As I stepped into the yard, I was assaulted with a very acrid smell, even though we were still outside. Looking around the yard, there were piles of trash everywhere, broken-down equipment, and rusted parts from an old car. Mother and daughter were standing in the yard, waiting for us. The daughter is 25 years old though she appeared to be at least ten years older. A difficult life, years of alcohol and substance abuse have taken their toll on her appearance. Her mother was in a deplorable condition; most of her teeth missing, bruises and cuts all over her body, and it had been a long while since she had had a shower. Apparently she has been unable to walk for the past four years, and when no one was around, she would drag herself around the house or wherever she needed to go. The house itself was as run-down as the owners. Trails of dirt streaked the wall from top to bottom. Flies appeared to be an integral part of the interior design, and the dishes that littered the ground appeared to have taken on a life-form of their own. One of the rooms had piles and piles of dirty clothes, and an old wash bin with water and soap inside. The water and soap appeared to be crusted over from disuse, and the shaving utensils were next to the wash bin, as if waiting patiently for their owner to return. The room appeared frozen in time, or rather frozen in the scene for a movie. It is difficult to imagine that people actually live in these conditions, seemingly to have lost all hope. Due to the condition of the house, fleas have taken a permanent liking to this location. Evidochea and Valea….mother and daughter…united together by more then just the blood that runs through their veins. They are united by the sorrow and pain of their story. Their family moved to the village of Ungheni many years ago and established their life among the people. Though life was difficult, they were able to get by and produce a living for themselves and their family. However, approximately four years ago, tragedy struck the family when one of the their sons was arrested, tried and convicted of a crime. Even today, when Evidochea speaks about this event, she is racked with grief and can barely stand talking about it Eventually he contracted tuberculoses and now he is being treated in a prison hospital. Evidochea’s husband was never able to recover from this blow, and after a downhill progress, he eventually passed away, most likely from grief. Evidochea herself suffered greatly, dealing with depression and neurological problems. Shortly after her son was arrested, she was unable to walk at all. Visits to hospitals and doctors produced no results, no answers, no hope. Though no certain cause has been found, it appears as if her paralysis was caused due to a deep shock to the nervous system. The family continued to hit one trial after another. One son, after finishing four years at a university, was unable to find a job and joined a gypsy clan. Another son was married, and just last week his wife passed away. She was found in a ditch one morning, apparently having died from overdosing on alcohol. Four days ago (7/8/09) the Medical Home Visits team appeared at her doorstep with Care Packs and an opportunity to provide a medical consultation. When they left, she had food, medicine, lotions, and perhaps a little bit of hope. After treating her legs with the lotions received, Evidochea went to bed. The next morning, without the help, or even the knowledge of her daughter, she got up and started walking. She found a stick and was walking around her yard. When her neighbors saw her, they were surprised and shocked that she was able to move about without the wheelchair. She is very thankful to the team that assisted her, as well as to God. Her daughter, Valea, was baptized in a local church a while back, but has since backslidden into bad habits and influence of old friends. Perhaps she has the desire to change, but she lacks the will of giving herself to God. As if she hasn’t been broken enough, she continues to hold on to her sinful self, though with her lips she claims to want change. Change is evidenced through actions. This is where you come in. Pray that Valea’s heart would be softened and that she would turn back to the true Gospel of Salvation Pray for her siblings, her mom, even her neighbors. None of us can make this journey called Life alone, we all need someone alongside of us, whether it would be to offer a word of encouragement, or hold our hand when we are about to stumble. The goal of Charity Cup is not simply to walk into people’s lives and “fix” them, but to enable the local Christian community to assist those who are in need, perpetuating a continuous flow of not only service, but interdependence. Therefore, Valea and Evidoche will be assisted by the local Christian community. Natasha, a local social worker, will oversee the work and continue to provide assistance. There are plans to clean the house and yard, reinforce the structure of the house, and provide certain assistance to ensure that the quality of their lives improves. There is no magical pill, or instant fix to improve the lives of the people here in Moldova. Everything takes materials, work, determination, and whole truckloads of prayers. Maybe you weren’t able to travel to Moldova this summer, maybe you will never be able to come to Moldova and serve the people, but you can definitely pray. Pray for Valea and Evidoche by name, lifting up their souls before the King of the Universe. Your prayers have been felt thus far, even in this far corner of the universe, and for that, we thank you!