Well, once again, God has been at work behind the scenes, moving things forward! After several months of praying and searching for a non-profit organization to partner with in the US, God has answered my prayers!
As a missionary, I don't necessarily fit the mold. All of my connections are overseas, my timeline before leaving is short, and there are very few missionaries who are doing what I am doing, using therapy to show God's love, in Christ's name. These factors have made it harder for me to find a mission organization that is a good fit. However, after sitting down with Nate and Kara Ullrich at a mutual friends' home, I knew that their mission organization, Cord Ministries, was God's provision for me when he said that they are an unusual mission organization for unusual missionaries.
Cord has a unique way of working with their missionaries. They send missionaries to be led by their receiving organizations rather than training them themselves. They also contract with their missionaries instead of employing them. So, because of this, they were able to get me set up to receive donations quickly. In less than a week, God provided the perfect organization for me and had me up and running with them, at just the right time.
I'm so grateful that He helped me wait on Him rather than jumping ahead of Him to try to meet the need on my own. Once again, he was at work behind the scenes, making crazy connections, and knew just what I needed!
To learn more about Cord Ministries, click here.
On the home front, God has been working on my behalf as well. At first, I had wanted to wait until mid-July to put my condo on the market so that it would close right before leaving for Romania in September. Then Danny & Rianne, who I am planning on staying and partnering with in Romania, encouraged me sell it sooner. What great advice it turned out to be!
On the evening of June 20th, my condo went on the market. The first showing was the next day, and by the 22nd, we were under contract! As exciting as it was to be under contract in a day or two, it was short-lived as the buyer decided to terminate a week later. Back on the market we went!
After 7 showings during the week of the 4th of July, which is often a rough time to be selling, I had two interested buyers. One outbid the other and we went under contract on July 3. However, if I thought that the last buyer lasted for a short time, I soon realized how wrong I was when the second buyer got cold feet and terminated two hours after we signed the contract. It made me wonder what God was doing in all of this but decided to trust and keep moving forward since I had prayed that if that buyer wasn't the right one, that God would stop the process with him. He certainly did do that!
My realtor got on the phone with the other interested buyer and within the hour, we were under contract with her! It just reminds me again that God is definitely in control and, even if He keeps us in suspense, He is always at work!
Last Monday, about a month after signing the contract, God brought everything together at the closing. The young gal who bought the condo is super excited about the purchase and yet is graciously letting me rent back the condo through August so that I have a place to live and to work on going through my belongings to sell.
I had prayed that whoever bought the place would be in need of a safe haven, which the home has been for me, and feel as though God definitely answered that prayer! The gal who bought my condo is young, single, and just starting her career as a dental assistant. When I told her what a great place that is has been to relax after a hard day of working with people, she smiled, nodded her head, and looked to her grandma with a knowing glance. God is so good!
God is also moving me forward professionally, and I've been learning a lot! Although I've been an Occupational Therapist for almost 13 years, there's always so much more to learn, and one of the key things that I've wanted to learn, to take with me to Romania, is Infant and Child Massage. This therapy is so important for for children deprived of touch, including the children in the orphanage, those who are in foster care, and individuals at Fundatia Rafael. Touch is vital for human development and is an amazing healing agent! Massage stimulates the immune system, physical growth, and neurological development in the child. In addition, it relaxes and relieves the stress of both the child and the caregiver and, most importantly, provides all of the pieces necessary for good child/parent bonding.
So, when I learned that there was a course being offered in Denver to train therapists how to teach caregivers to massage their children, I jumped at the chance! The price for taking the course was a little high for my budget but God provided through a discount,
graciously given by the director, because of the non-profit work that I'm planning on doing in Romania.
The course was held last weekend and what a blessing it was! We learned about the benefits of child massage, how to do the massage strokes, about reading the child's cues, and how to teach the strokes to parents. While it's beneficial for a therapist to do massage with a child, it's so much more powerful for a parent or caregiver to provide the massage because of the opportunities for bonding and increased confidence in the parents to care for their children. I'm so excited to, Lord willing, be able to teach the massage strokes to foster parents, parents at the therapy center, therapists, and someday, the caregivers at the orphanage, and to be a part of the children's healing, sense of safety, development, and attachment!
I also just finished a wonderful online training that will allow me to use the Safe & Sound Protocol (SSP) to help children and adults with sensitivities to sound, auditory processing
difficulties, poor social engagement, and trauma histories through a 5-day auditory intervention. The Safe & Sound Protocol uses filtered music to retrain the middle ear to better attune to the frequencies of the human voice, which calms the nervous system, improves the ability to read social cues, and enhances feelings of safety. As a result, there are often improvements in the ability to be and stay calm, follow directions, and engage positively with others.
This program is a perfect fit for the children and adults that I am planning on working with and, I have the feeling that this program will be used extensively during my time there. I can't wait to see the results that come from the use of the SSP!
Will you please pray with me though, as I am still in need of the funds to be able to bring the SSP equipment with me?
It's really exciting to see God wonderfully moving things forward! There is still so much more to pray for and do as well.
Please pray that the Lord continues to bring in the funds that I need to live and volunteer in Romania. Right now, I am about 40% of the way there, which will get me through the first part of next year. I can't do this work without God's empowerment and God's provision through your generosity!
To give, please visit my Cord Ministries giving page here.
I am also in need of prayers for time and energy to go through my belongings and prepare to sell or give away most of them. Will you also please pray for God's guidance and provision as we hold the garage sale?
Preparing to leave the country for a minimum of a year carries with it a lot of little tasks to be done. Will you please pray for clarity and wisdom in the decisions that need to be made and the time to accomplish all that needs to happen before September 1st, when my flights take off for Bucharest?
Thank you, Friends (Multumesc, Prieteni)!! I am so grateful for your love and support!