FULL OF JOY!
Our morning began in the usual (amazing) way--worship, devotion, and prayer (I'll never tire of beginning my day like this). I was able to share the devotion this morning, so I spoke about the song "Mighty to Save" and shared my story about Geanina and the worship night last night (read yesterday's post if you missed it). Then I shared one of my favorite verses, Zephaniah 3:17:
"The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing."
What an incredible promise and encouragement... :)
This morning we traveled to Tei (a day center for young children from extremely poor families). These little guys clamor for your love and attention. As soon as one finds you and clings to you, it's difficult to put him or her down. We sang songs, Eliza told them a story, we jumped on the trampoline, played on the inflatable slide, and painted spoons (come to the banquet in October if you'd like to know more about these spoons). ;) Toward the end of our time there, we gathered a small group of children and started playing Ring Around the Rosie, the Hokey Pokey, and London Bridges. It was all in English, of course, but the kids jumped right in, caught on, and had a blast. Language doesn't matter as much when you're laughing and loving on kids.
As much as I always hate leaving Tei, I couldn't WAIT to get to Don Orione in the afternoon. This is a private Catholic center for children with disabilities and elderly people. The second I walked in I could tell there was an overwhelming difference from "rehab." This place is huge, clean, well staffed, and full of resources. Some of the kids from Rehab were moved to Don Orione recently, and it was such an encouragement to know immediately that they were finally getting the care they so desperately needed. Nelu called Lili (his sister and former CTL staff member) as soon as we arrived, and I was so excited to see her that I could hardly sit down in the lobby. As soon as I did see her, I was seriously overjoyed--I've really missed her over the years.
Lili took us all around Don Orione, showed us the different rooms, showed us some of the kids, and explained all the amazing programs they have going on there. It was so neat to see the huge smile on the faces of some of the kids that just recently came from Rehab. They've only been there a short time, yet there is an obvious difference. Praise God! The whole time we were walking around, I was so anxious to see Valentin or Jack (a baby I fell in love with last year). He was in one of the last rooms we saw, and as soon as I turned the corner, my heart was (again!) overjoyed. He looked so good!!! And, he's only been out of Rehab for a few weeks. Again, praise God! I got to hold him, laugh with him, tickle him, take pictures with him (I'll have to show you in person), and just soak him in. We didn't get to stay too long, but even that short time was such an encouragement to my heart. I know that God is taking care of this little one, His precious son, and I know that he is now in good hands. Thank you, God!
This evening we enjoyed some Italian food with Bogdan and Victor. It was delicious, of course. We shared our highs and lows over dinner, and, of course, a few laughs.
After dinner, we played a couple rounds of LCR and had to say goodbye to half of our team. So bittersweet after such an incredible day! Please pray for them as they travel home tomorrow, and pray for us as we adjust to them not being with us. We'll miss them!!
Until next time...
Isus te Iubeste si te iubescc!