While my husband Ross had been to Romania on a trip with the Thomas’ two years ago, this year is the first time for our three daughters and I.

Already, it’s been both challenging and inspiring. It’s a joy to be reminded that in what seems like situations of despair, the love and joy of Christ still abounds in the hearts of those who have given their life to Him. On the other hand, it’s heart-breaking to hear the stories of others who feel so discouraged by their circumstances—specifically, to hear the confession of one who has convinced himself that God has abandoned Him, is punishing him even, and has forgotten him—that his only prayer is for today to be his last on earth. My prayer is that God will speak truth to his heart and cause him to realize that it is his own sin that separates him from the God and Creator who also desires to be his Savior and friend.

While it’s interactions such as this that leave you desiring to accomplish so much more with the short time available, every interaction seems to result in a tremendous blessing—more so for us than the ones we have come to bless, I’m sure. My daughters have noticed this as well with the endless hugs and kisses they have received. We are looking forward to the days ahead!