Tuesday March 6th was our second to last day in Romania. That morning we were headed to spend time at a women’s rehab facility. Miheala had asked me earlier in the weekend if I would share my testimony again. Early that morning I went to pray and spend time preparing my heart and I was in a total fog. I can’t explain it – it was really strange. Annetta came upstairs and walked into the room and immediately shared with the others they needed to gather around me and pray – she didn’t know I was experiencing this mental fog but God knew I needed my sisters to rally around me and pray. We sang worship songs on the way and when we arrived I still felt very oddly foggy.
It came time to share my testimony and I prayed under my breath at each translation break. Asking that God would help me focus and share and speak what details He desired for me to share… I learned later that He had allowed me to speak with a clarity that I did not hear within my own mind… Because inside my mind it was muddy…sticky…difficult, like thick tar… I shared some new details and “secrets” I hadn’t previously shared and I also pointed everything back to the redemptive power of Jesus my King. I shared of the restoration and the true joy He gives. I shared of the life His water gives when we turn from our poisonous wells and seek to quench our longing with His “water.” And then Mihaela asked me to sing.
I had only planned to play a song called Clean by Natalie Grant but when Mihaela asked me to sing I knew immediately I was to sing No Longer Slaves by Bethel.
And I knew immediately to go to the back of the room and as I sang I raised my arms and hands high as though singing a proclamation of freedom over that house –
I’M NO LONGER A SLAVE TO FEAR – I AM A CHILD OF GOD!
I AM SURROUNDED, BY THE ARMS OF THE FATHER. I AM SURROUNDED BY SONGS OF DELIVERANCE. WE’VE BEEN LIBERATED FROM OUR BONDAGE WE’RE THE SONS AND THE DAUGHTERS LET US SING OUR FREEDOM!
His Spirit filled that room and touched those women. Tears were falling, hearts were moved. It was beautiful… I took no pictures but their beautiful faces and the echo of their tears are etched within my memory and for that I am so deeply grateful. Billie had a word for one of the women that hit her so deep but in such a precious, Holy Spirit led way. Those beautiful women that Jesus loves so deeply… I pray they embrace the love and freedom He has for them…
That afternoon we had the incredible opportunity to spend time with Anca & Maria at a foster home. They are wonderful women and are showing such love and care to the children that have been placed with them. Out of respect for Anca and the children I will not be posting pictures of them here but I will post a couple that don’t have their faces in them. It was so fun playing with them, praying for them, and being silly with them. They realized quickly we were kind and there to have fun and so they embraced us. One sweet girl held me so tight I almost started crying – but I kept my wits about me since I didn’t want to scare her – ha! We played games with them, they did dance routines for us because that’s something the 2 older girls LOVED doing haha and they built things with legos we brought them also. And I downloaded Snapchat to see if they liked seeing the filters on them and – I kid you not – those kids knew how to use that better than I did! hahaha!! So funny! I have some precious photos and videos (& snaps) from that beautiful day and I will cherish them always.
Next we had more Romanian fast food. I can’t remember the name of the place but it had a very happy smiley on the sign. Here’s my dinner: more mamaliga & sausage! YUM!
Never fear – I gave the gluten away 🙂
One other really special thing happened on Tuesday…While we were at Anca’s, our friends Adi & Elena came to bring us a gift. Elena had brought us each 2 of her grandmother’s handmade doilies!! Her grandmother is the reason she knows Jesus as her Lord and savior – one of our ladies had led her husband in the prayer of salvation just a few days earlier and so she wanted us to have a piece of her heritage by giving us something her grandmother had made by hand. Wow!! The generosity of the people here astounds me. I’m absolutely humbled to know these beautiful people and love them inexplicably. Just a few nights earlier (Sunday night) another sweet friend (Adina) and her husband (Flavius) came to bring us a special gift also. Her parents make pottery for a living and she brought us each 2 pieces of this gorgeous handmade pottery as a gift!! SO kind! We had asked multiple times if we could buy some so she even had extra sent to her via bus so we could buy it too!! We made certain to buy every extra piece so we could bless her family.
