I am very excited to be part of the Love Moldova Charity and am looking forward to being able to make a real difference to the lives of many people in Moldova.
I first came to learn about Moldova through the Sandu family whom I met through Hitchin Christian Centre. I have become great friends with Leo Sandu who was born and grew up in Moldova and who has now moved back to Moldova to do Christian and charity work. I have visited the Sandu's in Moldova three times and while I was there I have been involved in projects to help members of the local community.
I have worked as a finance manager for over 30 years in various blue chip organisations in the UK and in this role I am used to ensuring that money is spent wisely and with the proper controls.
I am looking forward to using my expertise in this area to help the Love Moldova charity use it’s funds in an effective way. In the past I have been involved with the Prince’s Trust Charity in the UK where I acted as a mentor to underprivileged young people starting their own businesses. This is a particular area of interest to me and I believe the knowledge that I gained from my work with The Prince’s Trust can be used in our aim to help relieve poverty in Moldova.
My name is Sally Willson. I have lived in Highworth Wiltshire (UK) since 1985 and have been an active member of Highworth Community Church (HCC) since then. I have been serving on the church leadership team in a voluntary capacity since 2011.
I trained as a nurse in the late 1970s, then in 1980 as a midwife. After having my 2 sons and 3 daughters I returned to nursing eventually specialising in women's health. Having retired from the NHS in August 2014 I have been free to help look after my grandchildren and be more available for church work.
I first heard about Moldova and the dire problems there in April 2014 when Rachel Hickson came to share at HCC (from "Heartcry for change"). Rachel recommended Sharon Eason (now Sharon Blyth since her marriage on 3/9/16) to come to tell us more, as she had been working in Moldova for a number of years, so I first met Sharon in June 2014 and we formed an immediate bond.
My husband Mike and I made our first visit to Moldova in September 2014 for 1 week. We attended an inter church conference called "shoulder to shoulder" in Ungheni, which encouraged not only the churches to start to work together but for men and women to work alongside each other. We also were able to get to know missionaries Leo and Sam Sandu who are overseeing a church plant from Ungheni in a village called Cornesti. They have been working to bring what aid they can to that impoverished community as well as discipling and training young people to lead the church there. We are so encouraged to hear their latest vision of further church plants in other villages around Ungheni, of the start of a Christian leadership academy (in September 2018) and to hear of a new spiritual freedom that is emerging.
We were also able to visit Casa Helen which Sharon founded in Rispeni, and visit Riscani, where a house had just been purchased for complete renovation into a refuge for girls at risk of being trafficked. It was wonderful to revisit Casa Helen (and Cornesti) in August 2016 as part of a larger mission team from our church, to help with various projects, encourage the churches and bless the elderly ladies in the home.
A number of other HCC members have visited at other times and we have been praying for, befriending and financially supporting the work since our first connections in 2014. A couple from our church are moving to Moldova with their 2 children in September 2017 to start working as missionaries.
I was part of a Moldova vision meeting in November 2016 with representatives of leaders from HCC, Hitchin Christian Centre, Heartcry for change and Life Church (Vienna) along with Sharon and Bill Blyth, and Leo and Sam Sandu. It was decided then to set up a charity (Love Moldova) to unify the various financial supporters to give more accountability and clarity. Having been asked to be part of the team of trustees it has been my pleasure to assist in this way with this wonderful work.
5 years ago I was working in Vienna on my uni break. It was the weekend and I was at a concert, which was showcasing the talent of numerous musicians from Life Church Vienna. The proceeds were given to build a girls shelter in Moldova and the lovely Sharon Eason (now Blyth) was there to accept the gift. We got to chat and I was struck by Sharon's contagious passion for God, for life, for people and (of course) for Moldova. She fleetingly mentioned that I was welcome to visit her in Moldova…
But, life moved on. I travelled back to the UK to see family, then to the states to continue studying and then working in animation. Yet, Moldova continued to play on my mind. That tiny country, which seemed so far geographically and culturally, was never far from my thoughts.
Upon moving back to the UK, I got in touch with Sharon to see if I could take her up on her generous offer to visit. I spent a truly beautiful week in Moldova, getting a glimpse into the incredible work that has begun and got to see the almost finished girls shelter which had been built from the proceeds of the concert in Vienna 3 years prior!
It’s my heartfelt hope to help the Love Moldova Foundation, especially with the skills that I have learnt in design and marketing. I pray that my place in London can be a support to the people on the ground in Moldova. It's an honour to be on the board of trustees with Ian and Sally and to be part of a team who are bringing life and hope to the lives of so many vulnerable people.