I leave for Moldova in two days and there’s a Yes on my heart.
A few weeks ago some friends were over for dinner and I was telling them about my upcoming adventure to Moldova. (I leave this Saturday to meet up with a Children’s HopeChest team of 10 women. We’ll spend a week with girls rescued out of human trafficking and learn about some of the economic initiatives to help create work in Moldova.)
I pulled out the large blue atlas, bought at a Rotary Booksale for $3 on a rainy Sunday in November when the girls were playing soccer and Shay had to go to the bathroom. There just also happened to be a giant booksale in the lobby by the bathroom. Voila! At the time I imagined the girls and I could cut up the pages and make jewelry or bookmarks, but on that Thursday night, I loved carrying the heavy book to the kitchen, remembering some geography skills and looking up “Moldova.”
“There!” My finger smashed down on the map.
I spotted the small country, sandwiched between Romania and the Ukraine.
There she is.
Rampant human trafficking.
Invisible and unknown to too many.
Many people I talked to about my trip, hadn’t yet heard of Moldova. I hadn’t heard of it either until my mom-in-law gathered a group of women to Moldova when Shay (now five) was still in my pregnant belly. My heart ached to go along. I wanted to go with them, but it wasn’t my time to go then. I was meant to stay behind—be a sender—and pray for the women on that journey.
As I prayed, my heart for this small country grew.
I remember sitting in our big bed and typing out a letter: To the Women of Moldova. I remember the passion in my fingers. Tears spilling out … I wanted to will my heart for them—for a better life, a different economic position, less pain—through every key I hit on the computer.
Five years ago, here’s a few sentences of what I typed out:
“I am thinking of you today, I am carrying you in my heart and I am praying you will rise up and make Moldova a proud nation. I know God is already holding you in the palm of His hand. You are His hope for this generation.
I bless you, my sisters, on the other side of the world. Perhaps I will get to meet some of you some day–I really hope so!”
Right then, God was growing both my heart and my hunger to go.
From that time on, whenever I heard the mention of Moldova, my ears perked up.
That’s why my radar went off when Nicole Wick, an e-friend, wrote something in a facebook status this past summer. There were three key words (to me) in there: women + Moldova + trip.
I left a comment. She sent me a DM on Twitter. And before I knew it, we were having a full conversation via Twitter Direct Messages.
January, she said. A team of women.
So, I jumped in and wrote a facebook status update, testing the waters. Perhaps someone felt utterly compelled to come look after our three kidlets for a week and that would be a big Divine Yes then, wouldn’t it?
Some of my busiest friends left comments saying they would love to help out! But I had hoped for someone who might be willing to stay for the week.
I sent a message asking one friend if she might be interested.
I asked another friend, but she’d just started a brandnew job.
Nobody was biting.
Oops. Am I supposed to go, God?
I let it rest for a while.
Then I woke up with an early alarm one morning, wanting to hit the snooze button. I sensed a compelling to have quiet time, but I felt groggy and so tired. I still remember leaning against the bedroom wall, having a conversation with God over the snooze button. I was miliseconds away from crawling back into bed.
Then this: What if I wanted to talk to you about that?
I was playing dumb. About what?
Within 30 seconds I was downstairs in my green prayer chair, wide awake.
Like Samuel, my heart was so open to hearing : Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.
Almost immediately I saw a picture of a circle of women and God wanting to send someone to Moldova on a trip to go love on his girls there.
And the question: Whom shall I send?
I put up my hand immediately, like the eagerest beaver in God-class.
I stretched it up, way high. As high as humanly possible.
Send me, Lord, Send me, please! I want to go!
At first I honestly thought I would have to fight off the crowds who’d want to go on this adventure too.
Then I looked around the circle, into the nameless faces, and instinctively knew as I stopped my gaze on each face:
She can’t go.
She won’t go.
She can’t go.
She probably wouldn’t go.
My hand was still eager-beaver way up: Send me, Lord! I’d love to go!
The words resting on my chest and in my heart that morning were:
“Now who do you think I want to send?”
As a mom, I would have liked to send the one who’d get the most benefit from going. The one who most needed it.
But I also know if that daughter won’t put up her hand–if she doesn’t get a glimpse of the goodness I am offering her–I can’t make her go. So, then I’ll pick the daughter who wants it.
I felt a smile. I sensed a lightness.
O, so this willingness is a good thing.
I had a glimpse that even though our God would love for more daughters to experience the joy of these thin places–where Heaven and Earth meet in the going and the trying—too few still are willing.
For too many of us, the book is closed and packed away before it’s even opened.
We won’t even consider the thought.
– The precious idea tucked away deep into your heart.
– The hope that feels more like wishful thinking.
– The possibility in the distance that makes your heart beat faster.
No room? No eyes to see possibility? No asking or seeking?
Then, sadly, also no heart-thumping, bridge-jumping, earth-roaring miraculous finding.
Too few God-glory stories to tell then.
No humming as we walk along then.
No writing on the earth with our lives then.
Instead, my SheLovelies, on the eve of Moldova, what about this rather :
Let us be women with a yes on our hearts and a willingness to camp for a while where the seemingly impossible meets our ready feet.
Willing to stand at Impossible Peak and pray there until the mountains begin to move.
Willing to shake the dusty inertia off our feet and go to the ends of the earth.
Willing to lay down our own comfort and trust the God of all Comfort.
Willing to send and willing to pray until the dead bones come to life.
Let us plain and clear be women who are willing …
I’d so appreciate your thoughts and prayers as we go.
– Jenni Clayville has all the pictures and details of our team here.
– Prudence Landis tells you what we’ll be up to while we’re there here.
– And some more of those details from Alise Wright here.
– And so important: Amanda Sims made a list of how you can pray for us here.
If you’d like to follow the whole kaboodle of us on Twitter, Jenni created a public list right here.
See you in Moldova!
Image credit: Gorgeous Moldovan woman, by Veni Markovski
Brown background image by Shaire Productions