December 20, 2012
CERI mission teams in Eastern Europe served over 6,600 children, youth and adults during the 2012 Kids n’ Boots mission which just came to a close – thanks to the generosity of CERI donors and volunteers.
The Kids ‘n Boots mission took place over a two week period from November 30 to December 15. In just two weeks, five teams of nearly 100 CERI volunteers and support staff visited over 60 orphanages, foster care, and transitional care centers. All teams personally outfitted every child and youth living in an orphanage with a brand new pair of socks and warm winter boots. We also visited adult orphanages where we outfitted adults with disabilities in new socks and warm slippers.
We are excited to share that approximately 125 decisions for Christ were made as a result of this mission, as well as several new child sponsorships! Child sponsorships are what make CERI’s work year-round in Moldova possible. We cannot thank you, our generous supporters, enough for making this happen.
CERI raised more than $167,000 to purchase boots valued at about $320,000. During the two week period, media coverage was extensive on Moldovan television and the US Ambassador, William Moser, visited one of the orphanages to witness CERI teams in action.
Volunteers and staff arrived in Moldova and gathered at the IMB mission house in Chisinau. Distribution of the boots and other supplies began Monday December 3rd. Several CERI teams split up to serve orphanages and youth centers in Cahul, Chisinau, Balti, northern & central Moldova, and the Transnistrian border.
All CERI volunteers and staff are now safely home, and are raving about the life-changing experience of joining CERI on the 2012 Kids n’ Boots mission.
Like CERI on Facebook for dozens of pictures & heart-warming videos
of this year’s Kids n’ Boots teams in action!
I’d like to share a couple examples of God’s miracles during this mission: The fiercely cold weather in Moldova this time of year, in addition to heavy snow storms, posed significant challenges for each of our mission teams. On more than one occasion, teams were faced with the risk of not reaching their destinations, as many orphanages are located in remote areas of the country.
One of our teams reported that they were fervently praying for God to pave a way for them to reach a remote orphanage as their driver was telling them the snow was too deep to drive through. Would you believe that as they prayed, a snow plough appeared, as if from nowhere, paving the way the entire way to the orphanage?! I could go on and on about God’s faithfulness and provision on this mission, but there’s one more story I’d particularly like to share. It’s about a miracle that happened to the team I was on.
By the end of the mission on the second week, several boot sizes had been depleted from our team’s inventory. While we were always able to finagle boot styles and sizes to fit each child, this particular instance was unique. Our team was at the only orphanage in the country for children and youth who are blind or who have disabilities. The very last boy we were trying to fit needed a boot size that we had run out of three orphanages before.
Our entire team turned the inventory upside down, frantically searching for the boy’s boot size anyway. We searched the truck again and again but to no avail. Finally CERI’s Executive Director Dearing Garner said, “Let’s pray that the boy’s size is on the truck and look again.” As soon as the words left Dearing’s mouth, a team member who had searched the truck over and over reappeared, confirming that we were indeed out of the boy’s size. Dearing looked at the volunteer, pointing towards the truck, and said, “Go, look on the truck again. It’s there!” The volunteer raised his brows, grinned, and headed back to the truck. Moments later, with tears in his eyes and wonderment in his expression, Gary Bunning of Nashville, Tennessee reappeared with the boy’s boots in hand!
God truly is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow…