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Donald Miller wrote a book called A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. It’s a great read with an interesting title, but Donald Miller doesn’t have anything on us. We’ve been a million miles in two days. Or something very close to that. Really.
If you saw my post from what I think is now yesterday when I’m writing this, but will actually be tomorrow when I’m posting due to the availability of internet, you know that a team of seven from First Baptist Crawford is on a mission trip in Romania. If you don’t know where Romania is on the map, take time now and google it. It’s what I would call south and west of Russia, but keep in mind that geography is not my gift. While you’re googling, go ahead and search for three or four more interesting facts about the country. It has an amazing history.
Since this is my second trip to Romania, I’m so over the culture shock. I knew exactly what to expect, so rather than walking around with my mouth gaping open, I’ve just been trying to soak in all the sights and sounds. I want to appreciate the ordinary here… and I want to see it with God’s eyes and hear it with His ears…and let it change my heart and life.
We will be staying in Zalau over the course of our time here. We are all housed in the same “block” which is what they call the apartment buildings here. They are largely rectangular concrete structures that are multiple stories. They were build in the 40s and 50s and speak loudly of the communist-time period in Romania. KeLe and Kelly are staying with Nelu, Donna, and their young son, Paul. Marvin, Katie, and Jeff are staying at ChaCha’s, and Laura and I have the penthouse with Lili and her daughter, Lavinia. Now, before you get any grossly inaccurate ideas, translate penthouse to mean that Lili lives on the 5th floor and I had to carry my 46.5 pound suitcase up all those flights of stairs. Sweet mercy!
Here are a few pics of the travel weary:
On Wednesday, Jeff will begin the day doing pastor’s training in Zalau, while the rest of us travel to Creaca, a nearby village. The mayor of Creaca is in his second four-year term, and he is a Christian. We will visit with him, and then we will distribute food and handmade scarves and hats made by a precious friend of KeLe’s. From there, we’ll head to Varsolt, a nearby gypsy village, where we will lead children’s ministry and serve the kids an agape meal. In the evening, we’ll divide into three groups with K3 (Katie, Kelly, and KeLe doing women’s ministry at Bethany Baptist Simleu. The Rays of Sunshine (that’s Laura and me) at First Baptist Zalau. Jeff and Marvin will be in Simpetru leading a revival.
We ask that you pray for God’s favor in each home we will visit and for the lives of each person we come into contact with to be touched by God… that they might know and experience His love and grace through us. Please also pray that language barriers will be broken and the Holy Spirit will move in a powerful way!
John 15:5 reminds us, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me, and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me, you can do nothing.”
Lord, prune us of anything that is not You.
Lord, grow us to be the disciples You have called us to be.
Lord, bear fruit through our obedience.