“Where are you from?”
The nurse stood watching our Remember-the-Children mission team painting the walls of a room in the Romanian hospital where she works.
“We’re from the United States.”
“Why would you do this?”
It’s a question we hear frequently, usually followed by another one like, “Why wouldn’t young people choose to spend their holiday at the sea or in the mountains?”
Both “Whys” open the door for us to talk about the “Who” of what we do: Jesus.
“We came to Romania to serve others because it’s an expression of our faith. We’re followers of Jesus Christ. The Bible says Jesus came to serve, not to be served, so we try to follow His example.”
Our new friend, Lavinia, seemed captivated by our answers. We introduced ourselves and talked about our partnership with Impact Church, a local body of believers who had previously remodeled several rooms in the same hospital.
“Pastor Adi Galiger and his congregation care about this community. They want to make a difference. We came to work alongside people from his church to make these rooms better for the patients and for you, the ones who care for them.”
The team of high school students from Northside Christian Church in Yorktown, Virginia, had no training in scraping, sanding or painting. But they labored with new friends from Impact Church for two days and the results were astounding.
Skilled doctors and nurses work hard in this building that is well over 100 years old. A quick glance confirms that upgrades have been few and far between. For example, a single light fixture hangs in a cardiology room.
Loriedana, the hospital administrator, was elated with the work that was done. “I’m so happy! We have been waiting for the government to help us.”
“You don’t have to wait anymore,” Pastor Adi said. “The church is here.”
God used our labor to do more than update four hospital rooms. When a doctor walked by with her medical students they initially thought we were paid laborers and were surprised to find out we were volunteers. Pastor Adi took the opportunity to challenge them: “You will work here soon. Why not get your colleagues together and remodel a room yourselves?”
The following Sunday, our team worshiped at Impact Church where several students shared how time in Romania had affected their lives. Fifteen-year-old Chandler Holcomb summed it up with these words, “Someone might say ‘You were only here ten days and all you did was paint a few rooms and visit some old people and children. But I truly believe in my heart that we never know the impact we might have on you and you might not know the impact you have had on us. In our time here we’ve planted seeds in each other and invested in each other. I hope and believe that the plantings will continue to grow in all of us.’”
Remember-the-Children and Impact Church could have paid skilled laborers to paint the rooms at the hospital in Oradea. But if we had, we wouldn’t have met Lavinia or Loriedana or the medical students. We couldn’t have impacted them and they couldn’t have impacted us. When God is involved, paint has more than one purpose.
Want to read more stories of what God is doing in Romania through Remember the Children? Click Here