As craziness has begun to settle around the Wolff Household, I have finally been able to sit down and process the experiences that I had while in Romania. There are so many stories I could tell about this trip, and this one was probably one of my favorite moments from my time over seas.
The city we spent the most time in is called Serverin. During our second day of ministry, we served at our host missionary’s church: painting rooms in their family home, playing games with kids at the church’s carnival, and attending the evening church service. It had been a very eventful day, including:
*Learning that Logan isn’t the greatest painter ever
*Eating baked Chocolate Banana Boats (the best dessert ever invented)
*Watching Alishia get painted by two very artistic kiddos
*Hearing a mandolin orchestra play worship songs
* Getting to share bible stories with the help of very awesome translators (shout out to Sammy who helped me, even when I said Lazarus raised Jesus from the dead)
Thanks for translating, Sammy!
After the church service, we got ready to load the bus to head into the city for dinner before going back to our hotel. I ran to the bathroom to change into different clothes, where I saw two girls, Dariah and Ava, washing their faces off. They were big fans of the face paint (and were the two that had painted Alishia). Before I could slip into one of the stalls, Dariah came up to me, holding one of the face painting pallets. Not knowing any English, she pointed to her cheek. I quickly painted a heart, with Ava leaning over my shoulder to see what I was doing. Once I finished my work, I pointed to the mirror and gave her a thumbs-up to get her approval.
Ava and Dariah
To my slight disappointment, she shook her head. She then pointed to her forehead, nose, chin, and other cheek, and Ava laughed and laughed. One heart was not good enough, no sir! You have to have five to complete the look! As I was finishing my masterpiece, some of my friends went in and out, trying to stifle laughs at the ridiculous sight of me face-painting in a church bathroom, but I was having fun, and so were the girls (even though I really wanted to change my jeans and had to go).
Once Dariah was done, she pulled Ava in front of me, and pointed to all five spots on her face again. I did the same paint job, and afterwords, she ran out of the bathroom, looking for her mother. Dariah stayed behind though, and pointed to my wrist. I have a habit of drawing a little cross on my wrist; it’s a tattoo I want to get someday. She said the word for “Christ” in Romanian, and used some of the green face paint to add a tint of color over it. She then tried to draw a few lines on my palm with the green, but it wasn’t showing up very well. I took my black pen out of my pocket and handed it to her. After redirecting her from drawing on my face, she drew a little snowflake on my wrist, saying “Elsa” once she was done. Frozen creates international connections. I hugged her goodbye and joined my group on the bus, treasuring that special time.
Ava ran off before I got a good selfie with the two of them 😛
While sitting on the bus on the way to get dinner, I thought about how special kids are. It’s amazing to get to connect with kids, especially in a different country where you can’t even understand their language. It was almost shocking to me how trusting they were of us. They had never met us. They had no idea what our lives were like. They had no reason to love us. But they did. Oh my goodness, these kids knew how to love. It was like how God loves us. We gave God absolutely no reason to love us. In fact, we were His enemy. But because of His amazing love, He sent Jesus to build a bridge for us to be able to live in His perfect love. This trip made me better understand the unconditional love that God has for us, and to be able to see the attribute of God being reflected through the people we met was life changing.
Our team went to try and be a blessing to the people of Romania, but in truth, I feel like they were more of a blessing to us. I’m so thankful for the huge moments that God revealed Himself, and for the little, precious memories that I will keep in my heart forever. And, in case you were wondering, no, I never did get a chance to change my jeans 😛
My cross, Dariah’s snowflake, and a leftover Batman symbol. Reminders of a great day in Severin 🙂
Until Next Time,