"It was as cold inside their home as it was outdoors"

A poor Moldovan family receive winter help

When Tatiana Oglinda gave birth to her daughter, she loved her so much she did not want to take her home.

I remember looking out of the window in the hospital after I delivered our baby girl. My feelings were so mixed at that time. I felt this incredible joy that I had brought this sweet diamond into the world and I wanted nothing more than to take her home and be with my husband and son,” said Tatiana. On the other hand, I felt such fear and sadness that I would be bringing this baby back to such a freezing cold house. Other women wanted to go home as soon as they could, but I was thinking about how warm and cosy the hospital room was. 

It was winter in the village in central Moldova and temperatures here drop well below freezing. Many families in rural Moldova struggle when winter comes: heating their homes is incredibly expensive, and many people living in poverty have to choose between food and warmth. 

Tatiana’s family was already going through a tough time. Her husband, Ghenadie, had started to build them a house and their future looked promising but then he had a stroke last Spring and has been unable to work since.I wish I could be strong again and finish this house. I love to work, I wish I could do more,” Ghenadie said. 

The cement floor of their home is covered with an old, woollen carpet patterned with big pale-pink roses that felt cold to the touch. The windows and door were not insulated properly against the cold, and the family were using tree branches to try and heat up the room. 

When I entered their house, I was shocked,” said Andrei, a staff member from Mission Without Borders. He had heard about the family’s difficult situation through the local church.

It was as cold inside their home as it was outdoors", Andrei said. “All of the family members were wearing several layers of clothes. The father was suffering from the stroke he had had, the mother was pregnant and due to give birth, and the little boy was wearing lots of jackets and gloves to keep warm indoors. I talked with them about their situation and when I asked about what food they had for the day, the mother almost burst into tears as she showed me the empty cupboard where the food should be. All they had that day was half a bag of sugar. After I left them, I couldn’t believe what I had just seen. 

Andrei had a meeting with his church after visiting the family, and told them about their situation. It motivated them to take immediate action.

When Andrei arrived at the Oglindas’ house with briquettes for the fireplace and other winter essentials, Ghenadie went to help him carry the things, eager to start the fire as soon as possible so that his wife and children would be warm again. 

Tatiana said, When I saw Andrei carrying bags full of things for our family, I needed a few moments to realise that this was real, not a dream… It was a special feeling that someone cares about our family and I just do not have the words to explain what it means to us. When I see the fire burning in the fireplace, it’s like the cold from my heart is melting too,” she said, wiping tears from her eyes as she held her baby girl. I started to believe in miracles, that good still exists on this earth, not only bad.

When I see the fire burning in the fireplace, it's like the cold from my heart is melting too.

The family’s joy was increased when Andrei handed them the warm and colourful blankets, socks and clothes that MWB’s supporters had knitted. The winter shoes donated to them were another wonderful surprise. Shoes of this quality seemed like an impossible dream to Tatiana and Ghenadie and Ghenadie became emotional when he received his, saying he could not bear to wear them outdoors as he was afraid to ruin them. 

Three-year-old Ivan, Tatiana and Ghenadie’s son, is a happy, lively boy who is mostly unaware of the grown-ups’ concerns. All he wants to do is to play with his parents and his baby sister and make his funny lion face. 

As Tatiana and Ghenadie turn to look at him tenderly, they explain how they simply want him to be healthy and happy. Tatiana said, “We don’t want our children to experience the cruelty that life can sometimes bring. No matter how hard it is, I have promised myself that I will do all I can so that my children will have a different life than what I had.” 

Afterward Andrei said, I feel blessed and honoured that God gave me this wonderful opportunity to be an ambassador that brings joy and hope where there was sadness and despair. We cannot do it alone; we need each other to be able to produce change.  It is wonderful to see the beautiful impact that our work has on people’s lives.


77,146 kg of Briquettes/firewood/coal were distributed to families through OWR

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