Monday, July 17, 2006

Once upon a time... Joel went on a trip to Romania!

Ok, I know, I'm rubbish at blogging and I promised ages ago that I would post some more stuff about what I've been up to. I've just been crazy busy the last few weeks.

So way back at the end of May I went to Romania for about a week, and I thought I'd tell you a bit about it. The trip there was quite amusing. First we got to the airport and it turned out to be a different terminal to where they usually fly in, and Pastor John who was picking us up was at the other terminal. After making a few phone calls to speak to some people at the church who didn't speak much English we managed to meet up with Pastor George and get on with our long journey through Hungary to Romania.

It was a long old journey and about half way the mini bus started making funny noises so we pulled over and it turned out we had a puncture. The Pastor had borrowed the mini bus, and so didn't know how to get the spare tyre off which was suspended from the bottom of the bus. There was a sign which said services in 5 km and he seemed convinced we could get there and get it sorted out. But as we drove on the smell of burning got worse, and eventually we had to stop again about 500m down the road. Basically all that was left was the rim of the wheel. After a good bit of thinking and team work we managed to get the tyre off and changed. Here is a picture of Pastor Alan (My boss) putting in some hard work.

Anyway, I stayed with the wonderful Sarah and Emma who are absolute stars and also the delightful Dylan who managed to wake me up most mornings at about 5am to play games. The best one was when he grabbed my phone while I was half asleep and started to call the emergency services. I think he just wanted to play games but dialling 999 was all he could do while it was locked, but I didn't tell Sarah he did it...

The whole trip seemed to go very quickly, we saw a lot of stuff while we there. A highlight for me was definitely going to see the Romanian Relief Safe House in Tinca. Its a really awesome place, and its amazing to see the difference that its making to the childrens lifes. After we'd been there we went to the childrens hospital in Oradea where alot of the children come from and that really hits you in the face. Before I went me and Tom had spent some time putting together the DVD for Romanian Relief and I had trawled through quite a lot of footage from the hospital, but when ur there and the kids are in front of you it really hits you. Just the fact that they've been abandoned and they have no one really to give them any love and care. There are nurses but there's so many babies they cant give them the proper care and attention they need. There was one baby who was crying away and you could tell she were just hungry but who knows how long it would be till she was fed. A lot of the babies are quite deformed as well, or have disabilities. It was really hard being there, you feel so helpless. And just thiking about it even now I think how little they have, and how blessed we are here in England. I cant understand how things get so mucked up like that, it just makes me angry inside. It really bought to life how much Emma and Sarah have done in setting up the safe homes. Even looking back at video of the kids a few months before and seeing them now, you can totally see the difference it has made. And thats only half of what the charity does, for more info have a look at their site

Big up respect goes out to Sarah and Emma, as they've done an amazing job setting up and running the charity, and they've sacrificed so much at a young age to go out there and do it. It cant be easy at times, but they've had the faith and motivation to keep going. Its really made me think about my life and all that I do and what stuff really makes a difference or is a positive influence on other peoples lifes. It was really cool to spend some time with Sarah and Emma and they were a real inspiration to me.

So, hopefully I'll go back again sometime soon. We went and saw a load of stuff with the church as well, but I'd like to go back and maybe actually do some stuff if I can. It was nice to go and see all this stuff, but it did seem a bit pointless in some ways, so if I go again I'd like to actually go and specifically do something.

Me and Tom are hoping to go in October but we'll have to see.

Thats all for now!