More than 24 hours and three plane rides later… Dallas to Newark, Newark to Munich, Munich to Cluj… and then the familiar winding mountain roads to Zalau, and we have arrived. And, it is just as beautiful as I remember. Perhaps even more so when I am immediately greeted by the faces of friends I love and have been praying for since I last saw them.
Although we were all a bit bedraggled and airport worn, our spirits are high! We doing this trip differently than the two previous trips, so instead of staying with families, we are in a hotel. The accommodations are good, and any bed was a welcome sight after the long trip. We all caught a quick nap and then joined Cha Cha (whose real name is Mircea, but who would call him that when Cha Cha is so much more fun?!) and Dena for dinner. Cha Cha is the leader of Marantha Missions, and he is our primary contact. Dena is his adorable daughter, and my Romanian daughter, as I like to say. Pics to come, but we were both looking a little shabby – me from the long trip and Dena from a day of work at the hospital where she is completing her clinical rotations and about to become a licensed nurse. Dinner was good, and Penny, the only member of our team here for the first time, is a quick learner. She said, “The food is fine. Looks like it will be chicken and some kind of potatoes for every meal.” “Yes,” I told her, “if you want to play it safe!” And we do!
Our real work begins tomorrow, and Jeff asked us to read Luke 1 in advance of our gathering in the morning. Penny and I read aloud together and shared our thoughts on the passage. Zechariah and Elizabeth … old and childless. Mary … a young Jewish girl. Unlikely people whose lives are to be changed for ever by the mighty hand of God. Zechariah and Elizabeth would become parents to John the Baptist, and Mary would birth Jesus.
I can only imagine the thoughts racing through their minds at the news shared to each of them. What?! When?! How?! Me?! Are you sure?! What if I mess it up?! Isn’t there anybody else?!
Those thoughts are well-known old friends of mine, and occasionally they worm their way back into my little head where they will weave a fast web of doubt and fear if I let them. The key words are If. I. Let. Them. You see, I recognize I have a choice. We all do. We can walk in our fear and our flaws, or we can walk in God’s favor. Abraham made a choice. So did Moses and David. So did Peter and Paul. So did countless others. They chose to walk in God’s favor. To place themselves squarely in a position where they were dependent on the mighty hand of God.
We’re here. No flaws and no fear. Only God’s favor.
He has called. We have answered yes. And now, we will walk in His favor. There will be no doubts when this trip is done. It’s all Him.
“I am the Lord’s servant. May your word to me be fulfilled.”
Luke 1:38 NIV
Please join us in praying for God to work mightily in and through us in the days to come. Tomorrow we head to the villages of Simpetru and Baica where we will make home visit and share God’s love and some groceries with those in need. We will also have men’s and women’s Bible study in Simpetru. Your prayers are greatly needed and appreciated.
May we Know Him and Make Him Known!