Wow. What can I say? It's so hard to believe that this week has flown by and we are heading out tomorrow. I'm ready to get home to hug my family but I'm not ready to leave the wonderful friends I have made this week and the beautiful kids I have grown to care for and love.
Yesterday we had our "goodbyes" with the kids, and it was so tough. One of the older girls I have been with for the past several days couldn't stop hugging me. I told her that she and I were sisters, and her eyes widened as she grabbed me and just started crying. It really broke my heart. She has no one and I've felt called to be her "big sis" and help mentor her. She's 14 and at that age where it would be great to have someone to talk to about life, so I'm excited to be that for her. I bought her an English/Romanian dictionary today at the market because she wanted to start learning English. I'm really excited for her. I also had a young boy named Veirgel who kept showering me with gifts before I left. He gave me a picture of him with a note on the back that read "Veirgel loves you. Jesus is with you. I am always with you." He was one of those boys at the beginning of the week who would help out where needed but kept his distance love-wise from you, but as he and Sanda were walking me to the bus, he grabbed me and sobbed. Those moments break your heart, but God showed his presence, love and comfort through a double rainbow in the sky. It was such an awesome moment.
Tonight, we said our goodbyes to the translators. This was such a difficult moment too because these wonderful individuals have become great, great friends to me...friends that will never be forgotten. So needless to say, there was a lot of crying the past two days, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. This was my first mission trip and first time outside of the States, and I can honestly say that I wouldn't have chosen any other trip. I witnessed God's presence throughout the whole week in the kids, the team members and myself. It has allowed me to grow stronger in my walk and I'm so excited to get back home to show pictures and share stories. Beware those of you who will see those! I have hundreds!! :)