Friday, April 18, 2014

Natasha Completes Spring 2014 Moldova Mission

Launching training program for teens-at-risk of trafficking in
Western Moldova.
Natasha and Victoria returned from Moldova a week ago, completing the spring 2014 mission trip to the country, where we were born. During her trip, together with Vitali and Olga Turlac, and our many partners -- local church leaders -- Natasha ministered to women-victims of human trafficking, teen girls at risk and children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families.

Many Christians -- friends of our ministry in the North America -- joined the effort by praying, contributing financially and providing special gifts for children with ASD, their mothers and women-victims of human trafficking. Friends from Gilmour Baptist Church from Peterborough, Canada supplied Natasha with many gifts (teddy bears, scarves, gloves, etc.) that Natasha took with her to Moldova.

Baking class for women-victims of trafficking and abuse in
Southern Moldova.
ANTI-TRAFFICKING MINISTRY. Natasha launched the training program in sewing and clothes alterations in Western Moldavian town of Karpineny. Our mission donated sewing machines to 15 girls that are housed in a transition home for teens-at-risk of trafficking. Girls are already receiving necessary training from trained local Christian women. Our prayer is that by learning a profession, they will be able to support themselves (and their families in the future). We also provided large quantities of non-perishable food for teens living in transition home. During her trip, Natasha shared with girls from the Word and reminded them that God values each one of them.

In Southern Moldova, Natasha visited 10 women that have been through the horrors of trafficking. With help of friends from North America, our mission is leading the effort in equipping a kitchen there, so that women would be able to start a catering business. During her visit, Natasha donated to the women different tools for baking. Together with her, women made and decorated their first cake. Our hope is that by catering for different events (wedding, birthday parties, etc.), women will be able to earn a living and support themselves and their children.

Natasha talks with parents of Autistic child in Moldova.
MINISTRY TO CHILDREN WITH AUTISM AND FAMILIES. On April 2, Natasha spoke at the National Conference on Autism. She shared her story of raising Roman and how her faith in God helped her persevere through hard times.

Olga, a mother of 8-year old Vadym who has ASD, said, “I am so encouraged by Natasha’s visit. It is not easy to deal with Autism in our Moldavian conditions, where our children receive practically no help. I appreciate what Turlac Mission is doing. I am especially grateful for a tablet PC with special programs that was provided for my son.”

Vadym receives a tablet PC that will help him communicate.
Moldavian society is not yet prepared to welcome children with disabilities. For many years, Soviets tried to hide “imperfect” children by placing them in orphanages in remote areas of the country. The society still has this kind of mentality, not paying much attention to people with physical and mental disabilities. Autistic children are denied admission to kindergartens and schools. There are only a few medical professionals who understand what is Autism.

During her visit, Natasha was able to meet one-on-one with many parents of Autistic children. They shared with her things that they could not share with anyone else. Many moms cried as they shared their stories. Natasha encouraged them to love their children as they are and do everything to make them feel loved.

Natasha with Margarita, the First Lady of Moldova (left).
April 2 -- World Autism Awareness Day.
Natasha met with the First Lady of Moldova, who became interested in helping children with Autism. We hope to bring professionals from North America to Moldova so that they could provide helpful information on Autism to psychologists and medical professionals in Moldova as well as provide guidance for parents of kids with ASD.

At this time, we are looking for Christian professionals who would be willing to come to Moldova for a week of work/ministry. If you have necessary training in the field of study ASD and are willing to devote one week of your time, we would love to talk to you about this possibility. If you know of anyone from your circle of friendship or church family who has training in ASD and perhaps would be willing to go with us to Moldova, please, let us know.

Moldova moms of Autistic children receive
gifts made by Canadian Christians.
Many thanks to so many of you who prayed, contributed financially and encouraged us in our mission efforts. We thank God for protecting Natasha and Victoria.

MISSION TO THE "LAST FRONTIER" COUNTRIES. Please, continue to pray for me (Oleg) as I travel to the "last frontier" countries in May 2014 to minister to persecuted Christians. As you know, our brothers and sisters in Christ from "last frontier" nations are beaten, fined and imprisoned for His name’s sake. They need our help.

UKRAINE UNREST. Please, keep Ukraine and Christians there in your prayers. It seems like clashes between Ukrainian military and Russia-supported insurgents in Eastern Ukraine have already begun. Our prayer is that this will not turn into a full-blown civil war. Christians in Crimea, occupied by Russia, tell us that they experience difficulties in buying food and things necessary for living because of collapse of the bank system. Our mission is doing everything to help those in need in Ukraine. Pray for four Ukrainian missionary families supported by our mission as they help people in distress.

Lord willing, I will travel to the South of the U.S. (Central Georgia and Birmingham, Alabama) on April 24-May 1, 2014. I would be glad to see you, dear friends, and share the story of our work worldwide.

May the Lord bless you all. Please, continue to pray for us as we help one person at a time in the name of Jesus!

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Photos: © 2014 Turlac Mission.