Who honestly likes a Monday? Well, in Romania, it's hard to dislike any day--even Monday!
Our Monday began with a morning meeting of all the CTL staff and our team. This is one of my absolute favorite parts of the day here. It's a time to gather all together, focus on what God is doing in the ministry, discuss the upcoming day, pray together, share a devotion time, and sing worship in Romanian and English. There's seriously not a better way to start a day. I especially enjoyed this one because it was the first time we got to connect with the entire staff. I loved seeing old friends and meeting new ones!
During the morning, while the staff prepped for the week, Angela (the intern) took the team to the People's Palace. I'm not going to go into too much detail. If you'd like to know more about it, google it.
We followed that up with a quick lunch at McDonalds down in the metro station (we didn't have much time). It was quite packed, so Bailey, Ky, and I picniced it up outside the restaurant on the metro floor. Sounds gross, but it was cool (literally) and we honestly didn't mind at that point where we were sitting down (did I mention that the People's Palace is the 2nd largest building in the world? Yah, we walked a bit this morning).
We traveled to Chitila in the afternoon (an all girls orphanage). I loved reconnecting with Eliza (CTL staff) on the way and hearing all the amazing things God has been doing in her life over the last year. It warmed and encouraged my heart SO much.
Chitila was great. The girls are so full of affection and love. They literally jump all over you and kiss you until you're blue in the face. It's incredibly sweet. We played a couple "get to know you" games, sang a few worship songs, and did a craft with them. They are hungry for attention, affirmation, and love. I'm blessed that I was able to show them a tiny bit of that today. As I was sitting with one girl toward the end, she pointed over at my mom and said, "Mama?" I said yes to which she responded, "I don't have a mom or dad." Talk about rip your heart out thankyouverymuch. What else can you say beside, "But, you have Jesus and He loves you and I love you" (in your shaky Romanian).
Although most of us have mothers and fathers, we often feel like we're missing something in life. Let me tell you, that "missing thing" will never go away until you know Jesus and His love and grace. With Him, there is no need....there are no orphans.
After Chitila we returned to the office and ate some of Mama Maria's AMAZING food for dinner. We are so blessed with Mama Maria! A few of us made a quick trip to the store before sharing our highs and lows (and quite a few laughs) over ice cream and Joes.
Tomorrow we'll venture to rehab in the morning, and I'm really looking forward to it. It can be one of the most difficult places to visit, but it's also one of my favorite. I'm sure I'll have more stories to share after tomorrow's adventures.
Thanks for your continued prayers. Here are a few requests:
*That we would make the most of our time here and be intentional about connecting with each other, the staff, and the children.
*That God would move in BIG ways, especially during our worship night tomorrow night with some of the older kids. Pray for those of us who may share our stories--that God would truly speak through us and to the hearts of the children.
*For softened hearts, a deeper desire to get to know and serve our amazing God, and changed lives (for the children, the staff, and US!).
Isus te iubeste si te iubesc!