Buna! Ce Faci? (hi, how are you?)
It’s hard to believe that I have only been in Romania for a little over a week now. It seems as though so much has already happened!
My mom left on Saturday morning, after spending a full week with me here in Bucharest. It was wonderful to experience my first week here with her. Together we were able to visit some of the orphanages and spend time playing with the kids and just observing CTL’s ministry. My mom also had the chance one day to do some baby massage with the infants and special needs children in orphanage number six.
Number six is where I have spent the most time so far. CTL works with preschool age children and babies there as well as a few children with special needs. It can be difficult working with these kids, because they have little freedom to be individuals and free time to play. So when the CTL staff comes, they go wild! This can be difficult when they are trying to teach the kids different lessons, tell them a bible story, or just play a structured game. Also, there was one day when I spent time with the babies at number six. This was somewhat hard for me to see. The babies are kept in cribs in a few small rooms, one of which has a small carpet area to play on. But they don’t get a ton of time where they are held, touched, nurtured, and played with. Though this was sad to me, I don’t really feel as though the reality of it has hit me yet. In fact, most of this past week I have felt somewhat unemotional towards the things I have seen. I don’t want to be numb to this, because I believe it breaks the heart of God. Please pray that God would break me so that I might have passion to love the kids with His love.
Some of the other orphanages I have visited include an all girls orphanage (Chitila), an all boys orphanage (Number 10), a rehab hospital, a day care center (Tei) and an orphanage that has both older girls and boys (Number 7). I’ve also visited an apartment where about 6 or so kids live that are orphans and are supervised by orphanage workers. I don’t really feel like I have had the chance to connect individually with many of the kids, but I’m sure that will come in time. Some of you know me well and know that I really enjoy one-on-one interaction. I did get a chance to do a little of that today with the girls at number 7...we just sat in there room and chatted for awhile. I am excited especially to get to know some of the teen girls and hopefully have some deep conversations with them about their struggles and about the Hope that Christ offers.
I greatly appreciate all your prayers, and your emails with notes of encouragement! Some specific things you can pray for are:
Adjustment to the culture: Some things I am having trouble getting used to, especially the city life!
Passion for the ministry: I don’t feel as passionate yet as I would like to. Pray that I would set aside time with the Lord so I can grow closer to Him, and as a result have a heart like His for the children.
Hope admist the sadness: I have a feeling it’s going to be a struggle for me to have a hopeful heart here, just because there are so many needs for these kids. Especially as the weather changes (it’s getting cold already, and LOTS of rain!) I’ve been feeling a bit down these past couple days.
Spiritual Growth with the staff: Please pray that there would be spiritual openness and intimacy with the staff so that we can encourage one another. We have a retreat coming up Sept 29-30 that I am really excited about!
Comfort in God’s presence: My roommate is gone until Saturday, so things are quiet here at my apartment. It gets a bit lonely in the evenings! It’s hard not having someone to “process” things with. Pray that God would fill that void. I am looking forward to a possible “girls night” with some of the CTL girls in a few days!!! I have spent a lot of time with Madalina who is 25, and I feel like I can connect with her really well. We’ve had some great talks!
Thanks so much for faithfully lifting me up in prayer. I can’t thank you enough. May God bless you for it!
Isus te uibeste! (Jesus loves you!)