One cool things about mission trips is that they definitely get you out of your comfort zone. My first trip was way back in the early 90's when me and four men from my church went to Romania. On that trip I faced more than a few fears but I discovered that I really could do some thing I wouldn't have ever thought possible. I came home with a new sense of confidence in myself and a deeper faith in God knowing that He would give me what I needed to face whatever was in my path. Since then I have gone to Haiti and the Pine Ridge Reservation and to Louisiana for Hurricane Relief after Hurricane Katrina and I each time I go I continue to learn how to face fears.
I'm thinking that I even need to break this down further and post more than one post per subject. Here is my first experience from Romania....
The thing about being in a foreign country on a mission trip is that you find yourself in situations that you would never allow yourself to get into here at home. Maybe it's because your not thinking because you don't really know what to expect, or maybe it's because you just "go with the flow", but I found myself in one of those situations soon after arriving in Bucharest.
We flew into Bucharest late in the evening and were to connect up with a train to Timisora but having a few hours to kill, it was decided by our trip leader to take us to a local seminary for a short visit and perhaps a snack.
From the airport we found a taxi and it was decided that I would go in the taxi first with all of the luggage and wait for the guys at the seminary. No problem, I climbed into the taxi and off we went. After driving through the heart of the city the taxi driver pulled over and stopped at a curb and proceeded to begin taking out the luggage. Assuming this was my stop, I also climbed out and helped with the luggage. Then he gets back into the taxi and leaves. It suddenly occurs to me that me traveling alone with the luggage was not the most brilliant idea. There I was, an American woman standing on a street corner in Bucharest surrounded by luggage and the gate to the seminary was locked. I thought, "I'm a target. Lord Jesus come see about me!"
Soon enough the guys showed up in another taxi and they too had realized that this was not a cool idea. No harm done. We went in and enjoyed a snack and that was only my first opportunity to face fear.
I hate bugs. Really hate them. Normally I won't even get close enough to one to kill it if I find it. I have been known to scream for one of my sons to come and kill the beast or to sic one of my dogs on it but never ever do I come in any sort of contact with them. On the train to Timisora I had an encounter that would test my ability to deal with one of the worst sorts of bugs....
Now it should be understood that I was the only woman among four men from our church along on this trip and had faced my fair share of criticism. Some thought it was questionable for a woman to travel with a bunch of men, others thought I was just simply crazy for wanting to go on such a trip, but others thought that as a woman I had no business going - that I could not do what a man could do and would slow them down and be a hindrance to them. I went on the trip feeling that I had to prove that even though I could not do what a man could, that I had a place on the team.
When we boarded the train for the all night ride we got a sleeper car. It was a normal sleeper car with 6 bunks, three on each side. I decided to take the top bunk since it was slightly smaller than the others but as I climbed into the bunk several cock roaches crawled about over the mattress. I was horrified to say the least but there I was with a bunch of men and I wasn't about to be a "girl" about it and fuss about the bugs, so I took off my coat and placed it over the critters, smushed them up a bit, then laid down and tried to put out of my mind the fact that I'd seen them. Eventually I fell asleep with the rocking of the train. Amazing what you can deal with when you have to.
Next I will write about a scary ride with an unknown driver, a fearful night in a small Romanian village, and finally the castle - then we'll go to Haiti.
- My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.