If you were to go to Moldova to a small village named Malcoci, chances are the kids and supervisors know the name Sarah Hustey.
“I’ve been traveling to Moldova since 2015, to help the young children. It is a humbling experience to see how much different life is overseas versus the United States.”
Sarah is a senior anthropology and sociology major at Piedmont College, but has different hobbies outside of college. If you spend any time with Sarah you would see that she has a loving heart with welcoming arms for everyone that’s around her and for the people she meets.
But more than that, Sarah gets to know the kids she works with on a different personal level. One particular kid, Colea, says Sarah is the best caregiver he has ever had. She has worked with him since he was 3.
Sarah travels to the impoverished Eastern European country each year through her church.
“We teach them the grammar and vocabulary of the English language,” she said. “We also try to incorporate Bible lessons that fit into the vocabulary they are learning. We also do arts and crafts and they have an hour of recreational time so we can teach them new sports and games.”
Every summer Sarah and the small group of three that she travels with looks forward to seeing how much knowledge the kids they work with have progressed since the previous year.
Chris Hudson, who organizes the annual trip, said the goal is to help children gain skills they may not otherwise attain. “We go to get one job done and that’s teaching kids valuable skills they can use in their daily life. We basically watch the kids grow up from a young age until they are in their teenage lives,” he said.
In the profession Sarah is studying she sees all the gruesome and bad parts of the world. However, her outgoing personality and optimistic outlook on life is what allows her to keep pushing forward when times get hard. Within herself, she has found a way to be able to make other people smile around her and allows them to learn not only the way of life in the United States, but also in Eastern Europe. What sparked the rest of the road for Sarah is when she was given the opportunity to teach Sunday school classes at her local church.
“Sarah is always going out of her way to make those around her feel welcome and secure,” said Ms. Kary, Sunday School Superintendent at First Baptist Church in Gwinnett. “The first day of Sunday classes, the immediate interaction with the children and seeing their faces light up made me want to cry. Sarah definitely has a pure heart and for her to be able to connect with children on a different level is a blessing in disguise and I hope she realizes the impact she has on younger kids.”
She never thought that she could find a way to correlate with college and kids in the field she is studying. However, whenever summer rolls around Sarah looks forward to meeting the new kids, but her mind always goes back to the children she mentors in Moldova.
“I think the most rewarding part of going to Moldova is that the kids always remember who I am from the previous year,” she said. “All types of emotions come to me when I walk out of the van and the kids run toward me and yell, ‘Sarie.’ It lets me know that I play a significant role in their lives, when no one else will.”