Hello everyone! My name is Alyssa Colling and I went on the Romania STMT in the summer of 2019. I graduated from the youth group in 2021 so this was my sophomore trip. I have always loved traveling and so I was excited to experience a new country/culture.
Throughout the preparation and trip itself, I was challenged and encouraged in so many ways. We were instructed on what to expect and what we should do, but there are always surprises so we have to be flexible.
While many of the Romanian teens spoke good English, there was still a palpable language barrier. This was definitely a challenge in which we learned to have a patient and humble heart. We needed to be ready to learn, and willing to accept when we were wrong. Even though we couldn’t understand everything, it was a good bonding experience to learn new words from each other’s languages. Some of my favorite memories from this trip were sitting and learning new words with the kids in the camp.
Another challenge for me specifically, was dramas. We had 2 or 3 dramas that we prepared, but acting is quite difficult for me. I don’t love it, and I’m not very good at it. Even though I was uncomfortable or awkward, it taught me flexibility and to think more of others than of myself. I was there to glorify God and to minister to others, that was my focus and it made the dramas easier when you have the right perspective.
Even though we were the ones who traveled to minister to the Romanian teens, they ministered to us in many ways as well. We were being lifted up, and encouraged by the faith of our Romanian brothers and sisters every day.
During this trip, we did lots of sports ministry with the teens. Despite this being such a simple ministry, it brought me so much joy to be able to share a common love of sports and build relationships with the teens as well.
Our sightseeing day around Bucharest was so much fun as well. The architecture of the buildings was gorgeous and it was cool to tour such a beautiful city. We got to stop at some ice cream stands and get some souvenirs before our trip concluded. It was a great way to end our two weeks of ministry.
I think the biggest thing God taught me on this trip was that he doesn’t need us. He is all-powerful and can carry out his will without us. BUT, he wants us to be a part of his plan. He loves and values us so much, that he desires to include us in his work. All we need to do is be faithful and obedient.
by Alyssa Colling