EDITORIAL: Moldova on My Lips (And My Special Prayer Request)


I have a special prayer request. A request that may seem strange, but I’m asking it with all of my heart.

In the last day and a half that we’ve been on Moldovan soil, the poorest country in Europe with the highest rate of human trafficking in the world, my heart’s been breaking … as it should.

“It seems so hopeless,” said one of my new friends from our Team Moldova here, with Children’s HopeChest during a debriefing early this afternoon. We’d spent the morning visiting the poorest of the poor here–families who had been affected by human trafficking, as well as single mothers. We’d seen how complicated it all is–poverty, human trafficking, corruption, desperation. Our hearts were breaking. As it should.

Some of what we learned these past two days:

– Moldova is a small landlocked country and out of a population of 3.5 million people, 300,000 people here have been victims of human trafficking.

Thirty thousand Moldovan girls are missing. Let me say that again: 30,000 girls here just disappeared one day and haven’t been seen or heard from since.

– Some our team members visited a family today who had two daughters who were trafficked. Imagine.

The poverty here is so great, it’s understandable that people are looking for better opportunities elsewhere. We drove past a bustling parking lot today where people were picking up packages their family members had sent from abroad–from Italy, France and Belgium.

Today we also heard the story of a girl who’d responded to an ad for work in Turkey. When she got to Turkey, however, her passport was confiscated and she was forced to sew in a sweatshop all day. Then at night she was had to “work” in a brothel.

We’d heard how a family would sell a daughter even for a bottle of vodka.

People here are poor. Desperate.


And then we visited a single mom today—o, what a picture of strength she was. Her face radiant, although she’s had such a tough life.

Victoria greeted us at her door, saying: “Welcome to our palace!”

For her it, the two small rooms with a kitchen/laundry/bathroom constituted a palace. But she has an open furnace in her bedroom where she stays with her adorable seven-month old boy. She’s happy to live here, because it’s so much better than the places they’d stayed before. But she’s carrying her son around in her arms all day, because it’s too dangerous for him to be on the ground, near that hot furnace. I can’t even imagine it, to be honest. How sore her back must get. Her arms. Still, she’s happy and thankful.

“Her name is Victoria and she’s acting according to her name,” said Julia Ubeyvolk, founder of Beginning of Life. Victorious, indeed.

Before we left, I asked Victoria if I could pray for her boy. She looked so proud of him and told us, He’s a miracle boy.

Here’s why:

When Victoria was pregnant with her son, she decided to have an abortion. The dad didn’t want to have anything to do with a baby. Plus: she already had a daughter and Victoria knew that if she got pregnant, she would lose her job and wouldn’t have money to pay their rent. So, she went to the abortion clinic and got prepped for the procedure.

But when she’d already had the anesthesia and could no longer talk, Victoria had a change of heart. She remembered her grandmother’s words to her—not to have an abortion. With her eyes only, she indicated to the doctor that she didn’t want to go through with the procedure. Miraculously the doctor respected her prompt and waited until her anesthesia wore off to hear whether she still wanted the abortion or not. When she came to, she was adamant to keep the baby.

No wonder Victoria calls him her miracle baby.

No wonder his eyes are so bright.

We were about to leave–we had already prayed with her as a team–but I felt compelled to ask Victoria if I could pray for her boy. I couldn’t help but imagine him as the future of Moldova. He can be part of writing a different story in this nation. I could hear the echoes of the Watoto kids when they say, I am the future of Uganda. I believed the very same for this little boy—the future of Moldova.

So, as we were driving back to our hotel this evening, after spending the afternoon with the girls at the Beginning of Life rehabilitation centre, a place where girls can go who had been rescued out of human trafficking, I was thinking about everything we had heard over the past two days. I was thinking about the statistics and the stories. I was thinking about the dreams the people at Beginning of Life have for helping transform this nation. I was thinking about how I could express some of what we’d seen and experienced.

