The last time I was able to go home to Canada for the Christmas holidays was in 2009 which was five years ago and that did not even include being home for Christmas Day because I had flown home on December 29th . I am so very grateful that I was able to go to Canada to visit my family, friends and supporters over the holidays even if it was a very short amount of time of only three weeks but it was definitely still worth the trip.
I unfortunately did not have a very good start to my trip back to Canada because the day that I left for the airport to take a night bus to the Budapest airport on December 18th I fell off a folding chair when I was getting my suitcase down and I bruised my left leg that it even bled so I was in a lot of pain as I packed and gathered my things together to leave. I was very grateful that Philip (he is a missionary here in Romania with his wife) was able to take me to where I had to get my bus. I am so very thankful that I didn’t miss my bus because I was very close to missing it so that was a huge miracle from God that I got it on time before it left from Târgu Mureş, Romania.
I’m so very glad that my bus ride from Târgu Mureş to Budapest went well even though it was a very long and exhausting trip to take a night bus to the airport and then to board the plane with hardly any sleep at all. My first flight was from Budapest at 8:50am on December 19th which was only a short flight of around an hour and 15 minutes. I connected through Munich and everything was fine for my connection and then I had a long nine hour flight to Toronto.
I flew with Air Canada for my second flight. The food was quite delicious on my second
flight. My second flight was a bit delayed so instead of arriving in Toronto at 2:50pm I arrived at 3:30pm. Then I had to go through customs which is interesting now for me because I no longer write my Canadian address but my home address in Romania. When I got through the doors with my luggage my Mom and my brother Jonathan were there waiting for me which was really great to see them when I arrived! We had a nice dinner together at Swiss Chalet restaurant and then when we got home we had a little celebration for my brother’s birthday.
I had been thinking of getting a new laptop notebook computer for a long time now since the computer I had was around 5 years old, there was a black spot on the screen that was just increasing and then besides that it was just too heavy and big especially when I travel so I decided to check out the computers when I was in Canada. It turned out that I was able to get a really nice one (Asus flip) for a very good price so I decided to go for it and buy it since it was on sale ($970 CAD). Now I’m so very glad that I did buy it and I am very grateful for the donations that I had received from people which really helped a lot.
My time in Canada was extremely busy especially that it was the holidays with all of the
traveling to visit my relatives and I also tried to connect with as many friends and supporters as I could too. It was such a great time to connect with my family and everyone in person again but it was also such a different trip home for the Christmas holidays especially since my Dad has left my Mom. For me it was my first trip home to Canada for Christmas to have separate Christmas celebrations with my Dad and my Mom which was very, very difficult but at the same time I am very grateful for God’s grace, peace and His presence during this time as well because it was definitely emotionally very hard at times during this trip home.
I often stay in contact with my Mom on Skype when I am in Romania but of course it is not the same as spending time in person so it was really great to spend some really good quality time with her. We were able to make Christmas cookies together which I absolutely love her cookies, go shopping and do other things as well.
On Wednesday December 24th I went to Rochester, New York with my Mom and my brother Jonathan where we visited my Mom’s side of the family. We were there until Saturday December 27th. We had a really great visit and it was so good to see my relatives again especially after not seeing them for such a long time. We had a great Christmas celebration with the family on December 25th where we enjoyed a delicious dinner and blessed each other with some gifts.
On Friday December 26th, it was really great to see my cousin Candace again after not seeing each other for years (she lived in England but last year she recently moved back to the States) and I finally got to meet her husband Sajad and their son Zacki too. Then in the evening I went bowling with my Mom, my brother, my cousin Matthew, his girlfriend Edmy and my Uncle Tom (my aunt Debbie came too but she didn’t bowl). I haven’t bowled in such a long time so it was so much fun to go out and go bowling even if I am not the best bowler!
On Saturday December 27th, it was more of a shopping day and just spending time with
my Grandma at her house. For dinner that day it was wonderful to have a reunion with all of my cousins together again after not seeing each other for a very long time (except for Candace couldn’t come that day but everyone else was able to be there). The last time I saw my cousin Amanda and her husband Miguel it was in the spring of 2011 so it was wonderful to see them again! The last time I saw them they only had one child (their son Antimony) and now they also have a daughter (Amethyst) too. In the evening on the way home back to Whitby, Ontario Canada where my Mom lives we stopped for a visit at good friends of ours Al and Diane. It was a real blessing to see them again too!
On Tuesday December 30th my brother Jonathan and I had a small Christmas get together with our Dad. It was really great to see him again but yet it felt so very strange to see him at a hotel and spend the night at a hotel. We stayed overnight at a hotel in Toronto where we had a dinner together, exchanged Christmas gifts and watched a movie. I really wanted to give my Dad a memorable gift so I prayed and asked God what I could give him and the Lord gave me an idea to put together a family photo album so I did that. I am so very glad that my Dad liked his gift and it as really great to go through the pictures together with him too.
