“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9
There is no way for me to sum up my experience in Romania in one blog post, so I won’t even try. Loving friends and family keep asking me “How was Romania?” I try to respond with something like “It was incredible.” It’s a start, but that doesn’t even begin to explain it.
I want to share one thing that God kept speaking to me over and over again while I was over there. I’ve always known that “I am not the hero,” that I should not be patting myself on the back for the mission work I do, and that it was never about my abilities. But in Romania God really knocked me down and SHOWED me.
Since my first day there, God put a heaviness over me that I don’t think will ever leave me. He allowed me to understand just a tiny fraction of the Gypsy situation in Tarnaveni–and it is overwhelming. This is the first time I can say “my heart bleeds” and really know what I am saying. To know that these smiling and laughing kids just got out of a bed they shared with sometimes 8 other people, got their only meal they will eat that day at the center, and will go “home” to an environment of smoking, alcohol, and theft, broke my heart. It was a bittersweet time with these kids.
I felt utterly powerless and completely inadequate for a lot of my time there. There was a day I actually got teary eyed in the middle of craft time because I was so frustrated that I couldn’t speak Romanian. God was teaching me to let Him speak.
To have a realistic understanding of the immensity of the problem, is to know realistically how hard it is to solve; even worse, as an English speaking white girl from Rochester, NY, it is to realistically know how little there is that I can do. Turns out it was never about me. It is a great problem that is in the hands of a great God. He is calling me to trust that He knows what He is doing. And honestly, it’s hard. Because it is just not fair from where I see it.
I did not go to “fix” Romania. But I believe the small part of it that God used me to touch, matters. I believe God uses us to do small acts of love everyday and they all matter.
This song says “God put a million million doors in the world for His love to walk through; one of those doors is you.” I am so grateful that I was able to be an instrument for His purposes alongside the Buckner Romania organization. God’s presence was real among the brokenness, and my heart will always be there. And I have been humbled because now I understand in a new way why we call ourselves instruments–for we are nothing without the One using us.