She is only 8 years old…
She is only 8 years old, almost half of her life she has lived in Moldova. From the standpoint of life & culture she has experienced more in 8 years than most will in 40 years. She has to adapt to new cultures, not just the culture of the country her family serves in, but each new family that becomes part of the team we serve on and each new friend she makes. She has many new friends despite the communication barriers.She often says she is not a Missionary Kid however, she serves with all her heart right alongside our entire family. Her heart and mind are full of ideas, you just have to stop and listen to what she has to say. She meets me every day, at the door or stops playing outside with friends, with open arms and a hug when I return from work. The first thing she says is how was your day. Mary is a very strong will, independent girl, with a heart that loves with all its might; who has already begun changing our world but, one day she will change the world for the greater of God’s kingdom.
Life growing up in a foreign country can be tough on a child. They experience struggles like never before but, they also experience days that are blessed with great joy. They are forced to learn and understand a new culture. This culture brings much change and challenge. Even at 8 years old Mary has many questions to why life is so different in Moldova. She sees the struggles of daily life for the people that surround her. In the village, in city and even outside our apartment building life is different and she recognizes that. One of her favorite sayings is “This is Moldova”. She knows that there is nothing wrong with living in a different culture however, it may be completely different from the culture in the US. Many of her friends deal with a lot of the same issues Mary does, like why she does not go to school with them, or why her Mother or Father calls her from the window each day for dinner, or even why she tells them she cannot play on Sunday because her family drives to the village for church that day. So, it is not just Mary, it is two separate cultures learning about each other and their way of life.
In recent weeks we as family have been experiencing some trials and tribulations here in Moldova but, we pray, seek and trust that God will walk with us though these storms. He faithfully takes care of us each time a storm arises. He gives and takes away when necessary to clear our paths. We are no different than other believers, we must awake each day dressed for battle, serving on the mission field does not make us different as believers we are all called to serve God in one way or another. The current battles we have faced have been especially hard for Mary. As a result, I have reached out to many for specific prayer request on behalf of Mary and this time of uncertainty she is experiencing. We have seen some improvement with each passing day. Last week one of my mentors poured wise words into my mind and these words made total sense. They came at a time when I myself needed to be reminded of the world that surrounds us. Yes, we know the Lord loves us and will take care of us but we also have to remember that Mary is only 8 years old. She is exposed to a lot of things that most 8-year olds are not. She knows about and is aware of sex trafficking but does not know what sex is. She sees and hears about mothers & fathers mistreating their children on a regular basis. She knows these children are her age living with little food, no clothes or housing and very little love, it becomes hard for her 8-year mind to wrap around these things. Her brain may be in overload mode, as she is trying to deal with it. Most children know their father goes to work each day but really have no clue to what he does, Mary lives what her father does each day. Every day is life in ministry, every moment people are watching us to see if we carry out the call God had placed on out life “correctly”. But more important our children are watching to see how we choose to respond to these storms. We choose to see our family as any normal family, yes we will mess up no we are not perfect, yes God did call us to leave the comforts of home as missionaries, but we are really no different than every other family called to serve Christ. We spend more time together as a family than we ever have and God is making us very aware of how very important this time is during these storms. How much we need to rely on Him and be in constant communication with Him. Mary is always asking questions, about things she sees or something we have experienced, it is good therapy for her. God is really working in her heart and mind, and has given us the opportunity for us to have some deep discussions with her. She has questioned why God does certain things good and bad, she is trying hard to understand the problems here in Moldova. She cannot wrap her little mind around all the poverty, corruption and fear she sees in the people. I feel as thou deep inside her heart she wants to solve it all, but God is teaching her something much greater, how important it is to have a relationship with Him.
As we walk through this time of uncertainty Christy and I both know the Lord is right beside us and He is in control. We pray each day for the wisdom and guidance over our family. We pray that God will open Mary’s heart and through this time of uncertainty she will learn to trust God with her life. We pray that as she sees life through her eyes God will transform her heart and draw her into a relationship with Him. We know that she is surrounded by people who love her and pray, so we ask that you continue to pray for her. I thank you for your time and ask that you remember our family as we walk through this season of life together in Moldova. Be blessed, thanks for your prayers.