We did a thing. Pray for us.

We did a thing. Pray for us.
We have officially said our good-byes and are currently chilling on the train. The last 24 hours have been quite the blur, as have the couple hundred hours before that. They tell me today is Monday, so I’ll try and get out what went down yesterday: it was hot, we sweated through church in the morning, it was hot, we went to the mall to cool off, and we went to a restaurant before ending the night in an emotional rush as we left on our (hour late) train. The final hugs were simultaneously too long and infinitely too short. Long goodbyes just make it harder, but how can you possibly express the full weight of your feelings for a person in just a short embrace? But we tried. Once we did make it to the train, the sleeper cars were, at least for me, a necessary rest from the craziness of the past couple weeks. We moved into the cattle cars as we neared the Hungarian boarder, and I sit and write from there as I watch the landscape blurring past.
As I reflect back, I have a deep thankfulness for the relationships I’ve been able to form in my three trips to Romania. But the stronger the bonds the more difficult the good-byes, especially when it is likely the last time I will see most of my Romanian friends. Last week at camp Noah reminded us that we ought to rejoice always, and assume an attitude of thankfulness that leads to constant joy. But it’s a challenge to be joyful through the challenge of goodbyes, and that will be my struggle in debrief. We are all still processing a camp that looked a little differently from each of our own perspectives, and we will all experience this debrief through our own lenses. The trip has never been one size fits all, and I feel that now more than ever as I look back on what will have been my last trip as a high schooler, having said my goodbyes to the faces I met as a kid clueless to the importance they would one day hold.
We all need prayer now as much as any other part of the trip. Please pray that we would ask the hard questions, think the thoughts we’ve fought to avoid, and trust the big man upstairs through it all. And pray that we would refuse to come home the same person we left as. That we would return a clearer reflection of the light, and that those around us would see more of Jesus in the way we live our lives.
Thank you guys for following us this far, and I hope you can be patient with us as we work out our experiences in debrief and on through our return home.
In his name,
Shoutout to Abby K. for giving me more than I asked for when I borrowed her water… Smooth move X-lax.
Shoutout the the conductor: But can we pleaseeeeeee sit in first class?
Shoutout to Gavin Bazala: A man cave? You’re thirteen years old. You don’t need a man cave, you’re not even a man yet!!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ but for real I’m gonna need my room back.
Shout out to Kitt Kinderman: Stoked for the Hearthstone expansion. Maybe I’ll be able to get gΓΌd with this one. Also I got ur letter and I think it’s funny how you mentioned me losing things the DAY AFTER I lose my water bottle. #Classic. I love you. see you soon
Shout out to Mom Bazala: oh yeah, I lost my water bottle. I swear it disappeared. It was in my room and then it wasn’t. Welcome back Nalgene maybe, please? (I bought stickers that need a place to go. All the Kool kids are doing it) also miss and love you all. Ps still waiting on Aidan’s comments…..

If you’re reading this it’s too late…for a title

Sup dudes, aka hello fellow comrads and aquaintences, Tree and Noah here to give you the low down on the latest throwdowns (don’t worry there weren’t actually any throwdowns, we just wanted to rhyme) πŸ˜› (tongue out emoji). Friday meant the end of camp, but not the end of all of the friendships we had formed. Faces beamed as pictures were taken left and right, topped off with a huge group picture. It was another round of who wore it best as all 90 of us somehow happened to be wearing the same camp shirt. Funny how things like that happen.
The bus came when it wanted, giving us an extra 2 hours to enjoy the beautiful scenery and presence of our new and dear friends. A bus ride filled with 80s music, camp songs, round after round of “who high-fived me?”, and when possible, sleep entailed, closing the door on camp 2017 πŸ™ (frowny face emoji) We arrived back at what now feels like home at 7, completing a quality 6 hour travel day that was thankfully accompanied by air conditioning. We ended our night with a final game of mafia and then welcomed the embrace of our beautiful friend, sleep.
Today began at 9 when we made our way to a local market to explore hidden treasures of Romanian. The market was alive with the cry of birds, the sound of bartering, and broken Romanian as the 20 of us tried to figure out how much a wooden spoon with a crying laughing face emoji would cost. There were many impulse buys as bags filled with spoons, mugs, and chicken shaped pitchers. Our pools of sweat turned to actual pools when we ventured to Aqua Plus, a facility with pools upon pools that provided much needed cooling in the brutal heat. Living up to our Americanness we got yelled at for being too loud, which was justified as none of us had ever seen Pat get her hair wet by choice before. It was truly a “lit,” as the young ones say, game of Marco Polo. It even made a Romanian spectator so entertained he had to run over to his wife and explain our game, so we clearly must’ve been really fun to watch.
Our day ended on a high note when we met with the campers for a reunion in Romanescu Park, a beautiful space boasting a zoo, row boats for rental that we took full advantage of (which included getting soaked by the fountain), and a lot of neature (neat nature). We shared laughs over stories from camp and tried to capture a fraction of the joy we had the past week with as many pictures as possible. As the sky faded to black we put the bookmark in all of our new friendships, saying goodbyes with the hope we would pick up the conversations in the future.
And with that we SHOUT OUT
To Katrina for letting me write this while she was a team player and folded team laundry. To Sammy: Lavi and Cabs helped free my legs of some excess hair today… Noah I’m missing my fill-in older brother, its not the same having other people constantly making fun of me… Katrina Ali: oita, among others, misses you, but she has nothing on how much I miss random mosquito bites My (Noah’s) Fam: I love you guys lots Brian wreck-those-socks: this is a little late but: you got me good. I was shook To Halle B: hilarious. To Raymond: I wore a tank top today and tried to keep my arms down. – Dan To Ben and Jenna: Your friends say hi. To Jenna: I hope you’re having fun at Kernel. To Mom and Dr Anderson: thanks for the bird update, you better take some pictures for me. I saw a cool Romanian hawk today. To Rose: the 80s jam sesh was, well, jamming. It would’ve made you smile (or something like that but we forgot exactly what Marilyn told us to type… awkward giraffe)

