I said in a previous post that I would write more about my experience in Moldova when I got back to the States. Well, I’ve been back for 3 days now, and I still can’t quite find the words to answer the question, “How was your trip?”
Instead, I wish I could give each of you a package. Your vision is fuzzy and you can’t make out the shape, but you open it anyway. As you open the package, the first thing you notice is a beautiful and distinct smell – the smell of a dirty child mixed with farmland and your own sweat. You breathe it all in. Somehow, you feel at home.
Next you hear a sound, faint at first but slowly getting louder and louder. You realize it’s the voices of children speaking in Romanian. “Now take MY picture!”, “Ha ha ha!”, “I don’t know when my birthday is.”, “Do you want to play volleyball?”, “Ha ha ha!”, “Look at this banner I painted!”, “Come sit on my bed with me and let me show you pictures of my family.”, “Ha ha ha!”, “Are you coming back tomorrow?” Everything goes silent, and your heart breaks. For the first time since you arrived you have to say, “No, I’m not.” You quickly follow with, “But even if I’m not here, God is always with you…I love you and so does Jesus!” But your heart is still broken.
Your stomach growls, and you notice there’s food inside the package. You have a choice…chicken and potatoes or McDonald’s. You choose chicken and potatoes, and you wash it down with a cold Coke light. Feeling reenergized, you look back at the package. Its shape is still fuzzy.
Suddenly, you feel something in your hand. It’s another hand…much smaller than yours and softer. It squeezes your hand to let you know that it loves you and trusts you. You squeeze back to return the sentiment. Next, you feel two small arms wrap around your neck, and they don’t let go. You return the embrace and decide to stay there until the other arms let go.
They finally let go, and the package takes shape. It’s the face of a small, 9-yr-old boy named Mihai Rurac. And the only thing keeping you from weeping is the giant smile that he brings to your face. Your heart is warmed and your perspective on everything is changed. You are discouraged by this young boy’s sitation and yet challenged to make a difference in his life and in his world. Every day from now on becomes one day closer to seeing him again and another opportunity to pray for him, his future and his salvation.
You take heart in the following verse…”Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
-2 Corinthians 4:16-18