In the evening of January 3, 2019, while browsing through Facebook in Chisinau, Moldova, Olga* found an advertisement in one of the Chisinau Mutual Aid Facebook groups. It was a request for help for a man who lived in a 43-square-foot (4-square-meter) closet on a suspended construction site, with no electricity, running water, or heating. He was a homeless former construction security guard who had gone blind a few months before.
When Olga saw the address of the construction site, she realized that it was a two-minute walk from her local Seventh-day Adventist church. She said her heart ached as it became clear that she could not ignore the man’s ordeal.
The following day, two young brothers went to check on Uncle Valera (the man’s name) and bring him some supplies. Valera talked with his guests animatedly. He told them his life story, and the young visitors prayed with him. Before they left, Valera shared with them his wish. “I would like to wash and shave,” he said.
Two days later, on January 6, the youth from the church bought clothes for Valera. “We could see God acting, as we focused on helping our neighbor. We got warm clothes at an unbeatable price,” the young people shared. “We are convinced that if you devote to a good cause, the Lord takes care of the details.”
Then the boys took Valera to a place where they helped him to wash, and Olga acted as his hairdresser. They provided him with new, warm clothes and took the old ones for washing.
“I believe that this wonderful Christmas evening was a gift for Uncle Valera [Orthodox Christians celebrated Christmas on January 7], and not least, Valera himself became a gift for us, helping to soften our hearts and see God,” one of the youth said.
But the youth support did not end there. They advertised the man’s needs, and “kind, responsive people” appeared with food, clothes, and even money. They also made arrangements for Valera to see an eye doctor, who discussed with him his chances of undergoing eye surgery and recovering his sight.
“It is exciting to be a part of something great and valuable,” Olga said. “And what could be more valuable than the human soul and life.”
For Andrew, another of the young people involved, the episode was about the privilege of being God's instruments to bless others. “I thank God from the bottom of my heart for the joy of being His arms, legs, lips, and co-workers on this earth,” he said. “Life is short, so let’s appreciate every opportunity given by God to show His love in practice.”
Young volunteer Dmitry agreed. “Seeing the condition in which this person lives, I prayed for him, and at the same time, I prayed to God for forgiveness for not appreciating what I have — health, food, housing, work, youth.”
He added, “In the face of this man, I saw a child of God who needs help. And as a result of it, I have felt a joy I could never find from anything else on earth.”
* Last names withheld.