Thursday, October 20, 2011

I heart Romania

I love Romania, I always have. I love the Roma people; I love the gypsies. I love the people no one else loves. Ever since I was a little girl I knew I wanted to go to Eastern Europe and work with the teenage girls that no one wants. 

When Reeve and I were engaged we both felt the Lord's calling on us to go to Romania and work with teens. We felt the call to go to the ones who didn’t belong to anyone, to the unwanted and the disowned. We know that we have felt that way ourselves and know that 2 Corinthians promises us that God “comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (1: 3-4) We know that we have been through trouble and have been disowned so that we can love on those that have seen trouble and abandonment. We didn't know when and we didn't know how, but we knew He was behind it. We've dreamed of different ways the Lord was going to send us but we know, somehow, He has a plan that we could never dream up.  He knows the way and we are following His method and His timing. I've dreamed about people we will work with and places we will see. I've always been one to see things in dreams in visions.

Last year we were introduced to an organization called For God's Children International (hereafter FGCI) at the National Missionary Convention in Lexington. Of the hundreds of organizations represented, they were the only ones that ministered in Romania. Their booth was right in the front of the convention center so we were able to run over to the booth in between sessions without having to run to the end of the convention hall. When I started meeting people from the organization I had to resist the urge to say “I’ve seen you before! In a dream!” Sounds crazy, but I swear it’s true. We fell in love with these people and immediately felt like we’d known them for years, like they were family.

FGCI runs an orphanage in eastern Romania. Our first thought was 'Orphanage? That's not for us! We DON'T do kids.' But as we began talking to them we found out there's a great need for adults to help young adults out of the orphanage and into homes - teaching them to keep house, do laundry, cook, budget - all the things you need to do when you live on your own. Most people wouldn't be thrilled at the prospect of working with teens at this stage in life, but we are so excited we could burst.  We love teens and we love Romania. There couldn’t be a better way to serve the Lord! We were so in love with this organization and these people but were torn knowing that we are not ready for Romania and Romania is not ready for us. God was saying “not yet.”

We are waiting for Him to say “Go” but until then we know He’s preparing us. Sometimes it’s hard to be patient and we wonder why we can’t go now, but know that God is working out all the details. I often feel like I’m wasting my time here when I could be in Romania, but God always gently reminds me that I’m still here for a reason. Recently He showed me this verse in Esther to reassure me: Esther 4:14 “For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” I know that the time spent here with our youth group is preparing us to work with teens and I know that we are learning how to teach. I know our youth group needs us right now. We are also learning to budget and keep house ourselves. We can’t teach anyone until someone teaches us and we learn to master our budget first.  I know that if we diligently listen to Him and constantly continue learning He will know when we are ready. Praise God for his never-ending faithfulness and His desire to use his children for his work.

I love the Lord. And I love Romania.

“For the Lord gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He holds victory in store for the upright he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. Then you will understand what is right and just and fair – every good path.” ~Proverbs 2: 6-9

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