Long time no blupdate

Long time no blupdate! (Blog update) We have been incredibly busy the past couple days, staying up late and getting up early, but we are now on our way back to Craiova!
A few updates from the past couple days…On Wednesday, we conquered a 5 hour hike with the majority of the campers. We hiked along beautiful wooded paths right next to the river. Although we didn’t go to the top of the mountain we were hiking on, the woods opened up right before we turned around to a sound-of-music-like green pasture looking out at the mountains which was a great picture spot. We were all exhausted after the hike, but managed to keep up some of the energy for our evening session. We talked about the story of David and Bathsheba and got deeper in our small group conversations as we talked about the sins we struggle with. Yesterday was very hot and perfect for the “water day” we planned. We began our sports’ team plan with a game involving water balloons. A grid was formed for four teams whose objective was to burst the airborne balloons with their shoes. The balloons were launched from multiple spots around the field. It was no concern to be hit by a balloon, because the sun was beamimg down quite intensely. Andrew, however, decided to turn the competition into a one on one fight. He managed to catch the balloons as they fell and then throw them to opposing teams. When the balloons had all been used, we were introduced to a friendly and safe game of Steal the Bacon. This was followed by everyone getting soaked on an epic dish-soap-filled slip and slide. At night, Daniel wrapped up the week with an explanation of the gospel, leading to small group questions like “if you died tonight, do you think you would go to heaven or hell?” The results were pretty incredible. Great discussions all around. It was awesome to witness the concept of salvation starting to click in the minds of campers, some who had barely heard the gospel before. We finished out the night with a bonfire and American s’mores. After a late night of roasting marshmallows and writing “notes of encouragement” to each other, everyone was quite sleepy this morning. We packed up, finished out with a final time of worship, and set out for our six hour bus ride.
Now writing from the bus, we can speak for the whole team when we say that it is crazy how fast the week has gone by. With how much we have experienced in the past few days, we are looking forward to the next couple days of processing with the Romanian leaders in Craiova. Even though we are still in Romania, it really does feel like we are going home. Even after a few days, we have gotten so comfortable living with our host families in Craiova. We are so thankful for the clear ways that God has been working this week. Please pray that the seeds that have been planted this week in the hearts of campers would continue to grow, and that they would continue to explore their faith as they enter back into their normal lives. Thanks for all your prayers for us at camp! We can’t wait to share more stories when we get back.
With full hearts and dried sweat, Morgan R. and Hannah
And now for some fun facts: 1. Andrew would make a good Amish person 2. Katrina had six cavities 3. Emily is the master cat 4. Actually Mel is the master cat 5. Noah is a cat trainer 6. Bria has schnitzel in her eye 7. Hannah has mastered launching goldfish with a sling shot 8. 4 year old David is attatched to Athena 9. Marilyn and Ed bought fish flavored goldfish 10. We don’t deserve Pat Brady
Shoutouts: Ben P- On the way down the mountain hike, I talked with a camper about long distance relationships. He has a long distance girlfriend and we bonded over our struggles of being so far away from people we love. It turned into a really cool conversation about the importance of trusting God’s plan. It was very encouraging and I’m excited to tell you more about it! Miss you lots πŸ™‚ -Hannah Also from katreetree, you would have enjoyed the hike alot! Although no trees were climbed, but fun was definitely had! I hope you had fun in cali!
Metzger Fam: Missing you guys! I’m so excited to tell you all the stories I have when I get home. Love you all so much!
Jake Genyk: hey there! I miss you! I hope all is well in WI, and that hard days of football are being reimbursed with blue raspberry/atomic lemon and jolly rancher slushies. I am pleased to share that your treats are still fully in tact. We are back from camp now, and I have so many fun pictures, videos and experiences to share with you. I love you! Ask your mom, the twins or my mom to give you a hug for me πŸ™‚
Ashton and Payton : hey troublemakers! Are you holding down the fort? Taking good care of the pets? I keep thinking about getting my wisdom out when I get home because they are crowding my mouth…should be fun? Speaking of, how’s my favorite little sister doing? Still droopy? Chubby/bruised cheeks? Love you guys. See you in a few days! P.S. don’t tell mom, but I may have dropped my phone out a window. Many stories to share!
Carol Smith (Nana) : I miss you and love you! I am excited to see you at the end of the month. Be ready, because I’m having my wisdom teeth removed two days before…can’t wait to tell you all about these two amazing weeks!
The Pincombe Family: Boy have I missed you guys! But I have so many fun stories and great people to tell you about, and I can’t wait to hear how life in WI is! Thanks for being loyal followers of the blog. I love hearing from you. And don’t worry, I’ve gotten my fill of bread while I’ve been here :). Madison, thinking about you lots as you pack up and drive out to Ames in just 2 days. Save some time amidst recruitment and moving in for some Facetime. Love you lots!
Grandma and Grandpa Pincombe: Craving your waffles and can’t wait to spend time with you in just a few days! Thanks for following the blot :).
The Virginia Pincombe Family: Praying for the fellow mission trippers! See you in VA!

