Journey to Romania. Part 6: Family
About seven weeks after our wedding we learned our first child was on the way, so we planned a trip to the States for my family to meet JeJe. We returned to Romania and I gave birth to Elli Grace JeJeran in Cluj, Romania (three and a half hours from our town) because it was the “safest” city in Romania in which to give birth. After over thirty one hours in labor I still could not dilate. If I had attempted to have her in our town, both Elli and I would have died. The doctor in Cluj did a great job with an emergency C-section and we were now parents.
Life went well until we visited my family in the U.S. when Elli was eighteen months old. My aunt explained to me what Elli’s position was to her. One of her sons and his wife had a daughter about a year after Elli was born and, well, she just wanted me to understand where her priorities lay. Ouch! Our stay was very uncomfortable as I watched my aunt unable to love my daughter; with harsh looks and dealings. All I ever wanted was for my aunt to be like a mom to me and a grandmother for my daughter. That would never really be. We were left feeling like a “burden” our entire visit and felt no desire to return.
When Elli was a little over two years old we received fantastic news that we would be blessed with another baby. Unfortunately my family was not in agreement with our ministry decisions and by this time were no longer speaking with us. We went to the U.S. for a visit while I was expecting. One of my aunt’s sons sent an apologetic email explaining the family had gathered to gossip about us and judge us. He said he was truly sorry and asked for our forgiveness. While I didn’t understand his decisions or actions, I respected his owning up and asking for forgiveness. It spoke volumes to his character.
I experienced serious, life threatening medical complications with my C-section delivery of our son, James. This required a quick trip back to the U.S. for a couple of surgeries. Again, no communication from my family. We were in the States for 6 months when I told JeJe that I was “tired” of Romania and ready to “come home.” He kindly responded he had not heard that direction from the LORD, but would keep it in prayer. We returned to Romania a few weeks later.
Very shortly after our return, we noticed suspicious behavior on the part of our pastor (questionable money dealings, lying, etc.) Others had reported similar observations in the past. We knew it was time for us to leave there and we prayed about possibly moving to Cluj, where the children were born. We prayed for several months, but the doors never opened for us to move to that city. So we returned to America on September 11, 2003. Elli was just over four years and James was 17 months old.
by Coleen Jejeran, Missionary to Romania