Hello everyone! Leah here, with an actual update from our first full day in Romania. As many of you know, this is my first year going on the Romania trip. Last year, reading the blog, many things went over my head because I had never experienced Romania first hand, so to catch you all up, I am going to share some things I have learned about this country in the short time that I have been here:
- Soup always comes before lunch but is never the actual lunch, so you have to make sure to save room for the main course.
- The McDonalds’ here have a meal here called the “Big Tasty” which is basically just a bigger and tastier Big Mac.
- The sound dogs make is not “woof” or “bark”, but “hum hum”.
- The toilets have two buttons for flushing: one big button, one small (I bet you can figure out the rest yourself).
- The people here are absolutely amazing.
The thing that has amazed me the most while being here is the hospitality of all of those who have welcomed us into their homes, church, and lives. Every person I have encountered has gone out of his or her way to make me feel comfortable and loved. Although it is overwhelming to meet dozens of new people, with names that are not very familiar to us, it is a good kind of overwhelming. One that brings hope for strong relationships and joy through the laughter we share. I know it might sound cheesy, but laughter does sound the same in every language (unlike dogs barking).
Last night we had a bonfire with the Romanian leadership team. As we sat around the fire, Dan asked people to share what the relationship between Blackhawk and Open Roads has meant to them, in honor of our ten-year anniversary. Although I am new to this experience and can’t fully grasp how people have been impacted by it all, it sparked excitement in me. I know that everyone experiences this trip differently and that fact scared me coming into the trip. I heard from many people about the phenomenal relationships they have built and their urge to return year after year, and I wondered if I would experience that myself. But each moment that I am here, that fear melts away a bit more.
One of the coolest moments that I have experienced so far was both at the midweek church service and the evening bonfire when we sang songs in both Romanian and English at the same time. To some it might have sounded like a jumble of sounds and words, but even with different languages, the intentions of everyone were the same; lifting their voices to worship God. It gave me chills every time.
We ask that you pray for us to continue having moments like these that encourage us, but also challenge us to grow in our relationship with God and others. Please pray that we are able to build relationships despite the language barrier. And finally, pray that even though all of us will experience this trip differently, that we would be able to see our worth on this team and make the most of each moment.
Shout out to Nikki: yesterday there was a cat and I meowed at it and it came to me and it is now my friend.
Shout out to Malcolm Buisch: Sorry it’s one day late, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY
Shout out to Nicky for having a whole lotta swag
Shout out to Jay: Love you bro <3
Shout out to Movie Soulmate: Morning babe
Shout out to Mom Metzger for the two kinds of Dramamine that I will use on the NEXT bus ride 😉
Shout out to Bria’s mom: She remembered her retainer!/Shoutout to Kip’s mom: He did not…
Shout out to Ali Pollard: We appreciate your extensive comments. However, the leaders have not yet performed the Ziggy Challenge :/
Shout out to the Hershbergers for lending us Hawaiian shirts. They have gone to good use.