Romania – night 1
We arrived safely in Romania on schedule it’s strange to know we had left our church about 24 hours earlier to begin the journey. I had been up since 4:30 am Monday which means I hadn’t really slept in over 30 hours. Our flights went well, we only had to go through airport security in Atlanta, and the turbulence we experienced on each flight wasn’t too bad at all. I realized by the third flight I hadn’t been scared or worried at all just yet, but that third flight (Munich to Romania) was busting at the seems of that smaller plane – so full. Something about feeling like a tube of sardines makes you wanna remind Jesus that you’re on the plane out of obedience and that you trust Him with your life, but it’d be super cool that this isn’t how it goes down. 😬😏😉😂
Upon arriving at the airport we were greeted by the Gravitt family & Marcel from the church. (Michael, Mihaela, Hannah, & Bianca). They were so welcoming! Michael brought us snacks and bottled water- I even got gluten free cookies!!
We got settled quickly into our rooms at AMEC and went to the church for dinner and a meet and greet with some of the members. Michael made us an awesome feast that I can’t remember the Romanian name for but here’s a picture:
I ate 2 plates full & 3 slices of bread. So good!! I spent the night chatting to anyone that would engage me in conversation. It was awesome to be sitting with them, breaking bread, and experiencing fellowship. I can’t believe we are here! I’m sure I’m butchering names, but here’s a try:
Sam and Judy are from the states but are currently living here and helping. Super friendly folks that used to do part time missions but are now planted right here in Sibiu. Judy shared with me about how refreshing and encouraging it is when a team comes over like us. So humbling!
Bianca & Hannah (the Gravitt sisters) were my buddies for the night. Telling me about what I’m eating and laughing along with me about silly things. Sweet girls. 🙂
Flavius & Adina (ah-deen-uh) are a married couple. Adina’s parents make beautiful pottery and that’s how they make their living. From the pictures she showed me, they are so talented! I hope somehow I can buy some to bring home and remember her with and to bless her family.
Marcel is pronounced mahr-chel with a trilled r. He’s a musician in the church and drove us over in a big bus. Super nice guy and I hear he’s super talented! Recently married and some of my friends met him here about 6 years ago so he’s been connected with Michael and the church for a while now. I think we get to meet his wife tomorrow. Yay!
I also met Adrian (ay dree ahn). He’s married (Elaina?) and has a daughter (Sarah) that will turn three in 6 days! I hope to meet them this week. He was very friendly also. We showed each other pictures of our families and I learned a little more about his story. He’s from Romania, born and raised here. He explained that work doesn’t pay a lot here. For example he might make 300.00 a month but then their rent is 200.00 and that only leaves 100 for groceries and fuel and bills and so on. He talked about how you can’t live sustainably that way. For this reason he and his wife moved to Spain for 7 years to live frugally and put money away. In so doing they were able to return to Romania and build a house that they own. No mortgage!! Now they can live and work here without most of their money being consumed for their living space. Adrian also showed me a video of some boys playing a game that seemed like the wii game Just Dance based on their smooth moves 😉. He shared with me that their mom welcomes the help of others. I think he said there were 6 kids all under her “roof”. He said they are very poor. He brought these 2 to his house to play and eat. He had to cut their hair very short when he invited them in he said because “well, you know why. I had to protect my wife and daughter with their long hair, me not so much” as he rubbed his head of very short hair. I understood. He plans to get the other kids over soon for a visit as well. Such generous hospitality and kindness. Taking what God has richly blessed him with and opening it up to love on others. Can we all be more like Adrian? Who is very much living generously for the honor of Jesus? I asked if the children lived in the city or in a village nearby and he said “no, not really, it’s nowhere.” It’s not really in the city but not really in a village. He shared with me how the boys’ home does not have electricity and is not really a house. It’s a shack pieced together with whatever metal scraps and such they can obtain. Dirt floors. Tiny. And he tried to find delicate words to explain their mom’s work, which I understood to be that she sells herself 😭. He said he thinks we will get to visit the children while we are here.
As I continued my conversation with Marcel, Adrian, & Hannah they commented about how smiley I am. I just explained I’m a happy person, haha! Thankful the joy of the Lord was still rising up despite my tired, sleepless state.
I also chatted with Maria. She goes by Boda. She’s so funny and spunky!! 😂 I look forward to getting to know her more. And Chipi and the others!
Well, I need to try to sleep again. It’s 3:45 am and I’m getting up at 6:30 to start my day. If you would, please pray for our team. For health, unity, and that we remain in tune with the Holy Spirit’s direction. We are here for whatever Jesus wants – and that is our desire. Please pray specifically for me. My lungs are burning and it feels like something breaks off the inside of them when I cough deep. This began around our 3rd flight here. I’m supposed to lead worship quite a bit here and I have songs bursting from within!
Okay, I must sleep. If you’ve read this long, thanks for reading my 4 am, grateful thoughts from my first few hours here. ❤
Love in Christ dear friends,