Kat sent me the New Year Newsletter a while back and I failed to share it with my faithful followers. I am so very proud of them.
Outside is gray and the snow is beginning to melt. This makes everything look covered in mud and dirty. It is our least favorite time of the year, but it is also when the weather begins to warm to the 40s and 50s, and we know that sunnier weather is just around the corner! We hope this letter finds you all enjoying the beginnings of spring and new life!!! January and February have been busy months and we are awaiting the day when we can spend more time outside! It was a long and cold winter, and we rejoice with warmer weather and the opportunities it brings!
This month has been a wonderful month. We began the month by sharing at the kindergarten where many of our girls learned while they were at the orphanage. There is a very special teacher there who is one of very few who ever showed our girls kindness and love as they grew up at the orphanage. We went and were special guests at a program. We had the opportunity to take them Christmas shoeboxes as well, as many of them are from poor families or from the orphanages. It was such a joy to see our girls reconnect with a woman who has poured her heart out for them. We are always so overwhelmed by the positive examples our girls and guys have had, and we feel especially grateful for them. So many people have beaten and abused and mistreated our precious ones that it is very easy to be angry and frustrated with most adults, but these few positive examples restore our hope.
Throughout the month of February, we really focused on different types of love and how God loves us. We posted scripture, shared love, and had a great youth group meeting or two about love. We even had a special girls night just to remind them of how loved they are. Understanding who you are in Christ and knowing that you are loved by Him no matter what is so important to their healing from the wounds of their pasts. On Valentine’s Day, we woke up early and made special heart shaped Danishes for the girls (all 36 of them) and then spent the day decorating and making a yummy Greek dinner for them. We set the table for 36 and then served them a plate full of delicious food with a side of home-made heart shaped cookies. They loved it, and they all said they felt so loved. We try to remind them that as much as we love them…God loves them infinitely more. It is such a treasure to be able to share His love with these girls-to try every day to be a beacon of His light and love.
During the past four or five weeks, Kathryn has started a new weekly tradition. She got up very early one Monday morning and made breakfast for all the girls in both houses. Then the next Monday, she did the same thing. Then for the past few weeks, Brian has been helping with preparing breakfast as well. The girls all love it so much, and it makes them feel loved for us to get up very early (about 4:30 typically) just to do something special for them. They are more than worthy of that level of effort and so much more whether they realize it or not, and we want them to understand how worthy they are of love from those around them. Their response has been so positive, we are completely hooked on making special breakfasts on Mondays. We find ourselves throughout the week thinking of different ideas of what to prepare. We love starting our day with lots of hugs from our little family, most of whom we typically don’t see until they return from school in the afternoon.
We don’t normally write much about our lives outside of Stella’s Voice, but there’s stuff happening there too. For instance:
• Our local church (International Christian Fellowship) has made the transition to a new pastor. Our previous pastor and his wife are wonderful, and we were so blessed to have the chance to learn from them. However, health issues have required them to move back to the states. The new pastor and his wife are super nice, and we are looking forward having them as part of our little church family.
• The Honda Element that we purchased has been such an amazing blessing to us. It has been so nice for Kathryn to have more freedom to go anywhere she needs to or wants to go without depending on someone else or our luxurious public transportation. We have also been without our ministry vehicle for about three weeks, so having our own car to drive in its place has been tremendously valuable for us and our whole crew. We can’t say thank you enough to those of you who have supported us in ways that allowed us to buy a car.
• We have started a Bonfire account to help raise some much needed funds. Not being able to come home to raise support can be quite difficult for many reasons. Our friend Abby helped us design some shirts to sell through Bonfire as a fund raising project. You have until March 15th to order a shirt. Every purchase helps. Thank you sooooo much for your help!! Please feel free to share this link with others https://www.bonfire.com/team-jones-in-moldova/
As always, we have attached a few photos here as well. Thank you all again so very much for your prayers, cards, emails, Facebook notes, and financial contributions. It takes all of these to keep us going when we are so far from home. We appreciate all that you have done and continue to do for us.
With hearts full of thankfulness!
Brian and Kathryn Jones
Team Jones in Moldova
P.S. We observed End It Movement day on February 23rd. This is a day to shine a light on the tragedy that is modern day slavery. Our houses exist to prevent our girls and guys from being victims of traffickers.
We are still experiencing winter-like weather here. It was 40 degrees today and then it snowed again. Forty is a balmy day for us
I am having trouble posting the pictures that are attached so I will only share the high points.
La multi ani from Moldova