From July 17-23, a BOL team with 17 young ‘Way to Success’ graduates completed a short mission trip to the Carpathian Mountains. The team was part of the ‘Youth for Tomorrow’ movement, seeking to shape a new generation of young and passionate leaders for the responsibilities of bringing change to Moldova.
The trip’s goal was the formation of young leaders alongside practical service to vulnerable children and people in need. After time spent together in training and gathering information, the mission trip became a perfect opportunity to put these things into practice.
Working and living together gave BOL leaders a great opportunity to convey in deeds the integrity of personal character and servant leadership, and to share with the young team members the principles of applying true faith to life.
We divided into three teams and spent several days fulfilling given assignments. Two teams went into the nearest village, where one group worked in the house of a deaf-and-dumb man who needed help with house repairs and chopping firewood for the winter. The other group visited two poor elderly women. The third team had remained in camp, working on the iron framework of a rock climbing wall for children who were due to arrive shortly.
The students who helped the deaf-and-dumb man were so excited by the outcome as, to their surprise, he started working with us and felt part of our team. He could not say a word, but his eyes were sparkling with happiness as he laughed with us. For this man, it was so important to be with us, to see that someone was encouraging and supporting him in his loneliness. At the end of the day, his house was not only clean, but very bright and cozy, too.
Their works were soon rewarded. While the team was taking a short break, a little girl from the village ran up and served them fresh milk from a jar. Then an older passer-by said, “Well done! In all my 60 years, this is the first time I have seen such a labor of love and such selfless people.”
The second team painted and cleaned the house of a lonely old lady. She also needed someone to chop her firewood and install electrical equipment in her home as she had lived without electricity for many years. The girls noticed that, in fact, cleanliness in the house was not this old woman’s most acute need. She longed for communication, to share her feelings and life experiences past and present with someone. Through this, our young leaders have learned to look more deeply into people’s needs. They brought a part of their light into this home.
Another old woman needed special assistance because she was paralyzed. Girls from our team bathed her – something her son was finding difficult. Through this, our girls discovered new dimensions to their personalities.
During this short week, we had excellent opportunities to work with many children. They were so happy to have grown-up girls and boys playing and spending time with them, telling Bible stories, making handicrafts and many other interesting things. Their sparkling eyes and smiles were our team’s greatest reward.
Each evening, our tired but happy team came together to share their impressions of the day. It was a time of discussing different subjects – the joys and sorrows, the fears and hopes – and of tears without feeling awkward. Our ministry to the needy united us, and we felt like a family.
Our trip came to an end. The first thing we heard after this mission trip was, “We want this again. We got closer to people and to God. We want to continue to serve…”
These words encourage us to take the next steps forward.