouraged by Pavel and Ana’s work that I felt I took home more than I could bring to them.
My task in the team will be, among other things, to find ways how we can help the after-school staff or train and support them even better. That’s why it was important for me to get an impression of the work on site and to get to know the Moldovan culture better.
In October, the annual professional development conference was held for all Day Center employees. There I was allowed to give a lecture on the topic of bonding and cooperation with children. It was my first presentation in front of a group, so I was correspondingly nervous. Fortunately, it worked out well. It was a very exciting and beautiful day for me, during which I was able to get to know even more employees and simply observe a lot.
We have received an incredible amount of clothes and shoes from you (blog). Thanks again. It’s just amazing what you guys have done!
Half of it went directly to Ukraine. From the other eight pallets that came to us in Moldova, we filled a total of
- 68 bags with clothes
- 10 boxes with shoes
- and 8 boxes with baby things
And now all are distributed – really all!
OM already works with many churches in rural areas. Their pastors could pick up the clothes from us. Or we brought them with us when we visited. In each of these places there are people who cannot even afford secondhand clothes or shoes.
You can’t imagine how things that are no longer needed in Switzerland become a huge blessing for others here. Thanks again for your support!
How are we doing personally?
You may have noticed that we were in Switzerland for two weeks in September. It was good to see friends and relatives, to speak Swiss German or to eat Raclette and Rösti. But the real reason for our trip was that my father died unexpectedly. Actually, it was not surprising, because he had been in poor health for some time. Nevertheless, in the end everything went much too fast. We immediately flew to Switzerland for the funeral, also to be there for each other as a family during the difficult time.
Now it’s been almost three months. Probably also due to the distance, it is still unreal for me that my father is no longer alive. Thanks to all who have supported us during this time. You are welcome to pray for us, but especially for my mother.
We still live in Boșcana. It’s nice because we like it here, but unfortunately still a bit far from Chişinău. Since the war in Ukraine, rents have become incredibly more expensive and therefore very difficult to find something good and affordable. So all that remains for us is to stay a little longer in Boscana and enjoy our village home. Hoping that we will still find something suitable when the time is right.
We realize more and more that we are somewhat isolated in the village and that it is sometimes lonely. We adults, but also our children, need new friends. When we visited different churches in Chişinău to find one with a good children’s program, we met again a family we already know from the homeschooling meetings. Our kids are about the same age and got along great even then. It is nice to see that they have now made friends outside of work. (Quote Anna: “Mom, I think I have two half girlfriends now.”) Naturally, it takes a little longer for us adults to become “friends” – but we’re still working on that. We feel well received in the community.
That’s enough now. I wish you a wonderful and contemplative Christmas. Oh no, that’s already over. So enjoy the new year and be blessed.