[ i can’t let myself regret such selfishness ]

Well, Elijah and Clau are still in Budapest. I have no idea when they’ll be back. Sierra and I had some adventures in the kitchen this morning. We’ve decided we’re going to clean it before we leave. It’s a MESS. It’s hard to know where to start. We don’t want to waste their food, but they just leave it out everywhere and while that’s not exactly up to FDA standards, we’re not in America. I think maybe we’ll go for a walk to the Gypsy market today and buy some fresh fruit and veggies. I hate eating out at restaurants all the time and the only ones I know in the area are so American it makes me sick. I’m in Romania, I want Romanian food.. or at least something that’s a little healthier than McDonalds. Maybe I’ll attempt to cook something for us this evening. Although I have no idea how to turn the stove on. It looks like you have to light a match to get a flame, but I tried that this morning and no dice. I think I know how to ask Ilie (Elijah’s father) for help. Anca, the caretaker, is not here or I would ask her. I feel bad asking because they’re so busy remodeling in here.

Tomorrow morning, Corina, Sierra, Iulia, and I are taking the train to Beius. We’ll have to switch trains somewhere, I’m not sure where. We’re going to spend the day with Alina, Cristi, Sorin, Panda, and maybe Ramona – but she’s from Cabesti, so there’s no guarantee she’ll be able to make it. Corina offered to take the train with me to Bucharest for the day. I REALLY WANT TO GO!!!! I’d like to meet with Dominic and Sylvia and Stefan’s family and see the People’s Palace, as Ceaucescu so ironically named it. But I don’t know. Justin wants to come back next summer and I want to come with him. I can’t bear to think of not knowing when I’ll be coming back again. I’ll have to pray about it some more. By that time Cristi will be taking his exams. He’s decided to go to the police academy in Bucharest. Maybe he’ll already be out there. Anyway, I don’t want to go if there’s no way for me to serve out there. It seems like a waste to just take a day trip. I’m kind of going crazy right now because there’s nothing for us to do at the moment. Still, it’s been good to have a few days to rest and rejuvenate after the last three weeks of non-stop madness.

I’m really struggling right now with the language barrier. Everywhere I go, I see gypsy kids on the street begging. I don’t always understand what they’re saying, but I can see that they’re hungry and they’re dirty and they’re holding out their little empty hands and asking something of me. I’ve already been told and told and told again not to give them anything at the risk of my own safety. And while I don’t want to be disobedient to my leadership or disrespectful of their wisdom or ungrateful of the precautions they have taken to ensure my safety – I plainly just don’t care what these kids try to do to me, I want to help them!! I remember before I went on the first project last year, the last thing Cam said to me was a warning regarding this feeling. He said “You’re going to get there and you’re going to want to give them everything you have. And while you should do as the Spirit leads you, don’t forget that giving them a few lei or some clothes isn’t going to really help them. The best thing you can give them is your time, love, and Christ. Nothing else will last.” I know that’s sound advice. But if that’s true (and obviously, it is) – then what can I possibly give them? I can’t give them my time or my love or even Christ because I can’t speak Romanian well enough to communicate with them. And it KILLS ME EVERY DAY. How can I close my eyes and turn my face away from the people I’ve come to help? How can I ignore the very people I feel God is calling me to give my life for? I have NO answers. I have NO wisdom. And I am in desperate need of both. There’s so much hatred here from the Romanians against the Gypsies and vice versa. There’s so much sin against each people group. So many Romanians have called me crazy for reaching out to the Gypsies, for even wanting to. They tell me it’s dangerous and I could be killed. And inside and outside, I say I don’t care. Oh Lord, show me what to do. Give me peace and certainty of what You would have me do here and let me not be swayed by the opinions of others. Lead me, Lord.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
– Matthew 5:3-14