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At just 12 years old, Anatol is already the man of the house. If you looked at his calloused hands you would see the years of his hard work on the local farm and in a carpentry workshop next door.

With his father imprisoned and every memory of him erased from the family home, Anatol felt the weight of responsibility to step up as a man before he was ever a child. He shared, "I want to help Mum more because I see how hard she works for other people - only to buy us a piece of bread! She never says that she is tired, or that she is working too much, but I can just tell. I love my mum and Sisters very much."

Oxana, his mother, two sisters Marina (11) and Eugenia (9), and Anatol fight every day to survive. They work hard to scrape food together so they don't go hungry and desperately try to find a sense of normality in a world engulfed by poverty - life in their village is tough. Their one small room is barely furnished with the essentials, but it is the love and laughter shared between them that fills their home. Oxana's eyes alight with joy as she shares with the MWB Coordinator, her children's mischievous adventures - constantly choosing to see the joy in the hardest circumstances - you can clearly see her adoration for her children as she tirelessly works to create a better future for them. She said, "These three wonderful children are my life, they are my treasure, all that I have on this earth! They are like beautiful flowers for me - two bright pink tulips and one big red rose that I love so much!"


“I am so grateful to MWB for giving my children the
possibility to have fun with other children. I would never
be able to send them to a summer camp myself.”

Last year, this struggling family were enrolled in Mission Without Borders Family Sponsorship program. The Coordinators in their community could see how eager Oxana was to work so that her children would not face the same fate and difficulties that she found herself in. Through MWB's support, her dream could now be their future in just a few years' time. This program supports the family, giving them new opportunities and equipping them with the Resources they need to break out of the poverty cycle - but there is nothing quite like the Experience that each child has during their time at Summer Camp. So you could imagine the excitement that exploded through the Cernea household on the afternoon they found out that they would all be going to camp in the summer! As they jumped up and down a flood of questions came pouring out.

Because of the generosity of MWB supporters, Anatol, Marina and Eugenia would for the first time experience a week of swimming, games, Bible lessons and delicious food. For Marina and Eugenia as soon as they approached the campsite for the very first time their spirits were illuminated with a child-like wonder and excitement and before long they were surrounded by happy noisy children, wearing colourful armbands, splashing in the pool, their loud laughter and excited shouts were the most beautiful sound. Both Marina and Eugenia refused to come out of the shower, soaking in the hot, rain-like feeling for the first time - at home all they had was a plastic basin filled with warm water. They giggled as they played and jumped with not a care in the world.


However for their brother, Anatol, his first experiences of camp were clouded by concern and responsibility for his mother, still at home. He said, "I wonder how she is doing there alone." Slowly he began to join in and started playing with the other children - the volunteers watched the weight of the world fall away and Anatol experienced what it was like to be a child for what would seem like the very first time. The heavy burden of providing for his family was replaced with excitement over winning a checkers game and the impact of chapel and learning about the God who loves him with a kind a fatherly heart, clearly moved him. There were so many seeds planted in their lives because we were able to create a safe and fun environment where Anatol's guards could be put down and the love of God could flow in. This safe, loving space is where MWB gets the opportunity to truly stand in that gap between these children and their trauma - whispering words of value and importance to their broken little-hearts; it is here that profound healing comes.


We have 27 staff members working with sponsored families in Moldova; a total of 70 staff working with families across our six field countries.