Thursday, May 21, 2009

A few pictures.

I posted a few pictures. More to come. All of a sudden the computer wouldn't add any more. I will try again soon.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Home Safely

We are home safely. Thank the Lord for an incredible journey and safe travels. Now, off to work, I think. What day is it anyway? :-)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

On the road again...sounds like a song doesn't it?

Skip and I will be leaving Frankfurt soon. We will leave the motel at 10:30am Frankfurt time, which is about 2:30am west coast time. Our flight leaves Frankfurt at 1:50pm. We will again fly to Denver and then HOME. We are both ready to go home. We totally enjoyed our tour yesterday, our time in Frankfurt, and Moldova.
Some of the things we learned this trip.
Moldova is the poorest country in Europe.
Most people in the villages and many in Chisinau have out houses, no indoor plumbing.
Many people that live in the villages have lived there all their lives and their houses have been passed down from generation to generation.
Most people do not have cars. Some have a wagon pulled by a horse. Others walk or ride buses.
Food is very simple. They eat soup and bread at lunch and dinner, with meat and a starch. They do not have a meal without bread. Bread costs about .40 cents a loaf, is white and dense. It comes in smaller loaves than in the States. It is very good and we enjoyed it a lot.
Many people clean up in the kitchen, no shower or bath.
Moldova is a communist country. It is oppressive. Due to shop lifting, while shopping, you are watched carefully.
The police stop drivers frequently to check their papers.
There are two languages spoken in Moldova, both Russian and Romanian. Some people mix the two while conversing.
We are not used to the conditions in Moldova. For us it would be hard to live there. But I want you to know that the spirit of the Christian believers is wonderful. They have a hard life, but they are rejoicing in the Lord. They love the Lord and are serving Him. BTW, one of the sweet young Christian gals asked me to send greetings to the Christians in the United States. So, Greeting from the Christians in Moldova.
That is all about things we learned for now. I want to share a scary experience that happened at the airport in Moldova. We got checked in and we went through baggage security. Then our passports were checked and we were ushered to personal security where we were frisked. Meanwhile a man calls our last name. I answer and he motions for me to come with him. He takes my passport and hands it back to the lady that checked it. Only I could go with him, not Skip. He takes me back to the beginning and shows me one of our bags. He tells me, in broken English, to open it for him. He keeps saying the word "metal." I open it for him and he pulls out our package of batteries for the camera. They were Duracell AA batteries that we bought at Costco. So, it was a big package. He examines them carefully and talks with the other guard in either Russian or Romanian. I was too scared to figure out which. I am shaking with fear. Skip is worried and wondering where they have taken me and what is going on. Finally the man says to the other guard, "no Moldova." I say, "U.S." He nods, puts the batteries into the suitcase and motions for me to close the bag. I am now able to leave but have to go through all the security checks again and then am finally reunited with Skip. We were separated about 5 minutes, but it felt much longer than that. I explained what happened and we went on. Let me say that is it scary to be separated from your loved one in a foregn country where there is not freedom and you don't know the language. We did not realize the oppression we felt until we landed in Frankfurt. Again, I am not trying to complain, I am trying to explain.
See you soon!

Friday, May 15, 2009


I wanted to update those that follow this blog. We met the American group that came to Moldova to do work at the camp. There were 6 ladies and 23 men. They were from all over the United States. Many of them had never met each other. It was such a blessing to meet them. I enjoyed fellowshipping with the ladies. They all had a story to tell about how the Lord had provided the money for them to get to Moldova. It was touching to hear how God had worked in each ones life to provide. I thouroughly enjoyed visiting with them. On the last evening we were there we had an impromptu time of worship. There were 4 of us that kept singing songs while around the keyboard. We sang a lot of hymns, which I totally enjoyed. It was sweet fellowship with Christians from all over. Cool! What an awesome experience to worship the Lord with Christians from around the world, in different languages. God is awesome!
Skip and I arrived in Frankfurt, Germany on Thursday at 7:45am. We slept only 2.5 hours before leaving Moldova. We took a 2 hour bus tour yesterday and then made our way back to the hotel. It is interesting traveling in Frankfurt when we dont know the city or the language. We asked for help, and with the help, made it around. We traveled by train to downtown and back. It was a little nerve wracking, but we were thankful we arrived back at the correct train station. I fell asleep at 7pm and slept 13.5 hours. Skip only slept 10.5. I think we were tired. Today we are resting some. Tomorrow we have a 10.5 hour tour which we are looking forward to. This has been quite a trip for the Ragans, and we thank the Lord for the opportunity.
God bless you all. We will be home soon. We have enjoyed our trip and are looking forward to being back home.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Hello from Moldova

