For the past 12 years the Children's Emergency Relief International (CERI) organization has headed the kids and boots mission in this country.
"We were so emotionally touched by the needs of these children that have so little of the basic necessities that we all take for granted," Derickson said. "Over a 10-day period, the mission team that we were a part of personally saw and fitted boots on over 600 orphans and 400 mentally handicapped adults."
Reed agreed, stating, "We took this trip to change the lives of some orphans ... Just getting to the orphanages was a challenge, but when we got there, the kids were thrilled.
"This is their Christmas, New Year's and birthdays rolled into one. A new pair of boots made all the difference to them.
This was both men's first time on a mission trip outside the United States.
Reed said the language barrier was tough as most spoke Romanian, but a smile, high-five, hand-shake and hugs are universal. Reed and Derickson chose to work with a team from CERI and chose Moldova because they are the poorest country in Europe and the need is so great.
"I may not be able to change the world, but with God's help I can change one and that means the world to her," Reed said. "If God will allow, I will be going back next year. I went to change the lives of some kids who desperately need it. I am the one that will forever be changed."
The challenge of single digit temperatures and excessive amounts of snow were just part of the difficulties that Reed and Derickson faced.
"I felt God tugging at my heart with every child that received a new pair of socks and boots," Derickson said. "Having children of my own at the same ages of some of these children made it extremely difficult to just give them a hug and say 'Jesus loves you' (in Romanian) and then have to walk away to the next orphan or orphanage."
While there, Derickson said he was privileged to lead a special presentation of the gospel, during which time they sang "Jesus Loves the Little Children of the World."
"I wanted to make sure the interpreters conveyed the message that Jesus does love all of us and that we are all family in the eyes of God," he said. "At this time of year as we approach Christmas I hope everyone would search their hearts to reach out to people and children in need because so many of us have so much."
If you would like more information on CERI mission trips or on sponsoring a child, please see the website http://www.cerikids.org.