I do my best thinking when I’m rested. In college I much preferred getting a good night’s rest and then studying in the morning. Therefore I ask that you forgive me in advance if this trip reflection doesn’t make perfect sense. I’m writing during my last leg of the trip home on very little sleep. However, so many wonderful memories and thoughts are flooding my mind.
I could best sum this 10 day trip up in two words: INSPIRATIONAL and GRATITUDE. God did amazing things on this trip; things my simple mind was not even capable of dreaming before our departure. We do so much planning and preparing for our trips but it is hard to plan for a miracle. God took 41 Americans from all walks for life and combined them with 19 Romanians to make one of the best, if not the best, teams I’ve ever worked with. He used each person in a mighty, mighty way.
Upon our arrival the House of Joy community center was nothing more than a dream, a partial foundation, and a pile of rocks. By Saturday night we were able to host a community wide celebration “Texas style” with 250 guests on a solid concrete foundation with the first floor being 70% complete. Just three weeks ago Ovidiu feared we would not be able to do anything because of three weeks of continuous rain. Yet perfect weather and hard work eased all our fears. Only those in attendance will truly believe the efficiency our construction team worked. You would have had to see the progress to truly believe the miracle. I want to take a second to say thank you to Nathan, Stan, Jay, Danny, Dale, Mike, Darrell, Tim, Don, Greg, Kevin, and John for their long, hard hours this past week. You started an hour before the rest of our team and you worked several hours after everyone else in the blazing heat. For those of you that completed your jobs and joined the construction team in the afternoon to lend a helping hand thank you for your sacrifice as well. Your work has laid the foundation, both literally and spiritually, for thousands of lives to be changed. Before the first brick was laid, I snuck over to a corner of the foundation and wrote “Pioneer Drive.” I think this is a warranted tribute for the work you have started.
For the orphanage team, I truly cannot express how grateful I am for your hard work. Thank you to Meredith, Brooke, Chad, Heather, Paula, Judy, Alexa, Tim, Alex, D’Leesa, Barbara, Jackie, Kylie, Angela, and Elya. Many of you reading have worked in orphanages before; therefore you know the changes that take place over five days. I appreciate the flexibility with which this team worked. Many plans were changed; however, I saw so many smiling faces our last day. As I delivered the humanitarian aid to the director he confirmed what I saw by extending an open invitation to return. Lives were changed. Seeds were planted. I know of two that were impacted for eternity. A special thank you to Delia for opening the door to allow us to work with these children. Thank you for the foundation you have laid and the follow-up you will continue.
Very few of you have travelled to Susani. This is one of those places you have to be going! You don’t just stumble upon it! However, this village has become a place of hope for 2,800 kids that live within a 25 mile radius. Thank you to our VBS team for building upon this foundation that Ovidiu and his team have paved. Thank you to Chelsea, Brian, Annelle, Jimmy, Morgan, Payson, Tracy, Krisi, Erin, Lacy, Patsy, and Nelson for all your hard work. A special thank you to Adina for opening her home to our team and allowing us to serve out of it. The children obviously had a blast the entire week, otherwise they would not have returned for our party Saturday night and brought friends and parents with them. One would have to observe the children eagerly waiting for the van to pick them up each day to understand how much these children get out of these events. I think the record this week was 39 kids in one van!
I didn’t intend on this being a blog of thanks, but how can you reflect on a successful trip without saying thank you? With that said I want to say a special thank you to Pastor Stan Alcorn for joining our team. What a testimony to have the senior pastor on your trip. Personally, I want to say thank you to Stan and Pioneer Drive for taking a chance on a young guy (somewhat young I guess) with absolutely no infrastructure in place but a heart for a country. You could have travelled with hundreds of others but you took a chance on me. I will never be able to repay you for this trust. Thank you to our numerous translators. Many of them took time away from school and other special events to join our team. You are a testimony to the work Ovidiu and Adina have done over the past five years. Thank you to Alex Hyde for spending the past five months in Romania assisting me in making all the preparations for this trip. Thank you to Nathan Adams for working with me on this side of the ocean. Thank you to Gigel for helping us in so many ways, especially for opening your center to our team so we would have a comfortable place to stay. Thank you to my best friend Todd Long for accompanying me on this trip. I could not have done it without you. Thank you to my father (Nelson) for going as well. Your support means so much. I never would have even heard of Romania if it were not for you. Most of all thank you to Ovidiu, Adina, Alex, and Ruben for what you did before our arrival, what you did during our time in Romania, and the follow-up you will do after our departure. Ovidiu you've inspired so many people, me included. I'm honored to work with you. I'm honored to call you my friend. I'm honored to call you my ministry partner. May God bless the future of this ministry.
Now we move on to the next chapter. I just wish I knew what it was. God obviously has many great plans for the future. We will be sorting through many of these plans the next few months. I hope each of you will join us as we follow His lead. If you want to know more shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Blessings. Aspire to new heights!
5 days ago