I was getting restless.

I have a list of ideas for future blogs. I began a new blog from that list and it simply was not falling together.  I tried another idea and the same thing happened.

I usually start on Thursday. By Sunday I have a working draft. Monday and Tuesday I polish the work. Wednesday I post it to be sent out Thursday.

Here it was Sunday and I was not even close to a good first draft.

I was getting restless and concerned.

Keep Learning: In my little book’ “Being a Proverbial Student,” I encourage students to seek knowledge, pursue understanding, and hopefully achieve wisdom. The goal is to develop educated people who continue to learn throughout life.

I am always excited when I learn something new. Sometimes I am actively in pursuit of new learning but other times if I am just open to gaining knowledge, conditions will occur for a good lesson.

I went to church on Sunday, excited to be back after missing last week because of a trip to Kansas for a family reunion. I expected to learn from our pastor, but I was not expecting the big learning opportunity that happened. I was deeply moved by the new knowledge.

Moldova: Our little church has a stable (not rigid) Order of Worship. We are flexible in how we approach it but rarely do we have a guest for missions. Sunday was an exception and I gained knowledge from an amazing person.

Joe Savage was the Dean of students at a local Christian college.  A few years ago, he took a group of students on a mission trip to Moldova.  His life changed forever because of that trip.

I had heard of Moldova but was ignorant of the geography or history. Moldova is a small, land-locked country with Ukraine on 3 sides and Romania on the west. It was formerly a part of the USSR. I learned more details about Moldova, but the crucial learning event came from one picture Joe showed the congregation.

Orphan Girls:  The picture was of three orphan girls ( yes, I know I only have two girls — but this is the closest picture I could find). All three were vibrant and smiling. In Moldova, orphans remain in state run facilities until they are 16. After that, with nowhere to go, the trouble begins.

He shared two staggering facts that are forever burned into my brain. First, after age 16, two out of three orphan girls are forced into sex trafficking. And second, the life expectancy for those girls is 23 years. Incredible knowledge!!

Every time we fly in or out of the Atlanta airport they issue human trafficking warnings, but it has gone in one ear and out the other. Now I have faces to the problem. I have more understanding of the breadth and seriousness of the problem. I have knowledge and better understanding. I will stay alert to the issue.

Joe’s heart went out to those young women and it forever changed his life.

To combat the traffickers, the girls needed a safe place to go after they turned 16. They needed adults to protect them. He prayed and two days later learned of a very poor house a couple opened to try to help. The house had no heat and the girls slept on mattresses on the floor. They had safety and love; but not a lot more.

Roads of Hope:  Joe and his wife began an amazing journey to full time involvement in a ministry to orphans in Moldova.  They are making sacrifices to meet the needs of others. They began with improvements to the existing house. Through prayer, and the help of a financier from Germany the ministry now has the ability to build new homes and provide house parents for the more orphans when they reach 16. More children are being fed, loved, helped to feel safe and continue to go to school. The ministry now includes: mission trips to Moldova; sponsoring the homes, hosting an orphan for 4-6 weeks, and more.

They have a big battle because the crime organizations behind the trafficking are big, powerful and unhappy to lose girls.

They found strength in James 1: 27, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in distress.” 

I was moved by one couple making a difference by seeing a need, leaving the comfort of their lives and trusting God to help overcome the need.

I found strength from another clear example that faith is not found in the rules we keep, but in the people we serve.

There are many needs in our world. I was deeply touched by my new learning. I am reading and learning more about Moldova and the trafficking problem in our world.

I am not making an appeal. But if you are particularly touched by this story you can find out more at roadsofhope.org.

Let’s Learn From Each Other: I learned from this experience and I want to learn more. Too often in the public eye, Christians are shown in a bad light. We need to spread the word of good people of faith who sacrifice for others.

The more knowledge we have about other ministries the more understanding we will have of needs in our world and the more examples of good work we will have to share with others. I believe it is very important that we learn both the needs and the wonderful people and ministries addressing those needs.

Many of you have groups and organizations you support. I would like to hear from you about any movements or ministries that are dear to your heart. I want to learn, I hope you do to.

Until next week,

May you have Joy in your life.

Jerry


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