I have strong opinions about missions work. I believe that short term trips are good and I believe that long term trips or internships are good and I believe that full time missions is good. In December 2013 I was still under the impression that I was to continue doing short term trips. But that began to change when I stepped off the plane in January 2014.
Mom and I had gone to Romania after Christmas in December 2013. We stayed for about 2 weeks and I had the joy of introducing my mom to the kids, staff, and missions work that I had loved doing for the previous 3 years. After we came back, God laid it on my mom's heart to start talking with me about going back to Romania for a longer period of time. Until then I hadn't had that desire but, as God was prompting my mom to speak with me, He was opening my heart to the possibility of long term missions work.
Over the next several months the calling began to get stronger. I reached out to Jim and Jodi (the American directors of Heart to Heart, the organization I had been going to Romania through) and asked some questions. During the summer of 2014 I went back to Romania. During that time it became clear to me that I needed to make a move. Romania was calling and I needed to answer.
I submitted my application to Heart to Heart in the fall and began the long journey of fundraising. There were lots of tears, lots of doubts, lots of worries, and some moments of frustration but, after just about 6 months, I have finally raised enough money to make the move into full time ministry in Romania.
Why haven't I blogged about this before now? Well, I didn't want to give my notice at my current job until I was 100% ready to leave. And I didn't want to say too much on social media or my blog because I'm friends with some of my co-workers on Facebook. Now that I have given my letter of resignation I feel more at liberty to talk about my transition.
I will still be able to keep in touch with everyone (I may even blog more! Haha!). I have a special Facebook group set up where I can post pictures and talk about my work (let me know if you want to join, the group is "secret" because there are restrictions on the pictures I can post on social media). I still have my email and I also send out a monthly newsletter (click the link to sign up).
Finally, just because I have enough money to leave for Romania doesn't mean that fundraising is done. I have lots of expenses to cover: food, transportation, rent, student loans, ministry supplies... I'm still looking for some monthly giving partners. If you would like to donate even just $5 a month it would greatly help me. Here are the forms to use if you are interested:
- Monthly transfer from your bank account: http://www.h2hint.org/images/pdf/eft.pdf (please note that you will need to write a note on here indicating that your donation should go to my account...just put "Designated for Melissa Brown" at the top of the slip before sending it in)
- Monthly transfer from a credit card: http://www.h2hint.org/images/uploads/ACC%20Charge%20Application%20Form.pdf (be sure to write Melissa Brown on the "Donation is designated for:" line)
If you can only give a one time donation that would greatly help me as well. Having a little extra in my start up funds means I don't have to spend money from my monthly budget for things like furniture and language lessons.
- One time donation: http://www.h2hint.org/index.php/h2h/give/ (be sure to put Melissa Brown in the "Optional Gift Designation" box)
My last day at my current job is May 29th and I leave for Romania on June 28th. I have training in San Diego at the beginning of June and lots of packing to do. As the time for me to transition into a new stage of life approaches I'll be sharing more about what I'll be doing in Romania and what moving half way around the world looks like.
Thanks for sticking it out with me through this amazing and life changing process!