The Last 24 Hours – SO MUCH HAPPENED!

Buna Ziwa Prieten (Good Afternoon Friends)!

The layover at the London Heathrow Airport was not a problem. Our team passed through security without a hitch. Coming out of a bathroom near our terminal, I was surprised by the team’s beautiful rendition of the Birthday Song and gifted with fudge cookies as a treat (shoutout to my family). The team agreed that they were almost as good as real birthday cake. For most of us travelers, the flight from London to Bucharest was restful! After finding and recovering almost all of our 66 bags, and meeting the Romanian team that we would be working with, and after a delay related to where the bus could pick up all those bags, all of us boarded the famous Curtain Bus and set off for Craiova. There was definitely a lot of bonding and sleeping going on! We stopped at a gas station along the way for bathrooms and a dozen, 2 liter bottles of water, and later at the Pitesti mall for Romanian pizza (which was served with spicy or sweet ketchup for dipping!). We arrived at the Open Roads secondhand store at about midnight (Romania time) and unloaded most of our luggage (filled with the donated clothes) there. We finally got to our host families at roughly 2am – to be greeted by smiling couples, and for some, young kids who had been allowed to stay up late. Most of us fell asleep almost instantly.

We were allowed to sleep in (until 11!) this morning and met for a delicious brunch on Daniel and Donna’s patio. The food included homemade apricot jam, bread, Romanian cheese, cereal, milk, tomatoes, and cucumber. We did devotionals and read blog comments as a part of our “team time” and then headed to the neighborhood Ethos school for lunch.

The soup was SUPER YUMMY! With bread (and gluten-free rolls for those who needed it) for dipping, many of us were ready to eat all that was offered. Only then were we informed that the real food was soon to come! Later arrived Romanian spaghetti and Romanian salad – which consisted of a great blend of tomatoes, English cucumbers, onions, and a saucy dressing. (Even I, vegetable-hater, downed the delicious mix.)

We got some more time to meet the Romanian team and worship together at the Ethos church, after lunch. God was definitely present in the room. Names were learned as we played the Head-Bopper game (you know, the one with the empty water bottle?) and we bonded to truly become one, integrated Romanian-American team. God will continue to interweave all of us, as the trip continues. Later this afternoon, we will meet the Romanian orphans while playing sports and other games.

We’ll keep you updated (and please comment below),

Maddie Schumacher πŸ™‚

9 thoughts on “The Last 24 Hours – SO MUCH HAPPENED!

  1. Aww man I miss this! For those who don’t know me I was part of the forst 3 years of the trip and have been missing Romania a lot. I’ve been praying for you all and will continue to do so. God has done and will do AMAZING things there. Your brother in Christ and love to all my friends

    Malachi Braughler

  2. Hi friends! Thanks for the blog posts. I am so glad to hear that all is well. Every day I pray for your team and for all those you will encounter. I am proud of each one of you, and I know that this trip was a huge step outside your comfort zone for many. Remember that God works most beautifully when you allow yourself to feel a bit uncertain and uncomfortable. He will uphold you; He is faithful.
    To all my Honduras folks: don’t forget to be present where you are. The Lord has things in store for you in Craiova that are just as wonderful. I admire you for trusting Him and allowing him to use you in new ways.
    I so wish I could be there with you, but I know that God is taking great care of you. I miss you guys, and I love you dearly. Stay safe and happy, and I look forward to hearing from you again soon.
    Love love love,
    Katherine D.

  3. Ahahaghaghagagahgahgahgah you guys!!! I’m glad you are there and at home with AMAZING hosts. They are some of the best people you will ever meet so savor every moment you have with all of them. I’m sure it is crazy for you all right now being tired and in a new country, but at least you got to sleep in this morning (something I also did, in solidarity with you guys of course. I’m not lazy). And it’s getting near bedtime as I post, which means you are all wide awake playing mafia and Lief is about to order pizza. #mmmmmmm.

    And speaking of pizza, this post reminds me a little of the food blogs of the past. I hope the food blog tradition continues and there are more mouthwatering posts about all the delicious things you are eating. #DatFoodDoh #Sarmale

    Can’t wait to hear about all the experiences you guys will share over the next 2 weeks. I have the blog up and click refresh every 5 or 6 seconds. It would be nice if you could keep up with my demand. #BlogAddict

  4. Hey friends!!

    Let me start out by saying that I miss each and every one of you and it’s only the beginning of the trip πŸ™‚ How am I going to live??! THANK YOU for writing often because some of us crazy people at home are as Jimmy said, “Blog Addicts”. Besides this, it is so cool to hear what you guys are doing half way across the world even if this post was mainly focused on food (which I personally have no problem with). I know that you guys will accomplish amazing things during the time that you are in Romania (HOLY cow, you guys are in Romania!). There may be challenging times seeing as this trip pushes you to step out of your comfort zones and experience a new culture and way of living but remember that you are on this team for a reason- one that may be hard for you to understand in the moment but God knows. I am so excited for you guys and don’t worry I WILL be living vicariously through you guys using your blog posts so make em’ good πŸ™‚

    Now a few shoutouts:
    Honduras friends- Although you’re in a different country, on a different continent don’t think that the things we learned in Honduras don’t apply… THEY DO! As you see poverty around you remember that we each have our own poverty whether we want to recognize it or not. Also have compassion not pity. Also, I miss all of you so extremely much! Don’t have too much fun without me!!
    AP- I miss you SO SO MUCH! I am so lucky to call you one of my best friends and I don’t know what I would do without someone like you to deal with my craziness and occasionally bang me in the head with lockers πŸ™‚ I hope your roommate for this trip doesn’t wake you up early, and doesn’t take long showers!! I hope you have an amazing time and try to remember everything so you can tell me everything! Luv ya!

    Have a great time and live everyday to its fullest,

    Madison Pincombe

  5. Hi

    Did you guys get to try the fantastic Romanian ice cream that usually accompanies those lunches at Ethos (just ask Leif or Sami)? It opens your eyes to the beauty of life.

    Try to make the most of your sleeping time in the next few days! It will be severely minimized once you’re at camp :). I haven’t met all of you yet, but as my siblings in Christ, know that I am praying fervently for you all. Don’t let the little things (munchy cravings, sleep scarcity, minimal showering, or whatever it may be), prevent you from hanging tight to your mission of speaking God’s hope to some of these hopeless people.

    I know from last year that it does get pretty hard, but just think about how Jesus felt when He was here. He left a pretty awesome place to come and help us. Although you’re only there for two weeks, try to emulate His example to the upmost (who knows, at times you may even get an involuntary taste of his 40 day fast! JK, Romanians are exceptionally hospitable). Jesus said in Matthew 16:24 “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.” As members of this trip, you have a huge responsibility to let the little things go and concentrate on the big thing- Jesus!

    -Rachel Hartig

    p.s A big hello and β€œI miss you all!” to Keisha, Daniel, Toni, Rozvan , Christi, Beni, Lavi, Vali, and that one crazy girl with the glasses. Hope I didn’t forget anyone. God bless you all!!!!!

    I posted on your wall yesterday but I haven’t been able to get on a computer to do this today.. SO. HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY FREAKING HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!! I miss your face. And I love you. You’re a dork, but hey! so am I! I feel like if I get all mushy on here the other people commenting will be freaked out soooo… for now, know that you’re an amazing friend and person in general! I’m so happy for you being able to go do something you love for the next few weeks but I’ll be sad not to see you again before I go home. HAVE AN AWESOME TIME IN ROMANIA GIRL. And happy late birthday πŸ™‚

    -Melia!! (Who else comments this fantastically on your updates..? The answer is nobody.)

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