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!!! 😂😂😂 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 güd 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…..