Overall, the OCMC mission team to Moldova was very fruitful. I believe we touched many hearts. Fellow team members Fr. Robert Miclean, Teresa Duro, and I were a very good match together. Fr. Robert was an excellent leader and a wonderful man of God. I hope he goes back to Moldova to teach. People loved him! Fr. Robert was a great help knowing the Romanian language.
Our team was welcomed by Fr. Sergiu and Preoteasa Mariana who helped us throughout our journey.
While in Moldova we stayed at a hotel/conference center where we had our seminars for a group of about 25 clergy wives. Some of their husbands came as well. Some of the questions and subjects we discussed were having husband and wife meetings, bringing more young people to church regularly, health insurance for the priests and families, Sunday school for children, women in the community getting together for fellowship, and the importance of parents praying for each other. The priests in Moldova depend on their wives to help with church activities, singing, etc. The priests and their wives would like to connect with each other some way. Most do not have Facebook or e-mails, so Fr. Sergiu will try to start something in the future.
Fr. Robert had a TV interview at the conference. He and I also had a half-hour radio interview in Chisinau with the Orthodox radio station that is connected with Romanian radio, and so we were live all throughout Moldova and Romania.
During the seminars, we welcomed His Grace Bishop Antoni, who gave certificates to all attendees. He also presented us with teaching certificates. He was very grateful that we made the sacrifice to be there to help his people.
Our team also visited schools to speak to the children. The kids were very interested to know about us and about America. They had questions about American teenagers, how do they spend their free time? Do they go to church? What is the attitude of the American teenager about religion? If you are sick and you go to church, will you be healed? How often do you go to church? How can we convince teenagers to go to church more often? One last question from the high school seniors was, what is the ultimate test in Orthodox life? It was a great idea to reach the high school seniors before they go away to college or work. We hope the Church continues to reach out to them regularly.
I hope and pray that OCMC will continue to send short-term missionaries to Moldova. There is so much need, and with Fr. Sergiu’s help, people will continue to grow spiritually. He and Preoteasa Mariana are doing an excellent job, but they need help. Many times Fr. Sergiu mentioned how much they missed OCMC Missionary Christina Semon. He said, «We need another Christina here to help us.» I pray that they will get another Christina soon!