day four ...
hmm … don’t get it. another restless sleep in an extremely comfortable bed. doug also had an interrupted night of sleep in his room. not sure what’s up – might even be spiritual. all the same, we awoke eager to head to our respective church hosts to share a message to encourage and challenge them.
tried to order eggs and sausage for breakfast today – but since it’s a b&b style hotel, they didn’t have sausages available. so our hostess suggested “cabanos” for me. not knowing what that was, i said yes. well, doesn’t it turn out to be fancily-sliced hot dogs … odd, but i'll take it!
i was taken to trinity church in bacau to speak today, while doug travelled off to the pentecostal church in the city of roman. at trinity church, there were about 50 people in attendance, and the morning was filled with songs that i knew by tune but for which i struggled to pronounce the romanian lyrics. despite the language gap there was an undeniable sense of joy and hope in the air – a far cry from the first impressions that i developed of bacau before arriving here.
when asked to share the message, i began by describing how i’d lost my sense of direction during my run the previous evening. pastor marian almost choked before translating for me … apparently i went into territory that was far too dangerous for me. as he tells me, “you could have been robbed, or bitten by stray dogs”. he said that if he had known that that was the direction that i was headed in, he would have stopped me.
me? well, i knew that there was a reason that i perked up when the lyrics from “who am i?” played on my ipod … “whom shall i fear? whom shall i fear, when i am yours?”
the rest of the service went well, with even one of the songs selected by the worship team fitting in thematically with a key Bible verse that i'd used. funny how those things come together even when we don't plan for it.
pastor marian and his family graciously invited me to spend the afternoon with them. we visited the arena mall and had lunch at a restaurant there. again, i insisted on having some traditional romanian fare (while his kids ate pizza) – so i had “bulz ciobanesc”. nice dish.
the afternoon was spent at pastor marian’s home (about 15 min. outside of bacau city) having tea and cake, talking about the state of the church in canada, and watching humourous videos he'd used in church services. a very warm and hospitable family.
we returned to trinity church for the evening gathering - a much more informal time of music, some prayer, a brief reflection on the scriptures and open q&a time. about 17 people were in attendance, including two young adults who were not followers of jesus. i shared a reflection, and was asked many of the questions - including questions the highlighted the struggles of being a christian in romania vs. being a christian in canada.
post-service routine was very much like it is for us back home - a trip to mcdonald's. had my first big mac in years. (thanks ronald mcdonaldescu)
so one more sleep in bacau - maybe a sounder one. regardless, i'm surrounded by many more friends here now than when i first arrived.