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Ryan Haynes

Update #2 – Romania

By | Romania

Buna (hello) friends and family,

Kacey and Emily here! Sorry we took so long to post an update, we just got out of our food comas. After our flight, we spent the night in Budapest. No one could figure out how to work the showers, so we failed our first cultural test. It was so nice to sleep in a bed after our long flight!

The next morning, we enjoyed our first European breakfast and Katie lead a devotional for the team. After, Andy (our fieldworker) and Ionel (pronounced Yo-nell- our wonderful bus driver) came to pick us up for the drive to Oradea, Romania. When we got to our new living space called Noble House, we dropped our stuff off and headed to Mama’s (Ionel’s mother in law) house!! She fed us a wonderful meal and served us three trays of donuts. We ate them all and she was very happy about that. When we had finished dinner, we thanked mama and left to go to a lookout of the city of Oradea. It was so beautiful and we got to watch the sun set over the city. Andy shared the history of Romania and Communism with some of the team members which was super helpful and interesting. Then we went to downtown and walked around the city for a bit and saw the Moon church (rumor is that it’s one of the wonders of the world) which was beautiful, especially at night!

On Thursday, we began the day with devotionals led by me (Kacey). We then headed back to downtown Oradea. The team explored, purchased souvenirs, and went to a coffee shop called Café Frei. We also visited a Hungarian church and were able to walk around and also pray if we wanted to. After adventuring, we had our first day of ministry! We went to a Christian orphanage called Ineu. Right when we pulled up, the kiddos looked so excited to see us and we jumped right into playing with them. After we played for a bit, we sat them down for a lesson, crafts and a game lead by Grace, Cooper, and Caleb. For the craft, the kids colored on paper crowns that they could wear to remind them that they are princes and princesses of the Lord. We then played soccer and tag and many other activities with the kids! Before we left, we passed out bracelets that our team made for the kids! The bracelets also had a verse on them with the name of them team member who made it! They were such a hit! We said our goodbyes which was hard knowing that we would not see these kids again. It was bittersweet, but the time we spent with them was priceless.

On Friday, Cooper led devotions and then we took a road trip to Bazna, Romania. Fun fact: Bazna means “a better place” which we all agree is an accurate portrayal of the city. The drive was a total of 7 hours of laughs, and sleeps, and Ionel’s mixtape. The drive took up most of the day, however, that did not stop us from doing more ministry. That night, we played volleyball with some young adults in the community. They were really good at volleyball and we enjoyed spending some time with them!

The past few days in Romania have been absolutely amazing, and all of our hearts are so full. It has been such a blessing to create new relationships with the Romanian children and adults. The Lord is moving in this nation and we are so happy that we are a part of what He is doing. As a team, we are quickly adapting to the new cultural experiences, and we are creating so many new memories together. The laughs are nonstop, and our bond is continuing to strengthen day by day. We are so excited for what is in store for the rest of our time in this breathtaking country.

Quick shout outs:

“Love you all and hope you’re doing well. I’m eating enough protein, don’t worry!” –Emily

“Hi everyone, I love you all so much! It’s beautiful here, and I wish you could try Mama’s donuts.” –Kacey 

Update #3 – Eastern Europe A

By | Uncategorized

Hello readers! It’s been 6 days since we’ve left for Eastern Europe and so far it has been an amazing and beautiful experience. It’s the end of the third day of the camp and a couple days since the last update.

First off, we’d like to acknowledge the loved ones and those who are waiting for us back home. We are doing well and would like to thank you for your love and support for us here. Your prayers have moved mountains, we love you and miss you. Slowly we are adjusting to the time change, but by the grace of God we are doing well. Every morning we wake up early to get to the camp in time, walking and taking the bus in order to get there.

The skit creates a good opportunity for great conversations and opens doors into the lives of the students we are working with. The teens have opened up to us in amazing ways, their love and acceptance baffles me. The younger ones have opened up in the same way, although yesterday they weren’t with us because of international children’s day.

All of yesterday we hung out with the teens all camp and during the sport games, we had a bit of an accident, where our fearless leader collided with one of the girls and ended having to get 3 stitches on his eyebrow. Yet by the grace of God the girl came out with only a small bruise. (By the way, the way that they had to wrap his head in cotton looked pretty funny, hopefully we have a picture of it somewhere) he has healed up nicely and is doing well, (maybe we’ll have a picture of that as well).

Today we split up again and half the team was with the younger children and half with the older, although because it was a Saturday there wasn’t as many students in attendance. The conversations have been great between the teens and the younger children have heavily bonded with some of the team members.

We look forward to our next day with them on Monday. The team spent a lot of time planning and want to deepen our relationship with the students and create opportunities for His light to shine and seeds to be planted and nurtured.

We would like to ask for prayer: energy for the team in order that we may finish strong, for opportunities to share our testimonies, for courage and faith as we approach our halfway mark. For the hearts of the students to be opened up, and for the impact we make in this short time not be quickly forgotten but for God to work miracles.

-K & A on behalf of the team