This is Becca Adams' second guest post (find her first post here). Becca and her physical therapist colleagues, including board member Marti Carroll, recently returned from a trip to Romania.
As I reflect on my second trip to Romania, I have a simple, recurring thought--
That the promises of God are not far-off, unrealistic, or ethereal stuff. The Kingdom of God is reality.
God works and speaks undeniably, powerfully and beautifully through the lives of those who look to Him and trust Him fully. And His Kingdom is more real and infinitely better than any other kingdom we try to operate in.
I saw this simple truth in the village of Obarsia. We had a heavenly day of taking part in a community picnic with homemade EVERYTHING brought up to the crest of many rolling hills by a blanketed horse and his cart. Can you imagine? Deeper than the joy of beholding the majestic scenery was the joy of watching loads of children roll down the hill, sneak extra donuts, swap stories of milking cows and exploring their new rural life.
These kids have come out of broken, traumatic histories of being abandoned or abused, of being tossed around different orphanages and separated from their siblings. God worked through RCE and Christian families in this village who were inspired by each other’s decisions to adopt, many after already raising families of their own. A beautiful domino effect of adoptions unfolded. He brought these kids into a safe and ‘spacious place; He rescued them because He delighted in them. (Psalm 18:19). This village is radiant, filled with His presence and light.
Radiance is a promise of God. We have direct access to the source, and so we are bearers of His light; we can shine brightly in our daily rhythms by looking to Him and relying on His strength. Seek His face always (Psalm 105:4). Those who look to the Lord are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame (Psalm 34:5). And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18).
I think of Flori and Sebi who care for the young men in the semi-independent living center in Pecica. It’s a daily work of loving on, delighting in, disciplining, and bringing a family dynamic to the lives of boys who bear the marks of childhood trauma. It’s not glamorous. I would imagine it’s often lonely and exhausting. But it is a radiant life, fueled by the light of the Lord. They look at the Lord and so reflect His glory. It’s a daily, steady, full eye-contact kind of gaze—not swayed by temptations to look elsewhere.
I think of the focus group discussions we held on disability and healthcare with caregivers connected to RCE’s Poverty Prevention Program. I was moved by their beautiful vulnerability in sharing.
Some interesting themes emerged. First, how the strong affects of communism still linger in society’s views, even permeating into the medical professions. The belief that people with disabilities are irrecoverable, lacking potential for full life and unworthy of dignity. They shared about the regular caregiver stresses combined with the disillusionment with a medical system that dismisses their loved ones and a social context that discludes them. And yet, a theme of collective hope arose. The stories of RCE and the stories of these caregivers intertwined to display a radiant Different Way that stands in stark contrast to the dark, oppressive system these children were born into. RCE and these caregivers go to great lengths to care for the disabled simply because they look to the Lord and are empowered to reflect His perspective.
I am so very encouraged by the radiant Body of Christ seen through RCE. It so well reflects the very fullness of God, who “fills everything in every way.” (Ephesians 1:23)