Today was a day of much needed rest and restoration. After the experiences we’ve had over the past week, we needed a day where we could just soak in God’s goodness, His beauty, and His abundance. And, we found a near perfect spot to do just that.
We left out at 9 am this morning and traveled over an hour into the mountains. The Romanian countryside is positively breathtaking. And so are the tiny mountain roads at times – grin!
We passed through several villages, each as picturesque as a postcard. As our eyes gazed on the plowed fields, rolling hills, dense forest, running streams, flocks of sheep, rows of crops… we just soaked it all in. For me, the splendor of God’s earth is such a beautiful reminder of his provision in all things. In ALL things!
Our first destination was in Huedin at a beautiful waterfall. The air was cool and crisp and clean. Breathing deep, we found restoration and renewal. Just as the water cascaded powerfully down, we are reminded how God’s blessings poured down on us. All that we are. All that we have. All that we can be. Only by His grace and mercy. We need only to pause. Be still. The Lord watches over us.
We made our way down the mountainside to Nelu and Georgina’s house. They are friends of Cha Cha’s and they live in a tiny mountain village nearby. Georgina is British, and she met Nelu on a mission trip to Romania. They were married five years ago. She left her home in the city and moved to this tiny village of less than 100 people. To a country where she didn’t speak the language. To a remote village with few young people. To a house with no running water and no indoor toilet. I told her it must have been true love. She smiled sweetly and said, “Yes, and a call from God.” What an incredibly brave woman… not because she forfeited all that was comfortable and familiar, but because she fully trusted and followed God. She didn’t hesitate to tell me that it hadn’t be easy, but she also didn’t hesitate to tell me that God had always provided. We enjoyed a late lunch with them, and once again experienced the hospitality and generosity that we’ve come to know as characteristic of the Romanian people.
Dinner was at our host homes and followed by a team devotional and debriefing. Jeff has encouraged us to contemplate three questions:
1. What have we seen that has positively impacted us?
2. What are the difficult things we’ve seen or experienced or the things that have troubled us?
3. How will our lives be different or changed as a result of what we’ve seen or experienced?
Important questions. Hard questions. Are we willing to allow God to transform our lives through this experience or will we simply return to live as usual?
My prayer is for transformation, and I recognize it will only come through God’s strength and power, not mine.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip– he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you– the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
My help comes from the Lord.