Team is Family

Hello everyone, Isabel here! Today was day 3 in Craiova, and I wish I could say it was as eventful as yesterday, but unfortunately there was not another water war. It was a pretty typical morning after a very late night. We got up, we ate breakfast, and went on with our day. After breakfast we had team time, and then we continued preparing for camp, which is believe it or not, is already tomorrow!

I am on program team which is responsible for coming up with fun games and skits to share with the campers. After hard work planning for camp in previous days, there was less to do today. We got to sit outside in the Vieru’s backyard and listen to the worship team practice. Although most of their songs were in another language (Romanian), I got chills listening to them work together. Nikki playing keyboard, Julian playing violin, Ellie humming along to the melody and many Romanians playing instruments and singing. It was amazing to see it all coming together, even though the songs were in Romanian and us Americans could not understand the words.

After lunch, we had an unusually calm afternoon. People actually used “rest time” to rest! We packed our bags for camp and took power naps. We were told by the leaders to be back in the Vieru’s yard by 3:30p, but one thing I’ve learned since being here is that Plans can often change. Turns out we didn’t actually need to be anywhere until 5:30p, but we didn’t leave until 6:15p. I however, found joy in this. This period of “I don’t really know what we should be doing right now time” was used to make friendship bracelets, changing Julian’s glasses cleaner to an electrolyte spray, playing with dog treats, and learning new Romanian words. We have bonded as a team and are excited to start camp as a team closer than we ever have been.

Tonight, we journeyed out into the center of the city to get some Shawarma for dinner. I wish I would tell you what was inside of it but honestly, I have no clue. Every bite was a surprise. Mayo, ketchup, chicken, french fries and many other delicious ingredients all rolled up in a crispy tortilla-like wrap. It wasn’t bad, but it also wasn’t good. It was just confusing. (Editors’ note: Many believe eating Shawarma is significant and most delicious.)

This being my first time on this trip, I was extremely nervous about having to adjust to the new culture. My mind was filled with worries about not being able to build relationships, staying with a host family to feeling far from home. In just this this short time I’ve been here, Ethos has become like home, where we are a family. Romanians and Americans, all coming together as one. God’s presence these past few days has been overwhelming. From every warm hello and joke that is shared I have been able to see God through all of it.

Now we are all about to head to bed to get a good night of sleep before we head to camp tomorrow. Please continue to pray for our team as we transition into the next phase of this trip. I am excited to see what God has planned for the rest of this trip!

Thank you for all the love and support and we continue our journey! We eagerly look forward to what the Lord has in store for us and the campers this coming week.

With love,






To the parental units (of any variety): Guess how many bandaids I’ve used!

To Job: Love ya, man! Thanks for being the bestest little brother ever.

To my friend George: Your vacation seems very fun please send a post card my way.

To Cade’s Mom: I found the ask me shirt thank you very much!

To Katrina Anderson: I miss you! (From Toni K)

To Jake Genyk: My shirt better smell good!

To Jay: I am very glad you got a haircut.

To Grandma Debbie: I am sorry I never napped as a baby, and that I like to take books off the shelf at the library.

To Grace’s mom: There are 29 days in February this year!

To Sarah and Craig Stevens: Here is your shoutout mom and dad. Love you and miss you! See you in a bit.

To Isabel’s mom: I’m glad your interviews went well!

To Kjersten: I miss you and I will send you a letter! (From Ana C.)

To Owen: Don’t forget to feed my fish!

To Mom and Dad: Make sure Owen reads the blog. Love you!

To the cabin crew: Hope you all are having fun! Cade misses you a lot!

To the Metzgers: I miss you all. Hannah, I hope this week of Madison Missions goes well. Mom and dad, have fun with the Moore’s!

12 thoughts on “Team is Family

  1. Isabel it was more fun playing with you than napping and someone else always put the books away…Proud of you and the work you are all doing. Keep sharing His Love! Praying for all of you. Love Gma Debbie

  2. I’m so happy for all of you!!! Praying for camp and for all of the amazing ways God is using this trip!!! Keep spreading joy, smiles, and love!!! Worship sounds amazing and loved all the pictures!!!

  3. Isabel what a beautifully written post. I especially was moved by your explanation of it being your first time there and being worried about connecting with the Romanians , adjusting to the culture, missing home etc. And yet in such a short time you feel like family and you feel God’s presence is all around. How beautiful! Continued prayers for the whole team. And, by the way, I LOVE Schwarma!
    Love in Christ, Francine Ernst

  4. I’m somehow not shocked that you didn’t love Schwarma. 🙂 we love you, kid!

  5. Hooray for pictures! It makes it feel more real for the rest of us on the other side of the world. Camp starts sooooon!!!
    -Kristen Emerson

  6. Isabel- thank you for your beautifully written post. You captured the mood and team spirit for all of us to enjoy. And we loved the pictures. Praying for the whole team and your upcoming camp.

    To our band-aid consuming family member, the numbers are in.

    Paternal unit – 0 (he’s thinking trick question)
    Maternal unit – 5
    older sib – 100 (tho realistically thinking 2)
    (younger sib abstains)

    We love you.

  7. I am glad you found the T-shirt. I figured there was a chance you wouldn’t find it until halfway through the school year. Miss you! Hope you are getting lots of hugs! – Cade’s mom

  8. Thank you for giving a great update. Your words helped capture just a little bit of what the experience must he like for you and the team! The pictures are great too! Praying for a safe trip to camp and Gods overwhelming presence to be felt by all!

  9. Thanks for the great blog Isabel! I can remember Luke feeling just like you did when he was anticipating his first trip last year. But, he too, found quickly that the Romanian people are welcoming and fun! I am glad that you already feel like it is family.

    Hey Lief— HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! Hope you are fed well and feel very loved today! We are grateful you were born!

  10. So wonderful to read about your trip and also see your beautiful, smiling faces. Sounds like God is truly present and working through each of you. It is a humid, hot day here in Madison. Nothing eventful to report other than we miss Ashton a great deal and hope that your trip continues to be all that God intends it to be. Be safe, have fun and find your purpose each and every day….

    Love from Paige (Ashton’s mom)

  11. Ketchup? Mayo? Pickles? Oh my! Sounds like my picky-eating sister may not have eaten much for dinner that night…Ashton, I hope you at least tried a bite and pawned off the rest to Andrew so that you could say you’ve eaten the mysterious shawarma the Romanians love so much. We missed having you here this weekend. Jake filled in for you, but he sure missed you. Your tie-dye looks amazing, and Finn hasn’t broken into your room…yet. Continuing to pray for you all and I’m so excited to see how God uses each and every one of you this week at camp. Get some sleep, get excited and get ready for a week that will change your life!

    Morgan Reed

  12. Lief!!! Happy birthday! I hope you are enjoying your day. I made sure to celebrate for the both of us this weekend! 😆 but I hope you felt loved and appreciated all day today! Thankful for you and your leadership.

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