Monday, July 9, 2012

Backpacking with the boys!

So I had the opportunity to go on a backpacking trip with boys from a few of the orphanages we work in!  Every year we do a backpacking trip into the mountains of Romania where we get to spend some one on one time with the boys.  It was a chance for building deeper relationships and planting seeds!  We stayed at the mountain rescue station and we did day hikes to waterfalls, a cave and to a WWI monument commemorating the heroes of that war.  Each location was absolutely beautiful and was a reminder that this was created so that we might worship Him!
WWI monument

One of the many waterfalls.

The monastery was built into the mouth of the cave!

Because we had so many boys that wanted to go on this trip we had to take two trips!  A bummer I know... ;)!  Personally, one of my favorite things to do was to spend that special time with each kid.  I found God had been putting me with boys that I hadn't really had deep relationships with yet.  Those kids who might be a rough around the edges or not looking for that kind of relationship were those kids that God brought me closer to.  God also was able to allow me to spend some time with my boy.  Some might recognize him from our support cards or letter we had sent out!  He has grown a little!
Marian all grown up!

Florin showing some love and me loving it!
The two "Joe cools".

The second trip had a different feel.  I didn't know the boys very well because they are from an orphanage in Rosiori.  I knew about them but had not been able to spend that time with them.  One boy that I was able to spend some personal time with was Amo.  Amo is among only a handful of kids in the orphange who have been baptized and runs hard after Christ.  His faith and actions are a constant reminder to his peers about the sacrifice Christ made for us.  It was through Amo spraining his ankle that I was able to sit and talk with him about certain things that I would never have had the chance to.  Another boy was Darius.  Darius was my challenge for group number 2.  He is at the age where everything is cool except the rules, so getting him to follow direction was difficult.  There were sometimes when he payed attention :).  But it wasn't until we arrived home when I realized just how much God had been working on his heart on this trip.  Before hoping in the van to head back to Rosiori I told Darius, "Be a man after God's own heart".  His reply was simple and humbling.  With his head down he replied, "I know, I need to be...".  That was moment I realized I am just an instrument.
Darius, our independent one of trip #2.

Amo in his morning devotions

Amo and Dani pozing on one of the rock formations.

I believe that the key to a successful ministry is understand that ministry is more about planting seeds than harvesting fruit.  Yes, fruit is extremely important and it is the reason we plant seeds but if we don't consistently plant seeds we won't get fruit.  Planting seeds is never what you expect and many times you do not get to see the fruits of the seeds planted but we must remind ourselves that our fruit lies in heaven and through planting seeds others will get to see the fruit and cultivation God has overseen.  The fruit that I get to see is rarely from something that I have done but rather from the hands that have served before me!

Some more pictures of the boys and the beautiful scenery!

lunch view!

Monastery in the cave
Little waterfall

Iounț and Gaj at one of the caves!
My view from camp!

going up the mountain!

We were in the clouds!


  1. Josh, great pictures and commentary. God is using you to plant many seeds in young men, I am so proud of you! Mike Nichols

  2. Hi Josh, praise the Lord for your work with the kids. Keep plugging away, trusting God for the harvest. Peace to you and Missy both! Mark Fishel

  3. Awesome! Love the news and pix of what God is doing there... thanks for sharing. Miss you two but know that eternity will prove that we lost no time by doing His work here on earth but enlarged the family of God. Can't wait for our family reunion in heaven! Hugs & kisses to you both and all the kids there within your arms of love for Christ!
    Aunt Linda