An ongoing story of God's work on campus: God is real, Jesus saves, and you are loved, always.

Te[am] Iubesc: Never Alone

Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 Tinca, Romania 11:30pm

After an incredible Tuesday that saw Te(am) Iubesc really hit our stride, there was a lot of excitement going into today. It started with another punctual breakfast meeting followed by an encouraging devotional from Taylor and JD. The day continued with one of my favorite team building opportunities, the “buddy walk” to the Isaiah Center. The one-mile trek to and from the Center has come to be a great opportunity to get to learn more about, encourage, and uplift a teammate.

Once we arrived, some got right back to work on the previous day’s projects while others loaded up our donated shoes and headed into the village. Being able to give shoes to the families of the Isaiah Center’s children was an awesome experience. In total there were roughly 250 pairs distributed. They seemed to be very appreciative and for people who often walk on rock and glass filled ground without shoes, it was a much-needed gift. As Dave and the rest of the crew drove off, they said they could see a little girl holding up a large pair of men’s shoes that consumed her entire arms as she joyfully waved goodbye. A little confused about her size, but still grinning from cheek to cheek.

Robbie and I stayed behind in the village. The two of us have been working there alongside the father of two of Rachel’s children at the Center for the past few days now. His name is Adrian (pronounced Ah-dree-on) and he is actually a Christian man who shares a passion for building God’s Kingdom in the village. Our project has been creating brick outhouses.These will eventually be a great asset in an area set to be fenced off and used specifically for ministry purposes such as bible schools.  Adrian also hopes to create a house of prayer in the village for people to safely gather for prayer and fellowship.  It has been wonderful getting to know him better, coming to understand that a number of these parents do truly love their children, and being able to joke with him while at the same time helping to teach him some English.

After finishing the outhouses, we came back to an awesome lunch (complete with homemade doughnuts – a personal favorite of the team) and then headed out for our last day of bible school in the village. As always, we ran around with the children, tossed them in the air, spun them around, painted fingernails, kicked the soccer ball, and told them a bible story – all activities that the kids have come to know and love these past three days. However, as time went on, I could sense a feeling of uneasiness in some of them. One young boy in particular, Samuel, a child I’ve come to know well through both our bible schools and my time working in the village, began to hold on to me and was unwilling to let go. He’d always wanted to be by my side, but today, as he continually latched on to my leg, it was as if I could sense the fear in his heart in his knowing that our time was almost over. All that many of these children have ever come to know is neglect and abandonment. We as a team, have given our all in trying to show them the love of Christ, a love that does not abandon, but our time here is only temporary. That is why the ministry of Forget Me Not is so important. Teams may come and go, but it’s these incredible people who remain as the hands and feet of Jesus Christ in Tinca, Romania. Their selfless work in helping to build long lasting relationships with these children and their families is such an integral part of vision God has given Rachel for His people, those cast aside by the rest of society. It’s such a privilege to be a part of that vision and to be able to share the love of Christ with these people, reminding them that they are never alone.

It was back to work once we arrived at the Center. Some painted the garden and playground while others began work on finishing the fire pit. This area will most likely be the site for some amazing fellowship as relationships continue to be built with the Roma (gypsy) families. The hope was to have the project finished by today, but in looking at our remaining materials it appeared that goal would be near impossible to reach. Still, the group pressed on hoping the get as much finished as possible with what we had. What transpired was nothing short of a God-given miracle. The entire patio was cemented and project completed using literally our very last ounce of cement. Thus putting an encouraging cap on a great day.

It was certainly a day full of emotion, yet rich in God’s goodness. All glory to Him.

Be blessed,

Justin Neally

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