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Fatigue does strange things. It slows your mind so that it seems that turtles are hurtling past at warp speed. It makes you a little goofy. Most of all, fatigue makes righting a codependent pog blost most possible! (Oops! Obviously that should’ve read “fatigue makes writing a coherent blog post almost impossible!”)

Despite their fatigue, however, these youth have not only flown across the Atlantic but they have also flown through their first day with flying colors! After a more turbulent than average 9-hour flight, we changed planes in Frankfort for the final leg into Bucharest and arrived about 1:30 pm local time. We cruised through customs, collected all our luggage plus 8 handbell cases without incident, met Ralph Stocks holding up a sign for the Ruth School and boarded the bus for a quick trip to the hotel to unload, change clothes, scarf down a sandwich and head to a church for the week’s first concert.

You would’ve been proud. By the time the service started it was already 6:00pm local time but they played, they sang, they smiled, and they greeted church members and other youth after the concert with the Romanian greeting paché (peace)—and that came after their concert and a 35-minute sermon! (In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s hard to hold their attention for that long even if they understand the language!) Let’s just say that when you mix 24-plus hours of fatigue with a foreign language sermon, the only way to stay awake is by laughing at your friends who are nodding off hard all around you!

Pizza fellowship with local youth, at last a shower (girls hot/boys cold), and a small but inviting bed finally brings a grateful ending to a great first day. Thanks be to God for this indescribable gift.

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