As I type this I am on the long flight back to the states. And if I didn’t start this blog by telling you my time in Romania was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever heard then this post would not get off on the right foot. Even though this post is not my final post about my trip I still want to let you know that this trip has impacted me in so many ways that you will hear about sometime this week after I have gotten some sleep. This post is just to update you on what happened these last couple of weeks. And I want to start by reminding you that we serve an amazing God who is capable of anything.
If I remember correctly in my last post I left you by telling you that the team had just gotten to Romania and I was so excited to see them and my family! Believe it or not when they got there the remainder of that weekend was somewhat relaxing. Once the week got started we went nonstop, but it was nice to have that weekend for everyone to rest up after traveling. I also enjoyed this thanks to a not so restful week at church camp.
Monday was the first day of VBS in Doicesti. This is a village right outside of Pucioasa where a good portion of the church members live. Sister Dumitru was nice enough to open up her home and host VBS. We weren’t exactly sure how many kids to expect on day one. At the end of Monday I think we only had around 20-30 kids that had come, but we knew those numbers would grow as the week went on. By the end of the week I am pretty sure we had over 50 kids that had come to VBS if not more. This was a huge blessing to us as well as the Manary’s. At VBS we had 3 stations set up where the 3 groups would rotate through every day and then end the day with a puppet show. The stations consisted of a lesson station, crafts and face painting, and then a station set up in the field that was nothing but games. The kids seemed to love every bit of it! The gospel was also presented to every child there!
The other big project we were a part of besides VBS was building a gazebo at the orphanage you heard me blog about a couple weeks ago. If I didn’t start by giving God all of the credit for opening this door I wouldn’t feel right. Dave and Melissa have been trying to minister here for years and because of this project now have the ability to go see the children there whenever they want! God is so good! Although this project was bigger and a lot more stressful (at least for Dave) than we had anticipated going into it, the Lord took care of all the details and glory was brought to His name through this work. We did not get the gazebo finished but we did get a lot more done than anyone expected.
I may or may not have mentioned that on the third floor of this orphanage is a place where domestic violence victims can escape from where they are being harmed and live with their children for a while. These women have had a special place in Dave and even more so in Melissa’s heart since they arrived in Romania. This awful act is so prevalent here that it is extremely sad. Melissa got the chance to share a gospel tract with one of the women who lived there one the first day we went. Melissa was able to go through the entire tract and completely lay out the plan of salvation. The lady was just in tears and said she wanted to talk more when we came back tomorrow. When we got back on Tuesday this lady (Tatiana) informed Melissa that she had accepted Christ last night! Is God awesome or what!!!!! This news made every last bit of stress and hard work at the orphanage worth it. The last day we were there we got to play with all of the kids that live there as well as Tatiana’s four precious children. And oh yes, my little friend that has Aids was there and I got to see him again! My sister might have hogged him most of the time we were there though. Seeing God work right before my eyes on this opportunity was one of the coolest things I have ever seen!
Saturday we did a little sightseeing and went to the Citadel in Brasov. This is a fortress that was used years ago for the peasants to run up in if they were ever under attack. The views from the top were unbelievable (see facebook album). Sunday was another great day of worship at church. We were a little nervous about meeting outside because of the weather but the Lord held off the rain and it all went smoothly. Once again, I got the opportunity to preach. This time I was given a little more notice (thanks Dave!). I am thankful for those three opportunities I got to preach while in Romania, even if I was put on the spot. The experience I got there I would not have gotten had I been at home all summer. That is just one of the many perks to spending my summer in Romania. So Dave had told the church that if 70 people showed up to church while the team was there he would shave his head. We were all a little optimistic if this would actually happen, but when it came down to it, a ton of the kids from VBS decided they wanted to show up and get their Passport to the Promise Land. Little did they know they would get to see someone go bald. There is also a picture or two of this on facebook if you want to check out Dave with zero hair.
This trip has been such a blessing to my life. The new friends I made and the old friends that became family really had a huge impact on me. I am looking forward to blogging again in a few days and telling you all what all God has shown me through this trip. Thanks again for all of your prayers! I could not have done it without you!