As you might know, I went to Romania on a mission trip with a group of eight other people from my Church! I'll share all about it on this blog, in multiple posts. Just a warning, I'm writing these as more for myself than anything else, so I can remember everything well! I had wanted to keep a journal while I was there, but we were to busy, and the few times I had an opportunity to write I was to tired :( I did get to write a little, but not very much.
Soooo - the way there
The way there really started a few months ago, when I first heard that there was going to be a group going to Romania on a mission trip. I remember I was sitting in band class when I saw it in the South Ridge Church Newsletter, and immediately I just got this sense, this feeling inside, that God was calling me to go on this mission trip. I remember that tears filled my eyes, because I wanted to go so badly.
But I wasn't so sure that my parents would let me go. Evidently the way my face lit up every time I started talking about it or heard about it helped to convince them!
Then came the start of the preparation meetings we had as a group! Meeting about culture, what we were going to do over there, meetings to discuss a book we read (When Helping Hurts). During this time we got to know each other a little bit better and discovered some of our strengths and weaknesses. I was really thankful for all of those meetings, because I'm the kind of person who like to be prepared and know what to expect! It was also really nice and helpful to know the people who were going a little bit more in advance, especially considering the very large size of our Church and how many people go to it!
There was also the fundraising. I did not enjoy writing letters to ask people for money, but I did it anyway. God truly provided, because I raised over enough to fund my trip! I was so thankful! God truly got me through all of my doubts about whether or not I could do this trip!
We left from home on July 12, went to the airport in Pittsburgh, and flew to Dulles Washington where we had about a 5 hour layover. (I was surprised and relieved that airports are actually kind of like a mall with restaurants and stores - we would have been very hungry if they weren't). We got on a huge plane to fly to Munich Germany, but had to wait about another hour and a half before we could leave so they could fix some air conditioning problems - made us feel real safe (not). I really had to pray and trust God to get us there safely. We did make it to Germany safely (check out the beautiful sunset from the plane), but missed our next flight because of the delay. So we were stuck in the airport in GERMANY for 12 HOURS (sightseeing anyone? - didn't want to go through customs again though). That was a really long 12 hours, but at least it was a nice airport even thought the food was priced in Euros and outrageously expensive, and we could lay down on the chairs because they didn't have armrests (all the other airports chairs did)!
We finally got to Cluj-Napoca Romania at 1:00 am! We couldn't see anything on the ride to Casa Sperantei though, because of course it's dark at 1:30 am! Fortunately the 7 hour time difference wasn't to difficult to adjust to, though it was surprisingly big, and sometimes I wanted to call my parents after our morning lesson, but realized they would still be in bed!
By the way, this was really my first time flying (I flew once when I was 5 to Florida, but don't really remember it). Airports, security, and planes make me very, very, very, nervous. It's not like I'm smuggling anything! Going through security should not make me feel like I'm going to throw up! Fear of planes I can understand! It was a great opportunity to test my faith and hand over my safety and worries to God.
I'll post about the children, people, culture, and experiences soon!