I found home someplace unexpected, someplace foreign, someplace I didn’t think possible. I found home in Romania. Over the course of the past two weeks God revealed his everlasting love and amazing grace to me in new and unpredictable ways. I remember telling the other leaders one night that I felt like an onion and my layers were being peeled away one by one. Walls I had been building for years and lies I had been hiding behind were crashing down and I was finding true joy again.
The last night of camp Daniel preached from Jeremiah 18. He spoke about God being our potter and father. He makes something beautiful out of something so plain and ugly. Seeing the orphans’ deep desire for a father (and mother) to hold them and love them I was reminded that his love never fails but earthly love does fail. We are never promised that we will find earthly love that will fill our voids and last forever. We can’t guarantee that those who are supposed to show us the most love and provide us with a feeling of safety will actually do so. The only acceptance and sustainable love you can experience is the eternal love of our heavenly father. If we put so much hope in earthly love and family we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. I am certain that the love poured out on this trip from our students and the Romanian leaders was love straight from our Father. I wasn’t sure if I would know how to show the orphans love, but God knew exactly how to love each orphan. He filled my heart and their hearts. There is an undeniable feeling of comfort and ease when it is God’s love doing the work. His love is attractive and contagious. It is his love that makes someone go from not wanting to be touched, to kissing people on the cheeks. It is his love that moves a woman who lived a life with no self-respect to understanding her worth and beauty. It is His love that saves a young man from living a life of hatred and anger because of his past. It is His love that gives a woman who was rejected by the rest of the world the strength to do things she never thought possible. It is His love that gives His daughter self-confidence when the only thing she has been told is how stupid she is. It is His love that saves.
This team of students and leaders along with the Open Roads leaders blew me away. They all led with such big servant hearts and allowed God to do the work he needed to do. It was an absolute blessing to serve alongside them. Returning home I am praying for discernment and wisdom as to what’s next. I am feeling led to adoption, ministry through counseling and a trip to Romanian again (and again and again) but I want to follow Gods calling more than anything.
I have come away from this experience with a new faith, new questions, new mentors, new passions, new memories, new perspectives, new family and a new home.