We pride ourselves on having the friendliest
and most welcoming forums for moms and moms to be! Please take a moment
for free so you can be a part of our growing community of mothers.
If you have any problems registering please drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our community is moderated by our moderation team so you won't see spam or offensive messages posted on our forums. Each of our message boards is hosted by JustMommies hosts, whose names are listed at the top each board. We hope you find our message boards friendly, helpful, and fun to be on!
Just wanted to let you ladies know that I am home safely. We got in at about 4:30 pm yesterday after traveling for about 14 hours. I am exhausted!!! The trip went well - We had 160 something new believers come to Christ in Romania. I'll get on tomorrow sometime & tell ya all about it but today I'm trying to just recuperate from my exhaustion! I'm so glad to be home but do miss Romania & the people!
Thanks for all my prayer partners out there! Did any of you ladies receive email updates throughout the week? My husband said he didn't get any & I know I heard one of our mission leaders say he emailed the prayer warriors so I'm wondering if I just sent him the wrong email address for my husband or possibly if he didn't get the email I sent with the list of prayer partners.
Thanks for all your prayers during our trip to Romania last week! The week went very well! There are so many stories I could share that I don’t know where to begin. So I’ll pick a few of the top stories to tell - I also tried to color code groups of ideas (green is my most memorable moment, red is Austin's most memorable moment, purple is about the orphanage we visited, & blue is a list of little tidbits I wanted to share)…
The most memorable moment to me was the severe poverty and oppression by the Orthodox Church in one of the villages that we visited. If you haven’t already, you should check out the trip blog at http://e3ploiesti08.blogspot.com/. The priests followed us around, taking pictures of us, trying to intimidate our team of missionaries as well as the people of the village that we were trying to share with. The Priests even took away the Bibles & reading glasses that we gave some of the people. It was outrageous! We went back to a couple of houses & gave them more Bibles & reading glasses (that the Priests took). (FYI – according to the Orthodox religion in this particular village the people aren’t allowed to have Bibles. The Priests are the interpreters of the Bible & they teach that not just anyone can have a relationship with Jesus. They have also tweaked the Bible (they use while preaching) to say what they want it to say (according to my translator).) The majority of the people are obviously terrified of the Priests. The Priests are telling them that if they don’t pay their taxes they won’t bury the people or look after them as they get old. The people are living in poverty. You can look at the way they dress & the condition of their houses to see that but the Priests have really nice houses & new cars, as a matter of fact. The Priests are just protecting their source of money & their lifestyle - they don’t care about the people. :| We were there, as you may already know, to spread the word of Jesus, not to talk about religion & try to steal them from the Orthodox Church. All we wanted to do is ensure that the people know that they are saved by faith, not by works & encourage them to have a personal relationship with Jesus.
You know, the biggest thing I have learned this week was just how blessed we are here in the US. We have freedom of religion but not many go to church, which is sad. In Romania, many people are persecuted if they are anything but Orthodox but several of these people don’t care. One lady I met said she wouldn’t change her religion or bow to the Orthodox Priests regardless of what they do – even if they torture her. The pastor who wants to plant a church in this village said that this trip is a HUGE step for that village. Apparently a few years ago another mission team visited the village & the Priests got mad & riled the people up to revolt & stone the missionaries. That did not happen this trip. He said that this was the first time in the history of that village that the Priests got angry but couldn’t do anything! Score one for Jesus!!!
Now I also had my frustrations while in Romania as well. It was hard to talk to people at times. We were at the mercy of our translators to start a conversation for us. This was my biggest complaint – We didn’t talk to as many people as we would have liked since it was our translators job to start the conversation & introduce us. We wanted to talk to several people on the street & at times our translators were shy or didn’t want to talk to certain people so we couldn’t talk to them (since we didn’t speak their language & we needed the translator to say Hi & start that conversation for us). This hasn’t discouraged me from spreading the word but it has encouraged me to be more pro-active about spreading the word here in the US where I have more control over the situation. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip & would do it over again. I would also love to go back one day. I bonded with the people – they were all so nice. I took a lot of pictures but I took them on disposable cameras instead of on my digital camera. I didn’t carry my digital camera because I didn’t want to keep up with it & I felt that if I lost or someone stole one of the disposable cameras it wouldn’t be a big deal (versus my digital camera)! So… once I get the pictures developed I’ll post a few for you!
Austin’s most memorable moment was when he visited the house of a Seventh-Day Adventist. He was invited into her house & learned that she had a child who was mentally ill so they prayed for the family. Before leaving, Austin gave the child an oatmeal raisin cookie. He says that when they prayed, that even though he couldn’t understand a word that was said he felt the Holy Spirit come over the place.
The orphanage was filled with 52 beautiful children. The couple who own/run the orphanage have 8 children of their own so there are 60 children in all that live in the orphanage. Three of the couple’s children were translators for our mission team so we got to hear the sad stories of the children who live at the orphanage. The orphanage was set up to house the children that other orphanages don’t want – the children that have mental, physical, and/or emotional disabilities. They told us about children that were forced to watch their mother chopped up into pieces by their father. The children said that it looked as though their mother was lying on the table asleep. Other children lived in such poverty that they didn’t know what food was. They ate grass & leaves from the yard & drank milk from the family dog. Another story was of a 12 year old boy who decided to become Christian so his Orthodox parents kicked him out. All the children at the orphanage have had a hard life but you couldn’t tell it when we visited them. They were all so happy – smiling & singing a few songs for us.
