I Saw What I Saw

Dear Word Made Flesh Romania and Moldova Staff,

You have changed my life.

When I think of my three weeks in Chișinău, Galați, and Tudor Vladimirescu, I see your faces and hear your words of wisdom. Although the children you work with did have an impact on me, you are the ones who deeply inspired me, and rocked my world to the core.

IMGP0667Chișinău.

IMGP0790

Galați.

IMGP0780

Tudor Vladimirescu.

As I was unpacking my suitcase a few days ago, the song I Saw What I Saw by Sara Groves began to play on my computer. When I came home from my trip to Honduras four years ago, the lyrics of this song put words to how I felt, what I had experienced, and who I had met. It became an anthem of mine.

Here are the lyrics:

I saw what I saw and I can’t forget it
I heard what I heard and I can’t go back
I know what I know and I can’t deny it

Something on the road
Cut me to the soul

Your pain has changed me
Your dream inspires
Your face a memory
Your hope a fire
Your courage asks me what I’m afraid of
And what I know of love

We’ve done what we’ve done and we can’t erase it
We are what we are and it’s more than enough
We have what we have but it’s no substitution

Your pain has changed me
Your dream inspires
Your face a memory
Your hope a fire
Your courage asks me what I’m made of
And what I know of love

Something on the road
Cut me to the soul

I say what I say with no hesitation
I have what I have and I’m giving it up
I do what I do with deep conviction

Something on the road, cut me to the soul

Your pain has changed me
Ooohhh…
Your dreams inspire
Ooohhh…
Your face a memory
Ooohhh…
Your hope a fire
Ooohhh…

Your pain has changed me
Your dream inspires
Your face a memory
Your hope a fire
Your courage asks me what I am afraid of
Your courage asks me what I am made of
Your courage asks me what I am afraid of
And what I know of God,
And what I know of God.

Just like last time, when I heard this song on Sunday, it resonated deeply. But this time, instead of thinking of the kids I met in Honduras, I thought of you. Your pain has changed me, your dream inspires, your face a memory, your hope a fire, your courage asks me what I am afraid of and what I know of love and God.

At our final debrief meeting, David asked us, “What were the strongest impressions you felt on this trip?” While I’m not yet sure how to put words to the strong impressions I felt, I do know that you have left a very pronounced mark on my life.

I am inspired by your generosity and hospitality. You took such good care of me! You were very in tune to my needs, and made me feel so welcome. From the minute I met you, I felt like I was among friends. I love how you genuinely wanted to share your lives with me! You opened your homes and your hearts to me, even though less than a month ago I was no more to you than another college student from the states. You answered my endless questions, and put up with my ridiculous ability to step on cultural toes. You have given me much to ponder. Spending time in your community has made me reexamine if I present myself to others in an open manner, or if I tend to close myself off from friends and strangers alike. Thank you for blessing me with your radical hospitality and generosity.

1901246_10202688934278529_1207280378046185158_nSharing a meal.

I am inspired by your joy. You work in dark and difficult situations, yet my best memories of you involve sharing laughter. One of the many unexpected gifts I received on this trip was laughter. Your jokes, teasing, and genuine smiles warmed my soul. Being among you helped me realize that part of fighting the darkness is learning how to smile. Thank you for sharing your joy!

IMGP0687Laughing with Rachel.

Above all, I am inspired by your dedication and willingness to follow God, no matter the cost. You choose the hard road every single day. I can’t even put words to how much I admire your commitment to the vulnerable people you live among, and to each other. My three weeks with you taught me so much about living in community. You demonstrated both the difficulties, and the vast beauty that come from truly being the body of Christ.

There was one day in Galați when your dedication and willingness really hit home. David took us on a tour of the city, and showed us the entrance to the sewer where the street kids used to live. He told us about how he would go with some of the other (now) staff members and spend time among the street gangs, sometimes even spending the night with them. The mere thought of doing that terrifies me! I can not imagine going with the street kids down into the sewers at night. But between seeing the entrance to the sewers, and hearing David’s stories, reality began to sink in. This isn’t about some of us being brave enough to spend time with some of them, because this isn’t about us and them, period. This is about all of us, doing life together, as a family, for the simple reason that this way of life is what God intended for His children. We were MADE for community. Not I was made for community. Not they were made for community. WE were made for community.

IMGP0804The entrance to the sewers where the kids used to live.

Later in the day, we went to a cemetery where the Word Made Flesh community has buried friends and family. You have buried many dear people, including kids with HIV, friends who died in terrible accidents, and miscarried babies of several staff members. Standing in that cemetery, I realized that your community is in it for the long haul, through thick and thin, in life and death.

IMGP0816The cemetery.

I want to end this letter with a painting my pastor shared in church on Sunday.

10446313_10152499261414709_941672676191370751_oA place at the table.

Looking at it helps me remember that everyone is welcome at the table. You have shown me that Jesus has truly given each of us a place. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus and welcoming me. You remain in my thoughts and prayers!

Much Love,

Kelly

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s