Day Six: He Restoreth My Soul

“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.”

Psalm 23 KJV

 

Today was a day of rest and a day of gratitude. We began the day in prayer, thanking God for His faithfulness and provision in every aspect of this trip. Our hearts are full. 

Romania is definitely not a tourist attraction, but it is definitely beautiful. We had a chance today to soak in God’s goodness through His creation by first visiting the Jibou Botanical Gardens. Of course, it’s winter here, so it was probably not the best time for our visit, but we enjoyed the sight-seeing nonetheless. The long walk in the crisp air was exactly what we all needed.

He restoreth my soul.

Romania 7 at Jibou Botanical Gardens

From there, we traveled to Cha Cha’s home in the village of Lapoaia. Cha Cha began building this home years ago, but it is a pay-as-you-go process in Romania, so completing a home can often take 10+ years. It was amazing to see the progress made since our last visit in September 2012.

We greatly enjoyed the quiet, slow pace of the village and the surrounding beauty of the mountains and farmland. And, of course, check out this table. A visit to anyone’s home in Romania is an opportunity for amazing hospitality. They aren’t worried if the place settings match or any other detail or insecurity that manages to keep many Americans from opening their homes and sharing their tables. Quite the contrary here, they look for every opportunity to break bread together. Today is was BBQ, chips (french fries), vegetables, crepes, and my favorite Romanian dessert, cremaschi. 

There. Are. No. Words. 

Yes. I. Ate. Two. Pieces. 

He restoreth my soul.

Breaking bread together

With overstuffed tummies, a walk in the village seemed like the perfect thing to do. Cha Cha’s daughter, Dina, and her boyfriend, Claudio, led us down the “street” from their home, and we quickly saw a shepherd and his flock of sheep in a nearby pasture. 

We quickly turned to walk towards the pasture, wanting to get as close as possible without scaring the sheep. Dina and Claudio knew the shepherd, and so he and his flock came to greet us. You can only imagine the oohs and ahhhs that followed. Marvin included.

We counted 45 sheep and 12 absolutely adorable baby lambs. We asked the shepherd if we could hold one, and he quickly brought the cutest one ever to us.

There was some serious sheep snuggling going on. Beyond precious.

We stood there for over 30 minutes just enjoying the quiet peace and tranquility sprinkled with an occasional baa-baa and the ever-present jingle of the bell sheep. I could’ve stayed forever.

He restoreth my soul.

As we watched the lambs frolic and play… don’t you just love the sound of that and can’t you just picture it?!… Katie remarked that one sheep had bad manners. Well, actually she said, “Do you hear that sheep? It sounds like she is belching.” And indeed it did. But it was what came out of Katie’s mouth next that stopped us all in our tracks. 

“Oh my! It’s giving birth!”

And indeed it was.

As we stood there in the quiet mountain breeze, we watched the sheer miracle of life happen.

He restoreth my soul.

And we waited almost breathlessly until the precious newborn lamb struggled to find it’s feet and begin to nurse.

He restoreth my soul.

Father God, You are the shepherd of my life. In You, I have provision for every need.
Thank you for guiding me: When I walk in Your will, every step of my journey is secure.
Thank you for redemption: You are growing me into the likeness of Christ. 
My hope is in You. My eternity is sealed. There is no fear in You.
You are always with me. Your Holy Spirit is my source of strength and peace. 
Your body and blood sustain me despite life’s trials.
You have chosen and bought me. I am a daughter of the most high King. My joy is in You!
Your goodness and faithfulness mark each and every one of my days.
My future is secure. I am Yours forever. Amen.  

 

Thank you for following this journey with us. Thank you for your prayers and for your continued faithfulness in seeking God for all those we’ve added to your prayer list. Through your prayers, each of you has played an important part in God’s kingdom work here in Romania, and you have blessed us deeply. We are so grateful you co-labored with us!

 

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