Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Humanitarian day

This was a humanitarian day. We were in Vadul lui Voda, a town right next to the border or river with Transnistria, the breakaway province assisted by Russia. By the way, to start the blog today, we were just saddened to hear of the death of Jim Hillyer, the brother of Russell, our son in law. Our condolences to the family and especially Beth and Russell, Jim and Maryann.
 This is a view just as we were coming in to Vadul lui Voda, about 20 minutes east of Chișinău. The river, seen below, has become an unofficial border. As we approached the bridge, there were barricades, armed soldiers and a tank. Scary stuff. We turned into town just in front of these guys and it was a little frightening to be so close to a conflict zone. We dared not stop for pictures, we did not think we would get smiles.
 I am just standing beside the Nistria river, a beautiful river, but an unofficial border.

This is a picture of the Vogelsbergs, the missionary couple who coordinated the whole project. They are arranging the donation of 550 wheelchairs in Moldova. A motivated, wonderful couple.

Wheelchair assembly room
Elder Sparhawk and Gunn near the ramp.

The picture above is near the campground where we were working with the wheelchairs. It was a campground from the Soviet era that was for children. It has become a resort and is used in the summer. The Church along with a disability society had the use of the facility to train volunteers, hand out wheelchairs. They were to be there for a week. There were 2 couples who came over from the USA to help, the Johnsons from St. George and the Jones from Houston, Texas. They travel around the world distributing these wheelchairs. Wow, there are some good people in this world.
 A picture of Elder Gunn and Sparhawk  with Elder Johnson from St. George, trying out the ramp so the elders can assist those coming in for wheelchairs and also leaving. The picture  that is 3 above that  is the room where wheelchairs were fitted and volunteers were showing families how to use them. The wheelchairs were put together after coming in boxes and had to have minor work to be functional. There were 2 type of wheelchairs, regular and rough-riders, made to go over rough roads
Elder Cooley showing the ramp
. A TV crew interviewing Elder Johnson and Doina, the other vehicles around had brought people for the wheelchairs. We spent some time getting people in and out of vans. The other pictures show people coming in and out for chairs. for a couple of hours, the place was hopping. The young missionaries helped with language, both Russian and Romanian. All the recipients were incredibly grateful and said thank you again and again.

 Wonderful, kind people. I tell you, after today, we were grateful for many things. For great health care, for the ability to get aids without desperation, for good health, for a Church which does humanitarian work globally. There was no active proselyting done here, just charity and it felt good to be a small part of it. I was very grateful for legs, and also grateful to not live near a war zone, or to have soldiers and barricades by my home. Hey, kids, we are rather lucky to live where we do. And for those who contribute to the Humanitarian Fund, it is money well spent. The looks of gratitude will not be forgotten.

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