Here I sit in a familiar room in a place that I love, waiting for Bogdan to pick us up for church where Brian (one of my favorite teachers of all time) is going to speak....
But, how was our journey to this beloved place, you ask?
Yet, surprisingly good (which has me breathing a huge sigh of relief knowing Brian's not so great luck with traveling).
Mel Johnson picked us up Friday morning at around 8:30. We loaded up and headed out. After our obligatory stop at Sbux on the way, we made it to LAX.
Check in went without a hitch. We tried to see if there were any exit rows or bulkhead seats available, but alas, there weren't. Oh well.....we'd survive.
We made our way through security and happened upon an entirely redone LAX. We decided to eat at 800 Degrees (look it up, it's awesome!) and sit and chat for a while. I must say, these folks have some AWESOME stories. Getting lost at sea, anyone?
When the time came, we made our way to our gate and onto our ginormous airplane. Mom and I were sitting across the aisle from one another (with a cat right behind us--no joke, a cat in its own seat) with Brian and DeAnn a few rows behind us. As the plane filled in, Mom and I became BFFs with one of the Stewards who informed us that once they announced boarding complete, we could switch seats if there were any available. Ding ding ding! Exit row seat was not yet taken!! It was as if little fireworks were going off inside the plane.
Boarding was finally complete... I looked back and smiled at our new BFF, and he told me I could move into the exit row. I must say, I have some pretty awesome prayer warriors out there, because my new seat ROCKED.
Brian was now just one row behind on the left, and I could look forward and talk to Mom if I wanted to. Awesome!
I wasn't able to sleep on this flight, but I did watch a few movies, read, walk around, sit on the floor in front of my seat, completely stretch out, etc. It was the joke that I had my own personal business class seat (as I was sprawled out on the floor). Now, the hard airplane floor wasn't exactly as comfy as a business class seat, but I was NOT complaining!
We made it to Frankfurt without incident and onto our flight toward Vienna. At that point we were all getting a bit (or a lot) weary, but our flight was on time and everything went smoothly. By the time we arrived in Vienna, I'm pretty sure we were all DONE (hence the picture I put on FB), but we knew the end was in sight.
I had a window seat on our flight from Vienna to Bucharest (a first in many many years), and it was totally incredible to look out at the land and the clouds (while I wasn't asleep). I can't even really describe my excitement as we began to descend toward Bucharest.
After quickly snaking our way through the airport and customs, we came upon our luggage belt with our luggage already circling around it. Are you kidding me? How awesome is that! We made it, all our bags made it, and Bogdan was waiting for us right outside. Praise Jesus!
We loaded up and headed toward the ministry center through the rain. As completely exhausted as I was, I think I got my second wind at this point--even more so when we arrived and Bogdan asked us if we wanted to visit the apartment for a few minutes. Umm A THOUSAND TIMES YES!
We eagerly hopped back into the car after unloading and headed over to the Home of Hope. As we approached the apartment, we could hear the little ones laughing and carrying on inside. How sweet the sound! I wish I could describe their faces when they opened the door and saw Bogdan. They completely adore him. I wish I could describe our faces as we saw these sweet beauties for the first time. Total joy. Total answer to prayer!
We introduced ourselves, got some hugs and kisses, and were taken on a high pitched tour of the apartment. The girls sang for us, showed us pictures, and recited their colors IN ENGLISH. Little Georgiana never stopped smiling. I'm pretty sure these sweet faces will forever be etched into my memory. What an incredible way to end such a long journey here.
After saying our "see you laters," we returned to the ministry center to unpack, unwind, and try to sleep. It seems the girls were able to do so quite well, but poor Brian did not sleep well.
Please be praying for him as he's about to preach TWO services today. May The Lord be his strength.
Thanks so much for praying for our journey here. Please keep praying as we attend church today and hit the ground running with kids tomorrow. We are INCREDIBLY grateful for all of you. I love you all so much!!