Thank you all SO much for praying for my trip. It truly was amazing in so many ways and I am in the process of being profoundly changed by it. I had a great time in Holland at the end of my trip and got to spend a significant amount of time hanging out with family that I don't often get to see. It was fun to share my experiences with them as they are not regular church attenders. They were so excited and receptive to what I was doing for work and how God was changing my life. We had some amazing conversations. Holland gave me a renewed appreciation for my culture and my heritage but more than anything made me realize what exactly it was my grandpa walked away from at 20 years old to come to the states to create a life and start a business for himself here. That was a really really big deal and I think this is the first time I realized how hard that must have been and exactly what he was sacrificing. I'm grateful. Here's a couple of pictures :)
I've not totally processed my experiences yet and I'm sure will continue to do so for quite some time, but I did get my first chance to share this morning at a church and to invite people into the bigger story of IMPACT. It's a story that belongs to our great God, that he's writing and we just get to be characters in His story, should we choose to listen and to obey. It was hard to re-hash the reality of what I saw in the orphanage that day and encouraging to get to ask people to come and build a church in Albania. I'm speaking from a different place having been there myself and there were about 7 moms/grandmas who signed up for more information on the "rocking babies" trip! Due to popular demand I may have to find more ministries that rock babies so that all who want to go can go!
From the imam, the Albanian pastors, the Romanian orphans & missionaries, I learned that what we do matters - for us, for them, for the kingdom. And I'm overwhelmingly grateful for the ways I'm being changed.
Next stop... Haiti in January!