Besides our regular meetings with the homeless and needy people twice a week, there is more counseling and helping work that we try to do. Thus, one of the highlighted events that took place in December was helping Vladamir find his son.
Vladimir (pictured left) is one of the unfortunate men that became homeless when his home burned, because of a gas leak. The mayor promised to helped him, but that never happened. He came to Ialoveni from Russia when he married a Moldovan lady, but she died and so was left alone with no friends or close relatives around here. Besides his wife, one other joy that Vladimir had in his life was his son, but because of their poor situation they had to leave his son in an orphanage somewhere in Vladivostok, Russia (far Eastern Russia, farther than China). That happened years ago, so Vladimir had only a very vague hope that he can ever find his son again; all he had was an old picture from when his son was a child and his son’s name and last name.
Vladimir seemed sincere, so Bread of Life decided to try to help him, if that was possible. We have some good relationships with the main prosecutor of Moldova and we were going to use that, since they can collaborate with some special services from other countries and can require different types of information. We gave them that picture, the city and the name of the boy and fairly soon they came back to us with the freshest information from the Russian police that Vladimir’s son is alive and well, just that he is in prison for some small robbery. Wasn’t too pleasant to find out that his son is in jail, but Vladimir is so happy that he knows where is his son and he hopes to be able to visit him or even to move back to Russia, but right now he has no identity papers – they all burned with his home.
Bread of Life may attempt to request a transfer for Vladimir’s son to a Moldovan prison so that when he is released, father and son could be reunited, although this request could be quite complicated.
One other special event for me was when I met Nicolai. We are doing the feeding program and help people with some clothes, medicine, etc, but you can’t see a lot of results right away and that brings some discouragement from time to time…
On my way home from downtown, I had to loaves of bread with me and, because I was walking, I decided to take a shortcut that I don’t usually use. I started walking on that new way but after less than a minute of walking I’ve seen a bunch of dogs (probably homeless too..) and thinking that I don’t want to face them I decided to turn back on the main way. But when I turned back I happened to see another route I’d never seen before – it couldn’t be seen from the main road. It was a mini dumping ground for a nearby apartment building. I did not see a lot of people, but only one. I approached him and we started talking.
His name is Nicolai and he is 46 years old; he is from Hinceshti (another county), used to work as a driver, tractor driver and a crane operator, but he lost the jobs, somebody robbed him and stole his money and his ID and so now he was in Ialoveni – in this shape. I have shared about Bread of Life and Victory Baptist – about our desire to help people like him and he listened it all, but he seemed to have been rather touched when I gave him one of the 2 loaves of bread that I had with me. I have invited Nicolai to our regular meetings and he promised to come. When I had this encounter, it was like God telling me that it is worth doing that. There may not be seen many results right away, but even the bread I gave Nicolai that day had an impact on him, so I have hope that if we continue to meet and work with them – greater things may be achieved.
Christmas Gifts for the Poor
Of course, the top of everything was the Christmas and New Year celebrations. Bread of Life was actively involved during the winter holidays, as it was before; along with the Little Samaritan Mission in Moldova, we gave lots of gifts to many children, but if for these gifts brought joy to every child, than to those who come from very poor families where parents cannot afford to buy a Christmas gift – this was a totally special event. Children sang songs and told poems about Christ’s birth – everyone enjoyed the program and this year, as in the years past, the birthday of Jesus brought much joy. Totally, we gave away around 250 gifts to the poor children; children from the Church, a local kindergarten and a local school; we hope that this was a good testimony and the doors will remain open for us to bring the Gospel to these places again.
With blessings and gratefulness,
The Bread of Life Moldova team