why do you wear a watch? to be on time for meetings? orient yourself? to know when the next time to eat is?
for a recent mission trip to Moldova (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moldova) i purchased an inexpensive digital watch that was designed to keep two different time zones. being bad at math, i set one for my home time and one for Moldova time and set off on my way. the original reason for setting the watch was to make sure i called home to talk with my wife during waking hours.
while on the mission trips i grow specfically interested in the cause, the country and the people. as we (i went with CERI http://www.cerikids.org/NetCommunity/Page.aspx?&pid=249&srcid=237) interacted with the orphaned children in the poorest country in the former Soviet Union, love was evident in their hearts as it was expressed vividly through our main form of communication – actions.
a little bit about moldova that the link doesn’t tell you. the country is beautiful with rolling hills, good land for agriculture and a decent climate. they have resources they could tap. amidst this, the chief export of the country is young girls into the sex trade. as i talked with, interacted with, made crafts with these orphans, i couldn’t stop thinking that i know with 80% certainty what will happen to you when you turn 16 and have to leave this orphanage to allow space for others who are younger. the boys there have a slightly different potential future. the boys, upon leaving the orphanage at 15 are not immune to the sex trade but have a higher chance of ending up in jail – caught for stealing in order to stay alive. knowing this, when we made crafts that centered around a biblical theme it made me cry every time one of those children once completing their craft ran over to one of us Americans and gave us their work as a gift. those who have nothing giving to those who comparatively have everything. the flight over to Moldova alone would sponsor a child in one of the orphanages five years. all they want to do is love. all they ask for is love.
i was there with a digital camera – it’s amazing how quickly they learn that their picture is on the back of the camera. it went like this. take a picture, everyone gathering around to see themselves. take a picture, everyone gathering around to see themeselves. repeat. one six-year-old boy knew about as much english as i russian. he followed me, helped me take pictures, taught me more russian and even showed off some of his talents for the camera. he looked at my watch and with gestures asked if he could have it. i said i couldn’t give it to him, but will always keep your time zone on my watch and every time i hit that button that shows your time, i’ll stop, think of you and pray for you. i do, everytime.