The orphanage is run by private funds (the man of the house works to keep the orphanage running) and any donations they may get elsewhere. They are not run by any government agency in Romania and they do not solicit money from anyone. They completely rely on God to provide for them. The lady of the house has so much faith and stories to back up her faith, it’s unbelievable – I loved her!!! I just have to share the story behind how the orphanage got started but first some background info… the couple is Romanian but moved to the state of Arizona in the US a long time ago. All of their 8 children (the oldest is 15 & the youngest is 8 months) were born in the US but they moved back to Romania not quite a year ago to run the orphanage. The man of the house still travels to Arizona to work – he runs a landscaping business. This is how the orphanage is primarily funded. So if anyone lives in Arizona I might be able to hook you up with a landscaper. Now, how the orphanage was started… their oldest daughter got real sick as a small child. They were told that she had cancer and at one point were told that she’s dying & there was nothing they could do – she wouldn’t live through the night! On their way home from the hospital, after getting the news that their daughter was dying, their daughter saw some children on the street and asked her mom why they were standing on the street. Her mom told her that they were homeless & didn’t have anywhere to live so she told her mom to tell her dad to build a house for the children. This little girl was dying and all she wanted was for the homeless children to have a house!!! Well, that’s how the Lord broke her mom’s heart & they started planning the orphanage. Later, when they went back to the hospital to check on their daughter’s cancer the doctor’s couldn’t find one spec of cancer – the cancer was gone!!!
Here are a few quick tidbits that I wanted to share…
I’m not sure why but… most of our translators (Seminary students) had multiple cell phones. No one ever asked why, that I am aware of, but I thought it was interesting.
There are no movie stores in Romania. In order for them to watch movies from America they get on the Internet & can download any movie they want before it is even released on video, i.e. while it is still in the box office. It sounds like people illegally record the movie with a small camera at the theater in America then post it on the Internet for people to download.
The way you flush the toilet is a little different there. There are usually buttons either on the top of the tank of the toilet or on the wall behind the toilet to flush it. One toilet had 2 buttons on the wall behind it – you pushed one to flush it or turn the flush mechanism on & it stayed on until you pushed the other smaller button to turn it off.
Romanians can’t get their driver’s license until they are 18. If someone illegally drives before the age of 18 & is caught he/she can’t get it until they are 21.
Romanian drivers are very different than American drivers. Apparently there aren’t any rules of the road & cars have the right a way (versus people walking, riding a bicycle, or riding in a horse drawn carriage) on the road. They drive fast & pass everyone & everything they can. They stop at the last minute & a couple of times several people in our group thought they were going to have a wreck before the week was out. They also honk their horn a lot but in a friendly, communicative way. As they pass a car they often honk their horn to let the driver of the car they are passing know that they are passing. In America, you know that would cause major road rage in most people. Now they did honk their horn several times at drivers who cut them off or what not but the atmosphere just seemed to be so much friendlier than America.
The streets are small & people actually park on the sidewalk. The worst road we had to travel on was horrible. We had to drive like 5 miles an hour or so on it just to try to dodge all the pot holes & other obstructions in the road. But for the most part the roads we traveled on were okay. There just happened to be one that was just very, very rough.
You are not supposed to smoke until you are 18 but it’s not strictly enforced. My translator has actually seen children as young as 8 or 9 years old smoking. I actually saw a young boy (he looked 8 or 9) walk out of a store with a pack of cigarettes – not sure if the cigarettes were for his parents or him though.
One of our translators told me a story while we were there. While he spoke to a man, he put his hand out to shake a villager’s hand. They shook hands & about that time his wife came out of their house shouting that he (her husband) shouldn’t talk to or touch him (our translator) because he’s Satan. So the man jumped back & exclaimed, “I just touched Satan”! That’s hilarious!!!
In conclusion, I would highly recommend a mission trip if you’ve never been on one & in particular an E3 mission trip (http://www.e3partners.org/pages/page.asp?page_id=24450) if you can. The experience will open your eyes & is very educational. The only reason I mention an E3 mission trip is because I was told by my pastor, who has been on several mission trips with several different organizations, that the E3 trip is very well organized. You know exactly what to do when you get there & they train you well. He said that other organizations he went on trips with weren’t as organized & there were times that you’d get to the country that you are going to & just wouldn’t know what to do – the organization didn’t have a game plan so they weren’t as effective. With E3 you get there, know what to do, & go right to work.
Wow, Amanda. Thank you so much for sharing!! It sounds amazing, depressing and spiritual all at the same time! The orphanage stories are so depressing...I couldn't imagine! It makes me want to adopt some of the little ones!!
Wow! That is so awesome! You know...you just make me feel inspired! I have always told people that missions was not for me and I never want to do it.....I would actually consider it now....if God called me to do it.....I'm so happy to hear that God really moved and that you all had a wonderful time. It also makes me very thankful for what I have and the freedoms I have. It's too bad that those who don't go to church, but call themselves christians don't realize how good they have it....take advantage of our freedoms, but going to church! Thank you so much for sharing. Your story blessed my morning!
Your trip sounded amazing! What an experience. My husband and I have discussed missions trips. It is something that has been pretty heavy on my heart and he is interested as well. Our Church has a goal to have over 50% of its income going directly to missions. It is a huge part of our church. I pray one day we will have the oppurtunity to go on one Lord willing! Anyway I can't wait to hear more. I am so happy you are home safe and that you had such an amazing time!