While I was studying at Lipscomb, I worked as the photography intern for the missions department. Shortly after I graduated, I received a call asking if I would be willing to travel to Moldova with a team that was leaving in a couple of weeks. They would be returning the day that I was supposed to be flying to Israel, but I decided not to let the excessive amounts of flying stop me.
So near the end of May, I hopped on a plane and met up with the team in Chisinau, Moldova, where we would spend a week working with Justice and Mercy International, a nonprofit based out of Franklin, TN. JMI connects American sponsors with children in orphanages in Moldova, and owns houses for boys and girls coming out of the orphanages. Our team put on a retreat for the girls in one of these houses, to help them grow spiritually and to give them a fun weekend. Throughout the rest of the week, our team and several of the girls would pile up in vans to visit orphanages in the villages around Chisinau, putting on a small Bible club and playing games.
The history of this young country can still be seen in the abandoned Soviet structures and old, grey apartment complexes. The unemployment rate is remarkably high and the country has become a major hub for human trafficking in Europe. Here are some pictures of the children who are being given a second chance, and some hard-working women who are helping make that change.