After a 2:00 am flight out of Bucharest, a 7 hour layover in Moscow, and then finally the long 11 hour flight back to LAX, we made it home. Our trip was nothing short of incredible, and we look forward to sharing our stories with you on Sunday, July 29 for Romania Youth Sunday. We’ll have more opportunities for you to talk with us about the trip, so please take us up on that. Thanks so much for all your support throughout this whole process. God is good!

We headed out of Lupeni for our 6 hour drive back to Bucharest, where we stayed a night in a hostile. Other than having to share toilets, it was a great place (thanks to our Romanian hosts) and we all enjoyed our stay.

We are spending a debrief day in Bucharest before we get on a plane early tomorrow morning (2:00 am, actually).

So we took a little stroll to the Parliament Palace today in Bucharest. It’s the world’s second largest administrative building (to the Pentagon), built in the 1980’s by Nicolae Ceausecu (who never lived to see it completed due to the revolution that led to the end of communism). The building is valued at $4 billion. I don’t know if the kids enjoyed the tour, but Mish and I sure did.

Today was our last full day with these kids (sniff sniff). Tomorrow we hang with them for most of the day, and then leave in the afternoon for our 6 hour drive to Bucharest. So it’s our last night in Straja, which is going to be very bittersweet. Is it really almost time to head home???

We got a full day of sun (woohoo) so we spent a lot of time outside playing games and painting, which was great! Our new Romanian friendships continue to strengthen, but it’s crazy to think that we’re on the final stretch, just days away from heading home. I’m excited to see what impact this trip has on each of us, so keep praying for God to move in our hearts!

Book camp day 2. It’s been raining all day e’ry day, so we’ve been pretty much stuck inside…with books. So that’s been tough for some of us. But everybody is doing great and enjoying the people we’ve been hanging out with. The sun did pop out for a bit today and the paint crew got to do some prep work on the library (where our book camp is taking place), but the rain picked up again and prevented them from actually painting (maybe tomorrow). Only two full days left in Straja/Lupeni and then we head back to Bucharest for a free day (we’re getting a tour of the Parliament building there, which we’re told is an amazing site to see) before returning home!!!

I think our group is beginning to fall in love with Romania and the people here. We had no clue what to expect from this trip, and even struggled a bit with what we’ve encountered (and many of us are still processing that), but God has surprised us (of course). I’m hopeful that our conversation about Romania will continue long after our trip home. Our stories will be interesting to share for sure!