Questions we’re asking: Why them and not us? Why are we here?

Buna Seara!

Hey everyone, it’s Amy! Here goes my second blog attempt, as my first one was accidently deleted. I am hailing from the beautiful camp just outside the village of Micesti on day three. A lot has happened in the past few days as campers and leaders (Romanian and American alike) packed our bags Monday morning and headed out on the infamous ‘curtained’ bus. We all had a great time on the surprisingly smooth bus ride to camp, getting to know the campers better. After a quick inghetata (ice cream, which is VERY good here) stop, we all arrived at the camp situated on a giant hill above the city Pitesti. The camp is beautiful and includes two full-size soccer/ultimate Frisbee fields, a sand volleyball court, cabin-style dorm rooms, and an amazing large group meeting room/dining hall. After dinner (sorry, I’m not much of a food blogger), the entire camp gathered for evening program consisting of on-stage games, dancing to the camp theme song (Restart by the Newsboys, if you want to dance along), worship, and a talk by one of the Romanian leaders Razvan. We also met two superheroes (Alistair and Betty) and their malfunctioning robot (Cristy). Program ended with us splitting into our small groups and having a discussion over tea and biscuits (cookies).

Small group turned out to be a challenging time for many of us as we heard the stories of many of our campers for the first time. Before coming to Romania, we heard stories and watched videos about the way orphanages were in Romania and learned the situation in which many orphans grew up, but as the campers opened up and shared parts of their life, those stories we’d heard were suddenly sitting right in front of us. I know for myself, the reality of the Romanian orphans’ situation only truly hit me that night. The extreme poverty (specifically the lack of a families affection) these orphans have faced throughout their lives is becoming more and more apparent to us as we get to know them better and because of this we are beginning to fully realize the multitude of ways that our lives are blessed.

The question that is inevitably raised following a revelation like this is “why?” Why them and not us? Why were we born in the country we were and into the life we live, full of love and care, and not them? Why were they abandoned as children and not us? Why are we even here in Romania? What really are we doing? We come for a week of camp and then we leave, maybe to never return. Why? I don’t believe we can ever truly know the full answer to some of these questions. We discussed this idea of ‘why’ during our team meeting and came up with some ‘answers’: God is ‘why’ and he has a plan, but still we struggle. Sin broke this world, destroying our perfect relationship with God and made it so this world and our lives were not as He intended them to be. We should not be surprised to see this brokenness, because it is everywhere in the world. And God put us where we are according to His plan. We don’t know fully ‘why’ we were sent to Romania, but we know He told us to go. Some of the students who went to Honduras last year shared a bit of wisdom from Pastor Johnny: the question we should be asking is not “why”, but “how?” We have all been greatly blessed, in different ways, and instead of asking ‘why’, instead ask how can we use what we have to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and how we can share the Gospel with our words and actions and trust God for the rest. We can’t change our backgrounds and blessings, but we can use them.

Sami shared with the group that when she is at camp, surrounded by these amazing people, she doesn’t necessarily see their poverty, but instead her own. While they might not have many material possessions or they may not have grown up with love, they have a strong community that looks out for one another. We are all impoverished in different ways and we are all blessed in different ways. Perhaps ‘why’ matters less than ‘how’. How can we use what we have?

As we explore this idea together, please pray that we will continue to trust God with our mission here and not doubt His plan. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations” –Matthew 28:19. We believe that God sent us to Romania. All the reasons may not be apparent right away, or for many years, but God knows. One of the Romanians leaders reminded us that what we are doing now – we don’t know the extent that it will affect things down the road. We do know, however, that both the Romanians and God want us here, so we come. And we also know that God is working and is faithful when we are obedient. Pray that we will remain present and open to be used to share the Gospel according to our abilities.

And now for some fun tidbits from camp! We are having a great time teaching English and learning Romanian (though it took me nearly ten minutes to learn the Romanian word for ‘ice cream’). Multiple people have been pied in the face. Lief likes to call Hershey Kisses Hershey ‘poopies’ (apparently the Romanian word for kiss is ‘poopie’ – LIEF: ACTUALLY IT’S PUPICI, BUT IT SOUNDS LIKE POOPIES, SO WHY NOT?). We’ve played soccer nearly every day and are sporting the blisters to prove it. Yesterday we were witness to a rousing performance of “The Giardia Blues”. Last night our small groups put together skits/chants/theme songs and performed them for the entire camp. We have also eaten lots of ice cream and started many water fights (the Romanians get very into these sorts of things).

Well, that’s all for me! Sorry for the novel, but the blog addicts are probably suffering withdrawal, so this should be good for them!

La Revedere,

Amy

11 thoughts on “Questions we’re asking: Why them and not us? Why are we here?

  1. AMY! What a great post. Thank you for the heart and beautiful reflection. You’re kind of awesome.

    I’m thinking about you all a lot and praying for your remaining time. We are all so proud of you. Stay strong and lean into God as you never have before. Let Him carry you when you’re tired, physically and emotionally. Let Him fill you up. Rest in Him when you can’t answer questions and when it doesn’t make sense or seem fair.God is using you for His glory in ways you can’t imagine. I am so thankful for the team that God led to Romania this year…you are all amazing and we love you!

  2. I miss everybody!! Please tell Angie I’ve torn down the wall between her cube and my cube and have created a MONSTER CUBE for myself. I hope she doesn’t mind. Praying for you all!

