Michael & MelIssa Hinton
So,What’s It Like
Our first months in Romania have been filled with adventure and adjustment, but it is refreshing to be part of YMI’s team in Romania serving alongside the Rices.
The continued major focus for us has been language.
A little over a year our family finished up initial support raising, said emotional goodbyes, and boarded a plane bound for Bucharest, Romania. As we’ve settled in and communicated with friends and family back in America the common question has been, “What’s it like to live in Romania?”
We have pondered that question over the last year and one common answer always comes to mind, “It’s like having to relearn how to live all over again.” We have moved to a different country with a different way of doing everything and now we have to learn their ways. We have had to learn/relearn how to speak (Romanian language), how to shop, how to pay bills, how to cook, how to order food, how to travel, how to see a doctor, how to purchase a vehicle, etc. You get the picture!
What we’ve also quickly learned is the stress of living overseas! It is real, and at times it takes a toll! There are good days, bad days, and everything in between. What we have figured out is how much we still haven’t figured out.
We will never forget the first time we had to order food at McDonald’s. We chose to eat there a few times our first week because many menu items are the same in Romanian and English. To make a long story short, it did not go well. Most of us did not get the drinks we ordered, and Melissa did not get the meal she ordered, so we had to go back and get it corrected. At this point we did not speak a word of Romanian. While it was frustrating not being able to order a simple meal correctly, we praised God that after the craziness of that moment we all had something to eat and drink. We were quickly reminded just how dependent we are on God for everything.
I am also reminded of the time our language tutor had me say my very first compound sentence in Romanian. I was very nervous, but after some encouragement from her, and some coaching, the sentence came out even though it sounded like a toddler learning to talk. The point is, this past year has been a whole lot of learning and relearning. There are days that are really hard and days where God sends us encouragement right when we need it.
Another sobering thought about living in Romania is that spiritual warfare is very real. Our main enemies, the flesh, the world, and Satan, remind us daily how much they do not want us here. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12, “we do not wrestle with flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age…” Our spiritual enemies try every day to use those tough language moments, mistakes in public, challenges in church or ministry, conflicts in our home, rude interactions, etc., to get us to quit or give up.
Common lies are, “this is not worth it,” “the stress is not worth it,” “just go home, and you no longer have to deal with any of it.” Our spiritual enemies want to wear us down with discouragement. In those moments we also have seen how big our God is, and when He shows up He reminds us we are exactly where He wants us.
He has come through in some discouraging times with some awesome moments:
- He allowed our visa process to go quickly and efficiently, even to the amazement of the guy who helped us. He had never seen the process go that well.
- God also showed up when He provided us a home next to a Romanian family who are believers who have children with whom our kids can play and practice language.
- He has provided us with excellent teammates, Phil and Scottie Rice, who have prayed for us and counseled us through difficult moments.
- We also have some wonderful missionary care folks, Frank and Karen Mills, who help us with soul care and timely encouragement.
- The Lord has provided us with wonderful, godly language helpers who encourage us to keep pressing on with Romanian and help us realize how far we have come.
- God has provided a wonderful organization in YMI with a clear and concise vision, so we never have to wonder why we are here or what we are doing.
- Lastly, in our weakness God’s strength is made perfect! No matter the moment, good or bad, God has provided all the tools for victory. His Word will not return void. The Bible tells us, Lastly, God has provided an awesome support team from all over the world – people who daily pray for us and support us selflessly.
This past year has been unlike any other in our lives. This is just a small glimpse into what that life has been like living and learning in a new culture. There is real struggle in living over seas, but there is also real victory. God has reminded us every day that this move is so worth it because we get to be a part of His work of declaring His glory to the nations!
We ask you pray with us concerning the following: