College Ministry Romania Mission Trip
August 5–12, 2023
Corey Gray: Nine of us left Dulles on a Saturday evening for an overnight flight to Romania. Sunday afternoon we were able to visit the Romania Christian Enterprises campus and meet the children of Darius House. Monday we left for the poverty prevention camp that RCE runs where we were charged with helping the staff of RCE lead over 60 children (ages 7-18). The guys sleep in tents and the girls in cabins. While most kids don’t speak English and none of us speak Romanian, we’re truly enjoying getting to know each other as Ovi says, “by God’s grace”. I trust these brief videos show some of what we’re seeing and doing.
Theo Dietrich: When we arrived I was hesitant with the kids but shortly after I realized all the love and joy that was pouring out of these kids. Each of them has something different about them but it’s clear they all have a hunger for Christ. Their smiles are so big that’s it’s impossible not to smile back. This is a clear representation of the beauty of fellowship and the journeys and relationships that fellowship can create.
Nina Ruiz: Since arriving to Friendship Camp on Monday, I’ve learned two things: first, in Romania, kids do as they’re told without complaining or backtalk. Second, they really do cling to the Lord as their deliverance in times of affliction. Two sisters in my cabin, Naomi and Damaris, shared their testimony, explaining that their family of 11 lived in a one room house until they could afford to finish building a kitchen and bathroom. I’m struck by their care for each other and for me—I, who have everything I could ever ask for, and they, who come from nothing. Even my suitcase seems extravagant in comparison. Please keep us in your prayers as we continue to serve and love these kids, and that we would learn from their joy!
Julia Gray: As I was thinking about it what to write, I walked past so many girls that screamed my name when I passed by. They have made all of us Americans feel like celebrities, when we are so unqualified to feel so. I am no better than them simply because of where I was born, yet it sometimes gets portrayed that I am. We have been so blessed in this life, and why? We take so many things for granted, and these kids, they have so much joy for what they do have. It is so easy to get caught up in the businesses of our lives in America that we lose sight of how many blessings we truly do have!! The Lord has been so gracious to me and all of us, I thank Him for the immense privilege to be with these kids! I thank them for what they have taught us!!
Jake Willeman: God is at work in Romania! Throughout our eight days of travel in Romania we got to see how God is using his people from RCE to show his goodness to the world. Not only did we get to see this but we got to take part in it. We served in a poverty prevention program summer camp for kids from ages 6-14. It was a delight to get to know each and every one of the kids and develop a relationship built on no other commonalities other than Christ. After the five-day camp it was good but hard to visit some of the kids from the camp in their impoverished lifestyle. It no doubt made me consider my fortunate lifestyle in the U.S. but it also reminded me of our call to give freely and to clothe our brothers’ backs and feed those whom have no food. No one was a better example of this than Ovi. Ovi, the director of RCE, carries himself with a Christ-like manner that I have never seen before. He has been wonderfully compelled by Christ to give to those who cannot give him anything in return. This is at the heart of RCE’s mercy ministry because it is the centerpiece at the table of Jesus’s ministry. God loves us expecting nothing in return, yet we owe him everything.