Update from Darrell, Monday December 15, 2014
Today the teams went out into the field. I traveled with Ted’s southern team. We had three orphanages on schedule, but made it to only two. The weather was unexpectedly cold, with ice on the trees and vegetation, though the roads were clear. Both of Ted’s orphanages were in Cahul in the most distant southern part of the country. One was for deaf children. The other had a general population of children. In both places the children appeared happy and well-cared-for, which is a welcome change from the bad conditions in some orphanages in the early days of Dearing’s work there.
The director of the orphanage for the deaf would not allow photography of the children. It was allowed at the other place, but I encountered the old problems of trying to make useful photographs of the shoe-fitting process — kids and mission team members in a tight formation bending over a shoe is inherently unphotogenic. Maybe in other places, the rooms will be larger and the team leader will allow me to move one or two fitting seats off by themselves, so I can crouch beside them and see the faces, hands, and feet.
Update from Darrell, Sunday December 14, 2014
Friends, I think of you constantly as I work here in Moldova. Temperatures are in the 30s and 40s, not bitterly cold, as so often in the past. We arrived about noon Saturday and immediately went to work sorting the inventory — boots, socks, caps, and scarves — by gender and size. All these items had been delivered to CERI’s warehouse but not sorted into boxes.
The sorting is necessary for efficiency in serving the orphans. It won’t do to tell a boy or girl who needs new boots to wait while we rummage through a pile of boots in the truck and hope all the boots his size aren’t on one of the other trucks. Today we worshiped at Christ the Savior, a Baptist church here in Chisinau. After pizza in the church basement and a now-or-never dash through the local street market for souvenirs and gifts, the group returned to the warehouse to load three trucks.
The volunteer mission group — about 36 — is broken into three teams. One will go south tomorrow, one will go north, and one will remain here in Chisinau, the capital city. I will go south with a group led by our old friend, Ted McElroy. I have a car and driver/translator, Iurie Malancea, an MBA in marketing who has visited the United States five times and is way smart.
At the end of the workday tomorrow, the south team will remain in the city of Cahul. Iurie and I drive back to Chisinau. That’s so we will be poised to drive north early Tuesday to catch up with Dearing’s team. I am shooting video for the first time of my life and making a lot of mistakes. Still, I think it’s the right thing to do. Words and still photographs are so yesterday to most young people. If it’s ain’t video, it ain’t real.
My biggest problem, besides jetlag, is too few hours in the day. Shooting takes most of the daylight hours and editing photos and videos takes most of the night. The proposition in this arrangement is sleep. Many volunteer missionaries are college-age Baptists from around Texas with a few from other states. I am inspired by their enthusiasm for Jesus and for the work laid before them. I worry about their cultural maturity, however. I mentioned George Jones and Hank, Jr., to one young man who is self-identified as a fellow redneck. He thought maybe his grandfather had mentioned them to him.
My finished videos are too big to attach to emails, so I can’t send you samples of what I’m doing here. I recommend that you check CERI’s Facebook page. Some are posted there, along with pictures and videos contributed by the participants. Can you say selfie? CERI’s Facebook page is www.Facebook.com/CERIkids. The page is public so you can browse the postings even without a Facebook account.
Your brother in Christ, Darrell