It was in the ’90s when I got a phone call from a well known teacher from another city. He was putting together a small team to follow an invitation from some schools and churches in the Republic of Moldova. We were to teach a seminar to the teachers there.
I said “yes, I’ll go”, and short after that, the four of us took off in a car.
It was a long ride from the West side of Romania to cross the border in the East to Chisinau, Moldova. The roads right after the Revolution in Romania were pretty challenging, but we made it safe. It was interesting how during the Communism in Moldova, the main roads didn’t go through the cities or villages. They were guarded by forests on both sides of the ways, to keep the eyes of the intruders away from the hard reality of the population there.
We met tens and tens of intellectuals, people with a sweet heart, humble, but full of knowledge. They listened to us and we listened to them, sometimes in tears.
The last night before leaving their country, we were sheltered in a school principal’s flat. We got there late and went directly to bed. Next morning we met his wife and children around the table for breakfast. It was a time experiencing dear friendship, sharing out lives and praying for each other.
In the end, right before leaving their home, the woman of the house handed us a gift. It was a goose egg and a pickle to take to our families in Romania. That was all what they had to bless us. I was crying inside. These beautiful people didn’t want to send us away empty handed.
When I reached home, my children and I sat at the table around a goose egg and a pickle.
Sometimes it’s not so much about the gift, but the heart behind it. We were blessed.