Finland, Hungary and Romania
During mid-2012, my husband and I traveled to Finland for our youngest son, Kyle’s wedding. Thereafter, we spent ten days with new-found friends at their summer cottage in the south-eastern parts of Finland. The newly-weds joined us a week after the wedding, and a few days later, we all headed off to Romania to spend a week helping build houses for the Romanian gypsies.
After a two-hour flight from Finland to Budapest, and then an eight-hour overnight bus trip, we finally arrived in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. It was an amazing week, and one I will definitely blog more about. But today I want to share with you what I learned from that experience once back home.
I want to share with you what I learned from that experience once back home.
About a month after returning from Romania, I was uploading photographs to Facebook of the outreach.
Seeing those pictures again stirred memories in my mind, reminding me of how much I had to be thankful for, because earlier that evening I’d been complaining of how cold our house was. You see, in sunny South Africa we don’t have double-glazing on our windows like they do in Europe. So, with the winter temperatures dropping to around zero that night, it was fairly chilly indoors.
But through those photos, God took me back to the families in Dallas (not to be confused with Dallas, Texas, USA), the gypsy community located beside the most enormous rubbish dump I’d ever seen, that we had helped build houses for. He reminded me of the Romanian winters where temperatures drop to minus 25 degrees Celcius. And He reminded me that those gypsy families only have single glazing in their homes, too. They have thin wooden or corrugated iron walls to their make-shift homes, plus they don’t have electricity to enjoy the comforts of heaters or electric blankets, or hot showers when they get cold.
I was humbled and so thankful for all that God has provided for my family.
Once again, visions of those Romanian men, women and children in Dallas filled my mind. Every day, they rummage through hundreds of pieces of garbage in summer heats of over 40 degrees Celcius, or winter’s cold dropping below minus 25 degrees Celcius, just to find recyclable items so they can make enough money to buy food for the day for their families.
As I pondered these things from my temperature-controlled office where I work for my wonderful boss alongside great colleagues, drawing a healthy paycheque at the end of every month, I was again so thankful for God’s goodness and provision in my life.
Can I challenge you?
Can I challenge you, as I was challenged, and as I’m once again challenged writing this blog two years later?
Do you recognise the blessings of God in your life?
Are you truly thankful for them?
And are you doing something to make a difference in the lives of those who don’t have much to rejoice about?
Don’t get discouraged by all the needs in the world and think there are too many for us to meet them all . . . each of us can make a difference, even if it’s just in one family’s life. We did! Make it your mission to be the difference each day.
I’m once again thinking about Romania with love.
Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22-23