This is Rodica. She’s an eighteen-year-old girl from Moldova (it borders Romania – I had to look it up) that my brother-in-law, Dave, met on one of his many trips to Moldova/Romania. He makes several trips a year there through a missions organization, and often takes groups of kids there from the college he works at as a missions trip for them.
I’m not totally sure of the timing, but within a couple years ago Rodica was electrocuted in an accident. Her right arm was amputated as a result, and the fingers of her left hand are now fused together. She has some movement in her thumb, and can grab things like a fork by pinching her thumb to her hand, but other than that she needs lots of help. Dave was able to raise money for her airfare and secure a medical visa for Rodica to come to the US for a medical consultation and possible surgery to have her fingers separated.
She is staying with Dave and my sister, Jody, in Iowa, but today they are in Cincinnati at the Shriner’s hospital that offered to treat her for free. At today’s consultation the doctors will let Rodica know what her options are, and she will make a decision about what she wants to do. It’s possible that within six months Rodica could have use of her hand again!
When I saw Rodica at my nephew’s wedding in Kansas, I nearly fell off my chair as she greeted me in full English sentences. Only several months before when I met her in June, she knew not a lick of English, and we were all performing charades to communicate. She has been in school this year as a Junior, is running on the cross country team, and I heard Dave tell someone that she made the honor roll.
As I got to know her more that weekend in Kansas, I was getting a kick out of how resourceful and confident she is, knowing exactly what she wants and how to get it. As we attempted to organize our hotel room to make way for a cot, she took charge of the situation and began nudging bags around and telling me where to put things.
From the public computer in the hotel lobby, Rodica pulled up these pictures she had found of her home town of Nisporeni. It is a beautiful countryside, and in many of the pictures she was able to point out a certain grove of trees she’d hiked past or a road she’d walked on.
Please be thinking about and praying for Rodica, so far from home and facing so many serious decisions. If you are interested in donating money or airline mileage awards toward her travel between Iowa and Ohio, and ultimately back to Moldova again, please send me an email (jenzug at gmail dot com), and I will hook you up.