Whether you’ve been faithfully following every blog or you’ve just skimmed through one, you likely will not be surprised to hear that the team experienced life, heart, and perspective change in Romania. I think I can speak on behalf of the team in saying that we are all aching for Craiova—for the strangers who became our family.
I think I also speak on behalf of the team (though they’re probably sick of that by now… 😉 ) when I say we’re all wrestling with a variation of this question:
In light of where I’ve been, who I’ve met, and what I’ve seen, how do I stay?
How do I stay, when I am surrounded by people who haven’t experienced what I’ve experienced?
How do I stay, when I know the hurt, and ache, and heartbreak happening across the world?
How do I stay, when a piece of my heart is still in Romania?
How do I stay, when I so badly want to go?
To be completely, bluntly honest with you all, I don’t have a clue how to answer any of these questions. However, because of other significant trips in my life, I’ve been wrestling with these questions for a while, and I’d like to share the things I think God has revealed to me.
Though our time in Craiova was significant, and powerful, and I truly believe Kingdom-building work, the most significant piece of this trip may not be what we did in Romania. The most meaningful piece of this trip will be what we do with it after the fact.
I hope that as a supporter of this journey this statement does not offend you, because it is undeniable that both our American team and the Romanians were significantly impacted during those 2 weeks. We poured into one another, we shared Christ’s love in a powerful way, and we formed beautiful, lasting friendships. We are forever grateful for those 2 weeks.
But how much more powerful would it be if instead of letting the Lord boldly and incredibly shape and guide our lives for 2 weeks of the year, we give Him all 52?
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” –Romans 12:1-2 (MSG)
What if, because of where we’ve been, who we’ve met, and what we’ve seen, we gave God every single day? What if we didn’t get comfortable with our culture? What if we kept stepping into the unknown, kept dining with the outcasts, kept accepting the rejected, kept loving and pursuing the widows and the orphans? What if, instead of thinking of our trip as finished, we viewed it as a catalyst for letting God step into our lives daily?
What if we changed Madison because of Craiova?
How do we stay?
We stay in love, in faith, and in expectance that the Lord is beginning another beautiful journey.