Archives for posts with tag: Moldova

I was in the middle of a palace garden, sipping a latte with brown sugar, waiting for the girls to come back from the washroom … again. Everything felt like magic – something I was feeling with every breath since arriving in Istanbul.

It was sometime after the sluggish remains of jet leg crawled off my skin, but much before the peaceful protests would turn to tear gas and water bombs, and even longer before I’d sit beside crowds of formerly trafficked sex slaves breaking bread with me.

I looked at that latte, looked at the gold-framed gates leading to The Bosphorus and multi-million dollar mansions lining the strait, looked back at the latte again. Magic.

It was the spring of 2013, and I was on a trip I begged Cindy to let me join. “So, what does a girl have to do to be invited on this trip?” I began. It honestly wasn’t long before I was saving up for a trip my boss wasn’t too keen about me leaving for.

“Sex slaves? Prisons for young criminals? Eastern Europe? Three weeks without you here?” He had become more like a father than employer during my time in that office. He wasn’t entirely thrilled. “Email me, please. Email me often.”

It was a simple trip: go to Eastern Europe, adjust to the time change in Istanbul, travel through Moldova to meet formerly trafficked girls and give warm bread to kids in gypsy villages. Hang out in an orphanage, a boys prison in Lviv, and then, go home.

I had been so caught up in myself.

I was too caught up in myself, and to be certain, I was exhausted of it. When the opportunity came to get outside of my own head, I bolted. I begged. I received, and it was magic.

I thought about this event much like all of my favourite moments. It came out of nowhere while I was closing up the expensive purse store, lining up clothes in perfect order and thinking too much of myself. I’ve been exhausted of being inside my own head, again. Always. And this image of me in loose green pants and a white tee enveloped my senses. Brown sugar, espresso, Bosphorus. There wasn’t room for freaking out about my degree, a job, a love or even eating right.

I’m reminded all of the time about these moments because my head knows I need it. I need to be reminded that even when the world is about it birth something big, I don’t need to repeat the possibilities in my head.

I think we all do that; we consider all of the possibilities until we drive ourselves mad and incapable of simply being available to a moment. Whether it’s a relationship, a job, a big decision, or even a personal health goal. I’m convinced more than ever that overthinking is a disease.

See when I went to Turkey, Moldova and Ukraine, I was told over and over about the possible dangers lurking around every single corner. I was told about kidnapping and war and violence. But I didn’t give myself to it. I accepted that I didn’t know what would unfold, and experienced something so beautiful I think it might actually have been magic.

I wonder sometimes if I need to do that in my everyday life? You too?

I wonder if I need to set aside all of those things I couldn’t control in my mind or my life, sit down with a cup of joe and simply feel the magic instead.

You know, we left Istanbul for Chisinâu just a few short days after we arrived. I met up with the girls the next morning after a typically awful sleep. Cindy handed me her iPad with a news story staring back at me. “Did you hear what happened yesterday?” She said. Of course I hadn’t, but it turns out we left the day Istanbul was breaking their peaceful protests for unrest.

“Wow,” I said shocked, tired, feeling a little guilty. Cindy mentioned her gratitude and guilt too, as if perhaps we should have been there or been able to get everyone out of there if we were going to leave.

See I knew there were protests. I knew this beautiful city was fighting for something incredible to happen for their children’s future. I knew it. And when I left, I didn’t wish for things to have been perfect, I just wished I knew how to connect my fortune with their struggle.

There will be so much unrest. Jobs, family, relationships, pressures. There will be fortune for you and terrible struggle for others. There will be deep regret and wild hope. There will be so much we cannot know until perhaps it feels to late.

But I promise you, if you stop all that overthinking, even just for a moment, there will be magic too.

Here I sit at this beautiful kitchen counter, counting down the mere hours before I jet-set across the world. There is a certain moment, I’m sure, I’ll really realize that I’m going places. And it’ll hit me and I’ll probably cry more than I did while I lifted my hands high in the shower this morning to praise the God that purposed me.

Today I’ll embark just over 5700 miles and arrive in Turkey, soak in the beauty, history, and present culture. Jump on another flight and arrive in Moldova to hear from the most beautiful women who are not victims, not survivors but overcomers of Modern Day Slavery. Jump on a bus and end up in L’viv Ukraine to find joy in little faces looking deeply for love and receiving it by the good partners of HART.

And I’ve decided I’m going not as a wanderer of live but a wonderer of Christ’s love worldwide.

And I sit here at this kitchen counter full of joy and questions and hope. What will such an adventure bring, and just how much could I lend a hand, a heart and a voice to those in need? Wonder with me, let’s go find out.