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Two fund-raisers to help finance mission to Moldova

To help fund a mission trip to Moldova, Trinity Assembly of God will serve a lasagna luncheon on Sunday, April 2, beginning at noon at the Oasis Ministry Center, next to the Harrison County Fairgrounds in Corydon.
A love offering can be made to pay for the dinner and help defray expenses of the trip, including missionary work once the group arrives.
Reservations for the luncheon would be appreciated but are not required. Call Joni Gibson at 732-4893 or the church at 738-2516.
A 10-mile walk-a-thon will be held Saturday, April 22, beginning at 9 a.m. Walkers will take pledges for the miles walked.
The trek begins at Central and proceeds north along S.R. 135 to the Oasis Ministry Center in Corydon.
Trinity Assembly of God Pastor Paul Greer will make the trip to Moldova in May along with Darren Carey, Katherine Badger, Joni Gibson, Zane Elliott and Rhonda Shawler.
Carey said the trip will cost $1,700 for each person, which amounts to $10,200 that needs to be raised. That amount will pay for plane tickets, hotel accommodations, building and school supplies.
An important part of the trip is to assist missionary Andrew Raatz from Missouri who is in Moldova with his wife, Nancy. They are working to help free women who have been forced into prostitution. ‘With all that we are doing, the main thing is to show Christ’s love,’ Carey said.
‘I love to walk on water,’ Andrew Raatz wrote to Pastor Greer. ‘In the north. In the winter. On three feet of ice.
‘I don’t like the thrill of jumping out of the boat when the water is still liquid, and the waves are roaring, and the wind is howling, and the water is over my head. Yet that is exactly where we feel we are walking right now.
‘We feel like we are in over our heads as we purchase a home for women who have been trafficked.’
Nancy wrote: ‘We went to a home for girls who were trafficked in prostitution. They were all teenagers and had worked in the business six months to two years. What they experienced to be broken is horrifying, but these stories don’t make me cry. I have read so much about the horrors of trafficking that these things aren’t new.
‘What amazed me, though, was the hope in that home, the joy on faces and their love of the Lord. We had a time of devotions with them, and at the end they said they had heard that we were starting a home in Moldova, and they had been praying for me ever since. They had me stand in the middle of the room and they gathered around me to pray, interceding for me, the future and the lives of Moldovan trafficked girls. That made me cry.’
The couple said they have picked out a house and are ready to purchase and finish it. The house under construction has walls, a roof and electricity, and cost $85,000 (they have all but $20,000 toward the purchase). But another $100,000 will be needed to complete the construction, Nancy Raatz said.
The Corydon mission’s plans also include visiting and working in schools, nursing homes and orphanages. The group plans to help with church construction and will put together packets of colored pencils, markers, erasers and hand pencil sharpeners for school teachers to use in classrooms (teachers are paid just $30 monthly).
According to the Moldovan Web site (www., the country is about the size of Maryland. Moldova is landlocked to the west by Romania; the remaining land is surrounded by the Ukraine. Formerly part of the Soviet Union, Moldova gained independence when Russia collapsed. Moldova was formally organized 14 years ago; it still has a Communist president.
The climate in Moldova is hot in summer while in winter, temperatures run 10 to 15 degrees below zero. Heavy snows fall in January and February.
Moldova is the poorest country in Europe; it depends largely on income from Moldovans working abroad. About half of the 4.3 million people who live in the country speak Moldovan, a Romanian dialect. Others speak Russian, Ukrainian, Gagauz, Jewish and Bulgarian.