Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Romania: A Narrative

It's my last day in Galati and the time has gone so quickly. I knew it would, but I'm still surprised it did. It's been a total of 2 weeks, and in some ways it feels short, but in others long. When I'm back in Houston I'll post some pictures I've taken, but there aren't many so you'll have to rely on my words.

The first couple days in Romania were spent resting and adjusting to the time change. I met Word Made Flesh people and saw the drop-in center, but mostly hung out with Audra and Ron and their boys. Quick note: I interned in Omaha 15 years ago with Ty Schenzel, and Audra was one of my junior high girls! Such a small world, but also an amazing thing to see God weave our stories together again.

I left for Moldova with David Chronic, John Koon, Josh and Robin Fowler, and the Word Made Flesh Servant Team on Sunday. Late. Our bus left at like midnight. So, we didn't arrive in Chisinau until 6am and didn't get to where we were staying until 7.30. It was amazing to see Chisinau come to life in the early morning hours. It's really a pretty city, reminding me a lot of Budapest, only smaller.

David, John, and myself slept for a couple hours and then left for a village where we met with a school principal, a teacher, and some students. In Moldova it seems that most of the poverty is in the villages and not in the city. In fact, I can count on one hand how many people I saw begging in the city and I didn't come across one street kid. We learned that the authorities pick up street kids pretty quickly and put them in orphanages.

In the village we also met very briefly with the mayor. We talked about the needs of the village and what kind of help they would like to receive. It was interesting... and the drive to the village was gorgeous. Moldova is a hilly country with a zillion vineyards and so much potential for farming. However, resources are so limited that it can be difficult to make a living. Ideas of self-sustainability would be interesting in this context.

We were treated to a dinner in the home of a Moldovan woman who made everything we saw on the table right down to the flour in the cake...just not the chocolate in the cocoa. It was amazing...however, since I'd been sick and traveling I just didn't have much of an appetite and my stomach had probably shrunk...I was forcing myself to eat! But it was all very good and I'll have pictures of the feast later.

Other than that, the rest of our week was spent in Chisinau meeting with a bunch of groups who either work with orphans or victims of human trafficking. We learned so much and are of the mind that we'd like to find what God is doing and where we can join Him in that work. It may be awhile...and with that I am fine. I'm really wanting to take any move into Moldova very slowly, with certainty that we are where we should be.

Back in Galati I was able to go to church and hang out at Casa Vale, which is the drop in center. It's been really great.

I wish I had more to say. In many ways I think I'm still in this place of transition and the reality of everything that is happening is so big that I find words difficult to come by. I keep trying to imagine life away and apart from those I love, what it will be like to stay away from them for such long periods of time, not hearing their voices, feeling their hugs. Knowing that as time passes, the ache of my leaving will lessen for them and my memory will soften. I don't say this out of self-pity, it is reality. And it hurts, this thought of not being remembered, of loss of memory. It's sort of sucking me dry...breaking my heart. And I bring it to Jesus, I give it to Him, because it is all I have. I do it for Love.

6 comments:

angela said...

this made me cry. i'm sure you will have much insight as you come to terms with what this all means. i sort of picture you right now with your hands open in front of you...outstretched. letting go and waiting to see what Love puts in them for you to hold. you are a beautiful treasure, my sister!

JEM said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JEM said...

How very wonderful and exciting... I'm so glad that you've been having what sounds like such a rich time. I have been checking your blog each day so it's wonderful to read your update. I've been and am praying that if this is His leading, that He will graciously pull your heart to the people and places there...and that He will carry you. :) With love, jm

Jason & Kris Bauernfeind said...

i have been praying for you lots and wondering how you were...thanks for the update - i will be praying for your transition as change is never easy...love you
i called and just missed you before you left - sorry about the late message..
i will call you when you get back state side -
i'm praying for safe and relaxing travel home for you!

C said...

My Dear April... how wonderful to get a taste of your adventures. Know that you are being held in prayer. I was touched by your words... the idea of our memory softening led me right to Jesus. Too often this crazy world and this oblivious culture allows us to soften our memory of the life and teachings of Jesus... (sigh!) As you know, my "transition" has affected my memory of Portland, and Portland's memory of me... and... such is life. Thank you, sweet blessed one, for the reminder that I must work to ALWAYS keep the memory of Jesus ALIVE in me... ALWAYS! Peace be with you, April!!! xoxo Cindy

Jourt said...

I can't say it any better than Angela. I love you and am praying for you. Can't wait to talk to you and hear your stories and will be happy to lend a listening ear. Can't wait to see you.

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