Thoughts From the Train

Wow. That’s almost all we can say.

Its Emily and Taletha here, typing on the no-longer sweltering hot train, on our way to Budapest, Hungary.

Let’s talk about camp! I (Emily) was in a group with four campers, one translator, and six Americans. Something that surprised me was when one of the campers expressed that anyone who didn’t experience their stories would be unable to comprehend the hardship of their lives. This took me aback. I completely understand what she was saying. In the eyes of the majority of the world, we are wealthy people. We have a home, clothing, food, and most importantly, family. Later on in the week, the campers came to a conclusion that the scale of trauma and hard times in each of our lives is relative to each of us; therefore, we cannot judge those times or take them lightly. By the end of the camp, one specific camper decided that our team was sent because we have had difficulty in life. She believes that many people do not have any hardship. We ask for prayer that she is able to understand that every single human being has tough times in life, and as a result of those times, we learn to lean on God even more than before.

I (Taletha) was in a group with four campers, two translators, and five of us Americans. From the first days of camp, many people in our group felt a sense of spiritual warfare as several of us felt disconnected from God. One camper in our group had a low mental capacity which led to our sadness because she was unable to understand she is a sinner. As we asked if she had ever lied, stolen, or gossiped, she shook her head no each time. My heart broke for her. How could someone understand the grace of God without understanding that we need his salvation from our sin? We ask for prayer that she is able to recognize her brokenness alongside the rest of us and for her to understand God’s forgiveness. While camp time was amazing while with the campers, a few of us were able to take some treasured alone time. During one such alone time, I was able to give a part of my life to Christ which I never had before: my future. I’m the kind of person who likes to have everything figured out and have all my questions answered (even when no one knows the answer- SO to Jimmy right here for doing well with answering/trying to answer my million questions). While currently enrolled at the University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire as a Spanish Education major for the fall, God has asked me (more like: let me know) to change my ideas about what my future would be. It all began the first night of camp. Our camp theme was “visul meu” or “my dream” and our small group question was “What is your dream?” Needless to say, being a Spanish teacher wasn’t one of them. I dream about having a family of my own and about working in full-time ministry for the rest of my life, in whatever location and role God calls me to. Wow. Isn’t that just so amazing but also incredibly terrifying? I am beyond thankful that God has placed each of us here together on this trip, a step for each of us on the path to becoming more like the one who saved us all. Thank you, Lord. Thank you, Lord.

Now sitting in first class on our train, we reflect heavily on our experiences, many of us journaling about the last two weeks of our lives. We each left a bit of our heart in Romania this morning as we said goodbye to our Romanian partners (SO to Alyssa Polley and T for being the first to cry). We will be arriving at Debrief in Budapest in less than two hours.

Prayer requests not mentioned above:

-Pray for our hearts as we miss our Romanian partners.

-Pray for the Open Roads leadership team as they continue in ministry with the orphans.

-Pray that we are able to open up to our team during our last two days together.

-Pray for our travels!

Thanks to all families at home reading our posts and keeping us in your prayers. We love you all so much!

Shoutouts:

#1 Shoutout goes to Momma Dyann: Thanks for reading and commenting on every single post! We’re feeling the love from you, Mom. I hope that Amos isn’t talking your ear off than that Erik didn’t do a terrible job mowing the lawn.

Shoutout to Momma Linda- Keep up the prayer J The boys miss you tons!

Shoutout to Momma Malone- Dude, why are you watching Grey’s Anatomy with Luis???? But, hey, I’ll be home to watch it with you in a couple days!

Shoutout to Brendan from Noah: Here’s your awkward moment of my day today Brendan. Right before we left from Ethos in Craiova, I picked up Dan and Donna’s cat Igor. We have a special bond after days of watching him try to survive against The Master Cat. I was speaking words of encouragement into his ear (mostly as a joke) and Donna walked in right as I said “I’m going to miss you bud.” I set him down and she just looked at me, pat me on the back, and left. Now I will be thought of as the boy who speaks to cats as if they could talk back. That was my awkward story for you. I think it’s a palm tree, but you may disagree.

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