Last night in Romania. So much has happened here. So many connections have been made and we have seen God in so many places.
One of our team members is from Sighişoara, so we ended up staying at his church. It was a huge blessing to not be searching for a place to stay when we showed up.
The first few days we spent at the high places around Sighişoara praying for the town and for Romania in general. We also did a few practical things for the church at this time.
Then for three days we went to a state run orphanage about two hours drive from Sighişoara. We weren’t sure what it would be like when we got there, because the orphanage we went to was famously poor and hidden from view by the communist regime in years past. When we arrived we were pleased to see that all of the media attention they received in the past helped to change their face. The orphanage was actually quite nice, and we all got to sleep in beds for the first time since we left Germany. The children were from the ages of 3 to 25 because the Romanian government will allow orphans to stay as long as they are in a school. The older orphans were quite hardened to our presence at first and they asked us why we were there, but after the first few awkward moments we all became good friends. The smaller children a lot of times didn’t want anything other than to be held by someone. We put on a bible puppet show, translated as we went, and everyone had lots of fun. While we were there we just tried to love, pray for, and spent time with everyone as much as possible. When we left we asked to pray for one of the more hardened and commanding boys. He said we could and we really felt the Father heart of God descend on him as we prayed. All of his hardness cracked and he shed a tear as we spoke life and truth over him and broke off all of the negative things that had been spoken over him.
We went to a second orphanage that was further out in a village. This orphanage was for children who’s parents were alive and cared for them, their parents just didn’t have the financial ability to care for them. We played outside for a long time and the older boys started a serious futbol game with us. Needless to say, the Romanians beat us, 10 to 12. One of the things that our team struggled with is this feeling that we were abandoning the children after a short time of hanging out with them, but God showed us that if we pray for them while we can be there then His Holy Spirit will continue to minister to them after we leave. We realized that God is not powerless to change things, even through a bunch of young YWAMers that have very little to offer of their own, especially after we saw what prayer meant to the boy in the last orphanage.
The next few days we spent doing ministry back in Sighişoara. We met a lot of really nice people, and God surprised them with His plan. Some people ran into us day after day, in different places, and we got to tell them about Jesus. People heard our testimonies in bars, restaurants, and cafes. There was a bar/cafe next door to the church we stayed at and we went there almost every night, building relationships with the staff there (don’t worry, we didn’t drink anything but coke and coffee). They were really cool people and they were astonished that we would take the time to get to know them, and that God would speak to us about them.
That Friday we went to one of the outer villages of Sighişoara, were a lot of Roma people live. We went with a man named David, who has done a coffee and pastry ministry for the last several years. It was an amazing time and we got to see several people come to believe in Christ. It was beautiful to see and it was something our group had asked God for that morning. We met a lot of families with very little, and we got to see God improve their condition in some ways while we were there.
For several days we worked on the church building and spent time speaking to people in the city. On Sundays some of our group would fill in the worship band. One of our photographers did family portraits for the whole church. One of the fine artists did several murals in the church and at the home of one of the church members. Before we left, God put it on some of our hearts to go door to door praying for people in the village. Almost no one turned prayer down.
The week before we left protests and riots started breaking out in the main cities in Romania. People are upset about things happening in the government, corruption, and poverty. Occasionally the protests have gotten violent. Pray for Romania, that the next generation would have opportunities, that old mindsets left over from totalitarian rule would give way to freedom and hope, and that God would remove the cycle of orphans becoming parents and giving up their own children to be orphans. God has done so much in Romania, but He wants to do more.