June 9, 2016

Falling in love...

Craft from a lesson in one of the camps in Greece
I just walked back up the stairs to my apartment after talking to my land lady for about an hour. Before I left for Serbia in March, she said she wanted a full report upon my return. So when I returned from Serbia, I visited with her (along with Dorothy), showing pictures and sharing stories about my experience with the refugees. She asked such detailed questions and listened so intently. She has lived through many different eras in her life, and has such a curious spirit about her. She's a fascinating lady.

When I told her I'd be going to Greece to do more work with the refugees, she said she wanted another report when I got back. The two weeks between my Greece trips were packed so I didn't get a chance to tell her anything after my first return, which is probably for the best now that I think about it. Anyways, I had some free time this afternoon and decided to knock on her door. I brought her back a little box of baklava, which she was extremely surprised and happy about. She invited me in and we got right to it. She wanted to know how it was compared to Serbia. Similarities, differences, how Greece is handling things, etc. So I told her.

We talked for about an hour, which might actually be the longest conversation we've ever had, but it was so enjoyable. At one point in the conversation, she asked if I would be going back to Greece. I told her that I probably will, but not before I go back to the States for a little while this summer/fall. She then looked a tiny bit surprised and proceeded to say, "I have a feeling that you fell in love in Greece", which of course made me burst out in laughter. I assured her that I did not fall in love in Greece, but she would not believe me. (For the record, I really did not fall in love in Greece.) She went on to say, "but there's something in your eyes...something is different about you..." and she would not be convinced otherwise. She finally said, "well I could be wrong, but I don't think I am", and then I knew what my reply would be. I said, "Well actually, I have fallen in love, but it all started in Serbia...I have fallen in love with a group of people...", which is 100% true. She paused for a moment and kind of accepted this answer, although I know she's not fully convinced.

While I am handling my transition back into Romania (from Greece) much better than when I returned from Serbia, I'm still finding it difficult to process through everything. My two experiences, in Serbia and Greece, could not be more different. My time in Greece was obviously much shorter, and the overall situation was much different there than in Serbia. Like I said, I still don't have a lot of words, but maybe soon. Until then, allow me to close this post by sharing a few lines from the book I just finished (again), Kisses from Katie, along with a few photos from my time(s) in Greece.
"But why? Why am I constantly falling in love with people I cannot help, 
people who are taken out of my life so quickly?"

"We aren't really called to save the world, not even to save one person; Jesus does that. We are just called to love with abandoned. We are called to enter into our neighbors' sufferings and love them right there."

"The number of days or weeks we are together isn't important; what really matters is the way God knits our hearts together during the time He chooses for us to be in one another's lives." 

Despite having read this book before, these three quotes are in the part of the book that I just read again today. Coincidence? I think not. That last quote hit me hard, and it is part of what helps me to keep going...

A lesson on kindness.
A sign outside of one of the camps
Poppies, always poppies.