Happy To Be Back At The Orphanage
As I write this it is a Friday night in Broşteni and I am settling down after my first week back teaching English at Bread of Life. I’ve noticed ways this and last year reflect one another, yet are still very different seasons.
One similarity is that I am once again sitting down to write an article in an attempt to convey the magnitude of the emotions and thoughts I have in a small space. This is my third time here, and what has changed is me. God blessed me with the opportunity to experience both short and long-term mission trips here. I loved how fun and exhilarating the short trip was. It was passion! We poured our hearts into ministering at a pace that we would not have been able to maintain if we stayed longer than we did. It was completely worth it, and I think part of me fell in love with that feeling.
My second visit was something I did not expect. I noticed shortly after my arrival that I was trying to do what I did before. I wanted to spend as much time as I could with the children, along with preparing/teaching lessons, learning a new language, staying prayed up, studying the Bible, starting a mentoring program and anything that seemed like it would benefit the children spiritually, along with getting a visa, adjusting to the time change and the slight culture shock. This was a pace I couldn’t maintain I felt the effects of being over extended at times. We all experience times of difficulties and being at the orphanage did not exempt me from that. Many things occurred that interrupted the lessons. It was hard. I could feel the strain the staff felt as they worked to do what was best for all the children.
When I went home in May I had time to process everything I had witnessed during my 4 months here. This is what I learned:
The visitors that come and the staff here are essential to the spiritual, emotional, and educational development of these children. Like the Church, they each have a different function, but one without the other would be incomplete.
These children need the free and energetic bursts of love that the visitors who come for a few hours, a few days, or a week bring. I loved being a part of the excitement and am thankful to have experienced that side of this commitment.
Now, I am learning what the other side of commitment is like. I feel like a staff member in the most amazing way. I spend my days writing English lessons for the children in both languages and assisting in English homework. I pray it works so they have a better shot at employment, and when other English-speaking missionaries come they can bond quickly in those bursts of love. I’ve had to learn to be accessible, in equal parts, to all the children. Most importantly, to take it day by day and let the Holy Spirit direct me with His knowledge to understand what each child needs.
Every day I am here, I see the product of faith, love, and commitment. I see continual use of imperfect people from all over by our perfect God to bring a hope and future to these children. I see the steadfast hand of our Father in every season. He provides the foundation these children stand on with the people here and the financial support from sponsors. He then brings them waves of love and encouragement through the mission teams that come. It is beautiful.