On July 4th while we were celebrating our country’s birthday and our priceless freedom, our July mission trip left to Romania!  They returned home Sunday, July 14th.  This team made up of volunteers from Louisiana and Illinois took 40 kids from the Point of Hope to the Harghita Christian camp in the peaceful, beautiful Carpathian Mountains.  They had the privilege of planting seeds of hope using a VBS program we’ve spent 11 years perfecting. Lizzie Felter was one of the awesome people who volunteered her time, talents, and abilities for the July trip. Here is her wonderful description of her experience!

“During Bible study, it was amazing to see the kids receive the simple truths of abiding in Christ. As we looked at the lives of Moses, David, and Jesus, the kids were able to observe how they followed God. They were then able to begin making connections about how they could follow God in their own lives.

On the first day of Bible study rotation, we took some time to do a craft with the kids where they decorated a tracing of their hand with words that describe who they are. It was amazing hearing special things from each child and watching their personalities shine. In the moments that they shared about themselves, each child found his or her way to a unique place in my heart. That afternoon, the Bible Study crew created a tree for each hand to be displayed together. Throughout the week as we learned about Moses, David, and Jesus following God, we referred to our tree and discovered that God has special character traits about HIM that we can learn as we abide in Him. Through this experience, my relationship with the kids was deepened, and we were able to show the kids that God wants to have a relationship with us!

Each afternoon, the Bible Study Crew would do a faith building activity with the kids. The kids untied a human knot, did a handless back to back stand up, guided a blindfolded obstacle course, ran through a zipper, and ultimately completed a trust fall. These activities definitely stretched the kids, but they grew tremendously from day one to the last in their ability to work together, communicate, and have trust in one another. I watched them start out the week looking out just for themselves to truly looking out for one another at the end of the week.

Through this trip, I discovered God in so many new ways! He truly guided my steps as I taught Bible Study throughout the week. I did not have to worry or stress about what to say, I simply trusted God to guide me and the words and activities flowed better than I could have ever planned. As a teacher, my natural inclination is to plan out every word and each activity so that I am best understood by my students, but God showed me that HE wants me to rely on Him instead of my own abilities.

God also provided an amazing way for my words to have meaning to the kids, and that was through Evelyn, my translator. She brought my words to life for the kids, bridging the gap between our language barrier. It was a life changing experience to feel God’s words speak through me and then watch them be understood through Evelyn. As she shared my words in Romanian, she would light up with passion that only God could give. It was a humbling experience to not only depend on the Holy Spirit, but another person to be understood by these precious children.

A special memory I have is I LOVED watching Rita enjoy life with these kids. She took advantage of every opportunity to have fun and be present with the kids. From playing with the GIANT soccer ball to completing the trust fall, her passion and love was evident. She is truly a jewel for this organization and a treasure to the kids.”