I met Vlad and Peter in Soroca while on a mission with Kingdom’s Kids Ministry. They were also part of this mission, they played games with children, wanting with all their hearts to have an impact in the lives of these little ones. They are both eighteen years old, but neither of them shows it. If most eighteen-year-olds are beginning to think more deeply about life and the future, these two boys seem to miss their childhood. In addition to being actively involved in the mission, they often had to step aside and work to have something to live on. You may be wondering why these two young people are so different from the others? What lies behind these dedicated lives? It so happened that they found themselves on the road to loneliness too soon. From only five years old, Vlad was raised in an orphanage, where he lacked clothes and shoes. One winter he even had to go to school barefoot, until a friend from outside the orphanage gave him a pair of shoes. Then, at the age of thirteen, he was transferred to another orphanage, where he met his lifelong friend, Peter. He got there after drunkenness swallowed his parents. Thus began their friendship, based on the same pain: “wandering and lack of parents. Life from then on was not any sweeter. For whatever reason, we were beaten by the administration, the money we earned working at a sheepfold was stolen from us,” the boys mentioned. And Vlad told me that once, a boy from the village threatened him that if he didn’t serve him a liter of beer, he would be beaten badly… and he got into big debts then. This way of life lasted for four years, until they had to go to the vocational school in the village of Zgurița, a beaten path on which all the children from the orphanage end up going, says Vlad. They were promised that they would learn the profession of tractor driver for a year and that they would be employed, but it was not to be! Now, after a year, they are forced to stay here for another two years, for the simple reason that a school without students is not profitable. In the meantime, they learned that a Christian center had appeared in the neighboring village, where they went and found refuge.
In this center the boys heard, for the first time, about God and knew His love. But as soon as their colleagues and the school administration found out, they started making fun of them with a hateful and ironic attitude. Because of this, Vlad and Peter wanted to transfer to another vocational school in Soroca as soon as possible. So, our protagonists communicated their thoughts to those in authority. Here the administration showed their true colors, forcing them to return all the scholarships received during the year (the amount of the scholarship being 120 lei per month). Being on summer vacation, when everyone is resting, our boys work hard to make the transfer. But you? What would you do when all hope was shattered? Despite suffering so much, Vlad and Peter found fulfillment in being able to bring back the smile in the hearts of those who were like them, the smile that springs from God’s love.
Translated by Liza Bîrlădeanu