[ i’ll take you down the only road i’ve ever been down ]

My language skills are slowly but surely improving. A week ago, I couldn’t even put a sentence together in Romanian. Now I can direct and communicate with the children in the kindergarten with little to no trouble at all. Immersion has been very helpful. However, I find my ability to speak and understand Romanian is very inconsistent. I think most of my Romanian friends are careful to simplify their vernacular around me just as I do with them – refraining from using contractions, allusion, or Americanisms. And of course, they’re always very patient and gracious with me. God bless them. I love them all so dearly. Although, I must say my head is spinning from all this language stuff. I’m really fighting it from all sides when I’m speaking English. I’m trying not to develop a southern drawl from Sierra, trying not to speak with a Romanian accent when I’m not speaking Romanian, and trying to joke about the way people talk in Pittsburgh without talking like I’m from Pittsburgh when I don’t intend to. Just wait til I get to Minneapolis. I’m going to sound like a yinzer robot from the HEEELS of TINNESEEY, dontchaknow. Good grief. o.O

All joking aside, I wouldn’t trade this for the world. I’ve never been happier than I am now. Still, I have a lot to look forward to, but everything else just pales in comparison to this.

Still, I know my joy ought to be fixed on the return of my Savior. I was just reading about that this morning. Even the work I’m doing here in Romania is fleeting. It’s all in vain if it’s not done for the Kingdom. It’s just a waste of time and money if I’m not motivated by the joy set before me when He calls me home and the children of God are revealed. Oh Lord, fix my eyes on eternity.

I haven’t been sleeping well. The sun doesn’t go down here til nearly 10:00 pm. And it’s already shining brightly every day when I wake up at 6:30. Could I still be suffering from jet lag? I still think my allergies are the number one culprit. Maybe my nerves come in at a close second. Such a short time here. I love this city. If only I could bring everyone I love in the states here. Still, I wouldn’t trade it for the anything anyone could ever have to offer me.

I am having a hard time adjusting to the way one has to deal with those in the worst poverty here. Yesterday, as I was leaving the kindergarten to go find some dinner, I saw a woman (obviously Gypsy) digging through our trash can, no doubt she had the same goal as me. Claudia took Sierra and I to the grocery store on the outskirts of town the other day and locked the car doors and rolled up the windows. I saw three very dirty Gypsy children standing on the side of the road with no shoes on in the middle of nowhere on a highway in extreme disrepair. They approached the car and Claudia sharply instructed us not to look at them. I obeyed, but it broke my heart to hide behind my sunglasses in air conditioned comfort while they were pounding their dirty little fists on my window and trying to open my door. I don’t know if I could have done it had Cam and Lisa not told me the horror stories they’d experienced as a result of giving people things on the street in Romania. I’ve already been educated in the dangers of not listening to the native Romanians in such situations. After we had driven away, Claudia explained that those children are always there and if you give them anything, they watch for your car. And then they bring more kids with them. And if you don’t give them anything after that, they’ll damage your car and follow you home. The same thing happened to Lisa and the kids in Bucharest. Oh Lord, how will you ever fix this mess? And please teach me how I can help. I can’t be silent. I can’t just close my eyes. Oh Lord, please change hearts and break the bonds of sin from the Gypsies, only made stronger and clamped tighter by the poverty and abuse they’ve endured from every people group in Europe. Oh Lord Jesus, show me what I can do to help.

I suppose I’ll just have to use the time the Lord has given me here as wisely as possible. I just have to devote myself to showing the love of Christ to each man, woman, and child He brings into my path. I’ll just start by giving as much of myself and my love to these kids in the kindergarten as I possibly can. Some of them would just break your heart to spend a day with. There’s a little boy there named Cristi (obviously Gypsy to look at him). He’s adopted. His parents found him in a park when he was just a baby. No ID, no name, no birthday, no idea who his birth parents are. Corina, the teacher at the kindergarten, says that’s very common in Romania. Abortion and teen pregnancy are present here as well, but it’s much more common for women to become sexually active at a very young age, either through prostitution or promiscuity. Generally this is a result of a poor home life or orphanage life, where sexual promiscuity, disease, and homosexuality run RAMPANT. And when they become pregnant, they’ll carry the child full term and then abandon the baby either in a hospital or in public somewhere, like a park or train station. Then they’re usually scooted off to the nearest orphanage with room for them. Hopefully a Christian one and not one of the few remaining State orphanages.

There’s a set of identical twins at the kindergarten who were in a slightly less fortunate situation. They were given up for adoption around age 2 and have been bounced around from home to home, family to family, for the last two years with no stability at all. One of the twins has developed a severe case of juvenile diabetes as a result of the stress of this traumatic lifestyle. Their names are Tani and David. They are cute as pie and sweet as can be, but they sure do have a lot of behavioral problems as well. No wonder. Again, it’s easy to tell they’re Gypsy just by looking at them. The Romanians and Gypsies look SO different, it’s very simple to tell them apart. Apparently the twins’ birth mother is a Christian and goes to church with Corina, and she simply doesn’t want to be bothered with her own sons. It’s awful.

Oh Lord, there’s so much evil and pain and brokenness in this world. How long, Oh Lord, until you heal all this brokenness and stop all this reckless sin?

“For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” – Romans 8:19-25

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” – Revelation 21:1-5