After having a reasonably restful and reflective time in Sicily, we made our way to Romania on Friday. Not quite out the door leaving for the airport, Al got a message from Bogdan, our coordinator in Bucharest, that his vehicle was stuck in snow and we needed to get a hotel near the airport with a shuttle. He gave us the name. Al quickly arranged that and off we went. It took us a better part of the day before we arrived in Bucharest. Bogdan was working Saturday so we were on our own for the day. Sunday came with Steve our teammate arriving during the night and Bogdan picking us up after he got off work at 7am. It took an hour to get to the church.
As we walked into the 12’x20’ foot room, we were enthusiastically welcomed by the believers there. We had been there only one time before so we were really somewhat taken aback. We settled down on the wooden bench as people piled in. To my best count, there were around 30 adults and about 6 children there. The worship began with Gypsy style music. One of the church leaders spoke and we prayed. A woman began to cry. We would worship in song and another would speak. By now, the lady is weeping and I am wondering why she is so upset. We prayed for her and her husband and he spoke to the church. Most of the time we have no idea what is being said just sensing the spirit of the place so full of love and joy. They then tell us this couple is leaving for 2 months to visit children in Germany and they are sad to say goodbye. WOW! What a testimony of the power of God’s love in this place.
Steve gave a great devotional message and then as I looked at my watch, Al got up to give the morning sermon. He spoke on Col. 3 and in his unique way opened up the word clearly and with insight. Of course, I was thinking what a powerful sermon, I really got that! In total, we were there 2 and 1/2 hours and I was not bored.
Bogdan told us that he had to work but if we wanted to go to the evening service, his wife could pick us up. Al jumped on that because we have been hanging out in too many hotel rooms lately. Oh my, if it wasn’t enough to be so encouraged in the morning just being with God’s lovely people, stepping foot again in this cozy room seemed to lift us up. Then what transpired absolutely took hold of us in such a way as never before. They sang a few songs but then leader after leader would get up and share a passage from the word, say something and then everyone stood to pray about this in our lives. This happened repeatedly. You sometimes wonder what to pray and I found no loss for words to say. Everyone prays audibly at the same time. In the end, Al had them ask him questions from the Bible. Still the effect of this humble group lifting their voices to God in response to his word affected us in such a way we knew we were changed somehow.
As we have had time to reflect on that day, we KNOW it was the power of prayer from so many of you in the US that brought this transformation in us. The sermon was received so well by the believers there and seemed to break the barriers between us and the work God wants to do here with the Roma. We praise His gracious and Holy name, as Al will share of the amazing breakthrough he had with Pastors and leaders at the training. Thank you so much for your faithful, spirit-led prayers that gave us this opportunity. We feel so blessed and privileged to serve him in this way.
Together serving with you,