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

Intern Blog

When in Rome

steve mather

Thursday June 9


I have 2.5 weeks left in Romania before I go back home. When I was in Rome and I spoke about going home, it meant going back to Bucharest. Now that I am in Bucharest, home means Richmond, VA. It has been so nice traveling to a place that I can refer to as home. The people I have met while in Romania have made me feel utterly and completely at home.


Since I last wrote to you I have been to Rome on a magical three-day break, back to camp, to the Ruth School, and to Carturesti, a cute little bookstore in the middle of town.


 Rome was incredible if you were wondering. It reminded me that the world is full of beautiful things. It is easy to forget that simple truth today, when the media continuously tries to convince us that the world is full of evil and humankind is only capable of doing ugly, malicious things to one another. I mean how many times have you heard someone say, “The world is worse off than it has ever been before”? When in Rome, you do as the Romans do. And the Romans eat pizza and gelato and laugh and smile and enjoy the beauty in life. I want to live my life everyday as if I’m in Rome.




I have learned that everything you do is part of your ministry. Some days you get to be movie stars and play with kids and help them learn a poem, hold their hand and hug them. Those days are the best and they definitely make you feel all warm and good inside. But other days you have to be behind the scenes and buy construction paper and get paperwork from the DPDC, exchange money and take your car to the shop. These things may seem unworthy of the title “ministry”, but it’s exactly what they are. We needed the construction paper in order to do crafts with the kids at the Ruth School. We needed paperwork from the DPDC to even work with kids at all. We needed to exchange money because the donations that keep the non-profit running come mostly in American dollars and not lei. We needed to take the car to the shop because it gets us to camp, where hundreds of neglected and orphaned children will get to hear the gospel this summer. The mundane things that can often be seen as errands are essential to an organization’s ministry. I think that’s how God keeps us humble. Some days we are the movie stars and other days we are just another person on set. I learned that there is beauty in both.


I went to the Ruth School today- definitely one of my favorite days here. It was instant connection, when the other interns and I walked in the door. The kids came running up to us, immediately hugging us and wanting to show us their most recent drawings. The kids showered us with hugs and kisses and “I love you”s. They were desperate for love and kindness. Many of them are neglected to various degrees at home and do not get enough cuddles and affection. Nancy Thomas writes in her book When Love is Not Enough, that humans need eight hugs a day to maintain emotional stability. Today I become more aware of the importance of human touch and the inner desire that we all have for affection. 


xo, Ellie