David & Goliath

Buna from Morgan P and Abby (who – despite not turning in a bio – is still a part of the team :)). Checking in to let you know that we didn’t leave anyone at the gas station on the way to camp. Since Grace and Bria clued you in last, we spent seven hours on the party bus/”mini bus” caravan playing games and building friendships. About halfway through the ride, we stopped for lunch at an average gas station with an above-average view. We attacked the mountain of 180 handmade sandwiches made by the hired chefs (aka our multi-talented team members) before hitting the road again. To pass the last few hours, we took part in the Great American-Romanian Slang Exchange. Campers, Simona and Ana, taught us some examples of unusual Romanian idioms. So, if we heard it right, GO TO SPINACH! To hold up our end of the deal, Grace pulled out her list of “bro-lingo” and got some Romanians saying things like “gnarly” and “righteous” among other things.
After getting settled at camp, we played a very lively game of “Viking” to break the ice. One of the many highlights was hearing Pat shriek “AHHHHHHH VIKING” repeatedly. After dinner, we all learned the camp song – Domnul, Steagul Meu (The Lord, my Flag), and sang some upbeat Romanian worships songs led by a few of our team members. We also got entertained with an amazing performance by our program team, with Andrew playing Jonathan (David’s friend) as the star character of the night! The theme of the night’s talk was all about friendship, which eventually led into our small group time.
Tuesday morning, we woke up to misty mountains and started the day with a leader meeting as the sun rose over camp. Today was Day 1 of English class… which was more like Romanian class for the two of us because we have a group of campers who are nearly fluent in English already. We made mod podge journals that described ourselves as we bonded over our horrible pronunciation.
This afternoon, it was time for a much anticipated game: “Wanted.” While we were playing games, the Romanian leaders subtly hung up posters with pictures of some of us campers. Our mission was to capture those who were on the posters. Our small group set out to find Ed which meant wrestling him (8 campers, 1 Ed) towards “jail” until he made an unexpected escape. After much frustration and determimation, we finally dragged him in. Our group also successfully led an ambush to retrieve Dan!
Tonight, before Razvan’s message on David and Goliath, we presented our groups with our decorated flags and choreographed routines. We closed out the night with more small group time. Everyone is pretty tired after a busy, fun few days at camp already. So that leaves the two of us, writing to you by the light of a Kindle Fire. Pray we get some sleep (as it is almost 1am), and keep our team and all the campers in your prayers as we continue to enjoy these next few days of camp. Keep the comments coming – they make for great laughs and well-timed encouragement!
This blupdate (aka blog update) has been brought to you by brief moments of free time scattered throughout the day and two sleepy campers.
From, a very giggly and over-tired Abby and Morgan. Noapte buna!
Shoutout to the Olszewski clan from Athena : I will try to learn from Chris’ mistakes and will not eat the treats I got for the family while I am still in Romania. Save some ice cream for me!
Shoutout to Tina Bazala: The fountain wasn’t working but I I am getting plenty of pictures! Miss u! -Mattea
Shoutout to Kitt: Still loving the memes. Also i brought my set of photos. They’re on the wall by my bed. Love u and miss you! -Mattea. Ps write me bacK. πŸ˜€
Shoutout to Momma Reed: I miss you so much! It makes me smile to head about Cappy and Finn. Smart pig knows to stay in his yard where he has his many mud/dirt holes. Also, I have been informed that our neighborhood is notorious for coyotes…keep that piggy safe! Give everyone, including the animals, a hug for me. -Morgan
Shoutout to Joshua Chen: I’m glad my drawing was accurate enough πŸ™‚ I miss you and the parental units a lot. I hope you have fun in Colorado and don’t get eaten by a bear. Will you check if Homecoming is still in theaters when I get back? (This is from Andrew: Rw’ U2 Lw F2 Lw’ F2 Rw2 U2 Rw U2 Rw’ U2 F2 Rw2 F2. And thanks.)
To Kirstin: Are you ready to get weird?
Shoutout to the Pincombe Family: thanks for keeping up with the blog and for being loyal commentors. Fun to hear from you halfway across the world. Still on the search tot gelato, but rest assured I’ve tried several Romanian treats. Love you guys lots and am truly excited for a group hug :). Noapte buna!