Mission Trip to Romania
Five BC students prepare for their spring break mission trip to Romania.
March 7, 2012
“I’m really excited about this mission trip to Romania because I feel like it’s a combination of my two passions: God and art.”
So said Celia Jones, a Bluefield College senior who will be traveling to Romania over her spring break to paint a mural at the Project Ruth School in Bucharest, Romania.
Group of BC students, faculty and staff going to Romania
Four other BC students will be going as well: Emily Sears, a senior; Erin Darnell, a senior; Melissa Hubert, a sophomore; and Pip Pattison, a sophomore. Accompanying them will be Amanda Parks, the BC registrar, and Walter Shroyer, head of the BC art department.
This mission statement of Project Ruth is “to provide schooling, literacy training, educational recovery, and humanitarian aid and wellness to children from poor backgrounds from Roma communities.” The BC trip will positively impact these communities through the beauty they are able to add to the Ruth School, which Project Ruth sponsors.
“I’m excited to be artistic and paint a mural, “ said Darnell. “I like that we can go there and leave our love, but get to leave something tangible behind as well.”
The connection that Bluefield College has to Project Ruth was established through Brittany Garton, a Bluefield College graduate who is now a missionary to Romania.
“I mainly work in the office and I am in charge of U.S. child sponsorship,” said Garton. “I help host teams, as well as helping with English Club and Chapel. I do a lot of business work, but my favorite thing is helping with the Gypsy Pastor Leadership Conference, where 25 men come from all over the country to learn how to be better leaders to pastor their flocks. “
Sears became a part of the child sponsorship program while Garton was still attending BC.
“I’m so excited to meet Anghel,” said Sears, “I started sponsoring Anghel last year. Brittany encouraged me to do it. I pay $30 and it provides him with education and supplies at the Ruth School. Right now he is in first grade and has perfect attendance.”
Shroyer became interested in taking the art club on a mission trip to Romania in Fall 2010. Garton was taking a ceramics class when she mentioned Romania.
“She told me that she wanted me and the art club to come and paint some murals for the school there,” said Shroyer. “I said, ‘Sure, let’s do it,” and she said she would work up a proposal.”
Sears and Darnell are currently BC student teachers. This makes the experience especially interesting for them.
“I’m excited to see the differences between schools here and the Ruth school,” said Darnell. “Children everywhere need an education. It’s something I’m passionate about.”
While the primary purpose of this trip is to paint, this is not the only responsibility of the BC art club team.
“They’ll be performing enrichment activities in the Obed Day Center (kindergarten),” said Garton. “They will also be leading weekly chapel service, and they will be organizing and running seventh and eighth grade English club.”
For Pattison, this mission trip has an added bonus.
“I’m really excited because I love children and because Brittany said a girl needs to come over here and kick their butts at soccer,” said Pattison.
Amanda Parks had the idea for the 75-ft. mural the team will be painting.
“It’s going to be a landscape starting with the sun coming up over some mountains, a large cross on one of them, a lake and a person in a canoe, a city and town with a church, and a night starry sky,” described Shroyer. “Brittany also wants us to put some children in the painting with bubbles above their heads thinking of positive professions, like, I want to be a doctor, I want to be a teacher, I want to be a scientist, etc.”
Darnell also asked for prayer.
“Please pray that we get there safely and that our focus is on the mission and not on ourselves,” said Darnell.
Sears said she was nervous about the plane ride to Romania and their safety in the country.
“But I’m trying to pray every day and trust that Jesus will keep us safe,” said Sears.
As the team prepares to travel to Romania, Garton said she hopes this will be the beginning of a long relationship between BC and Project Ruth.
“I would love to build a relationship with Bluefield College,” said Garton. “There are a lot of opportunities for BC to become involved here, and I hope that the art trip could be the beginning of a long relationship. Christian studies majors would be welcome to minister and education majors could minister in the classroom. It would be an awesome relationship for both organizations because of the almost endless mutually beneficially opportunities.”