Something we love about our mission trips is that they are for people of all ages. No matter your age, we promise that your life will be changed and blessed if you come serve with us in Romania. Our newest mission trip testimony is from my sweet cousin Kassidy. She is the 17 year old daughter of one of our staff members. We praise God for her willingness to serve and thank Him for using the children and His work at the Point of Hope to eternally impact her life!
My name is Kassidy, and I’m seventeen. I was fortunate enough to be able to go on the 2018 June ACF missions trip to Romania. Every kid dreams about traveling the world, and changing it, you know? I love kids, and I was so ecstatic to go to the Point of Hope Center and meet all the wonderful kids there, to be able to help them, and play with them. What I wasn’t expecting is for the most change made during my trip to be the change and impact that the kids had in my own heart and life. I guess in a way I was being kind of ignorant, because I was going to help these kids, and it was going to be awesome. Right? Well, I quickly came to find out that ‘awesome’ was the lamest word I could have used to describe the trip. It was so much more than just that.
I remember arriving at the center and being nervous to meet the kids. It was one thing to sponsor them from America and a whole other thing to interact with them in Romania. In truth, it was a little surreal. I had never gone on a missions trip before, but my parents had always made sure that we participated in sponsoring children or other organizations that helped people in other countries. I always saw the pictures online of happy kids with their Operation Christmas Child boxes or walking with jars of water from a well that missionaries helped to dig. You know these changes are happening, but you never really think about them actually happening. It sounds kind of silly. It’s like seeing your favorite actor or actress perform in countless movies and then meeting them in person, and it’s like “you’re real?!”. That’s kind of what I was feeling.
So when meeting these kids, I was nervous because I wasn’t sure what to expect. They quickly put me at ease, and it was like I had been with them every day of my life. They were all so smiley and loved to hug you even if they had just met you. Just seeing all the joy that they had was so overwhelming and wonderful.
We went and visited their homes, too. This was so heartbreaking to go from the brightly painted Point of Hope to the ramshackle, one roomed structures these kids and their families lived in. There would be 10 people sharing the tiniest spaces. If anyone had any doubts about God existing, this was enough to put them to rest. Because how else could these kids be smiling amidst all of this poverty?
Despite their living conditions, the kids would take you by the hand and be so proud to show you all their little trinkets and be so proud of the house they had. It was incredibly humbling to say the least.
When the time came to leave, it was hard. Even though I had only been there for a week, it felt like a whole month had passed. The kids are all smiling and waving to you as you leave, and you’re the one crying because you don’t want to leave them.
It’s true that without people like missionaries, that places like the Point of Hope wouldn’t exist. However, it is more true to say that places like the Point of Hope wouldn’t be the same or nearly as successful if it hadn’t been built on the foundation of Christ and His words and love. This was so clear to see when I had gone on my missions trip. These kids meet so many different people each year, but one thing stays the same throughout. And that’s the love for them and the light of Jesus that each mission team possesses.
These kids are young. They may not remember me or the other missionaries in the future. What they will remember is what we did for them and what we taught them. As for me? They’re going to be a little harder to forget.