"Mondays were always more difficult," the teacher at one of the children's centers we visited mentioned. She was describing a particular young girl who started coming to the center several years ago. Her mom left the country to find work and life at home was difficult. The teacher spent time every day combing the young girl's hair. Unfortunately, it was to remove lice. And Mondays were more difficult because the weekend away from the center always resulted in more lice. We did get an update on the young girl, but not before visiting a few more centers.
When we parked the van in the mixed gravel and dirt lot in front of the church, we immediately noticed the work on a building under construction. A couple of men were using mortar to hold together large limestone bricks that were piled and waiting on the foundation. Another gentleman evaluated a segment of the wall with his tape measure and looked the part of the job foreman. We were a little surprised at first when he was soon introduced to us as Pastor Electric.
After exchanging a couple of quick greetings in English, our translator took over and Pastor Electric excitedly shared his story with us. Of course, his name wasn't really Electric. His skills and training in the electrical trade lead him to work as an electrician, but also provide his talent to churches and youth centers in the area to solve their electrical needs. His electrical skills and the energy in sharing his story gave him his nickname in place of his real name Vladimir.
Pastor Electric led us to an older two-story house located next to the building under construction. The church congregation purchased the house and a large associated lot a few years ago and completed the construction of a sanctuary. The lot is ideally located across the street from the village's elementary school and next to the village's community park. The children's program is one of many modeled after the very successful Pearl Children's Center in Vulcănești we've previously written about.
We entered the house and immediately saw and heard the kids. The rooms of the house were converted into classrooms overflowing with kids singing, learning, and working on crafts. Our translator helped us talk with the kids and hear about their activities. We looked out the window from the second floor and immediately understood how significantly more space the new building will provide.
Our next stop was a large shipping container next to the construction project. Pastor Electic explained how a group of supporters in the State of Washington filled the container with needed building materials and shipped it to his building site. He showed us doors, windows, roof shingles, and drywall. The materials were organized by several former residents of the village that emigrated to the United States.
We heard about the layout of the new building, the classrooms, and the second story for additional space. We asked Pastor Electic how his project was progressing and how we could help. He explained a lot of the work is completed by church members with some outside assistance when expertise is needed. He is still working on raising the final $7,000 for building materials to complete the project.
Because we see the great work that the Children's Centers are doing in the much-needed area of southern Moldova, Sherri and I are committed to helping Pastor Electric complete his building. Along with two board members, we will match the next $3,000 in contributions for this project. Additionally, the already low administrative costs will be fully covered so for every $1 you contribute, $2 in building materials will be purchased to help complete the building project. If you feel moved to contribute, please visit https://www.aplos.com/aws/give/4DMinistries/Vladimir.
We are confident Pastor Electric will continue to change the lives of children in his village and help even more kids when the new center is complete. Describing these centers simply as after-school programs really does not capture what happens here. The situation at home for many of these kids is desperate and the center provides a safe, healthy environment filled with hope.
As for the young girl at one of the previous centers we visited, her life definitely changed. After starting each day getting the lice removed from her hair, she continued to grow and learn in the program at the children's center. She is now a confident young woman assisting as a teacher in the same center. Thank you for considering helping the children of Moldova.