Romania was amazing and very beautiful. The godly, the ungodly, the broken, the young and old of Romania are beautiful. I still have a huge heart for the people and the country of Romania. This journey begins in October 2005 . . .

This journey begins in October 2005 when I felt God was calling me to go back to Teen Mania on a mission's trip. I had previously been to their younger age camp, but I had no clue where I wanted to go. So I prayed about it. When all was said and done, God said Romania. I had never heard of Romania before. I knew it was going to be a new experience.

The challenge to raise the funds for the trip was a little overwhelming. My father was unemployed at the time. God was faithful and I was able to raise all of my funds.

When I got to Garden Valley, Texas, I could feel the presence of God. I knew this was where God really wanted me this summer. We spent three days there training for dramas, skits and how to share the gospel with the people of Romania. It was wonderful. I couldn't wait to get in country and use the great tools I had learned.
 
We were thrilled when it was time to board the bus to the airport. We flew out of Houston. We went through Paris, France, and landed in Budapest, Hungary. Then we boarded a bus for a six-hour ride to Romania.
 
When we came to the border of Romania, I was a little nervous but I was excited to get my passport stamped. We arrived at our destination. The housing was a dorm. We got our exercise: the girls were on the 4th floor and the boys on the 5th. No elevators. 
 
We joined the other group from our team that had gone through Germany. They had arrived at least three hours before us.

My first Romanian meal was interesting. It was lamb with mashed carrots, some kind of rice dish, four pieces of bread, a whole tomato, plus tomato salad with cucumber and club soda to drink. It was a lot of food but we were thankful for it. Every meal they served us was huge portions. The ladies who cooked it were the best. I didn't speak the same language, but you could tell they loved it when you smiled at them and at least tried to tell them how good the food was.

The next day was our first day of ministry. We met our translators. My translator was Dorina. She was so sweet.

We went to a park with just a few people there. But, I believe that God wanted us there for a reason. We went out and invited people to come. We did our skits and drama. Then someone from our group gave the salvation message. We call this "The Net." Two people responded that first time.

We ministered out of Salem Church in Oradea. The church was a lot like my home church in Georgia. I felt right at home. They told the congregation that Teen Mania was here to help evangelize the city and everyone started cheering and clapping. They had us turn and greet everyone. They all came up to us! We didn't speak the language so it was hard to communicate but you could tell that they were happy that we were there.

The weeks went by and we kept going to Salem Church every Sunday, and on Fridays we went to the youth nights. Their youth services were as big as their Sunday services, and packed with teens. It was so incredible. God moved in awesome ways. They had a speaker there from America. He brought a drama team and a band. They were doing concerts and ministering in the city, too. Many people were saved, Praise God!

One ministry day we went to an old museum that had a garden and some walking trails. The museum was shut down. A lot of teens hung out there, so we did our skits and dramas. When we were inviting people, my ministry group invited two girls named Bianca and Anca. They came and they looked like they were really listening through the whole thing. My team leader, Aaron asked the people if they wanted to know more or ask God into their hearts that they could come up front. My team stood up and these two girls came right up to us. Anca looked straight at me and asked me how it felt to have Christ living in me. I began to spill my heart and tell her. Then Anca told us her story. She was so hungry for the love of God. She ended up giving her life to Christ.

The next story is a little funny. There were a group of us from the south. We went to dinner one day and we saw something white and creamy looking. It looked like grits. We all said, Yes! Grits!" We were thinking that Romanians had probably never even heard of grits. My friend Ashley and I sat down and we took a big spoon full of "grits" and put it in our mouths. It was the nastiest thing I had ever tasted in my life! Later we came to find out that it wasn't grits. It was in fact very, very mashed up cauliflower with some sort of dressing in it. Let's just say that I will never look at grits the same anymore.

We got to about the middle of the trip and we were all wondering when we would be going to the orphanage? They took us there about two weeks into the trip. There were 9 floors of babies. It was the saddest thing you could ever see. I found myself, talking to the nurses while I was there. Most of them were young volunteers that had a heart for the kids. I was glad to find that most of them were Christians. So I was able to encourage them in their walk with God. We went to the orphanage three times.

Just a few days ago I received an email from the Pastor in Romania. He wanted to tell our team about a young lady in their church and her testimony of salvation and a deeper walk with God. I was overjoyed to read that it was Anca, the girl from the museum.

If you are thinking about going on a mission trip, do it!! It will change your life in way you could never imagine.

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Naomi Gomez has been home schooled since the age of 6. She felt the call to Missions at about age 9. She serves on the youth council and is on the worship team as well as the Tech Team at her church.

First published in The Mother's Heart magazine, a premium online magazine for mothers with hearts in their homes. Visit our website at: www.The-Mothers-Heart.com