Wow. Where do I even begin? The trip has only just begun, and I can honestly say that my life has been changed forever.
Let’s start with the trip over here. We arrived at the Nashville airport at about 8:30 am and our flight left at 11:35 am. It was hard for me to say good-bye to my family, but I knew that God had called me on this trip for a reason. The flight from Nashville to JFK, New York was good. It was a small plane, but I fell asleep before take-off and didn’t wake up until landing. That’s when things got a little harder.
We were supposed to have about 2 hours in the JFK airport. We ate lunch and moved to our gate. Well, our first gate. Something was wrong with the plane so they informed us we would leave about 1 ½ later than expected. It wasn’t good news, but we were ok. Well, to make a very long story short, we were in the airport about 6 ½ hours. It wasn’t my ideal place to be, but we have a wonderful team who can definitely entertain themselves. For instance, Kelsey, Melissa, and I taught Mrs. Drennan some card games and had a blast playing for a while. So, whether we were playing cards, drinking Starbucks, or just sleeping on the floor, we made it through. God took an unfortunate circumstance and turned it in to a chance for our team to bond and spend time relaxing together.
Well, once we boarded the flight to Budapest, things calmed down a bit. It was a pretty steady flight to Hungary and we all slept a bunch. It was very interesting in Budapest for us to get the chance to feel like the foreigners. Even little things like reading the instructions at the BOTTOM of the signs instead of the top. This was a wake-up call to me. Although, I would have to say that the most memorable thing about the Budapest airport was that there was absolutely air conditioning. Either that or the joke that Melissa and I kept saying: I’m Hungary for Turkey!! Haha.
After Budapest we boarded a very small plane to take us to Moldova. I was placed in a seat by myself with other team members scattered around. As you can probably guess, I fell asleep during takeoff. I was woken up by a flight attendant and asked if I wanted a “treat.” I was tired, so I said no. I found out a few minutes later that that “treat” was my lunch. So I asked for my lunch and they brought it back to me. It was really a frightening time for me. I was on a plane not talking to anybody. I didn’t even understand a word the people around me were saying. I had no idea what I was eating. So I finished my lunch and turned to look out at the clouds. For the remainder of the flight I really spent some time with God and just prayed about the trip. I guess reality had finally set in. I was about 15 minutes away from Moldova.
Once we arrived in Moldova, things went fairly smooth. All of the luggage arrived except for Mark’s two suitcases. Looking back at all the changes we had made, we were very happy that what got here did. We met several translators and got settled into our rooms. I keep finding things that make me realize how much I have at home. I feel like I want to give everything to these kids, and I have only met one: Patricka. He is the child that Stuart sponsors. I sat by him at dinner and when I gave him something to draw on afterwards, he wrote: SO THEY CAN SLEEP. He was copying off the t-shirts we were wearing. This did it for me. I know that I’m here to serve the Lord.
After dinner we went out and played basketball and soccer. Melissa and I won against Steve and Mr. Shelley. Then Patricka showed me how soccer is supposed to be played. I must admit that I played many years and I was never as good as he was. He really is an amazing little boy.
Thanks to everyone who is praying for us and keep checking for more posts from everyone!