Another day is coming to a close in Romania. It's 9:25 pm and we just returned from eating dinner at Emmanuel Church. Roast beef simmered for hours in tomatoes, garlic, onions, parsley - so good! Of course they served rice pilaf, corn, peas, vegetable soup, bread and for dessert, a massive hunk of the best watermelon ever. These church ladies know how to lay out the spread!!
Since this is an e3 training trip for me, I worked with a different team today in a city called Tecuci. A city of about 50,000 with only about 100 known evangelical Christians. I went to an appointment in the morning with a 74-yr old woman named Nadia. She was one of the most animated, full-of-life people I've ever met - she dominated the conversation, in a good way, with stories. She used her hands and her facial expressions just about told the stories! I hardly needed a translator. We were at her house for nearly 3 hours. We shared our testimonies, we shared scriptures for her - "come all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest..." This woman has been carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders for a very long time. She also admitted her biggest sin is unforgiveness. She literally could not understand forgiveness of her sins. We prayed for her at the end of our time together. That was the only time I saw her cry. She invited me to come back to Tecuci with my family and to stay at her house...pray for Nadia - we gave her a Bible and we each signed it with a personal message.
The weather changed dramatically today - it was raining when we walked outside to the vans. I had an instant flashback to my previous Romania trip in 2005...That was the year they experienced a 1000 yr flood. Alyssa and I ended up in a village about 2 hours from Galati which had no paved roads, no electricity, no running water. It also had massive amounts of thick, slippery, impossible-to-drive/walk-in mud. One of our nationals assessed the situation, disappeared for a few minutes, then returned with "the village boots" in his arms. Yes. He was thoughtful enough to go knocking on doors, asking to borrow boots that we could wear so we could walk in the mud. Someone else on our team was wearing flipflops - I gave her my tennis shoes to wear and I gingerly slid my feet into the pair of village boots that was handed to me. I lived through the experience, slipping and sliding up impossibly muddy hills, slipping and falling down impossibly muddy hills, pretty much slipping and sliding all day 'til mercifully it was time for the evening meeting...Good times - great memories. Thankfully, there was no need for the village boots today. My crocs were pretty slippery on the sidewalks and I nearly took down the team a few times before regaining my balance, but all in all, the rain wasn't a nuisance.
I won't be able to post pics 'til I get home - no picture card reader on this laptop. I haven't been so great at capturing pictures so far - tomorrow I'm going to concentrate harder on sneaking my camera out at just the right moments. We'll see how that goes.