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Team Canada!

Friday started with a usual rhythm with a buffet breakfast downstairs in our hotel at 7:30 followed by our team devotion time. This morning we had a great conversation around the passage in Matthew 22 about the greatest and first commandment. At 9am Serghei and Valentine came to pick us up in the vans. We headed to the Urban Centre, our base in many ways, where we were introduced and inspired by the work of the staff in the Urban Kids department. This program focuses on the vulnerable, (often single moms and their kids) by taking them through a year long program with weekly lessons and time in the center. The space they have created is incredible as is their vision. They have a unique approach that works with the kids and mom together. They care for and develop the child and while teaching the mom. This wholistic approach creates a bond of attachment between the two.

Breakfast 2  Urban kids

After our time with Urban Kids, we headed out to the MoldExpo (like our Westerner) to unload the vans. One team then headed to El Shaddai Refugee Centre/Compound while the other half stayed at the Expo.  The Expo is a refugee reception centre managed by the UN. It is very organized as it has now been set up for a couple of months. Our partners have been requested to come and do art therapy and games for kids there every Friday so that is what we helped with today.

Art Therapy  

For the team that worked at the Expo today we were charged with setting up, manning and taking down the 2 bouncy castles. We also had great opportunities to play soccer, volleyball and have many great connections. Our work today was outside and since it was extremely hot, there wasn’t as much traffic through the castles as in previous days.

Bouncy  soccer

For our group it felt like there was more time to connect and hear stories and ‘see’ more of the kids in a more personal way. It wasn’t like they were competing for our attention like in past days. I really enjoyed spending time with an 8-year old girl named Deanna (I am sure she spells it different). She comes from Odessa and is here with her mom and brother. Her dad is back in Ukraine and she is afraid for him. She told me she loves chocolate but due to an allergy she can’t have it but she loves ice cream! She used to do karate back in Ukraine but now doesn’t the chance to take lessons anymore. She had such joy and spirit. I pray God will protect her family and that she will continue to be strong, positive and able to feel joy.  

The team that went to El Shaddai Centre felt great about going to back to a familiar place to see familiar faces and fellowship around a meal. Just as before the meal is made by the Ukrainian women that are staying in the home. They start off with a soup then the main meal which was good but unfamiliar. They really enjoyed re-connecting with Zoya and Serghei as well as Vladimir and Nikita.

Pretty much after lunch we all wrapped up our work and packed up to go get ready for our Canada Party! We were invited to create the main program for their Young Adult church which meets Friday nights. At Serghei’s request we did a Canada party. We came ready with Canada décor, lots of spirit and real maple syrup to make them traditional pancakes.  It is late and it was a big day so you will just have to fill in the banks here. Just know it was AMAZING! This team went all out and dove in with this group.

We were first welcomed by their leader who did a great job getting the energy up. They even started with a floor hockey ice breaker activity and then we took over. First up was introductions and that was combined with a short Q&A. We then moved into the Canadian national anthem which was then followed by some country swing. This is when the party really picked up. Zach S and Anica preformed a high energy dance to the tune of Canadian Summer and then the wider team did a group line dance to Cadillac Ranch. Next Anica taught the steps to the whole group and then we all did it together and had a blast!

Hockey  Line dance

After the dance portion we jumped into our 4 various stations where we had a hockey station, a ‘pin the tale on the Beaver’ station, a classic youth game where you try to get an Oreo cookie in your mouth from your forehead without using any hands- only your facial muscles and finally a pancake making and eating station. That was a BIG hit!

Pancake Approval

We ended the evening together just hanging out and then praying together. I can’t even tell you how much fun it was for me to watch our team step up and lead this evening and interact in this way with their young adults. So much fun!

Maple Syrup

While we did introductions some of our team mentioned that our Young Adults at church play volleyball every Sunday night after church. This Moldovan Urban Youth group also has a group that does the same thing on Fridays so they invited us to go play with them. Half our group continued fellowship through volleyball which I hear was also super cool as they saw these kids that invited them doing outreach with other kids at the gym. But for now, that is all we can add tonight. We need to get to bed. It was a wonderful day!


 Thank you for continuing to pray! We are feeling great (though a bit tired) and really engaging here. 


Categories: Missions , Moldova , Outreach , Young-adults