That’s when I realized:

So many of you are praying for me and for our team, while we’re here. It’s strengthened my steps and my faith. I sincerely appreciate your prayers–more than you know. It was hard to get here and the days are intense. But, honestly, after what we’ve seen and experienced, I know I don’t need your prayers as much as this nation does.

Moldova needs our relentless prayers.

So, here’s my special request: every time you think of praying for me and our team, every time you see a tweet or see an Instagram update, could you please also pray for Moldova? Could you carry this nation on your lips?

If you need more words, here’s what I am praying:

–       For poverty to be eradicated.

–       For job opportunities for the people here.

–       For entrepeneurs to rise up.

–       For a restoration of the economy.

–       For families to rise up out of poverty.

–       For the churches here to preach a whole gospel.

–       For the churches to grow strong and flourish.

–       For a renewing of minds—that people’s minds will be renewed, so they can bust out of a poverty mentality.

–       For global partnerships that will help–not hurt–the people of Moldova.

–       Please stand with me in praying for Hope to be restored here and for the future leaders of this nation, like that little boy we cuddled today, to be groomed in Love, integrity and great purpose.

“The prayers of a righteous person avails much.” We know this. I want to remember this as we hope and pray for Moldova for the next several days and, if it’s still on your heart, beyond this week. We want our prayers to avail much.

Gary Haugen, president of International Justice Mission said this:

We serve a God who cares deeply about the injustice and abuse that occurs around the world: a God who wants to see ‘justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream.’ (Amos 5:24) Justice is central to the very nature of our God, and He has chosen to allow His people to be His voice for justice on the earth. Some are called to proclaim His justice through legal advocacy, some by caring for the suffering, some by teaching, and still others by prayer. Those who are willing to intercede daily for the cause of biblical justice are critical advocates for the weak and suffering in the world. In light of the immense need for advocated for justice, we recognize that our strength is not sufficient for this task. But our hope and strength come from the living God of Justice. We entreat His power to sustain our ministry.”

So, my request today is simple: would you hold the name of Moldova on your lips? Every time you think of me, our team and our work here—would you turn your thoughts and prayers to heaven on behalf of Moldova and her people?

Moldova … Moldova … Moldova.

I have seen the Berlin wall fall. I have seen Apartheid crushed. I believe we can be part of shaping history in Moldova, starting with our prayers.

Want to stay connected to what I’m up to this week? 

– Follow me on instagram @idelette or Twitter for regular updates throughout the day during our Moldova trip especially.

– You can also subscribe to our #teammoldova Twitter feed for updates from the whole team.

Thank you so much for walking, carrying and praying with me on this journey.

With so much Love, from Moldova.



Idelette McVicker
I like soggy cereal and I would like to go to every spot on the map of the earth to meet our world’s women. I dream of a world where no women or girls are for sale. I dream of a world where women and men are partners in doing the work that brings down a new Heaven on earth. My word last year was “roar” and I learned it’s not about my voice rising as much as it is about our collective voices rising in unison to bring down walls of injustice. This year, my own word is “soar.” I have three children and this place–right here, called shelovesmagazine.com–is my fourth baby. I am African, although my skin colour doesn’t tell you that story. I am also a little bit Chinese, because my heart lives there amongst the tall skyscrapers of Taipei and the mountains of Chiufen. Give me sweet chai and I think I’m in heaven. I live in Vancouver, Canada and I pledged my heart to Scott 11 years ago. I believe in kindness and calling out the song in each other’s hearts. I also believe that Love covers–my gaps, my mistakes and the distances between us. I blog at idelette.com and tweet @idelette.
Idelette McVicker

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Idelette McVicker
  • Oh dear friends, I am praying for you all (in English & Russian) that where there is despair, there might be hope; where there is darkness, there might be light; and where there is sadness, there might be joy.

