|my ministry group on Thursday|
|Even though we missed Women's Day this|
year, we still managed to receive flowers from a stranger!
I love Romania!
|Raluca with the friendliest cat |
in the world
Anyway, after a quick tour, Raluca, the students, and I went to do house visits. We brought along David and Ruben, and we walked through the village to visit women who have attended the church. The first was a woman filled with sorrow because her children never come to visit and left one of their grandchildren with her 11 years ago and never came back. The girls and I each shared our testimonies about God's work in our lives, and we prayed with her. At the next house, we spoke with a woman and her adult daughter. These women were tremendously hospitable and so generous with their limited means - they gave us duck eggs and sausages and coffee and candy. We talked with them for a long time before heading back to the house to meet the men.
|Jared and the much-too-big cupboard|
|enjoying our feast in Raluca's bedroom|
This morning, the students on our team surprised us chaperones by informing us that they'd divided into teams to get the cleaning done at the missions house while we went out for coffee. They'd even collected money so we wouldn't have to pay! Instead of the typical vending machine coffee we often get here, we splurged and went to the "Art Café," where we sat and enjoyed coffee and conversation, then grabbed some treats from the bakery next door before heading to our final debrief with the students and Pastor Raul.
Sorry, this entry is so long! When the students left this morning for Bucharest,
the men from the church helped me to bring my suitcase to the pastor's apartment, where I am staying now with he and his wife and 3 kids. I spent much of the afternoon at the church, doing some administrative work for Raul and talking with people passing through.
|the view from my room at the Costea apartment|
When this group was over, I walked down the street to the next group, which had just started. It was in a building I'd never been to, and I was nervous to enter, but it was a very special moment when they opened the door for me. There were many familiar faces, many excited exclamations that I'd arrived, and a sweet little girl I'd spent time with on Sunday, who ran up and immediately gave me a hug. They offered homemade donuts (gogosi) and soda, and then we worked on a test for discerning your spiritual gifts. There were 105 questions, and I was able to answer most of them without translation! It was such fun to spend the evening with this group. Another of the men from the church, Marcel, came to pick me up afterwards, and he drove me back to Raul and Ana's house, where I ate dinner with him and Raul and Ana's kids and a couple of other guys from the church.
Sometimes I just pause and remember the 9 years between trips to Romania, and how much I longed to come back, and how excited I would get at any reference to the country or its people or its language. And tonight I got to sit at a dinner table, immersed in the language and the food and enjoying the people and the culture and the community here so much. And I remember also how I asked for prayers that relationships would be central to this trip to Romania, and they certainly are. Thank you for praying. I'm thankful to be here.