Romania Mission trip
the last week of July, 2007, I was more than blessed to be a part
of a team of people representing GAP Youth Training Services that
went to Targu-Mures, Romania to partner with Livada Orphan Care.
Livada supports orphans, orphan group homes, and currently orphanages
in the city through in-town and out-of-town camps, child sponsorship,
trips, and Christian education and they do it well. I was very impressed
by Livada in its organization, detail oriented service, and general
love of the orphans. I’ve worked with many ministry organizations
and found Livada to be one of the very best. GAP is well positioned
in being a partner with this great ministry.
believe it would be fair to say that all of the GAP team had great
experiences on this trip and came away with the knowledge that we
were able to make a big, positive difference a country that is still
defining itself being a free state for not quite twenty years as
yet. I feel compelled to be a part of this work next time. I was
even asked specifically to come back by some of the teens and caretakers
that understand the process. Assuming that happens I hope to build
in some purposed free time that will allow for some touring of the
country and getting to know the people and culture much better.
The language itself doesn’t seem that hard to learn, so, that
will help in better communications in the future.
found a people victims of a suppressive government system wrought
with corruption and certainly inadequate social health care for
the orphanages we visited. It seems obvious that the group homes
(casas) that we worked in were a clearly better way of caring for
the orphans of that area. I found the ‘mommas’ and ‘pappas’
that were the legal guardians of the children/teens in these homes
to be loving and enjoyable people. It takes an especially gifted
person to care for people in this way as well as they do. I hope
to find a way to bless these homes in ways that will benefit them
for what exactly it is they need in each home.
the first full day there which was a Sunday, we attended a church
service that was held in a building that doubled as an old movie
theatre. The crowd consisted of mostly college aged people and 20-30
year old leaders. There was a great time of singing and worship,
a generous time for a lesson from a minister all the while a translator
echoed what was being talked about in English. I learned some new
songs in Romanian too. Later, we went to an orphanage that was run
in an old castle on my birthday which was July 22, 2007. There were
children and teens all ready to play and laugh with us. I even was
sung to in English, Romanian, and Hungarian ‘happy birthday’
once they found out about it. That was certainly a first.
time with the babies in the hospital in a nearby town was certainly
a fun time. It was sad to hear the story of how poorly they were
cared for and how badly the hospital was run. Many things could
have been improved in baby health care but I went with my buddy
Michael to simply love them. We teamed up with Heather and Ioana
who were clearly a part of this work to share the love within them
too. We played, held and talked with the kids and babies there on
Monday. Others from the GAP team went over the rest of the week’s
days to continue to love and just be with these sweet children.
remaining days of the week the GAP team and I spent with the teen
girls in the morning and the teen guys in the afternoon. We played
ball, talked as best we could about whatever, spent time memorizing
Bible verses in Romanian, had a little VBS time, got a little food
here and there, played in open fields some games or ran obstacle
courses, and even spent Friday and Saturday at a water park called
The Weekend. At the water park we played on a water slide, swam
and jumped around in the water, and even played in a huge sandbox
building sandcastles or burying volunteers…minus their heads,
held a cookout for us on Saturday night which consisted of most
of their staff and volunteers, a team of people we had roomed with
from Dallas, and our team. We had hot dogs Romanian style and enjoyed
a fairly cool evening compared to the hot days and nights of earlier
in the week. The Livada leaders like Kelly, Bruce, and Brian were
amazing and good people to be with. Our main translator Tina was
excellent in her job and heart to be with the orphans and our team.
theme of Livada for the summer’s work was “Mission Possible”.
For me it was mission accomplished in our time there. Those who
financially invested in this work and the future of these people
can consider their investment sound and worthwhile. I plan to sponsor
at least one child and will seek to find other ways I can help Livada
further their work even to other countries. I felt called to this
work and perhaps hear God’s voice tell me I am to do more with
them. I thank God, my GAP team, my new friends with Livada and especially
the orphans we met for an experience I won’t ever forget and
one I hope to repeat again soon.
me, going to Romania was an powerful experience. I really enjoyed
the ministry we worked with as well as getting to know the summer
staff. I was continually amazed at all the opportunities God opened
up for us during our trip. I was so thankful to have the chance
to invest in the lives of children in the group homes. As I look
back on this experience, I am reminded of Psalm 68:5 ” A father
to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling.”
I experienced God’s heart in new ways during my time in Romania.
Alicia Gleason and 23 years old. Going to Romania was a great experience.
To be able to love on orphans was a gift for me and for them. It
was hard to see how life is for some of the kids there, but am glad
for the time spent with them. My favorite part was holding the orphaned
babies in the hospital ward. They rarely recieve attention and touch
from the nurses there, so I was enjoying every minute of it. The
small ones loved it when I sang to them and they would get really
quiet for a bit. If you have the opportunity to go, I’d say do it!
The language was a barrier for about a day and then I got over not
being able to say exactly what I wanted to and got creative about
different ways to love the people I was with, I may just have to
go back for longer next time.