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It’s ironic that I am writing this particular blog on a crisp morning in September. This time last year, I was not enjoying the newly released pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks or getting a couple more wears out of my summer sandals. I was bundled up in a knit cap and wool boots enjoying the much cooler climate of eastern Romania. It was month three of The World Race, and my team and I were living with an American missionary family working with an after school program for impoverished children called The Potter’s House. Exactly a year ago I was waking up every morning to warm muesli and hot tea while apple trees and grape vineyards grew in my back yard. I would take a graffiti covered tram overflowing with people to work everyday, only to sit down with the staff of The Potter’s House and drink more hot tea. We did everything that month from cleaning out a shed, to cooking chicken gizzards, to organizing a 10 mile bike ride for the kids; nothing was above reproach for us.

Fast forward a year, and I find myself eating Special K for breakfast with no grape vineyards growing in my backyard. I drive to work alone in my comfortable car and listen to the Cindy & Ray Show while I mentally wake myself up for the day. At this very moment, I am sitting at my desk, staring at a glowing computer screen and reading an email that is bringing me back to my time spent in Romania.

Wellspring Living has an Organizational Mentorship Program that mentors young organizations on how to create and run a rehabilitative program for women, similar to Wellspring Living’s. Our vice president oversees this program, and she emailed me an update on a home that we are mentoring in Romania. Not only is it in a beautiful spot in Eastern Romania, it is the exact spot I was working in precisely a year ago, Timişoara.

Reading through the email chain, I could hear the thick Romanian accent coming through the email from our friend and partner, Beni. It has been exactly a year since Wellspring Living mentored Beni and helped him cast vision for his dream to one day have a women’s home, much like Wellspring’s. Since then, Beni has been elected vice president of the Governmental Commission on Labor and Social Protection where he is fighting to change laws and get victims of human trafficking better treatment in courts. Beni has also crossed paths with a couple who wants to donate land for the center, and the property is between the city and the airport. This is an excellent location for the home.

Since he met with Wellspring Living, Beni has also been an active leader in the church community. He is consistently rallying church members to pray for the women who are being trafficked in that area and for provision in establishing a women’s home. I remember how these people pray, and I have 100% faith that the prayers of those communities are echoing in the spiritual realm with tremendous force.

My time spent in Romania holds a very special place in my heart, and knowing Wellspring Living is actively helping Beni and his community start a women’s home is incredibly exciting. This is one of many organizations Wellspring Living has mentored all over the United States and the world. The ripple effect of this mentorship program is changing nations and inspiring leaders to stand up for this injustice, and it’s exciting to be a part of.

I’d love to know your thoughts on national and international mentoring/creating new programs similar to Wellspring Living. If you would like to be mentored by Wellspring Living or know someone who is looking to start a women’s or girl’s home, send me an email at jsmith@wellspringliving.org and I will connect you with our Organizational Mentorship Program.

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