Today our eyes are opening. It was our second day in Tinca, but the first day to actually meet the kids at the center and get to know them and even deliver food to some of their families in some very poor villages. We arrived at the center and went straight to deliver food to 4 of the families of kids in the center. It's a part of the program for FMN that they support the families so that the siblings of kids in the center who aren't a part of it will be provided food as well.
We drove to their muddy streets and walked in all kinds of things. I actually stepped in poop...not dog poop, human poop. Sorry for the grossness, but that's the reality of it. They don't have outhouses, so they go on the ground. (One of the projects for the next BIG group that's coming in May is to build outhouses through FMN for the villages.) In the midst of taking pictures of the kids in the village and holding a precious gypsy baby, I stepped in it and had no idea. It tends to look just like the mud and trash on the ground. I'm sure I wasn't the only one.
It was similar to my experience last year of visiting poor gypsy villages, but it's never an experience that is redundant. It is always a reminder and it's a great experience for our students to see how others live. When you see poverty face to face and meet real people behind just the word or idea of poverty, you don't forget it. You don't just walk away the same. I think we all realize we can live without our bags if families of several people can live in a one room shack and relieve themselves on the ground outside the door.
After delivering food to the families we went to the center and as we drove up, the 6 kids were in the window waving and excited to meet us! We got to spend a little time w/ them before we broke up into 3 groups of 5, one of which got to play with the children all day and the other two groups painted in the center. Tomorrow we'll be painting again, playing with the kids, and screening some windows so the mosquitoes will be kept out.
It's a joy to meet these kids we've been hearing all about from Rachel, Sarah, and Erin this weekend. Little Abel & Samuel (Samu), Maria, Florica, Alex, and Simona. 3 girls and 3 boys who have very different backgrounds of distress and tragedy. They are beautiful little bald-headed kids (the girls at the center shave their heads - because of lice- every Monday when they pick them up, and they're bathed and cleaned up entirely each morning) and they are clearly affected by the lives they've lived thus far. But they've come a long way from what we've heard, and I look forward to hearing about them someday down the road even after more progress!
Our group shared quite a bit tonight in our devo time, and I'm seeing several of them beginning to step up and see the change they can be in the world. I'm excited to see how their lives are impacted and how this week will change them forever.
And an update on the bags...I just tracked them online and 3 of the 4 missing bags have arrived in Budapest and will hopefully (fingers crossed) arrive for us tomorrow! Hooray!
One girl has a slight cold, so if you could pray for her, that would be great. Also, I woke up at 2 a.m. last night feeling very panicky for some reason, and if you know me well, you know that isn't completely uncommon. I'm not sure if it was a reaction to my medicines for some odd reason or something I ate or dehydration or what, but I got a cold washcloth for my forehead, put in my headphones, and listened to a podcasted sermon from Jon Weece at Southland Christian Church in Lexington, KY and calmed myself down until I fell asleep. Please pray that doesn't happen again tonight. For some reason Satan enjoys attacking me with panic and anxiety, but I won't let him win! And I'm realizing that prayer really does heal...I'm hearing stories about this here. Rachel even had her friends pray over her apartment here recently b/c she hadn't been sleeping well if at all in it for over a year...it felt like there was a "presence" or something there, and after they prayed last weekend she has slept great! It's an amazing thing what prayer does. Another girl, Erin, was healed from an allergy to yeast b/c her friends prayed for her! She can now enjoy the yummy bread that is a part of every meal in Romania it seems. Praise God!
Well, I'm off to bed...as you all read this you're probably still at work or enjoying an early evening. It's after 11 pm here and I'm exhausted.