I haven't posted for awhile. We have been very busy preparing for the arrival of the American group. Two men came Saturday night and are doing measuring and planning. The others are coming tonight. Things are going to get even busier with 30 Americans and and 15 Moldovans to feed at every meal starting tomorrow morning. So, I thought I would take this opportunity to update.
We will leave the camp on Thursday morning at 1:30am, which will be 3:30pm Wednesday on the west coast. Our flight leaves Moldova at 5:05am to Frankfurt. We will probably not have internet access from Frankfurt. We will be in Frankfurt for 3.5 days and then will fly home and arrive at PHX Sunday night shortly after 6:00pm. It has been very nice being here and helping. It has been a lot of fun to be with Eric and Stephanie. This has been a very postive experience for both Skip and I. A learning experience, I might add. But, it is almost time to return home and resume our responsibilities there. Although we will be sad to leave here, we are just about ready to head back to the states and reunite with our family, church, friends and our dogs of course. :-)
We will see most of you soon.
Skip and Sheryl

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Life Can Be Challenging

We are half way around the world. When our daughter's have difficulties we can do little from Moldova. However we can pray. Two weeks ago Jennifer found out she doesn't have a contract for next year for her job. In other words, she doesn't have a job. She also needs some expensive dental work done. We have been emailing back and forth. To be honest, her situation shook me up at first. We are not there to help. Emailing has helped and praying has definitely helped.

Then we got an email yesterday that Joy and Tony (our daughter and grandson) were in a car accident in Northern California on Monday. They are both alright. Tony is absolutely fine. Joy is sore and is in some pain. That news shook us both up. I cried for awhile last night even though everything was over and done. I couldn't help it. We worry about our children no matter how old they are. Joy's car was totaled and the "kids" had to go get another one. They took care of it and we were not there if they needed to consult us. I am sure it is a growing experience for them as well as us. We like to be there for our "kids."

Thankfully the Lord is always there for all of us, no matter where we are located. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. He doesn't need a plane ticket to come to help us. I am thankful we serve a God who loves us and cares about every detail of our lives. Thank you Lord!

Monday, May 4, 2009


Sunday we went to the church in the village again. It was not a holiday this week and there were 22 people in attendance. It was all in Romanian so we understood little, but that is ok. There was one song we understood and sang it in English while it was sung in Romanian. Cool that God understood both. It is very special to worship God in two languages at once. It is indescribable.

After church we went to a Greek restaurant in the Mall in Chisinau. That was a very pleasant experience. We all had a good time. Then we ran a couple of errands and went to the Metro. The Metro is like Sam's Club in the U.S. I needed to exchange U.S. currency into Moldovan Lei. For some reason I was very nervous. Stephanie went with me. They told me that whatever the lady says she will be asking if you want the whole thing exchanged. We all figured she would talk to me in Romanian. So, I was surprised when she spoke to me in English. If the money is not in good shape they will not exchange it. I was concerned because we forgot to bring brand new bills. Within a few seconds she handed me Lei and that was all there was to it. So, I was nervous and shaking for nothing. It figures! :-) So, now I have exchanged money, whoo hoo!We came home, had home made pizza and watched a movie. It was a very pleasant day.

Today Skip is tiling again and I am doing more puddying with wood dough. We got more yesterday. I also made some home made macaroni and cheese for dinner tonight for Eric and Stephanie and us. We will eat that in a couple of hours. The noodles are different here, not as firm. The cheese is different too. It is soft and very tasty. Should be interesting.