In case you missed it, check out Part 1 of my trip to Romania here.
Our first day of visiting our ministry sites was Monday. I was assigned to Children’s Ministry in the village of Țelna, which is about 20 minutes from Alba Iulia, and this is where I was going to serve for the next three days.
Țelna is a small village, and it was an honor to be selected to be part of the team that would show love to the people of this small village and help promote this budding church. We were told we should expect about 20-30 children throughout the week. Our first day we had 31, our second day we had 53, and our third day we had 52. We were blown away at the number of children who came, continued to return, and who brought their friends.
Every morning upon arrival, a couple of individuals would go out into the village to gather up the children while the rest of us set up the sanctuary and craft room for the day. Once the kids started rolling in we would play games with them – dodge-ball, parachute, freeze tag, sack races, baseball, and more – paint their precious faces, give them temporary tattoos, and just in general love on them and soak up their smiles. The language barrier was a bit of a struggle, but a smile and laugh are an international language and our lovely interpreter, Ella, handled the rest beautifully.
After games, once the kiddos were separated by age, we would head inside for Bible Story Time or Craft Time. In “big church” the kids learned more about Noah, David and Goliath, and Jesus. Then crafts would complement the lesson.
I was in charge of the crafts. The first day we made butterflies out of coffee filters, foam visors with stickers, and did a scratch-off Noah’s ark. The second day we made super hero masks, so we could be super heroes like David, I opted to be Captain Romania, and streamers so we could cheer like the people of Israel. The third day we made foam crosses, cross necklaces, and colored our coloring sheets.
On Tuesday, we were greeted with the surprise of having our church host a picnic for the adults and children of Țelna. So as another team from our church prepped the food, we taught our lessons. I decided to stay and help with the picnic, and it ended up being a sweet reward. After breaking bread with the elders of the community, we headed into the Sanctuary and with us singing from memory and them from their hymnals we praised God in our native languages. It was just a small glimpse into how it will be in Heaven.
When we left the last day, the prayer on my lips was that the seeds planted would grow and flourish into strong warriors for God.