I always get asked the same questions from people all over the world when they find out I moved from Los Angeles to Bucharest. I’ll try and answer the frequently asked questions but feel free to email me directly for more information! (Especially if you’re single and like cats).
I first visited Romania in the summer of 2011 with a group of 7 other ladies from my home church in LA, Rolling Hills Covenant, who helped run a camp for gypsy street children for a week in Bucharest. I was 21 years old, living in Santa Monica with what I thought was my dream job. I had “made it.” And then I stepped off the plane into a smelly, ridiculously humid, ugly city, and fell in love. Less than 24 hours later I had made up my mind. I was going to leave my LA life behind and move to Bucharest. And so I did.
In May 2012 I packed a few bags and accepted a year long internship with Every Generation Ministries. I was working in a office part-time and starting children’s programs at a church in the area. I spent the entire year loving every single minute of Bucharest and what it had to offer. Work didn’t feel like work once, and the people made it easy to forget I was thousands away from all of my friends and family. Bucharest was home.
After that initial year, I worked with another organization for two years that helped orphans with their physical, medical and spiritual needs. We visited them weekly, had birthday and Christmas parties for them and even took them away to camp every summer.
In September 2015 I left to join up and help start two brand new ministries. With the help of Rolling Hills Covenant Church, I connected with an international ministry, Sowers International. Sowers oversees my financial support and makes sure I have the emotional and physical support needed when I am overseas, which I learned early on, is very important. As much as I like to think I can survive here on my own, I know that without the support and help from Sowers, my time here would be more challenging.
In Bucharest, I am working with Refuge Center, which not only focuses on the current needs of the orphanage children, but prepares them for life after the orphanage. Hope Rescue Centre focuses on homeless families and at risk children. I specifically work in “prevention,” dealing with children and giving them opportunities they wouldn’t normally have to improve their life.
I can’t tell you WHY I love it so much here but I know I am meant to be here. It isn’t always easy living here, living away from family and friends, dealing with car problems in a second language, surviving in 3 feet of snow, or not having a hot shower in weeks, but it’s home. And I love my home.