Sunday, July 8, 2012

Two Months in Romania

Two months in Romania!                                                                                          

My last month in Romania is beginning and my time at RCE’s Sunshine school has come to an end. I said goodbye to all of my students and coworkers July 7th and I already miss the smiling faces of the children I’ve been so fortunate to have spent the past two months with.

Finger painting with my class!
Music time with the Kids
While working at the Sunshine school I was able to learn more about the dynamics of disabilities and what I can do to help progress independence for people who have special needs.  I learned how to sing Romanian children’s songs and how to teach an Autistic child to finger paint. I’ve learned to play hop-scotch, draw every animal imaginable with side-walk chalk, and I’ve learned how important a stable routine can be. Most importantly I’ve learned about love. I held those children and for the first time in my life I could feel how deep God’s love for His children is. Every child’s smile, laugh, and even their disabilities are all so different. As I got to know their personalities, their food preferences, and even the height in which they preferred to swing at, I also became more familiar with how beautifully God designed each of us to be.
Psalm’s 139:14 “Fearfully and wonderfully made” is the phrase that comes to mind when the children looked at me with their smiling eyes.

It’s funny how God works- how he called a woman that lacked compassion, has zero patience and little sensitivity to a field that requires the maximum amount of those qualities. Every day I’ve spent in the presence of my clients at home and the children I’ve met here in Romania, I could feel those qualities grow in me. And now as I have finished my last week at RCE, I feel as though these precious children taught me more than I could ever have instilled into them.

God did not send me to change Romania, He sent me here to be changed by Romania. When I go home in 29 days, “changed” won’t cover the amount of impact my heart and soul feels.

18th Century Cathedral
Castle Ruins
My last week working at RCE was extra special as almost 70 Americans flew into Romania to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of RCE and all the miracles God has used this amazing organization to make happen.  Each day of my last week was filled making incredible memories with the other Americans. We were able to meet a family of 15 that with RCE’s help, has just finished building a home to fit their whole family in and a business to support themselves with. We hiked up an intense mile incline to the ruins of a 13-century castle, toured an 18-century cathedral, and celebrated the 4th of July with one another and our Romanian friends. At the end of the week a banquet hall was filled with 900 people celebrating the love, miracles, and mercies of the incredible work that RCE has done over the past 20 years.

20th Anniversery Dinner
I am so proud that I was able to work with RCE these past two months. The more I learn about the organization, it’s history, it’s love for all of God’s children, and it’s passion for assisting those in need, the more confident I am in God’s calling on my life and the work I will be able to do through Him for His glory. I am excited to bring these passions, experiences, and inspirations home with me- not to look back at fondly, but to implement into my daily life.

Now that the other Americans have left and school is over, I will spend my last month here in Romania in summer camps as a camp counselor. I will get to meet more children and spend some more time in this beautiful culture before returning home.

Center-city by day
Center-city by night
I spent this weekend preparing to leave for the village that camp will be held at. Part of this preparation included the relaxation of visiting a sunflower field and watching the nightly music and light show at the center-city fountains.
It’s these small beauties that I will miss when I return home.

I also spent a large amount of time catching up on my devotions and bible studies.  Something I have been struggling with in knowing that my time is coming to an end is the “what-ifs”. What if I didn’t fulfill the whole purpose for God sending me here? What if I forgot to teach someone something? What if I didn’t leave the best impression? And what will I do with all of my new overwhelming convictions, passions, and beliefs once I return home?!

While reading my daily devotion this morning, I came across Matthew 6:33-34.

“Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.”

When I reread that scripture, I was reminded how I should live my life without worry or concern. If I am living a life full of God-reality, God-initiative, and God-provisions, then I don’t have to worry about missing out. All of my everyday human concerns will be met, and God will continue to lead me through the next step without me planning it for Him.

Tomorrow begins three weeks’ worth of camp and a week of preparation to come home. I ask that you pray with me that I will continue to focus more on the opportunities my time left in Romania will give me, and less worrying about what I will do with them once I am home. Though my time at the Sunshine school is over, my purpose for being here is not and I will need your prayers and encouragement to remind me that every day in Romania is a blessing and can be used for God’s glory.

Thank you for your constant support and love, I can’t wait to share my experiences with your families and churches once I am home.

Love,Madalyn Payge <3