Sunday, July 12, 2015

romania wrap up

I know it seems odd to have a wrap up before even sharing anything about our recent mission trip to Romania but I promise sharing will be done.  Our Kenya and Romania mission teams shared about our experiences this morning at church so last night I sat down to quickly write out what I wanted to say.  I am much better at speaking when I have specific words in front of me.  At least that is how it usually works.  Instead today I boohoo'd through the whole thing.  The person who spoke ahead of me made me tear up and I couldn't get myself back together.  It was an emotional spiral downward that I never recovered from.  Sigh.

Here are the words that hopefully came out clear enough for understanding this morning.  I will be spending the rest of the week sharing about each day we were there so you can get an idea of what the ministry, country, and people are like.  Until then...

This was Zach and my second time visiting Romania and there was a huge difference in the two trips.  There’s a good chance it was because I was already familiar with the Bruski family, the country and the places we were going to visit.  Being a girl who loves the familiar way too much this immediately set my mind and heart more at ease and jumping right in to whatever we were doing was more natural without the transition period needed last time.  However, there’s also a good chance it is due to the fact that God has done some major renovation in my life since the last trip and through that I have come to rely on Him much more fully and that tends to improve your ability to do His will.  Crazy how that happens!

I could tell you tons of stories and names and funny moments about our short week but instead I want to share two things.

On our first trip there everything was brand new to me so the struggles, abuse, heartache, loneliness, poverty, racism, and so many other things took up all of my eyes and thoughts.  It was overwhelming and difficult to process and took a long time to sort through.  Negatives will always be giant red flags trying to get your attention but if you spend all your time focused on the horrible things you get overwhelmed and can easily feel defeated and want to just give up or hide.  And worst of all you miss the hope around them.  There were plenty of people and situations that broke my heart and weighed heavily but this year God pointed me to glimpses of hope.  There are so many quiet hopeful moments where you see God working continuously.  The little things that one after the other make huge changes in the lives of His children.  Small victories in lives, physically healthy growth in children, a teenage boy who is coming back from a not great path he started walking down, a village who is slowly learning how to help one another and lean on God despite everything, a gypsy boy who is starting high school against all odds, a boy who is the unloved one of his family but has the most beautiful smile and wonderful since of humor, girls who can bond over jump roping and don’t care that one is Romanian and one is gypsy, missionaries that see heartache day after day but know that God’s love is bigger than all of it and tons more that I need to write down before I forget them.  I am a big fan of immediate fixes and finish lines but when you serve a God of eternity you see that His timeline and mine are vastly different.  I was reminded daily on our trip that He is working and He is using His people to serve and spread Christ and while it’s not usually drastic daily changes it’s constant renewal just the same.

The second thing I want to share is about our church and the community of believers God has joined together here.  On the last night that our whole team was there many members of the Bruski family, interns and members of a church in Statesboro shared such wonderful words of encouragement and thankfulness for CCC, for the work our teams always do, for the heart we have for others and for the insane amount of items we bring to donate to the ministry and give away to the children.  We were told we love well and serve well and have a visible connection with each other.  These words were beyond encouraging especially since one of the team members was my brother and no one else had met him before our first flight.   but the words were not meant for just us on this trip.  They were meant for our whole church who prayed, donated, gave of their time, purchased raffle tickets and crafts, have visited in the past and will visit in the future because together God is teaching us to love well and serve well and connect with each other so that we can give that to others.  We asked them to pray for our church that we not only continue to do these things but that we learn how to do them better and trust that God is showing us how and where He has for us to do them.  I pray for this too.  There are not enough words to say how thankful I am for this church, our pastor, and the community He has given me through CCC and the ways God has changed me and my family through all of you, so thank you, very much.


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