I realized perhaps I should start blogging by giving everyone some history about our little family,where we have been,and where God has taken us! Many have asked why Romania? What made you decide to pursue full time missions? There are many more questions...so here is some history...enjoy!
Our Names are Brandon and Bethany Hartman,On July 11th,2008 (while we were in Romania) we celebrated our five year anniversary.We were both raised in Christian homes,and taught about the Lord from an early age. We have had a heart for young people, and actually got to know each other in high school while serving in a inner city ministry program run by our church. We were saved as children, and are so thankful for the solid teaching and instruction we received. We were high school sweet hearts,and married a year after graduating. Since then God has blessed us with four healthy children."J" who is four, "C" who is three, "E" who is 23 months, and "R" who is seven months. We are so thankful for our children, they bring us so much joy.We have our hands full, and our hearts are overflowing with Love and Praise to our Lord for them!
A year ago, if someone had told me that we would be where we are today,I would have stood there in shock....seriously! God has brought us through the hardest year of our lives thus far. Thankfully, I can look back now, and see the beautiful picture he was painting. But when you are in the midst of trials everything is a blur...and it's all one can do to keep their eye on the prize! God truly had to bring us through all of the struggles to make us realize that only He is what we need.
On A Sunday in April at our church, (www.riveroaks.org), an announcement was made about a missions trip the church was taking to Romania. In my heart I thought,"oh man I would love to be able to go to Romania, but yeah right!". Little did I know, that God was speaking into my husbands heart too.
After service we headed for the children's wing to relieve the volunteers of our little monkeys. I was on a mission to get my newborn (this was the first time I had left him.) and I lost Brandon in the crowd. When we met up again he had some papers he handed me...in shock I saw that they were information about the upcoming missions trip to Romania! We got in the car and he said "I know it would be hard for you to go to Romania but, I would really like to go, and if you want to that would be great, but if not, I would still really like to go.".....I sat and before I could think I said "I need to go...and would love to go." I had total peace about the trip...TOTAL peace!
Ok, so maybe you are thinking...yea, so what, you had peace. Let me explain...I tend to worry...alright..so I do worry! I am constantly having to give things over to God...like every minute of every hour of every day. This was huge, I could not believe that I could have so much peace about leaving our Children for ten days, to go overseas, and be exposed to all kinds of germs and diseases.
After really praying about it, I asked my parents to watch two of the kids, and my in-laws to watch two. They both said yes,and though Satan tried to confuse the situation a little(schedules are a way he works his way in!) , in the end, it all worked out. The kids would be taken care of.
So, we signed up to go. Now, we would have to have the funds, and get passports. I went to the weekly meetings, and began to get so excited about visiting children in the hospital, and orphanage, and in the gypsy village.
There were many little details to get through, and they all came together. I remember the day we left like it was yesterday. Again, I had so much peace, though it was hard to leave our children, I was excited to see what God was going to do in our lives.
We were given journals by our team leader, and were encouraged to write down our first time experiences. Brandon had us beat before we left, first passport, first airplane ride, first missions trip, the list went on and on!
I remember thinking "Lord the next ten days there are going to be so many "firsts" for Brandon and I, be with our children please Lord, and please don't let us miss to many "firsts" with them"
Little did we know all the "firsts" we would experience. More to come about our time in Romania! Stay Tuned!