Spring awakens

Spring awakens

After helping in Boscana during the winter, spring brought a small new beginning.

― by Tim / 2. June 2023

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Food parcels, wood
and no snow

In Moldova it is cold, but unfortunately there is no snow. We enjoy the warmth of our home and spending time as a family. 

Of course, we also work. Once a week I go to the day care center in Vadul lui Voda and do activities with the children. Every month we receive 10 food packages for the people of Boscana to distribute to needy families. This is a great help for them in this hard and cold time. 

Thanks to OM Moldova, the church in Vadul lui Voda was also able to distribute firewood to four families in Boscana. Lora had no more wood at that time and tried to make a fire in her cold apartment with cardboard from time to time, at least to have some warm tea or to prepare a simple meal. The wood was a great blessing for them. Unfortunately, there are so many construction sites in her dilapidated house that she needs not only wood, but actually a new home. Die Not ist manchmal so groß, dass man gar nicht weiß, wo man anfangen soll. But even the small helps are always accepted with great gratitude.


Help in after school care and a
disappointing end

From February to May, a team from OM Moldova supported the head of the after-school care center in Vadul lui Voda every Friday. In addition, I also went there on Tuesdays to do handicrafts with the children and to improve my Romanian. However, the day center has various problems, as many children come from traumatic backgrounds and often behave negatively. The day center teacher is alone with up to 20 children and has never been trained to deal with these difficulties. Through our help, she was relieved, learned new ways, good activities and how to build a relationship with the children – and the children had a great time.

In February we also continued the mothers’ program in Ialoveni. The kids loved the activities and the moms learned a lot of new things. Additional mothers were added as the program progressed, and in the end we had about 10 mothers with their children. Unfortunately, the people in charge of the church in Ialoveni did not want to take responsibility for the project and continue it – although they thought it was great. It was clear from the beginning that we would run it as a pilot project for only one year and they would have to take it over. We were very disappointed that we had spent so much, they profited from it and then didn’t want to invest anything ourselves.

What we didn’t know at the time…. God had a different plan. In May, another church in Lapusna, an hour from Chisinau, contacted us and showed interest in our program. We had the privilege of introducing them this summer and they would like to start the course for mothers independently in September.

In February we had another little highlight: There was finally snow! Elia was able to consciously play with snow for the first time and found it very interesting. Unfortunately, as you can see in the picture, there was very little snow. And yes, that was also the last snow for this winter. (I’m looking forward to lots of snow in Switzerland. So, pray hard for a white Christmas in 2023).


One idea
didn’t let us go

On March 8, we celebrated International Women’s Day in Moldova. We organized an event for women where many participants heard an encouraging message from the Bible. About 8 Ukrainian women also participated and it was nice to offer them a carefree evening.

In the last year, as a family, we have had many experiences that have matured in us an idea. However, we were not sure if this idea was feasible in this way. Since our contract with OM Moldova expires in September, we had to decide whether to extend our time here or go another way. Therefore, we spontaneously traveled to Romania in March for almost two weeks to visit two social projects and to get inspired.

First we visited Franziska and her family in Miercurea Ciuc, who had taken in orphans for a long time and therefore have a lot of experience with children from difficult backgrounds. After that we went to Irene in Suceava, who has been in Romania for a long time, runs a café for women and works mainly with women of all ages.

These visits were a great enrichment for us and gave us more clarity about what is possible and what our hearts really beat for. There are enough cultural parallels between Romania and Moldova that we can incorporate the knowledge and experience into our idea.


Visit from home

It was getting warmer and with the warmth also Jasmin from our home church FEG Thierachern came to visit us. Our children were so looking forward to the visit from Switzerland. Finally they could speak Swiss German with someone else. They immediately took Jasmin in hand, told her all sorts of things, played with her and also discovered one of Jasmin’s talents: knitting. So she had to, or was allowed to, knit a tail for Ruben’s homemade fox. Jasmin can also draw very well. Her mountain panorama hangs on the wall, of course. Anna was very impressed that someone can draw better than her. Yes, Anna, there really is. 😂

I also took Jasmin to my work. Together we visited two after-school programs, helped with the mothers’ program and distributed food packages.
We explored the city and on Sunday we attended the service of our church. It was a nice time, except for one small incident. She was sick for a few days. We’ll have to plan that better next time, because we couldn’t quite show her everything we had prepared.

After Jasmin left, the Easter season began in Moldova. The Orthodox Church celebrates Easter one week later than we do, so we celebrated Easter twice again this year. Of course, our kids think it’s great, even if there’s only chocolate and small gifts once.


Everything is new in May
(Swiss Proverb)

In May, spring finally really started and we enjoyed being outside to the fullest. Actually, we had liked it very much in Boscana, but there was little more work for us, and the drive to the office was about an hour each way. Therefore, after looking for a house in Chisinau near the office for about a year, suddenly everything happened very quickly. Through three corners we finally found one that we could pay for and was only a 10 minute walk from the office. The landlords actually wanted us to move in immediately, but until we are so spontaneous, we have to live in Moldova a little longer.
So we decided to move in there as of June, which still gave us three weeks to pack and move everything. I have no idea how six people can acquire so much stuff that we actually use more or less wisely. Someday we’ll move into a Tiny House and store all the stuff in our friends’ attic. Oh that’s right, that’s where we already store our stuff in Switzerland. 😂
The children sometimes looked forward to the parade more, sometimes less. They loved the garden and that we will be closer to the city (and thus more hobby opportunities). But they were also sad because Villa Sauerteig was our home after all. We felt the same way. We were happy and knew that we will miss Boscana, the people there and our little houses. So we left Boscana with tens of boxes, a refrigerator, a washing machine, suitcases full of clothes, 4 children and 2 cats. Yep, we adopted two cats. Didi and Strubelmutz (Mutzi for short) were both street cats, but now they are full family members and the children love them. Tim keeps emphasizing that he didn’t want cats, but he actually likes them pretty solid, too.

In the next post I will tell you how we arrived in Chisinau and what will happen with our idea. See you then…


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