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

Intern Blog 2016

Fall Beginnings

steve mather

Hello everyone! I hope you're all adjusting to your fall schedules as school starts back and everybody starts getting busy again. :) I am currently in my second week of fall ministry here in Bucharest, but I'll only focus on the first week for this post. It's nice to be writing here again, and us interns will be updating regularly this fall.

The beginning of my week (last Sunday) was a rough day for me. I was uncertain about fall plans and we were going to visit the orphanage, and I just was not in the right frame of mind to go there. You see, going to the orphanage is hard in many ways. First of all, it is located in a very impoverished area of Bucharest called Ferentari. Ferentari is mostly slum-like apartment buildings and run-down stores. The people you pass on the street look desperate and sad. When you get to the orphanage, it's surrounded by a twenty foot wall...not the most welcoming sight. There's graffiti and it overall does not look like a place for children.

Once inside the orphanage, kids surround us and ask a million questions and give us a million hugs--my favorite part. :) We had brought a craft and we set it up for the kids, who went to work right away. This part of the visit went smoothly. I helped this little cutie, Georgiana, on her craft...

Georgiana is adorable and so tiny. She's only 5 or 6 years old, and the thought of her living in this institution with very little chance of ever being adopted breaks my heart. Another thing about her is that she calls everyone "mama". When you think about the fact that she doesn't even know what that means, you end up crying on the phone to your parents for thirty minutes (I mean, maybe that happened). :)

Anyway, yes, last Sunday was a very hard day for me. But it was only one hard day out of 100 or so happy days I've had here. And God does bring little things into your life to encourage you, such as messages from friends and family at just the right time (you know who you are). Also, the next morning in my quiet time, I read Ephesians 1:5-10, which says,

"...in love, He predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the     purpose of His will, to the praise of His glorious grace, with which He has blessed us in the Beloved. In Him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of His will, according to His purpose, which He set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in Him, things in heaven and things on earth."

What a great passage. It came as a breath of fresh air that Monday morning and I have had the most encouraging week! 

Monday and Tuesday, my new roommate Sarah and I explored Bucharest a little bit, since she just arrived last Friday the 19th.

Wednesday and Thursday, we visited the kids who are in apartments. Only four apartments total, because we aren't allowed to visit some of the kids until school starts back September 12th. It was really encouraging to have conversations with these older kids and hear that they all finished school and passed their grades.

Saturday, we visited the orphanage again. I think Saturday is going to be our regularly scheduled visiting time for the rest of fall. I got to see Georgiana again. She was eating a chocolate croissant. :)

Thank you guys for reading this update! I can't wait to continue posting here this fall throughout my remaining time in Romania.

-Maria