Tuesday, August 03, 2010

change change change

Hello everyone! I'm back from a phenomenal mission trip to Romania. We did a bit of sightseeing in Budapest as we passed through Hungary and then went on to Romania to lead Vacation Bible School at a couple of churches, visit elderly and sick people from a congregation, visit a Roma village as children flocked to us, visit an orphanage and spend a good deal of time travelling together and getting to know each other better as a team. I think the most profound part of the experience for me was walking through a Roma village that had open sewers and no running water just feet from wealthy areas. A little girl came smiling up to me and just took my hand as we walked through the village.

I later reflected to the group about how moving this was for me, that she would warmly welcome me into her community where she has nothing and how she would not receive such a warm welcome were she to come to Northern Ireland or America where we have so very much. I talked about how we belong to each other now--how the whole world does--and how I have to remember that little girl. I have to remember her when I'm seeking calls, looking for missional and giving congregations. I have to remember her when I'm thinking about buying a shirt I don't need, wasting food because I have more than I can eat, deciding what place to live in and when I'm caught up once again in materialism and status. I have to remember this little girl because she reminds me that truly blessed are the poor, that the gospel is not about preaching with greatest acclaim or making a name for myself but it is about loosing the bonds of injustice, freeing the oppressed and caring for the foreigner, orphan and widow. It was a powerful trip I won't soon forget, and I know the 20 fantastic young people who came with us feel the same way. Here's a great youtube video of some of our pictures:

And here are some other pictures taken by me and others:


Lynn said...

What a wonderful thing you took away from your encounter with the little girl, Whitney. A lesson for all of us.

And a great trip - evident from all the pics. Love the bright shining faces of your travel mates.

Any updates on your next call? I thought perhaps you were going to a church in Texas.

Whitney said...

Hi Lynn, thanks for checking the ol' blog! I had a wonderful time. I did interview with a church in texas but was the 2nd choice, and so am still in the whole dandy call process. I finish here in Sept and then will be home in Texas for a bit. I'm talking to a few churches and have to just wait, pray and see!

Lynn said...

Job hunting is tough no matter field you are in, I guess. I will prayer for you, my friend.

Karen Fleming said...

Your description of your blessed experience with that little girl is so reminiscent of my many times in Haiti. I feel like we have a new connection through a unique sense of understanding and compassion. I'm so glad you had a wonderful trip! Love & miss you!