The love affair first began in the summer of 2013. What I expected to be a quick three week trip left an impact on my life that is unforgettable. This trip lead to me spending the last three summers navigating down bumpy roads into dusty villages all in hopes of coming face to face with sweet, innocent, and caring eyes once more. Every summer until now. Is has been 408 days since my feet were covered in Romanian dirt. 408 days since my eyes have seen the rows of sunflowers lining the cities. 408 days since I’ve tasted Momma’s cooking and 408 days since I felt tiny hands gripping to my palm. It has been 408 days. Four Hundred and Eight. That may not seem like a long time to you, but it feels like an eternity to me. You see, before the trip is over, before I leave any village, the kiddos are always asking when I am coming back. They cling to your neck, and hold you tightly. They desperately plead for one more round of duck duck goose, one more song, one more chance to feel like a kid. Every time, I want to promise them the world. I want to promise them, that I will see them soon, that there will always be another round of duck duck goose, that there are many more songs we can sing. But I can’t. I can’t promise them another game of duck duck goose, or another sing-a-long to Father Abraham, because regardless of how great my intentions may be, life happens. Life happens, our plans get disrupted and then come June a beautiful young girl is waiting to chase you in circles and ends up disappointed. Disappointed because you too told her you were coming back.
At the end of last summer I had every hope that I would be back running, chasing, laughing, and singing come June. I had every hope that I would hold their sweet hands, and let them make a mess out of my hair as they practiced braiding. I had every hope that I would be next to them once more.
I am beyond grateful I that I didn’t commit to seeing them this summer. Now don’t get me wrong, I have made my fair share of mistakes while partaking in international ministry, but the wise advice from our dear friend Andy Baker is a nugget of truth I will always carry. He told me to never promise the next time you will see them. He told me broken promises are detrimental when it comes to our long term ministry efforts with Remember the Children.
I didn’t commit to seeing them, but I committed to them in a different way. As I journeyed back home from my second trip, I wanted to do more. I wanted to commit to them every day. I knew there were a few ways I could go about doing this. I could up and move to Romania, (which I heavily considered) or I could financially support those who were already there. I contacted Andy and asked what I could do. We were on the phone when he mentioned that House of Hope had officially adopted a very special young girl (whose name is withheld for security) and asked if I would partner with Mihai and Dana financially. He told me for $35 a month she would live in an environment that provided 3 hearty meals on the table, and Gospel driven truth in her heart daily. She would have the opportunity to learn about Jesus, and sleep in a warm bed every night.
Y’all for $35 a month I could keep this sweet toddler far far away from an orphanage and in the arms of love, kindness and grace. For $35 a month I could commit to this little girl, even when I am 6,295 miles away. For $35 a month I could put back the new shirt from Target, and let her pick up a backpack full of school supplies. For $35 a month her life will have a trajectory that looks different from the estimated 100,000+ orphans currently living in Romania. For just over $1 a day I get to make a difference in her life.
We can’t always make the 30+ hour trek to and from Romania, but if we are willing there are other ways to support these kids. If we are willing to step away from our comforts, the impact we can have is unmatched. Remember the Children will always need individuals to volunteer their time to physically be the hands and feet of Jesus, but they also need people who are willing to open their wallet, and make the choice to contribute to the work that is being done daily. I know I will be back there one day where I will chase these sweet kids in circles, and become the next best jungle gym. We will dance and sing, and color with chalk. But until then, I can find peace knowing that because of my financial contribution, a sweet toddler will sleep easy tonight.
If you are interested in learning more about child sponsorships, or other ways that you can partner with Remember the Children check out http://www.remember-the-children.org/sponsor-a-child/ and see what opportunity and child is waiting for you!
RtC Team Member
2013, 2014, 2015
Check out more of Katrina’s writing by visiting her BLOG!