It’s Saturday morning, and I sit in our hotel room in Budapest, burning CDs for our journey to Romania. The concert that plays through the earbuds brings tears to my eyes – the songs combine into one great symphony of hope and light for the broken. In my mind’s eye, we are already on the road that shifts from smooth to rough at the border, reminding us we are stepping back in time a bit to a country still struggling to find its own place in a sea of neighbors who dismiss it as worth just a little less than valuable. I’m standing in cities that are marked with memories of communism – but not in the pristine, memorialized way that is the stuff of tour buses and maps. And I’m walking roads filled with the dust of poverty as money which fills the coffers of city programs runs dry before it reaches the villages. Romania is broken. But the words of the songs speak the truth – there is a symphony of hope and light.
I’m traveling with a team from First Baptist Levelland (a small community in West Texas). For everyone, even those who have been to Romania before, this is a first-time experience. We’ll visit a local orphanage and spend time with the discarded children there. We’ll do a special end-of-summer camp for village children, teaching them a program designed specially for the Red Page Teams by Kids Beach Club. And we will deliver groceries to sustenance farmers who struggle daily to provide for their families. Only 11% of the homes have adequate sewage. Some have no electricity. And only 25% of the children will ever make it to high school. Sickness and disease are rampant in some of the villages.
In fact, the brokenness is so overwhelming in Nevrincea, some locals have asked if the people are cursed. But I know better. I know hope is on the way. I’m traveling with it today, and I’ll watch it in action. The 9 people on my team have never been to Nevrincea, but they’ve fallen in love already. They’re ready to walk the streets, pray with the farmers, and provide the support needed to change lives for the better – for now and for eternity. That kind of love is a symphony. We need more of those songs in this world.
Learn more about the work FBC Levelland is doing with Red Page Ministries, and how you can change the lives of those living in rural Romania.