I'm sorry for the lack of updates for the past 30 days! In a minute, I'll tell you what's been going on for the past 30 days..but for right now, I want to say that I'm going to Romania in 6 DAYS! 6! That means less than a week!. Wow. I can't even put into words how excited I am to go.
My parents officially have their tickets bought and they will be joining me on this vision trip. The plan is to meet the ministries that the team in Romania is already involved with, see the country and the people, have some in depth conversations with the team there which will help determine if the gifts that God has given me fits in with the vision that the Bucharest team has.
So, you may be wondering, "Mandi, where have you been for the past month?" And if you asked me that question, I would tell you..well, I've been dealing with...lice. Yep, lice. I have made an acronym for the little buggers and I call them PPP (pesky peculiar pests). Let me tell you, they are sneaky. Just when you think those buggers are gone, boom! The little guys are back. But. Through this all, God has taught me some incredible lessons that I would not have learned the past 5 ½ weeks without the bugs.
Lesson #1: God puts us in certain places and circumstances that will bring Him glory. Ephesians 3:20-21 On a Monday morning, I combed out a lice bug from my hair (Blessing #1- I never itched through this whole process so if I wouldn't have combed out a bug with my normal comb, I wouldn't have known I had bugs in my hair until there was a total infestation). Monday night I took everything I had breathed on to the laundromat. With Monday being the first day I found the lice, I was confused, frustrated, devastated, wanting my parents to live closer, etc..and all those feelings led to me showing anger on the outside to cover up all of that. Needless to say, when I was at the laundromat, I kept my head down, tried to study the Bible but wasn't letting the words soften my heart. I was choosing anger. The next night I again headed to the laundromat with a bunch of clothes but this night, God was working on my heart. Tuesday night when I opened up the Word, I let the words of Philippians 1 rock me. In verse 12 Paul talks about his circumstances advancing the gospel. And what was Paul's circumstance at the time? Paul was in jail. Paul was not wallowing in self pity that he was in jail, so why should I wallow in pity that I was in a "jail" of sorts..being isolated from people with my contagious head and having to stay at home or the laundromat? At the same moment that I was realizing I would never be at a laundromat if not for the lice and I need to advance the gospel wherever I am, an older gentleman sat down at my table where I had my Bible, notebook, and pencil sitting out as I studied. This man asked me what I was studying and we began to have a conversation about God, the bible, churches today, putting our trust in Jesus vs feeling hurt from the church and leaving Jesus because of the way "Christians" treat other people. Wow. God used me to bring Him glory even though I had just been angry moments before. We serve a gracious, loving, and beautiful Father.
I plan to write about a few more of the lessons I've learned these past 5 1/2 weeks with lice. Let me end with encouraging you to be inspired by this video. God is all over the world, changing hearts and minds as people trust in Him.