We’ve been traveling north since 10 this morning on some of the roughest roads yet. It’s now 2 in the afternoon and our driver just told us we have 29 kilometers to our destination of Onaci in the Northern District.
Since leaving Chisinau, we have passed through Belti Region, where we spent yesterday, and passed into the North District. Were the fields not rolling with hills, I would think myself in the Midwest of the US. Vast, open fields as far as the eye can see. We have passed both horse-drawn carts, tractors with trailers and even multi-trailer highway rigs loaded with apples and sugar beats – major crops in this region. It is quite surreal to slow down on what would once have been an interstate quality highway (during the Soviet era) not for bicycles, but for horse drawn buggies. The farms, once communist driven, are now government and commercially operated.
The roads which cut through vast acreage of open fields are beautifully lined with ash and other hardwood trees. A remnant of the intentionality and planning of the communist era which governed this land when it was not Moldova the county, but a region of the Soviet Union. Leaves are falling. Sections of the highway are covered with beautiful bursts of color.
Even still, we travel on as we near the Northern Moldova/Ukraine border. Our pleasure today will be meeting a group of pastors faithfully serving this northern region of the country. We have now left the farmland and entered a rich valley with a complex community built around a river. As I look into the distance, I see the mountain line just to the other side of the river. Ukraine lies just beyond.
I’m excited to see what this day holds.