A couple weeks ago I went to Romania with 7 other site leaders and the rest of the Service Project team, including the American missionaries living in Romania we team up who make this trip possible (they help translate and build relationships with those we are asking to let us come to their school and help). We went to go check out our sites for the high school Service Project this summer. Being a site leader means I build my own team of contractors who lead the playground construction, relational ministry leaders who lead the Vacation Bible School, and a medic. I will facilitate which group does what on each day, and be on call to solve issues, make sure everything gets done, and set up my team for success with high school students as they in turn serve Romanian children. We spent a day driving there and 2 days stopping at all the sites. We also visited two malls.
One of the most poignant pictures of Romania I’ll remember from that trip is going to one of the biggest, most expensive American-style malls I’ve ever been to, and then driving just down the street past the town dump where people actually lived in little huts on top of the trash pile and you could see children running around playing in and rooting through the trash…I didn’t get a chance to snap a picture of it, but the picture in my head will last a long time.
Here’s what we did when we reached the town where Josiah and I are site leaders. First, we went to visit the mayor. Not much was said in English, the only thing I took from the conversation with our translators was that he was supportive, but there could possibly be a different mayor after elections in the summer! Hopefully he stays in his position. Here’s the mayor’s building, crazy huh?
Then we met with the principal of the elementary school (my site) and high school (Josiah’s site). She seemed skeptical of us because of the fact that we were offering something for free. She seemed to be waiting for the catch and was very cautious. I can’t wait to show her that it really is free, and it’s free because in some small way, we want to offer Jesus’ unconditional love this coming June to the people of Romania.
Here’s what the elementary school looks like:
The town we are in has a few places to eat, a grocery store, and a bank. It also has dirt roads, horses and carts, and other things that indicate Romania is still way less developed than you’d expect in 2012. Josiah’s site will be right across the street from us. We are only 5 minutes from camp, which is a blessing after last year riding a bus for an hour each way to our site every day (on very bumpy roads…not good for someone who gets carsick..aka me).
So excited to bring over some good friends and family to be part of my site this summer…and honored to lead a team to do something like this that will hopefully impact both a Romanian town and an American high school for Christ.