Hello everyone! This is our first blog entry from Bucharest, Romania! Our family made it to Romania on Friday June 25th, 2021, and it's felt like the longest and shortest week all at the same time. From dealing with jet lag to buying basically everything IKEA sells for our apartment, we are exhausted, yet excited to be here all in one. Before we left for Romania, God brought us home to Charlotte from our training in Virginia and gave us four special weeks with our family and friends. It was such a sweet time where we were able to fellowhsip and catch up with so many loved ones. We had several cookouts, birthday and Father's Day parties, and family dinners. Lydia went swimming for the first time and Emerson got to spend some one on one time with all the grandparents. It was so sad to leave everyone, but we continued to remind ourselves of the mission that God called us to in Romania.
We were, and still are, blown away by how many of you prayed for us during our flights to Romania. So many of you reached out to us personally at different points during our trip and made every hard moment a little better. As exhausting as three flights can be, we felt the Lord leading us the entire trip and we are thankful that we made it to Romania safely. The kids did very well on the flights and even slept a good majority of the time. We almost missed our third flight after we landed in Amsterdam due to only having 30 minutes to get to our connecting gate. Thankfully, we made it to the gate which was at the far end of the airport. Unfortunately, due to the lack of time we had before our final flight took off, the baggage folks were not able to get 3 of our 16 bags on the plane as well as both of our car seats. After praying and filing a claim with KLM's baggage team, the remaining three bags and car seats arrived at our apartment by noon the next day. God is good!
Being here in Romania is exciting, but also overwhelming. Drew went to the grocery store for the first time a few days after arriving while Brooke stayed at the apartment with the children. The store he went to is called Mega Image or better known in the States as Food Lion. Mega Image is a huge brand here in Romania. Looking over all of the Romania tags on the food and seeing so many new brands was very overwhelming. With the help of a teammate Drew was able to buy groceries for a few days. Since then he has been back to Mega Image by himself and bought a few more items. Even using the stove, dishwasher, and washing machine here in Romania is much different than using them in the States. We had to search the manuals on how to use them. We have also made a trip with our teammates to Ikea and another store called Carrefour to buy many of the items we need around the house. Carrefour is the Romanian version of what Americans would call a Wal-mart. It has the same exact feeling and type of items. Even though our apartment was mainly furnished, we still needed many items.
We are amazed at where our apartment is located here in Bucharest. We would say that the area we live in would be similar to living near Central Park in New York City or a few miles from Capital Hill in Washington, D.C. We can walk 0.1 miles up the road and enter into multiple coffee shops, restaurants, and even where the 1989 revolution occured. Our family had the chance to explore this area this week which was so much fun! Five minutes in the opposite direction is one of the oldest and most prestigious park in Bucharest called Cismigiu Park. When it was first built, only the nobles were allowed to enter. Emerson and Lydia have loved playing on the two playgrounds in this park. There are restuarants and ice cream shops in the middle of the park. We cannot wait to try them out. On the opposite side of the park is where our teammates live as well as the pre-school that Emerson will be attending next Fall. Both of us have also been showing our southern hospitality by trying to say hello to everyone in both english & Romanian. We have certainly recieved some stares, but also some smiles. The smiles typically mean that those people don't speak any english, so they just smile at you.
In just a few days we will begin Romanian language classes. We are enrolled in a class that will take place on Mondays and Wednesdays, and we will meet with a language tutor on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Each class and time with the tutor will last two hours. During that time, Emerson and Lydia will be staying with a babysitter who is currently taking college classes here in Bucharest. We had the chance to meet her earlier this week, and she is wonderful! She kept Emerson and Lydia as well as our teammates' childen while we shopped at IKEA and both of our children took to her right away. It has been so amazing to watch God already meet so many of our needs throughout this first week, and we are so thankful for our sweet teammates and the quick friendship we have formed with them. They have gone above and beyond to help us get settled and we feel so blessed to know them.
Thank you so much for praying for us and following along with us on this adventure in Romania. Below are some specific prayer requests for our family. We hope that our journey thus far has been an encouragment to you, and know that our prayer partners are always in our prayers as well! We love you all!
Lydia has not gotten used to the time change yet(7hrs).. Please pray that she gets used to it and begins sleeping through the night.
Pray that we do well in language school and not stress over it.
Pray that we begin meeting Romanians soon and share the gospel with them.
Pray that we do not get overwhelmed with the cultural differences here in Romania. It is so much different than the States.