In previous postings I have made a point to be positive, light-hearted, and optimistic. Optimistic I will still be, but this posting is filled with some reality.
Some people wonder why we would travel to the other side of the world to minister to people. For one, it's a calling of God. That makes it's unquestionable to us who know what that is. We just follow where God leads. Another reason is having a passion for certain kinds of people - the lost, abused, abandoned, hopeless - those that need a ray of light. Yes, we need that at home too. But here's the thing. Most everyone on this particular team has ministries back home where they share that light. God has just called us to bring it to another group of people that is geographically challenging for us. It's the sacrifice that we make leaving our home ministries to bring that hope here to the Gypsies of Tinca, Romania.
Another reality. This is a spiritually dark place. All the beautiful pictures we share and the uplifting stories only share the seeds that are being planted and some of the fruit that's come out of it. As much progress has been made by Rachel and Dave and their team here in the village, there is much to do. A lifetime of work and love to pour into a people who don't need to be "westernized," they need to be "Jesus-fied."
Last night, one of the cute little Gypsy girls at the Isaiah Center got to spend the night. She was playing just fine by herself, then with the other children - who were all a little rambunctious. When all of a sudden she starts shouting out to one of the boys and he just looks like he was hit! Our translator gets on to her. This is all being said in the Gypsy language - Roma. Albert told us she just cussed him out. That sweet, fun-loving little girl just cussed and cursed that boy -- and laughed about it. The scene may be funny; however, that is what she knows at home.
Rachel & Dave shared with us how dark this place really is. How much work has gone into each child and family that are associated with the Center in the form of soft touches, loving words, care packages, and other. The vision for what it can become is there - a place that can house 200+ children, a community center where the families can come to get loved on and learn life skills, a ripple effect that can reach out into the world.
And every time we come love on a child, shake hands with the adults, say "buna-de-mon-yet-za" (good morning) and smile, we are planting a seed. There are not a lot of smiles outside the walls of the Center. But each time we we can pray for them, touch them, love on them and say "Isus Te Ubeste": (Jesus loves you), they not only hear the words, they feel the actions.
That's why we do it. So they can feel a perfect loving Jesus through we who are just as imperfect as they are. So keep praying - for the full-timers, for the people, for those who are able to share when they can anywhere in the world including your own backyard.