My first trip to Romania in June 1997 is etched in my memory for several reasons.
It was my first trip to another country that I interacted with people and the culture. I had gone to Canada as a teen but that was a canoe/fishing trip that started in Minnesota, so didn’t meet any Canadians.
I met many wonderful people and who I look forward to seeing again in heaven if not in this life.
It was the first time I stayed with a host family in another culture.
Pamphlets I had written about Jesus were translated into Romanian and well received.
My translator Mihai and I had A LOT of fun 🙂
One thing I will never forget about that trip because it led to what I do today. My role on the trip was not teaching English. I went around and talked with people about Jesus. I did hang out at the school where the classes were for a while, but did not have a class.
One evening I was shooting baskets with some kids on the playground basketball court. It was a freak kind of accident. All I did was push off my left foot and I felt a pop and could also hear it. I could not walk on it. So there I was in another country newly out from under communism and I had hurt my foot.
Compounding the problem was that even though my translator and other Romanian friends checked all over Constanta a city of over 300,000 people, there were no crutches to be found to purchase. So the missionaries made a makeshift one with a broom stick so I could hobble along. My original purpose was out.
But God causes all things to work together for the good for those who love God and are called according to his purposes according to Romans 8.
Because of my hurt foot, I hung around the school where the classes were. I went into the classes and used my acting skills to improvise acting out words for the students. I enjoyed being in the classes so much that I returned to Constanta in June 1998 to teach my own conversational English language class. That is what started me on my path to becoming an English Second Language teacher.
If we look at a situation like I was in on that trip, we might think that An Injured Foot + No Crutches = A Disaster.
With God that equation comes to An Injured Foot + No Crutches = Teaching English for the first time and a whole new path opened up for me in life.