Bringing Hope To The Elderly
“Well, I ate a piece of bread dipped in water, then in sugar. It keeps me full for a whole day.”
At the top of a hill, long overgrown grass surrounds an abandoned-looking house. A gate leading into the front yard has hinges grown rusty from lack of use.
As the gate squeaks open, a skinny dog’s barking gives the alarm that visitors have arrived. From inside the house, a small but happy voice is heard, “Come inside, I am home!” and an elderly lady appears in the doorway.
Galina lives alone with just her dog for company in Cantemir, a town in southern Moldova. When Galina’s son left to work in Russia and she didn’t hear from him in months, Galina fell into a depression and lost all desire to take care of her home or herself. Overwhelmed by loneliness, she starting drinking too much alcohol – but a spark of hope was lit when she heard from her son, who promised he would come home from Moscow in a few months.
Galina is now receiving regular support from Mission Without Borders (MWB) in partnership with the local church. Boris, an MWB staff member, regularly visits Galina and she is given monthly supplies of food and hygiene items.
As Boris arrived at Galina’s house, he checked with her whether she had eaten much that day. Like many elderly people, she often lacks the energy and motivation to cook and eat.
“Well, I ate a piece of bread dipped in water, then in sugar,” Galina told Boris. “It keeps me full for a whole day.”
A loaf of bread covered in mold can be seen on top of the cupboard, along with a pile of other things thrown there chaotically.
Boris said, “The bag of food and hygiene items that we bring Galina is enough to last her a whole month. And it’s a relief to know that an elderly woman like Galina will have something to eat every day and the things she needs for washing and cleaning.
“It’s sad to realise that most of the elderly in our country use their pension mostly for medication and bills, and with the very little money they have left, they buy bread and sugar and they can’t afford much else.”
He added, “I love to volunteer and it’s an amazing experience, visiting these wonderful elderly people. It touches my heart to see their joy when they meet me and hug me, and tell me all about their week.
“Many of them will say things like, ‘No one came to visit me’, ‘You are like a son to me’, or they’ll ask, ‘Why do I still live on this earth?’
“This pandemic has been a very difficult time for us, for me personally and for them, because we can’t have too much contact and fellowship. I miss being able to give people a hug, to shake their hands… Many of them tell me that they’re praying this virus will disappear from our earth and that things will go back to how they were before. At least we do all we can for them now, by giving them bags filled with essentials, and those few minutes of distant fellowship means a lot to them.”
“It’s amazing the difference we see in the elderly people we support,” Boris continued. “We have seen them become happier, developing a greater sense of worth. Some of them have quit drinking and have started taking better care of themselves.”
Victor volunteers for MWB’s Soup Kitchen in Cantemir, a project that cooks meals for the elderly and delivers them to the housebound. He said, “I know what hardship is. My children are enrolled on the Mission’s sponsorship programme, and this is the least I can do to replay the love and care we’ve received from the Mission and from the local church.
“I love God and I’m thankful to the Mission for being so close to our family during our times of greatest struggle. I’m blessed to be part of this amazing work of offering love, care, comfort and hope to the elderly. And may God bless all those who sacrifice from their own resources to share what they have with people in desperate need.”
Your donation today will help Mission Without Borders continue to support vulnerable seniors and like Galina with monthly care packages and personal support.