Friday, January 25, 2013

A New Hope

My time here in Moldova is dwindling down to just 2 days. It has felt like a non-stop ride since day one, and that can just refer to the driving here! I have met many people and seen even more faces. As we walked through the center of the city yesterday, I took careful watch of those around us. This is nothing new for me, but I noticed through the sheets of snow pelting my eyeballs that smiles were scarce. I would not for a second call the people here unhappy, but there is a hardness of life lived early.

Many of the people we meet tend to inadvertently receive American names :). They smile with a grateful heart that we are even trying, and apologize for their English countless times. That struck me yesterday. We are visiting their homeland and receiving the apologies. A lot of the young students we have met speak impeccable English. They are supposedly from a family of greater wealth and can afford private English lessons. This generation seems to be far more open minded than those previous.

The youth here are not so different from Texas. They were intrigued at the thought of bullying though. For a culture where women get raped and beaten regularly, they do not even have a word for bullying. One girl even asked me why I thought this thing happened in American schools. It was a new concept to them, something unheard of in their present day. This generation is growing strong and appears very supportive and devoted to each other. There were young people who wanted to become teachers and principles as well as those who wish to open themselves up to the arts. I even met a young man who wants to open a kickboxing studio. He is very smart and extremely motivated and, like me, he does not like the thought of working for someone else :).

I believe there is a vast stream of untapped talent and potential here. There are people here capable of things we dare not even dream. The one thing that seems to lack overall is opportunity. In America, opportunity is readily available IF you are truly willing to put in the work. I find most Americans to be people of accept somebody else doing the work. Ambition and drive seem to be thoughts of older generations in America, while these are the hopes and dreams interwoven into the fabric of this next generation of Moldova. Hope springs eternal in those who are willing to believe in such a thing. Hope is a constant choice that is made, not a destination of circumstance. Hope can thrive when circumstance overwhelms. Hope can keep us going when circumstance tries to shackle us where we are. Hope is for those who choose to believe it exists. It is not a fable or notion of old, it is something you can almost taste....if you believe.

Hope is not to say a prayer and expect that all or nothing will immediately be revealed. Hope to hold fast, to stand your ground, to not give in to the despair that may surround you. Hope can be found in the darkest corners of the world and the highest peaks in the mountains. We must begin to seek hope, search for it, pray for it, and be willing to work for it.

"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord "plans to prosper and not to harm you; plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

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