My entire experience between applying for the trip to Moldova to the plane ride home was a whirlwind and slow motion all at the same time. Every moment and every step was set before me and all I had to do was step into them. So here the story begins, I am only a little over two years into practicing physical therapy and was nervous/not sure if I should apply to go on a medical mission trip at this point in my career. So I prayed that i would either lose interest or that there would be some sort of sign for me to not apply. Well neither ever came; I kept getting this nudging feeling to go ahead an apply. So at 10:30 on a Sunday night about 7 weeks before the trip, I decided to go ahead and apply and prayed for something to happen with my application if I was not meant to go. To my surprise, I had an email the next morning at 5:07am telling me that I had been accepted to serve in Moldova and a list of the things that they needed from me. So then the planning began. I was blessed to get to talk to other PTs that had gone over to Moldova previously to get an idea of what to expect or bring from medical supplies to my basic needs. I was quite nervous with it being the first time I had flown internationally by myself and also did not know anyone that I would be serving with. The flights over there were fine but the transitions were a bit stressful and it was by the grace of God I made to each one (I walked up as they were beginning to board in Chicago when I had been in the airport for roughly 3 1/2 hours..whew). Finally, met up with the team and got to Moldova. We were able to transition fairly seamlessly like we had all known each other for forever. Jokes and teasing along with deep conversations ebbed and flowed throughout the trip. I was fortunate that my interpreter was a girl a few years younger than me that I also had the privilege of living with :) The Lord provided a connection between us that I could have never anticipated or dreamed of having in a few short days. We talked about the basics at first with laughter and moments of warmth drizzled throughout our time serving during the week. But what amazed me was we were out looking at the stars in the middle of Moldova after a long day when all of the sudden this sweet young lady begins to talk after many moments of silence. To my surprise, she has begun sharing with me things that she has struggled with over the past few months that she has only shared with 2-3 other people (with 2 of them being her parents). She continued sharing that she felt as though she hadn't been able to get out of her head in quite some time since certain events happened that are not mine to share. It was sweet to be able to sit in these moments with her and process them together. The Lord was sweet in preparing me through different life events and moments over the past 3-5 years. It was a gift that I could have never expected, known to pray for, or prepare for. I am forever thankful for those sweet moments we shared that lead to a teary eyed and tight gripped moment during our last prayer lead by our team leader before we said our goodbyes or better termed see you laters. Little did she know, she turned a slow burning fire in my heart back into a roaring flame with her vulnerability and longing to honor and serve God and others. Moldova is a place filled with people like this young women living day in and day out to shine the glory of God. It was my privilege to get to serve along side of them and to now call many of the men and women on our team not just friends but family.
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