Tuesday, September 6, 2011 0 comments

Facing Reality in Romania

In previous postings I have made a point to be positive, light-hearted, and optimistic.  Optimistic I will still be, but this posting is filled with some reality.

Some people wonder why we would travel to the other side of the world to minister to people.  For one, it's a calling of God.  That makes it's unquestionable to us who know what that is.  We just follow where God leads.  Another reason is having a passion for certain kinds of people - the lost, abused, abandoned, hopeless - those that need a ray of light.  Yes, we need that at home too.  But here's the thing.  Most everyone on this particular team has ministries back home where they share that light.  God has just called us to bring it to another group of people that is geographically challenging for us.  It's the sacrifice that we make leaving our home ministries to bring that hope here to the Gypsies of Tinca, Romania.

Another reality.  This is a spiritually dark place.  All the beautiful pictures we share and the uplifting stories only share the seeds that are being planted and some of the fruit that's come out of it.  As much progress has been made by Rachel and Dave and their team here in the village, there is much to do.  A lifetime of work and love to pour into a people who don't need to be "westernized," they need to be "Jesus-fied." 

Last night, one of the cute little Gypsy girls at the Isaiah Center got to spend the night.  She was playing just fine by herself, then with the other children - who were all a little rambunctious.  When all of a sudden she starts shouting out to one of the boys and he just looks like he was hit!  Our translator gets on to her.  This is all being said in the Gypsy language - Roma.  Albert told us she just cussed him out.  That sweet, fun-loving little girl just cussed and cursed that boy -- and laughed about it.  The scene may be funny; however, that is what she knows at home. 

Rachel & Dave shared with us how dark this place really is.  How much work has gone into each child and family that are associated with the Center in the form of soft touches, loving words, care packages, and other.  The vision for what it can become is there - a place that can house 200+ children, a community center where the families can come to get loved on and learn life skills, a ripple effect that can reach out into the world.

And every time we come love on a child, shake hands with the adults, say "buna-de-mon-yet-za" (good morning) and smile, we are planting a seed.  There are not a lot of smiles outside the walls of the Center.  But each time we we can pray for them, touch them, love on them and say "Isus Te Ubeste": (Jesus loves you), they not only hear the words, they feel the actions.

That's why we do it.  So they can feel a perfect loving Jesus through we who are just as imperfect as they are.  So keep praying - for the full-timers, for the people, for those who are able to share when they can anywhere in the world including your own backyard.

Monday, September 5, 2011 0 comments

On the way...

 Most mornings we walk from the hotel/motel to the Isaiah Center.  Each morning we pass by all kinds of Romanian houses.  This one is my favorite.  It has such a whimsical touch to it.  And there's a little old man that lives there and tends to the yard and flowers.  It's looks like a picture right out of a magazine!

And the people we see...groups of older people sitting on a bench out side their house, the dogs laying on the sidewalk or in the gateways, the cow grazing in the ditch, the morning trek of some from the market with horse and wagon.  One morning the Christy, the girls and I were walking along and this work truck drove by.  The guys in the truck had some serious horn-honking skill...we got cat-called in Romania!  I know I stand out from a crowd, but I've really tried to keep a low profile.

Over the weekend our translators and Dave shared some history of the region with us.  Turns out by bovine brothers & sisters were Hungarian just 60 years ago!  Where we are in Tinca used to be part of Hungary before World War II.  So this mile marker you see with Tinca at the bottom and Salonta at the top...Salonta is the Hungarian name of the town.  Who knew? Now I do...

And the main roads...wow.  See how it's paved in blocks.  Most of it nowadays has been paved over, but the roads were paved in blocks.  Blocks that were laid by slave labor during the war.  I can't even imagine what that would have been like! 

So just a couple tidbits to start the day.

Sunday, September 4, 2011 0 comments

Day in Oredea

Shopping at the Sunflower Shop @ Caminul Felix, a ministry that takes in abandoned children around the world.  Getting a few goodies for people back home.

Me & Peep just hanging out in the Sunflower Shop...

Making new friends in the Sunflower Shop...Christy & the team take a while when shopping.

This is from the Overlook atop Oredea.  That's the city behind me.  I felt like I could fly!

It was a nice team day in Oredea.  Seeing the sites, learning the history a little more.  There are team pics on facebook that will be shared. 
Thursday, September 1, 2011 0 comments

Another day with the Gypsies

 Lulu here.  We've been going to the village almost every day this week to do a VBS for the Gypsy village. And apparently our team is one of their favorites.  We bring a lot of music and drama complete with costumes and props.  Then crafts and food enough for 200. Today we ran out of food at 150 - so tomorrow we will prepare for 200.  And tomorrow's character story is Esther.  Complete with full princess regalia.

Each morning the team prepares the meals which consist of some sausage meat, bread and a cucumber.  The get a little cup of soda too.  I helped as much as I could, but Christy wouldn't take me to the village.  Maybe something to do with the other cows getting jealous.  That, or some Gypsy child would want to keep me.  I wouldn't make it back home!

Stephanie, our nurturer and baker of the team, loves to spoil the full-time missionaries here with lots of sugary treats.  And Dave, who's originally from England, loves getting this spoiled.  Here, he's licking the cake batter bowl.  This part is one of our favorites...spoiling the missionaries.