Wednesday March 8th was our last day in Romania! Wow! I can’t believe it came SO QUICKLY. It started with another fun breakfast at AMEC. This time it was a dill omelet – I could’ve eaten that every day – SO GOOD. Here are some photos of the place we had a lovely breakfast of cucumbers, tomatoes, cold cuts, various eggs, etc. – AMEC:
We had the opportunity to go into the Center that morning and visit Dana, one of our OSCES friends who works at neat coffee shop. I had the opportunity to eat at Super Mamma one more time! (Romanian Fast Food) and get to know Stephanie a little more. While some stayed at the church finishing up the art project in the children’s area the rest of us went to METRO to pick up food for preparing dinner for the homeless shelter that night. We chopped and chopped and prepped and then had the opportunity to feast on the stew Michael had prepared. So good! We also enjoyed some eggplant spread that Mihaela had made that was delicious! We ate so much of it and enjoyed it so much that Adi went and got more from his house for us to eat. HAHA!! Again, their generosity blows me away!
(random, the last 2 pictures were from a public toilet in the center. I found it interesting that she’s behind glass like we were at a bank! And….yes…she measures out your TP for you before you go….Hope you asked for enough) 😉
Okay…okay…back to ministry stuff: upon finishing up the food, we had the opportunity to see the living room area where the church used to meet. Wow!! God has done big things for Michael & Mihaela’s church and greater days are still yet to come! We then went to the homeless shelter and provided dinner, sang Our God as a group, and chatted with folks there. We had brought socks and items to bless the men and women there and had prepared them in bundled packages to give away. They were very grateful for the toiletries, scarves, hats, socks, etc. They were also grateful for the dinner. We had more than enough and it was an honor to share with them.
Something really cool from earlier that day was that Michael explained the variety of stuff that we had been involved in. He explained that everything we had done was connected to a ministry someone in the church was connected to and had their hearts in. So we had the honor and privilege of coming alongside these folks and serving with them and loving those they love and it was awesome!! From the foster home to the homeless shelter to the women’s rehab facility to the radio station and on and on and on. Wow! God is doing big things in Romania through Michael’s church. I pray He continue to rise up people whom are ready to go and be His hands and feet and heart!
Some of us were crazy enough to stay up ALL NIGHT LONG on Wednesday night, haha!! We knew we were leaving at 4 am to fly home and this would help with the transition and fend off jet lag. There was a midnight Romanian pizza delivery, a lot of silliness and laughter, some coffee, and some that dropped like flies but 3 remained strong: Addie, Tinsley, & I made it the whole night. We were deliriously tired but knew that would help us on the planes…
Thursday morning (March 9th) at 5 am we arrived at the airport to head back to the US. Our precious friend Magda had changed her shift at the airport to be able to be there and say goodbye. She helped us get checked in and then gave us hugs as we boarded the plane. I was blessed enough to have accidentally gotten outside before they realized it wasn’t boarding time yet so I was able to spend a few extra moments with Magda and steal a photo:
On the planes I was able to get the gluten free food I had requested and it was actually really good:
Our flights were relatively uneventful – unless you count that last connection where we literally RAN through the MASSIVE airport like that scene from Home Alone where we are about to miss our plane and then thankfully make it and get settled and breathe because we know the next stop is ATL. Phew – I was SO glad I wore layers :).
There were other adventures and fun moments but this is getting longer than I typically allow…better wrap it up. Thank you for following our journey. We are already planning for our trip back and until then I will pray for my new friends and stay connected thanks to the beautiful world of technology. Until then, te iubesc my Romanian friends!
Love in Christ,
PS – If you would like to know how you can partner with the Gravitts and the incredible ministry they are doing in Romania – please let me know and I can get your contact info to them. I can get you added to their newsletters that go out. If you’d like to bless their ministry with a financial gift, please feel free to do that via our church’s website, here:
http://www.thecitychurch.cc/giving-1/ (indicate it’s for the Gravitt’s when the field comes up to select what you are giving to). Blessings!!!