"As I have loved you, so you must love one another" (John 13:34b)
Cantemir is one of the poorest parts of Moldova, with a high rate of unemployment and a lack of education. Many people there live in terrible conditions – and alcoholism and other social problems are rife.
Boris Garconita, 44, works for Mission Without Borders in Cantemir, supporting children enrolled on our Child Sponsorship programme. He said, “Unfortunately for many children here, their homes feel like a living hell where fighting, abuse, and unsanitary conditions are common. You always know these children by their behaviour issues when they come to the day centre.”
Ilona,* 11, lives with her mother and stepfather, who drink too much and are often abusive. Their house has no bathroom, no running water or sewage system. Ilona had been going along to Mission Without Border’s community centre regularly, getting hot meals and help with her homework, when suddenly she found herself opening up about a trauma that she had never talked about before.
“During a Bible lesson on healing, we shared how the Lord can heal any wound from the past – and Ilona burst out crying,” Boris said. “The tears were just running down her face. At the end, after praying, everyone left and Ilona opened her heart to the volunteer and said that a few years ago she was sexually abused.”
The volunteer went on to notify Mission Without Borders staff, who, with Ilona’s permission, informed Ilona’s mother, the family’s social worker and the police. Unfortunately Ilona’s attacker, a stranger to her, has not been identified by the police. However, through speaking out about the abuse and receiving prayer and support, the traumatic hold it has over Ilona’s life has been broken.
“Ilona received full healing from this burden that she carried alone for many years,” Boris said. “After opening up about what happened to her, Ilona became so much more joyful, energetic and sociable".
“Many children at our children’s club have opened up about the hurts and trauma they’ve experienced,” he added. “Here, children hear about God and receive peace and healing. Their hearts open up to receive the care, love and acceptance they find in God and reflected in the Mission Without Border staff and volunteers, and this changes them. Of course, this isn’t something that happens easily. It takes time for children to become confident enough to speak up."
“I see great changes in Ilona’s life. At youth group, Ilona made lots of friends, opened her heart to Jesus, and is now involved in the local church. The loving and caring environment of MWB’s community centre has helped Ilona become a friendly, joyful person, improve her school results, and look to the future with hope.”
You can help a child like Ilona find a safe place to grow through our child sponsorship programme.
Sponsor a child today with Mission Without Borders – and help transform a child’s life.
Sponsor a child