Cut off from society and living in dire conditions, many adults with disabilities spend their lives in Moldova’s state institutions. Our friends in Casa Mea’s four community homes have come from such places, and we long to provide a fifth home.
As we enter our second year of full-time ministry here, there is so much for which we are thankful. The immediate hurdles that loomed so large when we arrived have morphed into stories of God’s faithful provision: a place to live, residency permits, a car. Yet these things that so dominated our prayers (and prayer letters!) are soon replaced by other needs: language learning remains a persistent struggle, coupled with the tiring frustrations of adjusting to a new culture.
It is easy to let our gratitude fade and to focus on the pressing concerns of the present. We are learning that a spirit of thankfulness and contentment must be cultivated and keeping a written record of what we are experiencing has been a helpful way to turn our hearts to praise the giver of every good and perfect gift.
We are learning that a spirit of thankfulness and contentment must be cultivated.
Ministry itself has been a source of encouragement. Our transition into the Casa Mea team has been smooth thus far and we are grateful for a growing God-given love for this work. Indeed, a sincere love and desire to help those individuals supported by Casa Mea has been an anchor for us during the more challenging times.
Casa Mea seeks to bring the gospel to those abandoned in society because of physical and/or intellectual disabilities. Four homes have been founded and we now have the privilege of planning a fifth. We are eager to see how God will guide us.
Our residency permits are granted on the basis of a full-time job description with Casa Mea. We feel the pull of wanting to honour that and yet the limits of our language are holding us back. It feels like a catch-22 situation: we need the language to work, but time for language study is often pushed aside by work commitments, not to mention the added challenge of raising two small children, and needing to foster a safe and happy environment for their development.
On frustrating days, when we come home from the market with all the wrong ingredients, we are grateful that our Heavenly Father is not measuring our productivity by human standards. He simply asks us to humbly obey him each day in the tasks he has given us to do.
As you seek to do that yourself today, please remember us in prayer: that our manner of life would be “worthy of the gospel of Christ” (Philippians 1:27) and we would never cease to learn at his feet.
Our Heavenly Father simply asks us to humbly obey him each day in the tasks he has given us to do.
Photos: Main picture – some of the residents at a Casa Mea home; Ben & Esther; Reuben with Aslan the cat!
Ben & Esther Smith are language learning and working in the Casa Mea project in Moldova