Love’s Transforming Power

by Christian Feavel

When I first became the Executive Director of Romania Reborn almost ten years ago, we went through some big changes: new name, new website, new database, and more. The changes were necessary for this ministry to grow deeper and stronger. Today, Romania Reborn no longer resembles the ministry of a decade ago; it has been transformed. But this isn’t surprising, since transformation is what we are all about.

On my recent trip to Romania, two-year-old “Sylvia” and I had a wonderful conversation about the things important to a toddler, namely food. As she sat in my lap, I was amazed at how much she had grown in the year since I had last visited her family. A few years ago, I was privileged to observe and photograph the moment Sylvia was placed into the welcoming arms of her new parents. She wasn’t old enough to understand how love had transformed her life, but I knew her future was forever changed. As I held a talkative and lively Sylvia, I rejoiced for this little girl and her family, because her adoption would be complete within the next few months. Her beautiful eyes tell of the transforming power of a parent’s love.

As I think back over these last ten years, I am amazed at how God has not only allowed me to help change the lives of hundreds of children, but has taken me on my own journey of transformation. I cringe, and laugh, when I think back on my first public presentation of our ministry. Gathering checks and inputting them into the computer seemed overwhelming in the beginning. But God walked every step with me, always showing me that He was the One who sustained this ministry, not me. And just when I became comfortable and confident in my life and work, God decided to bring an unexpected surprise into my life.

In August of 2015, as I began my three-month stay in Romania, I attended the wedding of Corina Caba’s sister. She was marrying her fellow missionary after serving with him in Africa for many years. The groom was from Brazil, and a few of his family and friends were able to travel to attend this important event. Throughout the nine-hour wedding and reception (yes, it was a very long day), one of the groom’s friends from Brazil kept seeking me out to speak with me. He knew some English and wanted to share the photos of his trips to America. Of course, I was clueless to his true intent until Corina kindly laughed at me and told me that this man was definitely interested in me. This was so unexpected and outside of anything I had even considered for my life, but God kept whispering to me to be open to this man, Joir Lino da Silva. Before the wedding had ended, I promised to email Joir and see how God would lead us as we pursued a relationship. Only God could write a story where a woman from America and a man from Brazil meet at a wedding in Romania.

The last year and a half has been an unbelievable journey as we corresponded, prayed, opened our hearts, fell in love, and knew that marriage was God’s will for our lives. It hasn’t been easy, but it has drawn me closer to the Lord in ways I couldn’t have imagined: the transforming power of a godly man’s love.

From the beginning, I realized that this change in my life would also bring change to Romania Reborn. We had already begun to discuss the need for another part-time employee to handle the workload, but my engagement forced us to really pray for God’s guidance. I quickly knew that I would need to move to Brazil, but I would continue working part-time as Executive Director. However, it was imperative that we hire someone as Assistant Director to be on the ground here in Virginia.

God has truly led us each step of the way as we sought a person with a heart for the Lord and for the ministry. He answered and brought Natalie Daratony to us in a very short time without advertising. Again, God showed us that this was His ministry and He would provide.

Natalie has been a huge blessing, jumping in and quickly learning all that she can about the work, even traveling to Romania with me in October. She has brought a fresh perspective and new gifts to the team, which I know God will use to once again grow and transform this ministry. It will be exciting to see what God has planned as we begin this new chapter of Romania Reborn.

Even with all of these changes, the vision for our ministry has not changed: transforming lives of abandoned children. From the very beginning, this is what God has called us to do. There are more children still waiting for a forever family, so we pray we will grow deeper and stronger through the changes in order to better help each child God places in our care. I pray your life too will be changed as you join with us in sharing the transforming power of God’s love with these precious children.

Dec 20, 2016 / Uncategorized