In the blink of an eye, our 10 days in Romania is over. We're back in America & I for one am still stuck on Romania time (as I lay here in bed writing this at 6AM.) I woke up about two hours ago and my emotions were all over the place. I'm crying because our trip is over yet I'm laughing and smiling as I'm looking through our pictures and videos already reminiscing over all the memories we just created. I found myself on my knees, thanking God for the tremendous blessing He just poured upon myself and our team. I also prayed and prayed for Him to put Romania in my path again as soon as He possibly can!!
This was my second trip to Romania within 8 months. I knew way back in June, after we returned from our first trip, that Romania would always have a special place in my heart and that wouldn't be the last time I saw all those beautiful kids that I fell in love with. My biggest fear going into the trip this year was that the children wouldn't remember me. I'm a sensitive person so I knew it would rip my heart in pieces if this would happen. Let me just say, it did my heart good to hear them call my name when they walked through the door or ran towards me with open arms. Some of those kids I only came in contact with once on the last trip, yet they still remembered. Our church has stressed to make sure how important it is to keep these relationships & continuing to build on them but I didn't realize exactly how important it was until this trip. They NEED us. They need us to love them, hug them, listen to them, hold them & just to be that reminder that God loves them and they have a purpose in this world.
Our team had such a great bond, we felt like one big family and I think the kids and staff recognized that. On our last day spent with kids, children from Apt 7 & the families program would be spending time with us. During our "girl time" on this day, some of the girls shared their own personal testimonies. It was a powerful, Spirit filled day that I'll never forget. Before our tears and goodbyes, each of us on the team received hand written letters (some even written in English), friendship bracelets & gifts (I had to find room to pack a huge teddy bear :).) The selflessness of these kids just goes to show what an incredible job CTL does & how invested they are in their lives.
It really is hard to explain the love and deep connections you make with these children, It's a God thing. <3
With Love & Blessings,