The past weeks have been a whirlwind. I’ll take some time in the next weeks to recap all that has happened but in short I’ve been too busy with details of Ioana going home to stay with the updates. Below are a few highlights I’ll expand on after I come back from Romania on the 25th.
- The Global Hope Banquet which was a tremendous success in raising over $100k!
- Days before leaving we get Ioana’s braces sorted out and she has three new pairs of shoes thanks to her Physical Therapist
- A week before leaving I find out that we can’t take her FES bike on the plane with us which necessitates shipping it via British Airways World Cargo
- We were all set to leave yesterday, but our flight was cancelled so we’ll hopefully be flying out this evening and will get to Romania a day late.
Back when Roni, Sanda and Radu were still here we took a trip to Estes Park and I bought a new journal at a bookstore there. It’s a small journal with 144 pages. I’ll finish it in the next few days and had to buy a new journal yesterday to take on the trip to Arad. Writing in journals is one of the most peaceful things I do. It helps me slow down enough to sort through feelings, decisions and allows me to more fully reflect on the amazing things that happen around me. I’ll share my thoughts from yesterday morning when I thought we would be taking Ioana back to Arad.
Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 – A date mentioned more in the last six months than any other date. The day that Ioana must go back home. I can’t believe how sad it makes me to write that down. I know she has to go back but this is really difficult when I think about all the hours of prayer, words in journals and God’s provision to get to this point. But it is only a step in her process and Ioana needs our continued prayers.
We are all so proud of her and what she is becoming. Sunday night at small group someone asked Ioana what she wanted to do with her life now. She replied in English, (no more translation needed), “Boy, I don’t know what I want to do. There are so many choices for me.” Earlier, six months ago, she didn’t know either but she had been pigeon holed and pushed in a direction “that would be good for her.” But now she knows she can do many things. And this from a young lady who would sit and cry and bury her head in her hands saying “Nu sunt buna la nimica.” (I am not good at anything) But her statement Sunday night sums up Ioana’s whole experience here. It shows confidence, growth, vision, desire, hope and self-worth. So many that have met Ioana have no idea of the struggle and brokenness she has endured. Like her new braces, she has been re-cast, re-formed and is undergoing a beautiful transformation. We are so proud of her! You go Ioana and keep going! We love you.
Ioana’s journey is not over, it is only just beginning. She has learned so much here and it is time for her to begin to implement what she has learned into her life in Romania. She has changed tremendously both physically and emotionally since she has been here. You can see it in her physical stature but also in how she portrays herself. She has always been smiling, happy and bubbly. But now she possesses a confidence that she did not have before. She knows that she doesn’t need to be giggly to be loved by people, she just needs to be herself. And that’s a good lesson for all of us to adhere to.