On Wednesday December 31st I had brunch with my Dad, my brother Jonathan and my
uncle Eugene and my aunt Phyllis. We ate at Perkins restaurant and the food was delicious. It was really great to see my uncle Eugene and my aunt Phyllis again!
I felt so very blessed that I was able to bring in the New Year’s Eve celebration with my Mom. We went to for the Open Heaven’s concert/ event which was at the Harshey Centre in Mississauga. There was a whole band there with trumpets, a guitar solo was done by Lenny LeBlanc, Don Moen and Israel Houghton sang and there were even indoor fireworks too.
For the New Year’s Day I spent it with my Mom, my brother Jonathan and Chanelle (she is one of the girls who rent a room at my Mom’s house). We had our little Christmas celebration where we had a delicious meal that my Mom cooked, we exchanged gifts and I think we watched a movie too. It was quite an emotional day for all of us as it felt so very strange and incomplete especially that my Dad was not with us which was the first Christmas like that for us. Please pray that God will come and heal our broken hearts and He will also come and restore us as well. Thanks so much for your prayers.
On Friday January 2nd my brother Jonathan and I went to Waterloo to spend the evening
and night at our uncle Eugene and aunt Phyllis’ house. We had dinner with our cousins Aaron, Deanne and Andrew. Deanne’s husband Robin, Andrew’s girlfriend Leanne and my aunt Sharon were also there as well. It was wonderful to see everyone again but I did feel really bad that my Mom couldn’t join us because I know that she misses them too. My aunt Phyllis cooked a delicious dinner, I showed everyone pictures from Romania, we took updated pictures with everyone and we also watched a movie together.
The next day (January 3d) it was so great to have another meal together with everyone because we had a delicious brunch together with everyone once again. I am so very grateful that I was able to have a couple of heart to heart one-on-one conversations with my cousin Deanne, my aunt Sharon and also my aunt Phyllis about how painfully difficult it has been with my current family situation. They were all so very encouraging and it was comforting to know how supportive they were to what I am going through right now.
Late Saturday afternoon (January 3rd) my Mom met Jonathan and I in Guelph (she took
the bus there) and then we had a very special and relaxing weekend with Harold and Karen who are good friends of ours. They had opened up their home to us and invited us to spend the night with them which was such a refreshing and peaceful time for all of us together. For dinner on Saturday we went to Swiss Chalet restaurant which was really great to get out together.
Then on Sunday morning (January 4th) we went to their church which was such a great service, we enjoyed a delicious roast beef dinner that was
made by Karen, then we watched a really great movie called “Luther” (it was such an interesting movie that was about the life of Martin Luther and the reformation that took place when they pulled away from the Catholic church in the 16th century). I am so very thankful for all of the encouragement and the prayers that we received from Karen and Harold that weekend we were with them. What a blessing from God they are!
My last week that I was in Canada (January 4th – 11th) was full of running errands especially for shopping and getting everything that I needed before I returned back to Romania. On Thursday January 8th it was a real blessing to be able to spend it with my friend Anna and her daughter Joy and then in the evening I spent it with my friend Maria which was so good to see both of them again!
On Saturday January 10th I’m so thankful my Mom was able to open up her home for us to
have a prayer get together with some of my supporters. We were able to enjoy some refreshments, I shared an update of what is happening in Romania and also the new thing of how God has been stirring in my heart the area of human trafficking and we also had amazing time of prayer as well where God met us in a very special way. It was truly an encouraging evening to be able to connect to so many people who have been praying and supporting me before I returned to Romania. I feel so blessed to have such an amazing group of people who are on the home front here in Canada while I serve God here in Romania!
On Sunday January 11th it was my last Sunday at my home church (Christian Life Centre in Ajax, Ontario). I am very thankful that I was able to share my DVD slide show presentation that I had prepared about my last year and half in Romania, then I shared a bit of what I’m currently doing in Romania and after that people prayed for at the church which was very encouraging. My heart is truly filled with so much gratitude of how my home church in Canada have been such a huge support to me over the years since I have been serving God on the mission field here in Romania especially with all of their prayers and also their financial support as well.
On Monday January 12th, I spent the morning and early afternoon packing to return home to Romania. The three weeks in Romania went by super-fast but it was definitely worth it to come home for the Christmas holidays. My trip back to Romania was not the usual “normal” travel back but it was quite an unexpected one and also quite a crazy adventure getting back to Romania however I’ll save this story for another blog entry!