  3. That was a very deep and insightful post, Amy! Sounds like the team is wrestling with some heavy issues. The questions you raised, Amy, are heart-wrenching; they are ones I’ve struggled with, too (well…not in relation to Romania, per say, but rather Kazakhstan). It sounds like the team has had some really healthy discussions about the topic. One further insight I would add is that God is all about justice; He is a fair God. The injustice and suffering in the world does not exist because of God’s lack of concern. It wrenches His heart so much more profoundly than it does ours. I would venture to say that God has some REALLY good things in store for the poor of this world when those who are Christ-followers get to heaven (James 2:5). Those of us who have been entrusted with much have an incredible responsibility to be a channel of God’s blessings to others. So cool that you all are learning first-hand to be empty of self in order to be filled with Him. For, it’s only then that we can be truly effective instruments in His Hands. (Whoa… that’s starting to sound preachy; hopefully, Trent isn’t cringing in the background somewhere.)

    I knew Trent wouldn’t be able to keep “The Giardia Blues” to himself the whole trip. Hopefully, he’s also using his God-given talents of humor and music in more uplifting ways! 😉

    I’m praying for an extra measure of strength in this home-stretch. I’m sure you’re all getting a little worn at this point. Dig deep for the courage and Holy Spirit power to fulfill the task He has called each of you to!

  4. Squad-

    Amy!! As everyone has been saying, AMAZING post. It is truly wonderful to read about all you guys have been doing in Romania. I am in awe of you guys’ openness to the change God is making in your hearts and minds throughout this trip and the fact that you are willing to share that with us is inspiring.

    I am very happy that Pastor Johnny’s wise words have made their mark on another group, in another country, and on another continent and I’m sure that he would be absolutely humbled. It sounds like you guys are having a ton of fun, forming long lasting relationships, spreading God’s word, and growing in your personal relationship with him all at the same time which is extraordinary (just remember not to eat TOO much icecream or have TOO much fun- you do need to come back at some point).You guys will remain in my prayers, I hope you continue to have an amazing time!

    Someone hug ALI and BEN for me!

    Mad-town

  5. Hey Romania Team! Most of you don’t even know us but Brad and I are praying for you guys every day! Thanks for keeping us in the loop on the blog. I’m so thankful that you guys are wrestling with these big questions together.

    On to the (other) important stuff…
    1. I have no idea why we haven’t gotten #prayforangie trending more often. Like, every single summer. Ang – I’m super pumped that you are there experiencing all this! Just try not to think about reconciling Lief’s cc until you’re home.
    2. In honor of the team, we youtubed Romanian pop song’s for Sadie’s bedtime music the other night. It was…interesting. And did not put her to sleep at all. Worth a shot.

    Love you guys!
    Kristen, Brad and Sadie Horst 🙂

  6. I love this post. I am so excited to hear all the rest of the story.
    WIth prayers and joy, we are all praying for safety, rest and a wonderful experience for the Romanians and the Blackhawjans!

  7. I have to admit: I’ve been missing the daily blog posts, but this one made up for it. What a great challenge – to stop questioning His big plan and simply start playing the role we are able to play, whether we understand that big picture or not.

    Like I said, I have been missing the frequent blog posts. But on the other hand, maybe it’s best for your guys to forget about the blog for a bit. You are busy at camp; you have the rest of your lives to be on a computer and write about your experiences. For now, soak it all up, serve while you have the opportunity, and live in the moment. All of us blog addicts will learn some much needed patience 🙂

    I’m heading off tomorrow to camp, so I’ll have to catch up on the rest of the trip once I get back. But since this is my last time visiting this blog before you’re all back in Wisconsin, I have to give a little shoutout to the two who got me hooked on this blog in the first place 🙂

    Katelyn – Worked my last shift at Little Bo tonight! Feels weird to have completed both my summer jobs! Miss you lots up here but looking forward to seeing you and Ally next weekend!
    Ben – This is my third comment on this blog, coming from a girl who has a fear of posting on social media. Be proud 🙂 Miss you and looking forward to seeing you soon!

  8. Wise words from everyone on this thread. As Kiara said, it’s good for everyone to disconnect for a bit, and for all of us to be patient. But just because it’s good for us doesn’t mean I have to like it, right? Who likes patience? AM I FAILING AS A PERSON HERE??

    I don’t know what the exact status of the trip is, but Molly said that camp is over now. Currently hoping and praying that everyone lived it to the fullest, and that whatever time in Romania you have left is spent well getting closer to God.

    Alissa – Miss you tons, and can’t wait to hear all about this when you get back stateside. (I wanna hear about the ice cream too, so try to remember it) ALSO I found out the alphabet goes from 7-4; and I have everything in between, if you know what I mean. <(")

    Ben – You're good at getting in pictures, and you're also like the only other person I know on this trip. Can you push Alissa in front of a camera or something for meh?
    And idk if I've told you this yet, but nice beard, bro. Keep up the good work.

  9. Ben! Its so cool to hear what you’ve been up to, and I can’t wait to exchange stories. Enjoy your days in Romania, back home isn’t quite as sweet, as I’ve discovered lately. Keep that beard coming and keep having a life changing time with your team. Have an awesome end of the trip and don’t forget to break out your and Trent’s basketball celebrations!
    See you too soon
    Dan

    PS Sorry this is coming so late, but I decided you would need encouragement more later in the trip

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