Pretty sure Moldova is stalking me.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I got a comment on this post from a girl living in Moldova.

Normally not a big deal; I mean, it’s a missionary blog, so naturally, there could be other missionaries reading it and commenting from different parts of the world. BUT. This time was extra special because - well, here’s what I told her in my response:

Jamie, the Very Worst Missionary said...

Moldova!! Annie, you just made my day!!
El Chupacabra and I just got in an awesome argument the other day over whether Moldova was a real place because I said that Moldova is the fake country from Princess Diaries and he was like, "No. It's a real country." And I was all, "You just THINK that cuz you're a sucker." and I kept saying, all day, how Moldova wasn't real, until finally he got really mad and googled it and shouted "LOOK! This is the Wiki page for Moldova, the REAL country!!" and I rolled my eyes and said, "Sheesh, you'll believe anything." and then he, literally, threw his hands in the air like, "God what did I do to deserve THIS woman?!"

It was all very satisfying. And, yes, I knew Moldova was for real.
I cannot wait to tell him I got a comment from Moldova, of all the places in the world!! So funny!!

Now, tell me that’s not weird.

Of aaaaallll the places in the world - I get a comment, on my stupid, mostly entirely unheard of blog from someone in Moldova, like 5 minutes after the... um... charming incident described above.

But wait. It gets curiouser.

Cause then, something like a week later, there’s another mention of Moldova, from Anne Jackson over at Flowerdust (who fulfills, for me, that odd internet phenomenon of Here’s a person that I’ve never actually met but I like to think that we’d be friends in ‘real life’.) Anyway. Out of the blue, she announces that she’s going to... drumroll please.....Moldova!

And I’m like “No way! It’s like this country is stalking me.”, because, of course, it’s all about me..... *sigh*

I’ve been following Anne Jackson’s journey as she and a few others walked right into the middle of the Sex Trafficking Capitol of the World* (*not its official name). From an unsuspecting cafe in Moldova, she tells the story of how thousands of girls and young women are secretly swept into the dark underbelly of the illegal sex trade and kept in a life a slavery with virtually no help, no recourse, and no hope of escape.

So I was already thinking about slavery, and how strange it seems, to me, that slavery exists today. I was already mulling it over in my head, wondering how we let things like this happen, and telling myself that it’s just because the problem is so far away. Ya know? Out of sight, out of mind, or something like that. And then my husband handed me this paper:

It’s the front page story of 36 asian slaves being rescued off of a Costa Rican fishing boat. 2 hours from where I live. They had been trafficked from 5 different countries on the other side of the world. Beaten, starved, and held against their will for the past 2 years, their story hit a little too close to home. But these people have been rescued. I have no idea what the future holds for them, but at the very least, they’ve been given a second chance. They’ve been handed their freedom.

When I was reading this article, I just kept thinking of Moldova and the thousands of girls being enslaved, abused, and terrorized after being lured into the sex trade. And I couldn’t help but wonder who will step up to help them? Who will grant these girls their freedom? What can be done to rescue them from the atrocities they endure?

And then. I got an email.

It was from Jeff Goins (again, someone I’ve never met, but like to think we’d hit it off in real time- does that make me lame?). Jeff asked me to help get the word out about his friend Tom Davis, who was in - you guessed it - Moldova! So I was like, “Heck yes, I can spread the word - Moldova is like my favorite country right now! It just keeps popping up!” Ok. I didn’t actually say that, but I thought it.


This guy, Tom Davis, is launching this ministry, Children’s HopeChest, in Moldova. Here’s a peek at what they aim to do:

Look. I know I'm not all that activist-y. I'm not even all that nice. And I know that you probably popped in here today hoping for a chuckle and not a guilt trip.

But I also know how God speaks to me. And what started out as a joke about a forsaken little country in Eastern Europe, turned into a nagging feeling that I was supposed to be saying something about it, and when I responded to that feeling with doubt and hesitation, He went ahead and sent someone to straight up ask me to say something. So yeah, I'm slow like that, but I usually get it in the end...

So there it is. Moldova. Sex Trafficking. Slavery. And all the links you need to learn more about it.

And here's the link to give $...or $$... or maybe $$$, so that a girl halfway around the world can find freedom.


    God works in mysterious ways.
    You responding to God, by posting this could totally lead to the freedom of even one girl, it would be so awesome.
    Love, love, love Childrens Hopechest...and hey,Tom D is my FB friend and all, read his Red Letters and my hubby read his "Confessions of a Good Christian Guy". *must read for our guys.* Some of my gal pals and I are passionate about this topic. Not sure if we can go to Moldova and break down some prison doors with babies on our boobs, but we can support the ministries that can!!!!

  2. girl - you are my hero....but I bet you can't make tomato cake soup with cream cheese frosting!!!

