Sometimes, right when we think we know exactly where we are supposed to be, God interrupts our plans to show us something else. And sometimes, He might lead us somewhere else for a while in order to remind us of where He wants us to be.
After 6 years in Romania with FFR, I moved back to the U.S. in March 2017. I loved my time in Romania, but I thought I was ready for something else. Ready for a more normal life, near family and friends in Minnesota. But just when I thought I knew what I wanted, God awoke my heart again to His call.
I returned to Romania in October 2017, and with each passing day I love this country, city, people and organization more. I don’t know how many more years I will be here, but I am so thankful to be back and my heart is at peace knowing this is where I am supposed to be. My days are spent in the Children’s Hospital cuddling, feeding and changing the babies and toddlers, playing and helping with our Kids Club kids, getting to know our volunteers, sorting and organizing donations, and anything else that needs a little extra help. I love the variety – the cuddles and laughter and craziness in the hospital and Kids Club, the friendships made with our volunteers, and the quiet solitude while sorting donations. There are days that are so fun and filled with laughter, and some that are so filled with heartache it is hard to process or see past it. I see younger siblings of babies I loved years ago growing up in the same cycle and my heart breaks. I dance around with our goofy toddlers and laugh until my sides ache. I sing the same lullabies in the hospital as I have for years, and every now and then look around the room and am reminded of all the other babies who I loved and sang to. And in the middle of everything going on, I stand back in awe that God has blessed me with the opportunity to be a part of it all.
I can honestly say that these years in Romania have been the best of my life. Not the easiest by any means, but the best. I’ve seen God’s continued guidance and provision, grown in my walk with Him, and learned to trust Him more in every area of my life. I’ve watched babies grow up, learned the beautiful and heart wrenching pain of loving these little ones who have been neglected and abandoned, and have seen so many dear children learn about Jesus in the Kids Club and After School Program. I’ve witnessed God answer so many prayers, and felt His comfort when they weren’t answered in the way I had hoped.
If you have ever felt God tugging on your heart to go somewhere or do something, please don’t hesitate to step out and say “yes” to His call. Who knows, maybe God will bring you to Romania? I can guarantee you that no matter what He asks, His will is always best! It might not always be the easiest, and there is no guarantee that your heart won’t break when you love the ones God gives you to love, but in the middle of it all He is there.
I am so thankful for the amazing FFR team and the friendships that have formed, for my supportive family and friends back home who have listened to me talking about Romania for so many years, and for my parents who always assured me that the safest and best place to be was in God’s will – be that in Minnesota or halfway across the world. Sorry that I left home again, Mom, but thanks for always understanding!
~ Katie Greiner
The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
~ Deuteronomy 31:8