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I recently went to Moldova to volunteer at an orphanage summer camp. While I didn't know what to expect, I didn't expect it to change my life.

When I arrived in Moldova, I was exhausted and immediately confronted with a foreign realm. I was excited and nervous at what was to come. The airport itself was wild. I hadn't been to one quite like it. There was alot of chaos, pushing, and people with flowers greeting their loved ones.

Welcome to Moldova!

Moldova. How can I describe such a place and my first impressions of these country?
I've never seen a place like it.

I had wanted to visit Moldova for some time. I had been wanting to visit and volunteer for about two years now! A friend of mine had been himself. He came back with pictures and stories that immediately grabbed me. I'd been waiting for the opportunity ever since. It felt funny to finally be in the place that I'd pictured for so long.


I was with a small team of other Americans. There were 7 of us in total. Everyone on the team was so wildly different and we didn't know each other, except for Tony and Habib who had visited Moldova on several occasions. I really couldn't have asked for greater people to serve alongside with.

The ride to the camp in Călăraşi was nuts! No one prepared me for Slav's driving :P I saw packs of wild dogs roaming the streets and building architecture not familiar to me. The countryside was beautiful. There are lots of small fields patched on the hills-- mainly corn, sunflowers, and vineyards. In the country there are a number of abandoned factories. I was told when the Russians left, they simply left the factories.

Summer Camp

The camp was a transitional living camp. It was geared toward preparing the kids for life after the orphanages. It included training modules for life management, finances, life partnering, and things like trafficking awareness. Of course there were lots of fun things too like any summer camp you've been to. :) The program itself was voluntary, and the camp was there to serve as a reward for the children who've spent their time in the program.

Summer Camp

Being that our team didn't speak Romanian or Russian we had a group of amazing translators who did an incredible job! They were always readily available to interpret between us and the kids, what the speakers were saying, and throughout all the events. If it weren't for their incredible job and their heart for the kids it would have been a different story.


I saw the youth develop acceptance and trust and form a community with the mentors and each other throughout the activities and the time spent there. I was really humbled and moved by what I saw and encountered. I saw love being poured out on these kids by the local church and by volunteers who wanted to help and contribute. I was moved by their efforts. I was moved by my time spent talking with and getting to know the kids.


I went expecting to give but I was humbled by the blessing I received instead.


After the camp was over, we headed back to Chisinau for a few more days to do some sight seeing and to spend some time with a few of our new friends.

Habib treated us to a football game with some of the kids from the camp. It was amazing! and we won!


I still kind of feel overwhelmed from the experience and I wish I was back there to spend more time with the kids and the people I met and loved. Here's an excerpt from my journal after I got back home:


I went to Moldova thinking I was going to give, but I went to Moldova and received. God is there. He is with the orphans and the widows. He is near the oppressed. I felt and saw His love at work there. When you do it unto the least of these you are doing it as unto Him. When I hugged that little girl who wanted to paint my nails and hugged the little girl who was too shy to come near I hugged Jesus. You cannot have such an encounter an not be changed. I am healed in alot of ways, for the first time in a long time. I received a new breath of spiritual life, blessing, and experienced His love in a new way. My perspective has changed on alot of things. Things that overwhelmed me, that were too hard for me to face, seemed to melt away. It isn't that they are gone but I am changed. I feel refreshed and ready for more.



I have tons of other pictures from the camp and my time in Moldova! You can see them here:


xoxo Talia



  1. Thanks Talia, It is so encouraging to hear the stories of how the Lord seeks to encourage us when we step out to serve him. I will pray that this time continues to bless others through your stories, pictures & your renewed spirit! So I will stand 1st in line to hear more....date night soon please!

  2. so i've been thinking for sometime of something witty to say...but nothing was coming to me...nor had i been on the computer for a while.
    but we did pray for your trip and and proud of how you love God.

  3. Talia, ahhh I read this(a little late I know) and wanted to cry It reminded me of something I read by mother Teresa, she talked about being near and helping the poor and the oppressed and how she felt Jesus near. She said when she held someone or cleansed their wounds she was holding Jesus in her arms. Jesus gave you such an amazing gift this past trip. Isn't our Lord so amazing! Reading this really really inspired me, thanks. Love you Tal

  4. lady, i confess, im totally going through your archives (because your blog is amazing and I can't get enough) and I love this post! I have friends that have done similar missions to russia, the church i grew up in sent a group of people each year. Jesus really is with the marginalized, nothing is more true.

    xo em


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