Lives changed at Summer Camp

“I want to show children God’s love in the same way it was shown to me"

From begging and stealing to following Jesus.

“I learned to beg from childhood; we had nothing to eat, and I had to go into the village and knock on people’s doors to ask for bread. Some children threw stones at me when they saw me coming and shouted: ‘Beggar, beggar, don’t play with him’. The rejection made me feel so alone.”

Victor and his four siblings were raised by a single-mother in a desperately poor community in Moldova. He never met his father and his mother struggling on her own couldn’t provide for her children’s basic needs and had no alternative but to send them all to a boarding school.

As a child, Victor was involved in a motorcycle accident which affected his memory, resulting in him being unable to read or write properly. Going to a school for special needs, he looked forward to the year when he could start at the same school as the other children, but he was always told ‘Maybe next year.’

Starting school at 10, he was often bullied because he was older than his classmates and couldn’t read nor write. “The bullying got so bad that I not only began to avoid going to class, but also got into fights.”  

 

“I don’t know why but I started to pray that God would give me my memory back so that I could read and write and be like other children, and amazingly it happened. I started to improve and began to become one of the best in the class.” 

Despite this progress, whenever Victor returned to his mother’s home he was faced with a stepfather who forced him to go out on the streets to beg and steal.


“We were known by all the locals as thieves"



 “All the other children at school looked forward to weekends, but I didn’t because I had nowhere to go. My step-father used to beat me and my brothers and sisters, and we would run from him to the cornfields and there we would sleep all night.”

The light at the end of the tunnel for Victor, were the visits from Mission Without Borders’ (MWB) coordinators to the boarding school. They would read the Bible to the children, give them gifts and show them care and affection.

“I remember when someone would see the coordinator coming we would all shout, ‘Mission Without Borders is coming.’ We jumped all over him when he came in and we knew we could talk to him, and that he was our friend.”

It was at this time too that Victor heard about Summer Camp.

“I wanted to go to camp so badly, because I saw the joy other children had when they came back. When I was 12 I got to go and I have loved being part of it ever since. At 17, I gave my life to Jesus. Looking back to when I was in boarding school, I never dreamed that my life would turn out how it has. The day when I was baptized, was the happiest day in my life. In Jesus, I got true happiness; I have found joy, peace, freedom and love.”

Today, Victor is a leader at MWB’s Summer Camp and each summer he gives back to the children in need in his region - like he once was.

“I want to serve the Lord,” he says. “I want to show children God’s love in the same way it was shown to me when I was in boarding school, and I want these children to know that there is a plan for their lives.”

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