Three years ago, God introduced me to life as a short-term missionary in Romania. The simplest way to put it is this- through my experience with these kids, God revealed to me the joy in fearlessly following His calling for my life.

The greatest thing I have learned from these trips is that God knows the desires of my heart way better than I ever will. He has plans for you and me in accordance with the desires of our hearts. He places these desires inside of us, and He will fulfill them and give us joy through these things. Choosing to go to Romania was based on prayer and a tug on my heart that was undeniably God revealing this desire to me. Had I not followed this calling, I would have missed out on the best thing that I have ever experienced.

Through these trips, I have built the most meaningful relationships with the most precious kids. I have experienced how to serve and love them well. Most importantly, I have seen God’s hand in the ministry of Heart 2 Heart, and how through His people, God is changing lives of orphans in Romania. As of now, I know that Romania is meant to be a part of my life for a long time, and I can’t wait to go back. When you’re in Romania, you step into these kids’ lives and they are open and vulnerable to love you and pull you close. When you pull up to the orphanage, they come running down the path yelling, “Americanii! Americanii!”

One girl, Isabella spoke of how her caretaker once asked her what the Americans give them that the Romanians don’t. Her response was simply, “Love.” That’s really all it is. You get to experience the beauty of relationships built on so much more than conversation. There are translators available sometimes, but there is such beauty in the way that Christ’s love will fill in all of the blanks. I can tell you that my relationships with these kids are hands down the deepest form of love I have ever experienced (aside from the love of Jesus). Some of these kids I love as if they are my own, and this is why I will return again and again. I believe in H2H’s mission, and I’ve seen God’s work in Romania. It really has changed my life.

Grace Church is partnering with Heart 2 Heart for a mission trip to Romania in June of 2018. For information on this trip, email nathanh@gracechurchreno.org or attend the info meeting on Sunday, Jan 28 at 1pm in Student Center.

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