In 1994 I had the opportunity to live in Romania and experience life by living in a foreign country with a foreign family in a foreign culture for a year. During my time in Romania those 12 years ago, I learned a lot of conversational Romanian and culture…and wow, in the past 48 hours those language skills have been put to the test. (Thanks Mom and Dad for letting me postpone my undergraduate graduation and allow me to study in Romania!!) At the time I was learing Romanian, I had no idea that it would benefit me so much later in a way that I could not even begin to comprehend at the ripe ole age of 23. Fast forward 12 years and here I am again, speaking Romanian and emersed in a culture that is totally foreign to what we call ‘home’ in the United States. I am surrounded by children who have little or no family and definitely no parents that can love them and nurture them like mine did. Thank God, that I have the limited gift of communication so that I can talk to these boys and girls and pour a little of Christ’s love in their young lives. Upon arrival at the ‘camp’ for the kids the overwhelming needs that are immediately apparent are almost too many to count. Everything, and I do mean everything, that we call creature comforts at home, these kids do without. They don’t just do with out on a limited basis but every day. Once the initial shock of the conditions sank in, I really had to focus on the task at hand and realize that you can’t do everything in one short week. Immediately, I resolved to do the best I could with the gifts that God has granted me to pour out for these children who so desperately need to have hope and love in their lives. Little things have become big things. Even it is just a hug, a smile, or just being able to talk to a little 7 year old boy and ask him how his day is going and what he wants to do today. These children love to have their pictures taken and I know that the pictures I have taken, I will treasure for a lifetime. After our initial introductions, I was paired up with a group of 8 boys that are between the ages of 14 to 16. While these boys don’t have families as we know it, clothes as we know it, rooms as we know it, they are still teenage boys who want and need the same thing American boys need and want at their age. Again, thank the Lord, that I can at least speak passable Romanian. We made some big strides in finding common ground and getting to know these guys. In getting to know them, they do want the same things that American kids want but the main and obvious difference is the lack of hope and opportunity. I was amazed at how smart they are with their limited education and means! Hopefully, through work like we are doing and continuing perserverance this can and will change. We have only been at the ‘camp’ for two days but both days, the boys don’t want to see us go and make sure to ask us what time we will be back tomorrow. Truly, I am looking foward to going back tomorrow and sharing with them a little more of what has been given so much to me. However, if nothing else does come of 8 days in Moldova, I will definitely come back a more thankful husband, father and son. Truly, we are blessed to live in the U.S.A. but more so, I am blessed to have a loving family, wife and son!