A Volunteer’s Heart
On an ordinary Sunday at Faith Valley Church of God the pastor told the church about a unique opportunity. Faith Valley was planning a mission trip to Bread of Life Orphanage in Romania, and if anyone wanted to go, please see him after the service. I thought, “How cool would that be? Maybe one day I could do something like that.” Since I was a new Christian and I was afraid to fly over water I did not act on the tug I felt in my heart. Within a couple of weeks, however, I saw God’s providence when pastor Smith approached me. He informed me that a young woman in our church wanted to go to Romania, but because she was the only female they needed another girl for her to be permitted. Before I could stop myself, I told him I would go. In the months that followed, I would go between the terror of the unknown and the excitement of new opportunities.
In March of 2015, a team of five from Faith Valley boarded a plane and headed to Bucharest. When we arrived, a team including Alin and Mr. Adi greeted us. Like gracious hosts they took care of all our needs. I couldn’t tell you all the places that we went, but I will never forget what I witnessed: Love. I saw love being what it supposed to be: something you put into action. I saw the faces of children light up with gratitude as they received a hot meal prepared for them by women; women that gave up time they could be caring for their families I saw men bringing supplies to those that needed them so desperately. Teens in the Youth Transition Program worked to organize and distribute donations so that multiple places received helped. A few of the girls from the program came to help us navigate through the day. I saw hearts of servants in all the people working for BOL. They weren’t just serving people; they were serving God. One family spent the whole day preparing a meal for our arrival. It was delicious and probably cost them a hefty portion of their salary. With joyful hearts, they gave without asking for anything in return.
We finally made it up to the Orphanage. What a lively, happy bunch! I don’t think I’ve ever been hugged that much before. We put a fresh coat of paint on the dining hall walls. While Ethan and my father were put to work making pizza, Kelsei and I sang a song for the children. We laughed with and most importantly prayed for the children. We rode along with the older boys making food deliveries on their bicycles to the elderly in the village and even helped chop wood.
We left Romania nine days after we arrived. The last night was somber for me. I was satisfied with the work we had done; I thanked God for this marvelous opportunity yet; something wasn’t right to me. I didn’t feel ready to go home. The year after I returned I was extremely busy but I still wanted to return to Romania, to help more. I shared this burden with my Pastor and his wife. When Alin visited our church soon thereafter, I was elated! I was afraid to ask how I could help but I was told they needed and English teacher. I spent a week praying about nothing but my decision. I received confirmation on a Sunday. I stood at the altar praying with my mother and grandmother at my side. All three of us at the same time felt the warmth of the Holy Spirit and the peace of knowing that God had called me to this. I answered, “ I will go.”
In January I returned to the Bread of Life Orphanage to help the children with their English lessons. While there I have found good friends in Ana, Gabi, and Alin who always made sure that I have what I need. Their selflessness is something that you only acquire when you fully understand the call of serving others. I know without a shadow of a doubt that Bread of Life is part of God’s promise to these children. I can’t wait to see what the future holds with the hope given to these children through the staff and supporters.