Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Day 5

Day 5 - June 17.  This morning, the whole team went to the rehab center.  The center consists of kids with all sorts of disabilities...some mental, some physical.  Jamie and I had been working with several kids in the rehab center since Monday.  She has been helping with the autistic kids and I have been helping with the kids that need physical therapy.  Many of the kids I have been working with are very low level, meaning not one of them can walk, a few can barely even sit on their own and most can't even do that.  Because they can't do these things, they spend a lot of their day lying in their beds sleeping or staring at the wall.  It has been challenging this past week to keep them focused when doing rehab with them.  Today, we asked Justin to bring his guitar into the therapy room and play for the kids to see if they responded any differently....and boy did they ever!  One little boy, who usually would just smile and reach for your hand, actually was bobbing his head to the rhythm of the music and then started kicking his legs too.  We heard a few good belly laughs from him as well!  All the kids did so much better during therapy with the music.  The physical therapist at the rehab center is new, but very caring and eager to help the children.  The downfall is that her hands are tied as the center does not have the funds for more staff or more equipment.  So this afternoon, a few of us went to get some supplies that should help the physical therapist better treat the children.  

Tonight we had worship night at the ministry center.  It was a great time.  We interacted with all the kids that came over doing things from playing basketball and soccer to card games to singing songs, to just talking and joking around(with a translator of course!).  Several people also shared their testimonies, which were powerful and I'm sure every child was touched by at least one of them.  
Another highlight of my day was meeting the girl I sponsored before I came here.  Her name is Mariana and she is 10 years old.  We talked for a little bit, but I could tell she was a kind of shy.  She was painting her nails with her friend, so I asked her if she wanted to paint my nails.  She thought that was hilarious and was super pumped to do it!  She kept laughing every time she saw me with my purple/sparkly nails.   Just looking around the room, I saw so much joy in the children's faces as well as our team members and the CTL staff members.  

We ended the day with our usual debrief time.  We shared our highs and lows and what we will take from this week so far.  While going around the room and talking about these things, it hit me that each one of us has a purpose here and was called to come to Romania for a reason.  Each person may not know what exactly their purpose is right now or are able to put it into words, but I have seen everyone of us touch lives of not only the children, but the lives of the CTL staff and the lives of the other team members.  Many of us, if not all  of us, had our worries and fears about committing to go on this trip and following through and actually going, but many times the greatest moments in our lives lie outside of our comfort zone.  Seeing all of my team members learn, grow, step outside their comfort zone and ultimately flourish in this environment is amazing to watch.  I know there are still more days to come, but it is safe to say that this trip will be one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  


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