The trip to Romania this summer certainly had a major impact on me, both in challenging me and reassuring me. To be placed in a room filled with 8 other people I knew virtually nothing about and having to get to know them certainly is a challenge in itself, and that's even before the real work came in! Throughout the ‘explore' course, provoking questions were asked of us in our journal, exercises were taken in which we were made to think more deeply about things and the course really encouraged us to start putting others ahead of ourselves.
When in Romania, practical things such as talking to the children through a translator, keeping the kids amused and stomaching some of the local delicacies were all little challenges in themselves, I feel that these challenges made me turn to God. I really felt dependence on God, knowing that he was perhaps the best person to guide me through each of these new and, somewhat daunting, challenges. Due to the nature of the ‘explore' programme, I found myself in a group with varying levels of faith held by each team member. This was something I had not experienced before. Having people around you, who are evidently filled with love for God, on a 24/7 basis was really encouraging. It perhaps restored some of my passion for living for God by seeing these people so happy and excited about their Christian lives.
As a result of the ‘Romanian experience', I certainly like to think that a change took place in my heart, very much for the better. I feel that I have become more open to people's opinions, more understanding of people's wants and needs and much more positive about my Christian life.
Knowing what can be achieved through loving God and living your life for him has been revolutionary for me!