Many times when I go out to the village to visit with different families I cannot but wonder in the last few minutes before Jesus died on the cross how it must have felt to be alone and forgotten. That is the case for many elderly people across Moldova and Ion (John) from a village in south Moldova is no different. He lives everyday alone and forgotten. This loneliness and being forgotten is unlike anything you have experienced. You see Ion is 81 years old and looks to be 90 plus years in age. He lives in a house that is falling in, at the end of a road on the edge of the village. To understand more, life in Moldova requires much walking and this is easily recognized throughout the villages by the beaten down paths from house to house. Walking to Ion’s house was different thou, there was no beaten down path. Basically no one drops by to see him except for a lady from the local evangelical church. I cannot begin to imagine a life like the one Ion lives each day.
Ion is 81 years old, he lives alone for his wife passed away about 10 years ago. He also has problems with his eyes and cannot make out objects further than 10-12 feet in front of him. He has two sons and a daughter. The sons left the village many years ago and he has not seen them in close to 30 years. His daughter came to visit about four years ago only to take his money he had saved. He has not heard from her since. He does not even know if they are still alive, where they live and if he has any grandchildren. Ion lives in this loneliness each day.
During my last visit with him he had a radio playing music, I ask him if he liked listening to the music, he said many days that is the only voices he hears. Basically each day he sits close to the broken down soba (Moldovan oven used for heat) breaking small sticks and twigs to use to keep the fire burning for heat. The one room he lives in is very dark and damp. There is a bed, the soba and not much else. He is provided with one hot meal Monday thru Friday delivered by the local Elderly Center operated through the local evangelical church in the village. While visiting with him I try to talk to him, asking him about life gone by. He was a farmer for most of his life in the village where he lives now. You can see where he lives there is a lot of farm land surrounding the house, I bet in the day Ion had a large farm. You can get a smile out of him if you ask him about his time in the military, seems that this time he remembers well and he was happy to serve his country. As we said our good byes until the next time, he always tells us thanks for the food parcel and hopes to see us next time.
Ion’s life is no different than the 1000’s of other elderly people all over Moldova. In every village you will find Ions and others, there is 1600+ villages in Moldova. Ion needs firewood for winter to stay warm and some food, his pension is less than $50 a month. Please pray for Ion and others like him in the coming days and weeks as we get deeper into winter in Moldova.
In early 2017 we will return to the states for a short visit with family and friends, also use the time to raise and secure support for our next two years of ministry. As a family the Lord has placed people like Ion directly on our hearts, and going into 2017 our theme or motto is “Standing In The Gap” for others. We want to show people God’s love in an extraordinary way, not like before, we want to invest into this people lives at a personal level.
“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you” -John Bunyan
Please pray with us for Ion and others like him, also if you would like to help specifically for firewood and or winter food parcels contact me directly and I will give you needed information. Lastly keep our family in your prayers too, we are preparing for furlough and seems as if every day there is a new something to finish before we can leave for the states. Also we have only been in Moldova for two years but it feels as thou we are preparing to leave home again for the second time. Thanks for your time and prayers, blessings to you and a Merry Christmas.