  3. Amen, Chris Noelle!! Sometimes the least we can do is also the most, right? God will use us where we're at!! Yay!!

    Erin - you are too funny! I did make a chocolate/tomato cake once (not tomato soup, but, like, tomato puree) and it was pretty darn good!! Let me know how yours turns out. Yum!!

  4. Jamie, thank you for this post. I've been keeping up with Anne Jackson and Tom Davis the past few years. They are awesome, genuine people. I found your blog a few months ago and have keeping up with it since. You and Anne are very much alike. You both are very honest and open. (Anne may not be quite as open as you, lol) This is exactly what people need. Don't change a thing. You ARE being used by God.

  5. Jamie- this is way cool and so glad you shared it...we got connected with Children's HopeChest Africa about a year ago- their work for the Kingdom is amazing...this stuff happening now blows me away, too. I watched that movie Taken (I think that is what it was called) a year ago or so and was shaken by it...but this stuff is real! It is so hard to believe, and then impossible to understand...thanks again for sharing

  6. Bam! Just like that you have become JAMIE... the *Joking* *Activist* *Missionary* who's *Inspiring* & *Effective* (take that venereal warts)!

    I agree that you and Anne would make great friends (based solely on online observation). I didn't even put two and two together when Anne said she was going there that it was the same country you were excited to get a comment from.

    Funny how God does that stuff to get our attention. My wife and I have been feeling like God wants us to look for a new church and the other morning before we went to try one out, Steph asked if I could play a song for her on the computer (which I can't remember a time she has done that on a Sunday morning). Sure enough at church they sung that song during worship.

    Anne's blog has been breaking my heart this past week and I am glad that Tom is starting a movement that I hope through blogs like yours and Anne's start to save these girls from a life of abuse!

  7. Sorry to break it to you (and I know I'm missing the bigger point here), but you and Steve are both partially right. The country that Princess Diaries takes place in is Genovia, but, as you stated, it is made up. K, that's all.

    Jenna Kemp

  8. Hey Jamie! I work with Jeff and Tom and would definitely be "in real life" friends with Anne if I met her :) (don't you love how we are pretty much BFF's and they don't really even know we exist?) Anyways--thanks for the plug for Moldova. I have been reading your stuff for awhile and LOVE it. Thanks for being YOU.

  9. This happens in my backyard (not literally, of course). I live in a country in Eastern Europe which made news a couple months ago as being in the top five exporters of prostitutes (among the European nations). I see children (12-14 years) working the streets. It's all so sad!

    When we lived in Romania, my husband was told by the Romanians that he had a "Moldovan accent", which pretty much meant that they could hardly understand him.

  10. It's horrifying to think of what they must be going through...unfathomable, really. I'm glad you spoke out on their behalf in your perfectly authentic way. :-)

  11. Thanks for getting the word out. We'll definitely meet up some time!

  12. I love this post! I forwarded it to my friend, Jamie (not you Jamie), who is living in India for a year as an intern for International Justice Mission working with and for girls who have recently been rescued from Sex Slavery. She will love this post, too. She will love it for two obvious reasons and also because you have a wonderful way conveying important things with great wit and humor. I am a new fan of your blog.

  13. By the way, I love that you refer to your husband (or is it his super secret spy name?) as El Chupacabra. Hilarious!

  14. Thanks for sharing my silly blog, EmilyAdele! I LOVE the IJM - very cool that your friend is working with such a great organization!!

    Also. El Chupacabra likes his moniker, too. ;)

  15. Hey Jamie, YOU are going to be positive Moldova is stalking you when I tell you this. I opened my email this morning and there was an email from Jamie in India and the subject was: MOLDOVA. This is what Jamie in India said:

    "Not kidding.

    So Jon came back from GPG with a bunch of brochures and literature for me that people had passed on to him while he as in the U.S. Why he gave these all to me? I have not yet figured that out.

    One of the pamphlets is from an organization called The Praying Aunties Network. I open it up and guess what I see! Two maps. One of India and one of MOLDOVA.


    By the way, GPG is shorthand for Global Prayer Gathering, an event IJM hosts every Spring. And Jon is another guy who works for IJM. HAHAHA!

    SO, apparently, God wants us ALL to know that Moldova is not a made up country in the Princess Diaries... and furthermore, we should pray for human trafficking in Moldova.

    Also, I'm a full blown fan of your blog now...favorite posts so far- "Skeletons..." and "Poverty..." As soon as I pay my rent, I'll donate some money to you and El Chupacabra. Blessings to you and your family.

  16. Hi Jamie,
    I don't know if you will see this but I talked with Tom Davis with Hope Chest and he mentioned your blog to me. I am a missionary in San Jose, Costa Rica and I run a ministry/organization that works with women and children in Trafficking and Prostitution. Just thought it was neat to hear of you in Heredia :)


  17. Children's HopeChest is a great organization. I worked with them in Russia briefly. Thanks for your blog...I'll admit it, I'm a blurker (blog-lurker) and have never commented until now. :)


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