Be Careful What You Pray For

Cristian & Otilia Stroia May 01 2018, 1:45 pm | 0 Comments

“Be careful what you pray for, because you might just get it!” I’ve heard this saying many times, but I never took it seriously until it actually happened to me.

“God, just give me patience,” was my frequent prayer, feeling that I would burn out soon if I didn’t learn to take things easier. Looking back now I wonder, what was I thinking? That I would just wake up one morning and discover I was full of calm and patience? I should have realized that by asking this I was inviting God to take me through the long, painful process that leads to patience.

As if crossing the border every day between Romania and Ukraine and standing in never-ending lines was not enough, shortly after starting our project I discovered a whole new level of pain—the long, frustrating and seemingly impossible process of getting all the approvals we needed to do our ministry. We had great plans to involve the community and especially the school, but I kept getting the runaround, constantly shuffled between authorities who seemed unable to provide the authorizations I needed. After meeting a lot of officials, carrying many stacks of translated papers, doing lots of travelling, explaining my needs over and over and encountering delay after delay, I got tired and discouraged. For about two years I knocked on doors with no result. I was running out of, you know, patience.
But then things started to move all at once. One day I knocked at the mayor’s door trying to present one project, and—what a surprise—I was redirected to a teacher’s office, the one in charge of cross-cultural projects. I was prepared for another refusal, but surprisingly he was very happy to hear about our plans. That day we received the approval for a children’s astronomy club followed by a health expo and then an English class, all to be held in the biggest room in City Hall for free. In addition to that, the teacher offered to advertise everything and bring us the children, too. We were speechless. After two years of struggle, God used that one man to open more doors for us than we ever would have had the courage to ask for.

Now, as we prepare to launch to our AFM project in Georgia, we recall the valuable lesson we have learned: Often, great things take time. We are still afraid sometimes to pray for patience, but we know we still need it.

As we prepare to go once again into the unknown, we would be honored to have you on our team through your prayers and support!

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