by Grace Wohlwend
I came to Romania about a year ago with a group from William Jessup University. It was my very first mission trip and my first time out of the country. Coming back to Romania was probably the best decision I could have made. Don’t get me wrong, it was a little scary to know what I was getting in a place to fly across the world the world to meet a couple in the airport, and then to travel around the country where the only people I know are some kids in a village and the bus driver I met last year. This trip so far has really been the Lord pushing me to trust him with everything.
I remember praying last year that I would be able to come back to Romania, and I really didn’t think it would happen so soon. I also did not think that he would be answering so many different prayers within the first week. Prayers of guidance and asking for Him to teach me how to trust Him through any means necessary. Prayers of growth and for Him to reveal Himself in new ways.
There have been so many moments where I have seen God on this trip. One that sticks out in my mind was when we were playing with the kids in one of the villages. We walked down to a nearby park with all of the kids and as I was walking with a girl named Issa who just started smiling when I picked her up. We were playing on the slide and when she got to the bottom I would “whoosh” and lift her up above my head and then give her a kiss on the cheek. Just seeing the joy and hearing her laughter reminded me of just how much God loves us.
We have the unique opportunity on this trip to provide a respite for these kids, but more importantly give them hope. The kids in these villages are, from our cultural view, not treated well at all. From their cultural view, they do not know any other kind of life. Despite the incredibly hard things that happen to them they still smile easily, and they just want love (which every human being needs and wants).
It is an honor to get to love these kids and if anything give them a short break from their hard lives. Really, to give a little bit of freedom to actually be a kid. So many of these kids have to grow up so quickly with no option of a choice. So to hear the laughter and see those smiles in spite of adversity shows me that God is fulfilling His promises to those kids. It also reminds me of how much God loves us and that we are pouring out of a cup that never empties.