In 2 days we will have three kids from the Children’s Home we work in and our house Dad from Romania over. It’s amazing that they were able to come to the states and we are thrilled to be able to show them some of the hospitality they have shown us. A big part of our hearts remains in Romania and we’re thrilled to have the chance to share our lives with them.
I thought I’d share my Romania journey with you today.
In 2003 my husband and I went on a mission trip to Costa Rica together (this is how we met) through Colorado Christian University where we were students. We loved it there and in 2004 I applied to return. A friend of mine was leading a trip to Romania during that same time frame, I didn’t really want to go but she wanted me to apply so I did it to be nice. I was certain, CERTAIN that I would be going back to Costa Rica and that the Romania thing was just to make her happy… (you know those moments in life where you can almost look back on them and hear God chuckling? cue that moment…)
So the day came for CCU2TheWorld mission trips to be posted on our student accounts. I go into the computer lab as soon as trips are posted knowing full well I will see “Costa Rica” listed as my trip, log in and, yep it says “Costa Rica” and I am ready for the beach and thrilled to not have to conquer my fears of flying over the ocean!! As I’m leaving the lab my trip leader for Costa Rica walks in and says “we’re really going to miss you on the trip this year but we know God wants to do big things with you in Romania because we fought really hard to keep you and He kept saying no.” So I laugh and tell him he’s funny and that I’m excited to go to CR with him. He looks really confused (because he happens to also work in the missions office) and I show him my account that says Costa Rica. Long story short there was a glitch in the system and every trip people were NOT going on showed up as the trip they WERE going on!! Fortunately we figured it out within an hour of trips being posted and were able to get it worked out. Unfortunately (or so I thought) I was going to Romania….
I tried to be excited about it and knew that God was sending me there for a reason. We started doing trip planning and team building. I didn’t know anyone else going except for my friend who was leading but it was the biggest team the school had ever sent out and I was excited for that. I signed up to work in an infant orphanage in the mornings and spend afternoons at the Children’s Home. As the time got closer and we became a more unified team I tried to be happy but I REALLY wanted to be in Costa Rica. Plus I REALLY DID NOT want to fly across an ocean.
After a tearful goodbye to Hubby (to be)I hopped on the bus to the airport and was pouting inside about going on this trip. I swallowed my anxiety and tried to sleep over the ocean. We flew into Vienna and spent the night and part of a day there before taking a train to Romania. The time in Vienna was some of the most fun I’ve ever had and I started to think maybe Romania wouldn’t be so bad. We took a LONG train ride into Romania and the journey began.
To be honest I pretty much was miserable the first few days. I had jet lag and was lonely for my Costa Rica team (almost everyone was going back again). I didn’t know the girls I was staying with very well and I was furious that a country could sit by and let children live in orphanages like that. I couldn’t believe what I saw in the infant orphanage and was crushed. The rainforest and coffee of CR was calling to me and I couldn’t stop thinking about being there.
Finally on the 3rd day we were there I took the afternoon to sit in the backyard alone at the house we were staying at. I cuddled with the dogs and spent some serious time in prayer. I told God how mad I was that He sent me there and how much I missed my friends. I said I had no idea why He wanted me there and that I thought it was a miserable situation. Quietly I felt like God told me that He knew I was sad and so was He and that I just needed to go give those kids the love their parents couldn’t. That the kids in Costa Rica didn’t need me and that kids here did.
I got up the next morning and felt energized and happy about being there. I fell in love with those precious babies and did all I could to give them plenty of love (sometimes holding two in my arms and one on my lap!). My afternoons were spent playing with the kids at the Global Hope Children’s Home and being thankful that some of them spoke English! By the last day I didn’t want to leave and I knew I’d be back again some day.
In 2005 I led the trip back to Romania and could almost hear God saying “I told you so!” I got to spend a month there and this time Hubby (to-be) came with me. We returned in 2006, this time as a married couple with the intention of moving there! Obviously God shut that door for the time being but Romania has stayed near and dear to our hearts and we’ve remained involved with Global Hope all along.
We’re excited for some of our friends and family to meet our Romanian family on Thursday!