I cannot recall the first time I actual met Jazgul. In my mind, it seems I have always know her. Every trip to Moldova, she is there. This quiet, unassuming, smart and kind girl who personifies the heart of Jesus. From the orphanage to the Grace House (our Transitional Living Home), Jazgul is simply a part of our extended family in this country we love.
While I cannot recall first meeting Jazgul, I do remember the first time I heard her story. Jazgul’s story is heart-wrenching. When she was very young, her dad abandoned her and her sisters. After this, her mom tried to sell her and sisters, but at the train station she found that she was 10 lei short (about $3) for the train ticket. After this, she starved them until, by God’s grace, someone found out and they were able to go to the orphanage. Each time she has shares her story with a team or an individual, her voice quietens and her head falls.
Jazgul then shares how she would lay in bed at night in the orphanage and wonder what would happen to her. Children in Moldova have to leave the orphanage after 9th grade (about 15 to 16 years old). This is why the statistics are staggering about girls trafficked into prostitution, boys in organized crime and suicide. Little did Jazgul know that a Sovereign God was looking out for her, and He was raising up help for her in the form of a young woman from America.
When Ingrid first went to Moldova, many years ago, there was an instant connection with Jazgul. Ingrid had recently graduated college. She was actively involved in church at Rolling Hills, and went on this mission trips to Moldova not knowing what to expect. After meeting Jazgul, she immediately knew God brought them together. Jazgul needed a sponsor, so Ingrid called her parents and asked if they would help her do it.
It has been such a joy to watch their relationship blossom over the years. Ingrid, and her parents, sponsored Jazgul when she was in the orphanage. They then helped her apply and be accepted into the Grace House. They stepped up their sponsorship each year for her stay there. Once in the Grace House, Jazgul had a great place to live, and she heard the Gospel clearly. Jazgul gave her life to Christ, and she has never been the same. After two years in the Transitional Living program, Jazgul became one of the associate leaders of the program and began discipling the other girls in the faith. Jazgul also learned English and, this past summer, she led the other Transitional Living boys and girls as they went back into the orphanages to share the love of Christ.
While Jazgul was faithfully serving there, Ingrid, and her now wonderful husband Dustin, were spending time raising money and filing out paperwork for Jazgul to come to the States to study. Jazgul passed her test, and she was accepted into Lipscomb University, where she has now started classes! When she arrived in the States a few weeks ago, she couldn’t believe it was really happening. She said, “All those nights in the orphanage, who would have ever believed I would one day be studying in America.”
Sometimes people think, “The needs are so overwhelming, I can’t make a difference.” You are right, the needs are overwhelming. The fact is, we cannot do everything, but we can all do something. This is life-change. This is Jesus working to redeem and to restore for His glory. I remember hearing Andy Stanley once say, “Do for one what you would like to do for everyone.” In whom are you investing? I am so thankful for Ingrid, and I stand in awe of a God who loves so well through those who are willing.
Two summers ago when Elena, the girl Lisa and I sponsor, got married, Jazgul was her maid of honor. This past summer, Jazgul was on my team and led worship at our Camp in Carpeni. I have watched Jazgul grow up, and God has an incredible plan for her life. She is so special to me, and I know she is a miracle from God. This note arrived in the mail just the other day.
We can’t do everything, but we can all do something!
If you would like to sponsor a child, visit justiceandmercy.org. For only $40 a month, you can make the difference in the life of a child just like Jazgul. God used Ingrid, and God wants to use each of us. Thank you for investing in loving the broken and forgotten of the world. Lives are being saved both physically and spiritually for His glory!