Ok, so I never really know how to start these things off...I've gone through a bunch of openers in my head, including the oh so common "hello from Moldova," the informational "Salut to everyone back home (for those of you who don't know Romanian, salut means hello)" and the mind easing "We made it!" for you parents back home, but I didn't find any of those to be satisfactory so I guess I'll just start with I'M BACK!!!!!!
Now, by the intro to this blog I'm sure that you can all tell that my blogging is more of a stream of consciousness type of deal than a super eloquent and well organized breakdown of the trip so far, so buckle your seatbelts, this could be a bumpy (yet hopefully somewhat entertaining) ride, much like our journey out to the orphanage today!
A quick rundown of my thoughts so far:
1. This team is amazing, I am so blessed to have the opportunity to serve with each of them! Today was the first day in an orphanage in Moldova for all of them (except for Sarah) and they handled it like pros. Seriously. It was so awesome to be able to step back and watch them all just dive into the whole experience and by the end of the day everyone had clusters of kids surrounding them and following them wherever they went, right up to the door of the van when we had to leave for the day! I've said this time and time again, but I'm going to say it again: the language of love is universal. Even though our knowledge of Romanian is minimal (for Dean it's pretty much non-existant) our love for them translates, and let me tell you what: the hearts of the people on this team are some of the biggest I've ever seen!
2. I love Moldova.
3. The kids in Straseni are ADORABLE. It is so fun to be back and get to see many of the precious faces that I remember from my trip to this orphanage 2 years ago! Seeing them again has really made me realize just how much I have missed them all of this time that we have been apart! There are also a bunch of new faces that I am anxious to get to know so I plan to make the most of every second I have with them this week!
4. Our translators are the best. The way that they are so willing to help with whatever we need them for is just amazing. They are not just translators on these trips, they are also bed builders, bed movers, bed makers, and most importantly, they are our friends and I love each of them.
5. I love Moldova.
6. Our cook for the week, Lilia, should have her own cooking show. Paula Dean and Rachel Ray need to watch out. Her food is SO delicious and there are literally no words to describe how excellent her mashed potatoes are. Every time she comes in and sets something on the table I do a mini celebration dance in my chair because I know how great it's going to taste.
7. Thank goodness Moldova doesn't have cicadas...good luck with those, by the way.
8. I got to talk to 3 girls who received new beds today and hear them say how they are so excited to be able to have "sweet sleep" tonight and every night from now on because their old beds were uncomfortable and gave them back aches every night and also how beautiful they think the beds and the pink princess pattern that is on all of the bedding are. It was so amazing to get to see their faces light up when I was telling them about why we were giving them the beds and that it was so that they could have good rest and not ache anymore, like they said, but it was also because we love them and God loves them and every time they are wrapped up in their sheets, that is like a big hug from God. Then I got to sit in their room and pray over each bed and for the girl that would be sleeping there every night. That is always such a special time and I am so glad that I got the opportunity to do that today!
I am just SO excited to be back in Moldova, there are not even words to describe how much I love this place and the people in it! I have been using the phrase "home sweet Moldova" a lot recently and that's exactly what this place feels like to me. Home. Whenever I think about home, I think about a place full of people that I love and who love me back just the same, a place where I can let loose and just be myself without any need to impress anyone, and a place to learn and grow. That is exactly what I have here and I am so blessed to be able to keep coming back!
Hugs to everyone back at my other home! I love you all!