2018 Missions Trip

About three weeks ago, I returned from a missions trip to Romania that I went on with 5 other members of my church, Immanuel Bible Church. We stayed in Targu-Mures, Romania for 9 days. Over the course of those 9 days, we spent our time in a pediatric hospital as well as staffing numerous follow-up youth groups that took place in multiple orphanages around the country. In the pediatric hospital, the team and I spent our time with babies and toddlers who had been left there by their parents. Many of the infants had been there since just weeks after their birth. One little girl, Marie, had been there for three years, while her infant sister, Paula, was left at the hospital just six days after her birth. These children are taken care of by the hospital staff as well as two missionaries from the Livada organization. Every day we prayed over these children's futures and families, that God would be with them for the rest of their lives.

We spent our mornings in the hospital from 9-12 or 1 pm, and from there we would drive to orphan group homes around the county where small groups follow-ups were being held. The kids in the group homes ranged anywhere from 10 to 19 years old. While we met with them, we gave them all orange nap-sacks containing toothbrushes, pencils and bracelets with bible verses on them.

This was my second time coming on this missions trip to Romania, the last time I went was summer of 2016. I knew from the second I started 2 years ago that I was being called to Romania. I knew that God wanted me there and I was more than willing to go. This trip, it was immensely different from the first. Last time we ran a Vacation Bible School camp for a week and it was long and exhaustive work. This time around, we had a very small team of people much older than me, with a slower-paced schedule. We had time to breathe in the car rides between places, most of the day was playing with babies. Going into this trip I was constantly praying that God would show me my purpose there.

The organization that we partnered with, Livada Orphan Care, had been operating in Romania for over 15 years. It was going through some serious and dramatic changes when we got there. There was hearsay about their leadership, disconnect between their partners in the US and lack of funds all around. Our team really came alongside all the Livada staff, giving encouragement and prayers, lending an ear to their old friends who were confused and worried about what was going on. My being 15 years old hindered me in this area. I couldn't talk to the staff about their troubles because no grown adult is going to confide in a teenager. This made it even harder for me to understand where I belonged on the team.

On our way to the airport at the end of the trip, I was praying to God. I couldn't help but feel that I had been useless on this trip. I knew that we had had an impact on the children, of course. And I knew that the adults of the group had helped tremendously with the staff, but I still couldn't figure out my place in it all. Then it dawned on me: no, I can't be an ear or a shoulder of the staff members. no, I can't be a maternal or paternal figure for the children there. But this trip taught me how to deal with adversity in a group of believers. And my purpose in Romania was for God to teach me just that. Through all of my observing of the staff and listening to the adults' conversations, not one person had malice toward another for any reason. No staff member was badmouthing others or speaking behind their backs. It taught me through example how to deal with awful circumstances and money trouble and worry in a supremely Christ-like manner.

I know that this trip made a difference in many people's lives. I know that God worked through us and made an impact on the Livada staff and children. I believe that my going there was simply to prepare me more for all the work up ahead. Whether I go back to Romania or am called to a mission field somewhere else, God used this experience to begin to shape me into the person He is calling me to be.


© 2010-2018 Seigido Ryu. All rights reserved.

Unauthorized reproduction of this website and content in whole or in part is prohibited
without the express written permission of Frank J. DeAngelo.