Romania

Romania 1/7/12

The meeting last night at church is still lingering in my mind.  The brass band was amazing.  Very talented musicians, and very good team.  The culture here is so different.  They are still waking up from the repression of Communism since the fall of Ceausescu.  The town and village cultures have not caught up yet.  This is especially true with agriculture.  Many of the Romanians still use horse drawn carts and so forth.  It is like stepping back into pre-industrialized America in Missouri or some other farming state.  The people are reserved but very friendly for the most part, especially when they see you are interested in them.

 

Our host Miklos Modi, a pastor of 11 Hungarian speaking churches here in Romania took us to three different church meetings today. These Hungarian churches are all in Transylvania which was in Hungary before it was annexed by Romanian Government. I spoke at two of these churches. The first was this afternoon at four o’clock. I spoke, along. with my translator for an hour. Then we traveled for about 25 minutes to the next church where both Brett and I spoke for a little over an hour. Then we traveled to the third church where just Brett spoke from seven o’clock until eight. We then drove 30 minutes to Pastor Modi’s house and ate dinner. I got home about thirty minutes ago just before ten-o’clock.

Tomorrow morning (Sunday), I will be speaking three times; morning, afternoon, and evening. Now before you think that I have been busy and overworked, let me tell you that Pastor Modi does this seven days a week. There is no vacation for him on the horizon. All of this, and the man never complains. In fact, he says that he is simply doing his duty before God. He and his wife are two of the most precious people I think I have ever met. I am humbled by their work ethic. This man lives on 300 dollars US a month. To say that this man needs more pastors here is a gross understatement.

But get this.  The pastor told me today that if he had two pastors trained to take over two of these works he would start two more churches in villages that need them. Stop and think about that for a minute!

 

Romania 1/8/12

After we left the church we walked down the narrow village street to Pastor Modi’s house.  We had to be careful as we walked between horse droppings and wagon mud that had had been deposited from muddy wheels.  The villages are quiet, very rural, and full of dogs and chickens roaming around.  If a dog wants to live another day, he will leave the chickens alone.  The dogs will usually hunt rabbits themselves or eat whatever the villagers leave out for them.  Most of the homes in these rural areas of Transylvania have wood stoves and they buy their wood in large chunks from the forests outside of the villages.  Mrs. Modi made us a big lunch of meatball soup, roast beef, potatoes, peppers, pickles, and a Hungarian pastry called keifli.  I was so excited to have Keifli because my Hungarian mother had made it for us when were were just kids.

After we left the church we walked down the narrow village street to Pastor Modi’s house.  We had to be careful as we walked between horse droppings and wagon mud that had had been deposited from muddy wheels.  The villages are quiet, very rural, and full of dogs and chickens roaming around.  If a dog wants to live another day, he will leave the chickens alone.  The dogs will usually hunt rabbits themselves or eat whatever the villagers leave out for them.  Most of the homes in these rural areas of Transylvania have wood stoves and they buy their wood in large chunks from the forests outside of the villages.  Mrs. Modi made us a big lunch of meatball soup, roast beef, potatoes, peppers, pickles, and a Hungarian pastry called keifli.  I was so excited to have Keifli because my Hungarian mother had made it for us when were were just kids.

 

Romania 1/10/12

Yesterday, I preached from I Peter to a church composed of Gypsys and Hungarians.  They are such unique people groups here, but in this church they are one.  Some of the gypsy children in this church were able to go to camp this winter because of the HAF funding.  Seventy-five children trusted Christ.  This is why Chaba is so burdened to become a pastor for these young people.  He knows the future depends upon discipling these precious souls. Well, it is my 56th birthday.  On this day I was born to a Hungarian mother who really wasn’t much interested in having a third baby, opting rather for abortion.  But, because of the insistence of a German father, I was born this day in 1956.  Funny, but providential.  It was my father who said that he believed that one of his sons would become a preacher.  Little did he realize that his second wife would bring that to pass.  It was also in 1956 that Hungary became a communist state.  Today, they are still trying to outlive that heritage.  The only real way for them to outlive it, is to be transformed by the gospel.  It has been so overwhelming to me to preach in this annexed part of Hungary called Transylvania.  The Hungarians here have not forgotten their heritage, but like the rest of Hungary, they need the gospel.  I have to fight the desire to cry when I preach to them.

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