Merry Christmas! Today is Christmas according to the Julian calendar here in Moldova. In addition to it being Christmas it is a white Christmas too. Thinking back to Christmases gone by I do not every remember a white Christmas so this is first for my family and I. The snow has covered the ground much like a blanket, which reminds me of God’s love. As believers we prayed, repented, and He washed us white as snow. Just like the snow that surrounds me today I am reminded go God’s love and how He makes us pure and clean again through salvation.
With that being said and with all the snow today and yesterday I began to think. Moldavians are a lot like the snow in many ways. They to want to love and cover you like God’s love too. Their overall hospitality is unlike any other in this world. Like I have said before, they would give you the shirt off their back but they have no shirt to give you. Have you experienced someone like that? Someone willing to make your life better at all cost to them, see the similarity to the Lord’s love.
Many times over the past two years we have spent nights in various villages across Moldova. Sometimes in the local village church but, most times in a church member’s house. At first spending the night in the village for a foreigner can be overwhelming no matter how many times you do. I mean you meet this person and within a couple hours you are sleeping in their house, not really knowing them or knowing the house. They welcome you and act as thou they have known you for years, they offer you the best they have, it is a honor for you to stay with them. Christy and I have been given the bed of the parents at a house to insure that we were most comfortable. Once we stayed with a family who gave us the entire house and they slept in the much smaller winter house for five nights. There was also a time when an elderly lady gave us her entire house and she went down the street to her sister’s house for four nights. But this love and hospitality is much more than giving you a place to sleep, they will also insure that you are feed before bed and again in the morning before heading out even if you are going to the church to eat. The older Moldovan ladies will pull your children close and hug them tight just as if they were their on grandchildren. In some cases where you stay there may not be a shower so the host will take you to someone else’s house who has a shower making sure that you are okay and comfortable ultimately hoping you come back to visit another day. After several nights and days with a Moldovan family you will leave not only with a new friend but, you will leave as family. I stayed once with a family in the south for one night in a small village, and several months later while in the same area with a team the father called another Omer that was traveling with us and asked if we could pick up some paper work and documents. Not knowing I was with the team that day, we arrived at the village where we were to meet him. As he arrived to give us some documents and items to take back Chisinau he saw me standing on the side of the road and he immediately came to me and hugged me. Asking me how I had been and how was my family, he even mention some of the funny stories we had talked about that night I stayed with his family. So you you see how much they care and love others. He was a believer and in most cases we stay with believers but sometimes we may not but no matter what it is the same love and hospitality just as the Lord loves us.
Here is where the disconnect comes in, if they share and show this type of love why are they not open to or understanding the Gospel. Maybe they do not think they are good enough for the Lord or they have done some things they think are unforgivable. I know this is not the case for the God I serve forgives everyone. I wrote today what was on my heart and the Moldovan people are no different than anyone other people group for the Lord offers salvation to them too. Today is Christmas but not the Evangelical Christmas we know, they will celebrate the birth of Jesus but tomorrow right back to their old ways, with no effect on the heart what so ever. I ask you now to please pray with me today, tomorrow and in the weeks ahead that their minds and heart will be softened and they will be open to hear and understand the Gospel. In doing so a unexplainable revival will spread cross this country like a blazing wildfire and hearts all around will repent and turn to the Lord changing not only the people but also the direction of this country, the government and the politicians. This is my prayer, will you pray with me?
To open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by Faith in me. Acts 26:18 NIV