Rachel was born in Newburyport, MA, and raised in a loving, Christian home. Her heart was first stirred towards missions by her grandparents and other relatives who have spent their lives in East Asia in cross-cultural ministry. While a student at Gordon College the doors were opened to join a Servant Team in Romania with Word Made Flesh. This time of intense exposure and discipleship in community among the poor opened her eyes to see God’s heart for widows and the fatherless. In 2002 Rachel moved to Galati, Romania, where she served as Servant Team Coordinator, led worship for the community, and mentored youth at the Community Center and on the streets. In 2010, Rachel joined a team committed to forming a new Word Made Flesh community in the capital city of Moldova. As this team of five began their life together, doors opened for them to reach out to institutionalized children at one of the country’s largest former orphanages. Rachel currently serves as Community Care Facilitator and as arts and crafts teacher for La VIA’s after-school kids program.
Vitalie was born in Ukraine. He studied French and Romanian language and literature in Romania. Then he worked as a teacher in the village of his birth. He tried to find his place in the world of translators, but hasn’t discovered it yet (still searching). He then switched to working in construction for a while.
In 2012 Vitalie moved to the capital of Moldova to work with WMF and discover God’s plan for his life. There he remained. In 2013 he married Rachel Simons and in 2017 Grace Alexandra was born. The most precious discovery that he experiences is while watching his daughter grow and realizing that God also watches him with wonder as he grows.
Vitalie’s adventure with God began during his first year as a university student…and continues. Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.
In his free time Vitalie enjoys playing with his daughter, reading and rediscovering Russian literature. He likes to watch movies and also tries to stay abreast of current affairs in Ukraine, while praying for “a hope and future” for his country.
Vitalie serves as Administrative Director for WMF Moldova.
Nothing is accidental….
Adriana was born in southern Moldova and grew up in a village not far from the capital city, Chişinău. She graduated from high school in the same year in which the Soviet empire collapsed. At this time Adriana was 16 years old as she went through a major transition both in her life as well as in her country. All stability showed its illusory face….
Then Adriana worked as a cultural and language facilitator for the US Peace Corps in Moldova, her first experience with people from outside of her country. In this way, she lived and worked with volunteers in different villages and every year saw the immediate effects of transition and poverty—one consequence being the abandonment of many children by their parents who left the country to earn a living abroad.
Also in this time, Adriana had a journey with and toward God. All that she took from home was the image of the church on a hill in her village, a church she didn’t attend because the Soviet regime wouldn’t allow it. But she also took the image of Jesus from an icon in her parents’ house and later would discover the image of a God who is also truly alive and sensitive. Adriana’s journey has just begun, and her search continues together with all marginalized children and their families.
Aliona worked as a cook for many years in a local restaurant. She is married, with two daughters and one granddaughter. Since 2017 she has served with warmth and dedication as La VIA Community Center Cook. Her delicious meals and gift for hospitality bless the staff and children of WMF Moldova and all who come to visit.
Nata was born in a Christian family with seven brothers and sisters. In high school she received training as a seamstress and developed a passion for creating small dolls and toys that come to life with her attention to every minute detail.
Nata joined WMF Moldova in 2017 and serves as Sewing Program Coordinator.