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Little did I know that when I thought I was heading on a trip to help place the hope of Christ in children's lives, that God would use these very children to reignite His hope inside of me. Visiting orphanages can put a whole new lens on the perspective of what I am grateful for in my life. Beyond that, God has amazing children all over this world who we have been called to love, no matter the circumstance.

Jeremy and Mona at CTL Romania


On the last day of my first trip, I was hanging out with one of my new friends I had made that week named Mona. We sat on the living room floor of the ministry center trying to learn Psalm 116:12-14. My Bible had been left out and she saw that this passage was highlighted and insisted on knowing what it said. We sat there for the next hour as she watched my mouth carefully as I read the scripture over and over to her. She wanted to learn the verse. Our translator had given her a Romanian bible to read the verse but she insisted on repeating after me in English. We laughed as she just couldn't quite ever get the pronunciation of the word "fulfill”. Little did I know how much I was being fulfilled in this moment. We hung out the rest of the morning, doing crafts and playing games until it was time to say goodbye. Learning that I was heading back to the U.S. the next day wasn't easy on either of us. She insisted I leave her something to "remember me forever.” I gave her a blue cloth bracelet I had bought earlier on that trip. Then something happened. She gave me a hug. This wasn't just a hug, this was a real hug, with true gratification and love. I don't have children and I have never experienced anything like this before. Then I realized something: I wasn't just on a trip with Children to Love, I was across the world experiencing something greater, Children Who Love. This is just one instance, from one hour, from one trip. Mona decided part of my heart would remain in Romania.

Jeremy and Mona reading through Psalm 116

Jeremy and Mona's hug goodbye


There is no truer hug than that from an orphan touched by God through the ministry of Children to Love, period.


Psalm 116:12-14

"What shall I return to the Lord for all his goodness to me?

I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people."


- Jeremy R

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