    • Danielle, I have a new appreciation for Russian prayers. Thank you so much for your “with.” xoxo

  • I ‘like’ this, but I really, REALLY don’t. I feel sick. All I can do is cling to hope, to the hope that is in our ever loving God. Where else can we turn, when the gutter is so full?

    • Exactly. It’s heart-wrenching. Let’s humbly turn our groans and our aches and our cries to God to turn them into something Beautiful. Thank you for your heart … Thank. You. It’s so painful, but it’s so worth it. #whatbreaksGod’sheart

      • AMEN. Because sometimes there is nothing else left to say, and why does anything else need to be said?

        I AM being torn apart, it would be easier if I wasn’t, but I am, and I AM clinging onto the hope in God, because there IS hope, there IS.

        As despair turns to prayer, perhaps we’ll get somewhere, some day. As we move this mountain together, one stone at a time.

  • cjdeboer

    “I believe we can be part of shaping history in Moldova, starting with our prayers.” AMEN. Praying with you my friend ~ Moldova on my lips.

    • Thank you so much, my friend. Thank you for believing with me. You’re the best.

  • Christiana

    Thank you for sharing this story of horror and grace. I will be praying Moldova, Moldova, Moldova.

    • Thank you, Christiana. Reading that–the sound of Moldova on more lips–just makes me weepy.

  • My two-year-old sometimes prays “Jesus, Jesus, more Jesus” over people. This is what my heart is crying for Moldova. Also, how amazing your word, exponential, as thousands of women are now crying out for this nation.

    • That is precious and so perfect, Abby. Wow. #mouthsofbabes // I hadn’t thought of this in relation to exponential–but o, thank you! YES, yes, YES–exponential prayers for Moldova. Lord, hear our prayers.

  • praying for vocations that nourish the spirit, that restore families, empower men and women, and for creativity to flow in Moldova.

    • amen and amen! you say it so beautifully.

  • Holly

    Moldova on my lips … from now on … Moldova on my lips …

    • thank you, friend … #together

  • Alie

    praying, hoping, (crying with hands clasped), I am thinking of Moldova … and you …. xo

    • Thank you, my wonderful friend. Love you. xo

  • My heart journalist. Thank you.

    • Awww. Thank you, love. #heartyou

  • just krista

    Moldova, you are not forgotten. You are loved. Praying for you and your people.

    • That song has been in my heart all week: “I am not forgotten.” Yes, Moldova, you are not forgotten. Thank you, friend!

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  • wanting the full story

    I am an American who has lived in Moldova for over 2 years. This article is not the full story. It gives the impression that Moldova is some desolate place
    full of never-ending sorrows…simply not true. Yes, there are major
    issues there, but so are major issues in every country around the
    world…just different ones in Moldova.
    often concerned that some of these very true issues/problems are
    shown-off to the outside world as a way to just attract additional
    funding/international grants. Not saying that some of these issues are
    not real, just that they should be portrayed also in the context of the
    many positives of this country/society.
    Good point though that Moldova
    could use some support gaining stronger economic opportunities and
    global partnerships/investors.

    • Hi–thank you so much for your response! I totally agree. This is not the full story. I would humbly ask you to read my second piece on Moldova here: http://shelovesmagazine.com/2013/my-freedom-is-bound-to-yours/

      I was so struck by how capable the people we met and hung out were. Now I call them friends. Yes, on the one general end there was a sense of hopelessness–but I find that in my own city too. I couldn’t deny the sense that there was no “more” need for me/us there than in my own home or city or place in the world. I walked away not with this great sense of need that we had to meet, but rather with a reminder that I DARE not see a country or a girl or a person on any street in the world through a single storied-lens.

      Thank you for speaking up. Interesting how I can see my own “liberation” even in the difference between these two pieces. My heart still aches for Moldova, because it hates injustice; but I also miss Moldova now because of the people we hung out with and I now call friends.

      I would still ask friends to pray for Moldova. I still want Moldova to be on my lips and our lips. Not for manipulation, but because I simply believe in the power of prayer for great transformation.

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