Saying goodbye is one of the hardest things to do. This morning we said goodbye to the children. This was the first year the Americans left camp first, so we actually drove away before them. I am not sure which is harder, them driving away or us. While in the van waiting for its departure the kids were on all sides putting “I love you” hands on the windows, waving goodbye and crying, I was unsuccessfully holding back tears when Daniel said to me, “We are not gone yet”. This reminded me to take in every moment I have. I was living in the future when I should have been living in the moment. So, I put a smile on the face, waved “I love you”, blew kisses and took in the beauty of God.
Later tonight we took the leaders out to a traditional Moldovan dinner in Chisinau. Daniel and I kept each other accountable on being in the moment regardless of the lack of energy, sleep, strength or good health. This was the last hours we got to spend being Jesus to our leaders and building on our relationships with them. As the time drew closer to leave my heart became heavy. I hugged each goodbye at least five times, with each hug holding on tighter and longer than the one before. They are harder to say goodbye to because the relationships we have with them are stronger and truly have foundations in Christ. I met most 5 years, some seven years ago and each time we leave our relationship is put on pause until the following year when we can press play again. God is so good and he continues to bring them back as they grow in His spirit. I pray we find more ways to keep in touch throughout the year so that these friendships don’t have to be put on pause. I can’t tell you enough how genuine their love is for the children, how beautiful their lives are for Christ and how gentle their spirits. I learned that the reason most of them are unable to go to Deaf Bible colleges and conferences in Russia and Ukraine is due to the Moldovan orphanages teaching the Deaf the Romanian language, not Russian. How sad they are missing out on those opportunities to grow in the Lord. I pray that we can find ways for the leaders to be taught the Word in a language they understand. The limitations put on them hurt my heart, it’s hard to even write about it.
We look forward to the years to come as we watch all the Moldovan Deaf grow. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement and remember to live in the moment.
Slava Boga (Praise God)