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Keizer
Oregon

(503) 508-3924

Stepping Forward Ministries brings the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the children of Romania. 

Intern Blog 2016

Day by Day...

steve mather

Hey everyone! It's Ruth again... and unfortunately this is the last time I'll be writing to ya'll this summer. It's been insane how time has absolutely flown by here - and I only have three more days left of this particular Jesus adventure! Because my time is growing short here, I feel this intense need to proclaim each and every lesson that I have discovered under the guidance of my Savior. But every time that I seem to compose a few paragraphs attempting to convey the thoughts He's laid on my heart, the words become my own. So, rather than overwhelming you with lessons that I've only begun to scratch the surface of for myself, I'm going to tell you the simple truths that He has given me the words to explain. 

My prayer for the time spent in Romania was to see Jesus' face from this country. Have you ever looked at a prayer after a while and realized just how small it was? Because that's what I've been realizing over these past days... my original prayer was so small. I wanted to see His face. But.

I haven't just seen His face - I've seen His smile in the laughter of the gypsy children of the Scoala Rut (Ruth School). I've smelled His sweetness in the wild flowers on the side of the road we've driven from the city to camp. I've felt His very breath in the wind of the mountains surrounding the camp we've worked at to prepare for this summer. I've sensed His heart break over the broken hearts of the begging children under the city bridges. Each and every day has revealed more of His character than I have discovered before. 

Let me be completely transparent for a moment... I have known about the Lord since my earliest childhood memories - and when that knowledge finally turned into a real and personal walk with Him, I loved Him passionately. But I've discovered that as each and every day reveals more of His character, my love for Him in the days before appear as nothing. 

I am tempted to say that I've fallen in love with this country and the people that inhabit it - but that wouldn't be true. To me, to fall is to suggest that you have no control over your actions. It implies that you sort of tripped into loving someone or something. And that isn't the case with this country. I haven't fallen into anything. I've walked decidedly further into love with this place and these people more and more day by day. And you know... the reason that I have been able to walk further into love is because I've walked further into love with the Creator of this place and these people. 

"Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love." (1 John 4:8) 

The truth is... without knowing the characteristics of Christ, I don't know love. My prayer at the beginning of this adventure was to see the face of Jesus from Romania. I already have told you that He has revealed so much more than His face... I've seen His heart for His people. Without knowing Him, there would be no way that I could claim to have walked into love with this place and these people. But because I love Him... I love them. 

You know, the prayer to see His face from another country was the catalyst that He needed to show me further His various characteristics in order for me to confidently and boldly walk into love with Romania. It was a prayer that began in September of 2015... and this journey is coming to an end...

But that prayer isn't. It was because of that prayer that the Lord stirred my heart for His people here in Romania. It was because of that prayer that I discovered attributes of Christ that I hadn't taken the time to see before. So this is my final thought and my final promise... 

Day by day I will pray to see the face of Jesus. Day by day I will cling to the Provider of any smile, breath, or heartbreak given to me. Day by day I will serve Him. Day by day I will praise Him. Day by day I will love Him. 

Day by day, 

Ruth Bradham