Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Zile Frumoase

These last two days have been beautiful, in more ways than one.  Today, the sun finally came out!  It was the first we'd seen of it since before we arrived on Friday. It peeked out on a foggy morning as we walked to the church to start our day, and during our drive to the nearby city of Craiova, blue skies took over the grey, jackets came off, and it was such a joy to enjoy beautiful sunshine and see the colors in the area come alive.

While today was beautiful in terms of weather, both days have been beautiful in terms of ministry.  I wish I'd had a chance to blog last night, because I feel like already I'm forgetting details, but here is a quick summary:

With one of the widows
Yesterday, I was able to go out with Dorothy again to see the widows.  Well, that was our plan A...and eventually we got to it.  But first we took some extra time at the grocery store, and then just before we were ready to head out I got a text from Derek saying that one of the students needed to go to the doctor.  He's had a sore throat since Sunday and it was only getting worse.  So...I got to have a new experience in Romania - taking someone to the doctor!
Romanian meds
 Thankfully Dorothy, who is fluent in both English and Romanian, was our driver and such a sweet support to the student.  The rest of us (myself and 2 other students) just tagged along.  We visited a missionary doctor in a nearby village,  got a script for some antibiotics, went to the pharmacy...and then we continued on our original plan.
We visited two widows, and then we went to the home of the woman who cares for her 3 siblings who have disabilities - Flori, Marian, and Lili.  This visit was so sweet: not only was it fun to interact with that fun combination of two populations I love - Romanians and persons with disabilities - but I really felt like I was able to connect with the woman and her husband.  I spoke directly to them more often than I used a translator, I read Scripture to them in Romanian, and they served us coffee and hosted us in their cozy front room.  We got so caught up in this visit that we realized we were very late for dinner back at the church...but thankfully, there was plenty of supa de fasole (bean soup) left.  This is my favorite Romanian dish, which I discovered last year, and I ended up skipping the main dish altogether and having two bowls of soup and then dessert- both so good!
Flori and Marian

Today we traveled to Craiova.  We took several vans, and my van was extremely quiet early on - there were two students, myself, and 4 Romanians, and none of us were entirely comfortable with each other's languages, so we just had occasional conversations. It was a nice drive, though, and fun to watch one of the students' reaction as she got to see this Romanian city for the first time.

the 2 students on my
 New Testament team
Sunny arrival in the gypsy neighborhood
Once in Craiova, we split into teams.  We passed out New Testaments in a relatively affluent neighborhood there, then most of us traveled to a gypsy neighborhood.  Some of the group put on a kids' program there, while 6 of us - 2 Romanian missionaries, 3 students, and myself - went on a home visit.  We visited the home of a man who has diabetes and a heart condition, and a terrible sore on the bottom of his foot.  It was probably about the diameter of a baseball and extremely deep, and because of his diabetes it won't heal. It has been this way for 4 years, and the medicine he needs for it is too expensive, so one of the missionaries is looking at how to get some cheaper medicine from abroad.  I talked about how we have to battle similar sores where I work, and then the students and I and the Romanians alternately prayed for and encouraged them.  It was a hard situation to see, but sweet to be able to speak truths from my own life about situations that are hard and that seem like they will never change...but then they do!  And to remind them that God has power to heal, and knows pain Himself as He sent His Son. 
I didn't take any pictures inside our home visit...but this was their home

After ministry we went to the mall, where I enjoyed a Tiramisu latte and conversation with the other chaperones, and then dinner in the food court.  The ride home was filled with much conversation - very different from earlier in the day - and I enjoyed getting to know some of the Romanians in the van better. Truly, a lovely day!

Arriving at the mall with the 2 students
and our driver and translator, Marcel

Tiramisu lattes with co-chaperone Lauren

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