But, let's back up a bit to today...
We began by wrapping up our teaching on Galatians--Dana and Kim did a phenomenal job--and some worship (one of the things I'll miss the most).
After our morning gathering, the staff had a meeting, so Brandon and Justin went back to work at Rehab while the rest of us went with Marc to the People's Palace. It's the second largest building in the world (look it up!). I've been to the Palace a few times, so I wasn't overly excited to see it again, but I was looking forward to some time with the team. I must say, I wasn't disappointed. On our way, we stopped and played at a park for a few minutes because sometimes you just have to act like a kid. Since we were all dressed alike today (see the pictures on social media), we took our fair share of selfies and really enjoyed just being together as a team.
After lunch at the office, we headed out to Sf. Iosef, an orphanage that CTL has been working with for about nine months. The walk to the center was gorgeous, and the weather was amazing--thank you, Jesus! At the center, we met the kids, played a few games, sang songs, and then performed our skit about building our houses on the rock. Brandon then shared his testimony, and the once squirrely, talkative kids were glued to him. They asked some awesome questions afterward, and it was quite encouraging to see just how well they paid attention and understood his story and all God had done for him. After a while, we went outside to play, face paint, and do nails. I ended up playing with Marc and the sweetest little boy ever, Stefan. I pretty much fell in love with him at first sight (when he sat right in front of me during worship and held his lyrics specifically so I could read them, while maintaining the most amazing smile). Monkey in the middle with a Nerf football has never been so fun! I hated to say goodbye to that dear little dude.
After Sf. Iosef, we rode the metro over to Uniri. I thought we were just going to make a quick stop, but as we came up out of the Metro, Denisa (former CTL staff member and current good friend) was there to surprise me. I pretty much squealed with delight and wouldn't let her go. The team, Nelu and Florina, Denisa, and I spent a bit of time at Starbucks in Old Town so that we could catch up. It was so special to sit and reminisce, ask Denisa about some of my favorite little ones that she now works with, and FaceTime with Bailey. I hated to say goodbye to her after that as well. :(
After dinner, a few of us took a nice walk to the grocery store to pick up a few things to take home. I loved our time of good conversations and hearty laughs. Speaking of laughs, we couldn't really stop laughing after coming home from the store and trying to debrief with the rest of the team. Of course we began our time with as many dumb jokes as we could remember, but still... It is definitely going to be difficult to leave these amazing people in a few short days.
Thanks again for all your prayers and encouragement. Please pray that we'll make the most out of our last day of ministry together. Pray that God will continue to teach us all that he has for us.
Isus te Iubeste!