Have you ever experienced feeling like your heart is going to burst out of your chest? A seven year old Romanian girl gifted that feeling to me today.
We have been in Bucharest for one week and my heart has never experienced so many aches and swells in such a short amount of time.
My heart aches for the people of Romania suffering at the hand of human trafficking. My heart swells at the thought of organizations like eLiberare, the policy center, and the safe house we partnered with being able to fight against these injustices.
My heart aches at the thought of children being trafficked by people they trust. My heart swells at the fact that those who have been rescued are able to smile and laugh with incredible strength.
My heart aches at the fact that a large majority of the population does not even realize slavery is still in existence. My heart swells at the thought of my classmates developing a fire in their hearts with a passion to fight this injustice.
Today I experienced a heart full of love and hope. We had the privilege of going to a school in an at risk community. This program is optional for children to participate in. The population we worked with had children who are at a high risk of being involved in human trafficking as either a trafficker or one being trafficked. As soon as we arrived the girls rushed to prepare a place for us to sit and join them. They were so generous to us in regards to both their resources and their affections.
We gave them the opportunity to make bracelets out of string and beads. Some of the younger children had a difficult time stringing the beads with their small hands. I am now thankful for their difficulty because it allowed me to meet an incredible little girl. We worked together to string beads. We speak differences languages but we both took advantage of the opportunity to learn from one another. She would laugh with me as I desparetly tried to speak Romanian. She would also repeat perfect English back to me. After we made her a bracelet, she insisted on making one for me. What an honor it was to receive that bracelet from her. She could’ve chosen to make another bracelet for herself but she demonstrated selflessness that was so humbling. She offered me her chair, part of her snack, and many many hugs. She even saw my long hair as an opportunity to gift me with a new hairstyle. Our time came to an end and neither of us wanted to let go of each other. That short amount of time with a girl who I couldn’t even communicate with words with is engrained in my heart now.