Trip Report April 27 – May 17, 2013
April 27, 2013 – Left Newark Liberty Airport at 5:25 pm. Arrived in Chisinau Sunday April 28 at 12:35. Michael picked me up and we met Peter for lunch at KFC in Mall Dova. We figured out how much seed, fertilizer and herbicide would be needed at Dancu and Iabloana. Dancu has purchased their own sunflower seed.
We got to Valdu lui Isac just a little bit after church services started, but still were in time for most of the service.
Monday I helped Michael re-route some water lines outside, digging ditches and putting new valves on. We also made some calls to help get organized for my time here. Monday evening was spent at Youth Group where there was a special speaker and tea and cookies afterward. It was about 11:30 until we got back to Michael’s.
Tuesday, April 30, Michael and I went to visit Petru Parascovia, who we met on our March trip. When we got there, Petru wasn’t there, having to go to Chisinau for an emergency. He called us and told us where his men were planting corn, so we went to the field to observe.
While we were there, another man, Ion, stopped to see what we were doing. I spent quite a bit of time talking to him about what we were doing, how we were here to help implement better technologies. In conversation, he asked if we would come and look at his onion field. He is doing a very nice job, having raised beds, using a precision planter, drip irrigation and doing some foliar feeding and fertilizing thru the drip. Last year he built a refrigeration unit to store his onion crop, to take advantage of better markets.
One of his advantages is that he was not a farmer, being trained as a lawyer, so we don’t have to unteach as many cultural agronomic practices. He was very quick to grasp some of the concepts, especially fascinated with no-till farming, trying to figure out a way to implement some of the practices with his current equipment. He also desires to start a small – 30 or so cows – modern dairy farm with Dutch or American genetics. He had hoped to start it this year but doesn’t have the finances.
This is a very good contact; we spent about 3 hours talking to him. He invited us back to talk more about how we may be able to help him. He took us to his neighbor, Costa, who is the largest, most influential farmer in the south. Costa just happened to be there, and was proud to show us his new corn planters that he just purchased from Germany. They are nearly set up for No-Till planting, and as I explained about how to do it, he said he has 200 hectares of barley that isn’t looking too good that he is going to try No-Tilling this spring.
He also would like me to keep in contact with him. While I was there, he asked for advice on a new drill he is considering buying. He showed me a couple that he was looking at. I was familiar with one of them, a Great Plains from the US, and told him that was one of the best that he could buy. He greatly appreciated the information as we discussed various merits of the different drills he was looking at. I consider this to be another great potential contact.
Wednesday, May 1 was a Moldavian Holiday, similar to our Labor day. We spent the day finishing up Michaels water project, and Michael installed a reverse osmosis water system in their house, so no more bottled water. I was glad to be able to convince him that this was the right thing to do, given the health issues Angelica and Adriana have faced. He was like a kid on Christmas morning, opening the box, figuring out a better way than the instructions on how to install it, and then experiencing being able to drink such good water.
Also on Wednesday I started my Romanian language lessons with Adriana – learning some key words and phrases. I was supposed to speak at a Youth Meeting in the next village, but it was cancelled about an hour and a half before meeting time, because most churches are having services on Thursday evening.
Thursday May 2 was spent planning some more of our itinerary. I am attempting to get a Russian visa so that I can travel to Russia immediately after my time in Moldova. Due to the Easter Holidays, We are not able to go to the Russian Embassy in Chisinau until May 9 to see if it is even possible to do on such short notice. Also, we were trying to plan our week in the event Herb and Huffy are not able to come, or are delayed, due to Herb’s family situation.
Michael and I met with his pastor, Andrei, as he wanted to talk to me about what the work of AgriService/AgConnect will be. He was quite familiar with the work of Christian Aid Ministry in Romania, and also had opinions on why it was not successful. As I shared with him the vision of AgConnect ministries, and why I need to come to Moldova so that I could learn along side of Moldavians in order to find a way to help become successful, he was silent for a moment. I shared that I am not discouraged by how big the task is, I know it will take many years, and I am trusting God to show me each step to take. And that I will look for those people who I can help as an individual, and slowly progress will be made. I also stated that I don’t have any thoughts of changing their system, that those changes will come from within Moldova.
Then he said that I was the first American he knew of who didn’t come to Moldova with the answers and ways of how to fix things, and make everything better. He said he wanted to meet me so that he could tear down my plans, and destroy my ideas of what I am going to do. But he sees that he can’t do that, since I don’t come with pre-conceived ideas. I told him God beat him to it, that my journey this last year taught me to trust God to get me thru each day and each moment, and believe that God will take me to the place I need to be.
Andrei and I are kindred spirits, having both experienced God’s healing and extending our time on this earth. Andrei had a liver transplant, after being told there was nothing that could be done for him and he only has two months to live. He convinced the doctors to use him as an experiment in new procedures, believing that God would use it either to restore him to health or teach the doctors how to help someone else. The doctors told him that he is a miracle. I asked him to be my sounding board, to give me wisdom and insight as this ministry goes forward. I look forward to many times of sharing in the future.
Michael and I then met Ion Semmert where he was planting corn. After visiting with him for a while, we went to where his neighbor, Petru, who we met last visit, was planting corn. Petru wasn’t there, but we had a chance to spend quite a bit of time with the men who were working the fields. One of them, Tudor Gisca, was an agronomist who started his career in 1967 as an agronomist for the collective farm in the neighboring village.
As I was asking questions and making comments about fertility, seeding rates, root growth, ect. it became apparent that we understood each other even if we didn’t speak the same language; we both spoke the language of the soil. It was a great experience talking to him about things he observed, and things he could teach me. It resulted in another invitation to keep in contact with throughout my time in Moldova.