Anyway...our day began with Mama's French toast, some great worship in Romanian and English, and great devotion by Reagan.
This morning we journeyed to rehab (an orphanage for kids with disabilities)--usually one of my favorite places. I was overjoyed to see Alex when we got there (a dear boy that Neal got really close to last year--Neal, I gave him a big hug from you). We gathered a few of the kids and walked them to McDonalds. It is never an easy thing, but it is incredible to think of the joy of simply taking a child outdoors and to McDonalds. It was a great challenge and an eye opening experience for the entire team. It warms my heart that this CTL staff works with these children so often, pouring love and affection out toward them so selflessly.
We had another delicious lunch at the office prepared by the wonderful Mama Maria before some of the older kids came to the office for our afternoon outing to the park.
We took around 15-20 kids to a really nice park somewhere in Bucharest. The kids got to go through a "fun house" (let's be real, we were all over it too) and it was a BLAST. It was incredible to laugh with them, run around with them, and experience such joy without the worry of a language barrier. After that we went for a crazy round of bumper cars (seriously, American bumper cars ain't got nothing on these guys!). We rammed and jarred and laughed hysterically. I LOVED it!
However, the best was yet to come...
This evening we had a BBQ and worship night with some of the older kids. We ate chicken and mici (my FAVORITE) and salad (well, other people, not me), and laughed and interacted with the kids. My favorite part? Geanina came--a girl that I grew really close to last year. Some of you have her picture on your fridge. I was overjoyed to see her. I spent the evening next to her with my hand on her shoulder or knee or her head resting on my shoulder. My heart was full. Her orphanage was recently closed, so she's living in a Social Living Apartment right now. It's all very new and she's not used to the big transition. Please continue to pray for her!
Perhaps my favorite part of the evening is when we sang "Mighty to Save" and Geanina rested her head on my shoulder. You see, after coming home last year, I was at the Flood with Living Grace and that song was a part of the worship set. As soon as it came on, Geanina's face was imprinted into my mind and I couldn't picture anything else.....
..."My Savior, He can move the mountains. My God is mighty to save, He is mighty to save. Forever, Author of salvation, He rose and conquered the grave. Jesus conquered the grave."
He is mighty to save. Last year, I trusted Him to save Geanina, and that will continue to be my prayer for her and all of these precious children. He is MIGHTY to save.
We concluded the evening with our usual highs and lows and tears streaming down our faces (not from crying, but because RaeAnn made us laugh way too hard). Laughter is so cleansing. :)
Tomorrow is perhaps the highlight of my week (if all goes as planned). Tei (the little ones) in the morning, and Don Orione in the afternoon (where Valentin is--he is also on some of your refrigerators). I can't WAIT!!!
Again, thank you so much for your continued prayers. Here are a few prayer requests if you think about them:
* Transition--there is a lot of transition going on right now with centers closing and children being moved around. In addition to that, the children are finishing school. Please pray that they will make these transitions smoothly and be able to still be connected to CTL.
* Our team--the first part of our team is quickly coming to a close on their time here. Pray that we'll all make the most of their remaining time here. Pray that God will work in mighty ways in and through them as they finish up and after they return home.
Thanks so much!
Isus te iubeste si te iubesc!