Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Hello to all my friends and family in America. I miss you all. As I sit at this keyboard my mind is a blur of thoughts and emotions, and I'm not quite sure how to sort it all out and put it into words. This is my first trip overseas, so pretty much everything I have seen and experienced over the last few days has been completely new to me. It's very interesting to experience a different culture, but it also leaves you feeling very confused and unsure of yourself most of the time. I don't know what to say, or even have the words to say it, and I don't want to insult someone without even knowing it. All of this makes me feel more than a little lost. However, my own personal feelings of uncertainty and confusion are far less important than the reason that I'm here in the first place. I'm here for the children, not for me. This is a mission trip, not a vacation. The children have really amazed me these first couple of days. In many ways they're just like American children. The love to laugh and play. They tease each other and make jokes. But most of all, like any children, the want to be loved. They want to know that someone cares about them. I kept hearing before I got here that it would not be me who would choose who I interact with. I was told that the children would choose me. That is absolutely true. Without me really doing anything, I have become a part of a small group of boys, all of them around 12 or 13 years old. I have spent most of my time with Augustin, Ion (ee-wan), Nicu (nee-koo), and Petrica. They are all good boys, but each unique in his own way. Augustin is a bit shy and quiet. Ion is very outgoing and rarely stops talking even though I don't understand much of what he's saying. Nicu is sort of the follower of the group, and Petrica just seems happy to be sitting next to me. Petrica is the boy that D'Ann and I sponsor so I'm trying to get to know him, but it's not easy with the language barrier. The translators can only be in so many places at once. But, in spite of our inability to speak much of the same laguage, we manage to communicate more than I might have imagined. It's very early in the week, so I feel like I'm just scratching the surface with these boys right now. But I know that God has brought me to these boys for a reason, and I look forward to discovering what that reason is in the time I have left with them. Pray for me this week. Pray that I will know what it is that God wants me to say and do with these boys. If nothing else, I know that He wants me to love them. And if that's all, then mission accomplished.