July 11, 2014
This is my favorite picture from my trip to Moldova. You might be wondering why my favorite picture is of green onion seeds! But what I love about this picture is that it takes me back to the moment I snapped this photo and reminds me of the seeds that Beginning of Life (BoL) is planting.
I took this picture right outside of Lena's house. Lena had just finished proudly showing us her garden full of fruits and vegetables. We snacked on some mulberries and cherries right off the tree. Just moments earlier we were in her home sharing some cake and chatting about life. We told her a little about us, and she shared some about her life. Lena loves her daughter, and she wants to spend every second with her. She is a great mom. She likes to garden, and she reads her Bible and prays everyday. Lena and her daughter have a little dog that runs around the house and makes them smile. Her home is simple but clean, two rooms separated by a small area to cook. In some ways I wish that was all I knew about Lena. But her past is full of hurt and pain that is hard for me to even understand. I don't want to share it all here, but let's just say it is full of pain and the ugly realities of trafficking. Lena was told her whole life the only thing she is good for was selling her body. She has been trafficked, abused, and mistreated most of her life. A BoL social worker, Olga, traveled with us to visit Lena, and I watched as they chatted. They were speaking in Russian, so I am not sure what they said, but it was obvious they have a relationship. They know each other. Olga knows her past and hurts for her. She also knows the joys of her having a daughter and shares in that joy. There is a relationship.
As I watched them chat, I felt great joy that we get to stand with BoL as they stand with women like Lena. Olga and so many other people at BoL have been planting seeds in Lena's life for years. And for many of those years, those seeds did not produce a harvest. The work of BoL is not easy, and it does not always produce fruit. But I am happy that the seeds planted in Lena's life have now grown and produced fruit. What I will remember about Lena is not her abused past, but rather the new life and hope I saw in her. When I look at this picture it makes me smile, because I am reminded of why we do what we do at Global Women. Thanks to all who prayed for our trip and all who are supporting Global Women, so we can stand with our global partners like Beginning of Life.