Tuesday, 21 November 2006

Romania? Me??

"Ask not how little but how much can love give?"
--Amy Carmichael

Dear Everybody,

Main points:
1.) I got the job! Thank you for the prayers!
2.) I've been accepted to work with ROCK in Romania! Thank you for the prayers!
3.) With only a month and a half until I go, I'm needing timely financial support...The goal is to raise $1000.00 by January to go towards the costs of accommodation and flights!

The Job:
I'm sorry it's been so long and I virtually "left you hanging" in the last email! A huge THANK YOU for your prayers about the job interview. It was honestly to my utter surprise and delight that I was successful and was asked on staff at Parallel Options a week or so after. I read in paperwork later that my position usually calls for 2 years previous experience in the field, of which I have none at all, proving all the more certainly that it is by prayer alone... Since then I've been in training whenever time allows-- which makes for some stressful weeks and some heavy workloads, but I'm thankful. I've been interested in the Social Work side of things for years now and this, supporting vulnerable adults, feels like a little foot in the door.

I love that it's not a "normal" behind the counter part-time job. It's, in essence, a ministry of love. But I'm aware that such work brings with it its own variety of difficulties and, to be honest with you, I have very little experience with the mentally disordered, with their trials and joys and hopes and fears. Training has been intimidating thus far, the mental issues I'll be in contact with and behaviours associated with them rather scary, to be plain. I sometimes want to turn right back around and run the few miles back to the safety of my little room at college : ) But I'm trusting that He will equip me with whatever graces needed to represent His love in every dark place... I long to be compassionately understanding and to go in there humbly knowing that I stand to learn more from the people I'm working with than I have to give to them...

The Placement:
So, I've got a job to "put feet to my prayers" (right, Carol? :)) and earn the money desperately needed for this student/missionary lifestyle, but do I have the placement I wrote to you pleading for prayer about?

I heard back from ROCK yesterday and after a rather drawn out and involved application process and numerous hitches, I AM HEADED TO ROMANIA throughout January and February 2007!! This is still rather unreal to me, as Romania seems like the edge of beyond and those babies have only existed in my thoughts and prayers...

It feels like God just keeps confirming my place there-- despite the very real hardship that awaits me. Right now I'm studying for an essay due in Pastoral Care about emotional maturity and the writers are talking alot about child development, as our personalities are primarily developed by age 7. John Powell says that in the first 2 years of life, "the chief need of infants is for tender love, which is communicated primarily through the sense of touch'"-- and I think of the Romanian babies tied to the bars of their cribs to keep them from thrashing about and I think of the babies I saw in that video as a young teen so overwhelmed by human contact after months of the very barest of minimums that they turned away terrified but seemed frozen in horror.

And I wonder why I happened to be born to the parents I was born to, the father who saw to my every material need and held me securely cheek to chest, the mother who fed me, bathed me, loved on me during the day and rocked me to sleep in love each night, the older sister and brother who carried me about like a ragdoll and showered me with kisses and hugs and almost TOO MUCH attention! I can only conclude that I was born into what I was born into to be a platform to reach out from to those who weren't...

"Who can take away suffering without entering it?" --Henri Nouwen

The Plea:
I'm praying for everyone who can to catch the vision and feel a burden to pray and to give. I'm praying for the help of at least $1000.00 by the beginning of January and then putting forth everything that I can on my own as well. I'm praying for prayer warriors who will walk through this time in Romania with me-- starting from now as I strain to raise support and on through the journey as I dive into the culture and swim through the emotional turmoil of the nature of the work I'll be doing with ROCK.

Thank you for how you bless me, each of you in your own ways. I look forward to hearing from you, to knowing how He's moving in your lives as you so often hear how He's moving in mine : ) Thank you in advance for how you'll band together to help me in prayer and in sponsorship in these next few months of His years-- 2006 turning over to 2007. Thank you for understanding the gravity of all this, the life or death nature of this world's need for love as expressed in the faces of these abandoned children of Romania-- and gathering about me to do what we can to enter into that suffering and be His hands and feet...

Leah <><

"Love eachother dearly always.There is scarcely anything else in the world but that:to love one another..."-- Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

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