Future Leaders Exchange Program participant from Romania in front of colorful Texas artwork
Cristian had a standout year in the Lone Star State, by any metric

Forever in Our Hearts

 In August, we went to the airport in Houston to meet Cristian, a stranger from Romania. By the time we stopped for lunch, it was clear that he was no longer a stranger. Instead, we discovered a perfect fit for our family. What we didn’t know when he started at Magnolia High School was what an exceptionally-talented young man "Chris" was—an outstanding academic student, artist, musician, and even actor.

Two of his pencil drawings went to the state level; he had several guitar solos during jazz band concerts, and had parts in two major school plays. In addition, Chris never missed an opportunity to volunteer his time or talent—serving each Sunday in the children’s ministry, spending time with residents of nursing homes, and helping other students with class work. Although our time together in Texas is coming to an end, we’ll always have a son, big brother, grandson, and cousin living in Romania. Chris came to stay Deep in the Heart of Texas but will leave Deep in the Heart of anyone who was lucky enough to know him.

—Khristi Ward (TX), host mom of Cristian (FLEX, Romania)