It’s the end of my first full day in Romania. I have very mixed reactions. I’m mostly overwhelmed and very tired, but I’m also really excited about the opportunities for the gospel here in Bucharest.
The day began with praying together for God’s work in the city, and then Jake took me out to show me around Bucharest and to buy a cell phone. This involved learning that you have to buy a SIM card when you get a new cell phone. (A little late to get to the 21st century, right?) By the time I had left, I had spent a whopping $44.70 and got myself a phone (that I swear came from the 80’s) plus 3000 minutes to try to use up. Not bad at all.
I got to hang out with my nieces and my nephew a ton. It was a lot of work swimming across the raging Red River and surviving the giant waterfall, but thankfully the flying, fire-breathing zebra was nice enough to help us out as long as he wasn’t busy trying to fight the mean velociraptor who was really just sad. But we had to quit before making it to Candy Mountain because Jake wanted to help me learn how to use the subway. So we took Naomi and Mae with us and then headed out.
The subway, contrary to what I still think every time I hear the word, is not a sandwich. It’s a funny-smelling place underground where you look at a display of yellow and black lines that somehow tells you which train to get on that will then magically take you to another part of the city. Eventually, I’m sure I’ll get the system figured out, but right now it’s all a big confusing mess to me. I can get on the subway; I just don’t know where I’ll end up going. (Shoot, if I run out of money, though, $0.30 would get me a moving apartment and a bunch of new roommates.)
Naomi and Mae got quite a treat at the end of the subway. There was a massive “KidFest” going on at the park. KidFest is exactly what it sounds like, and thanks to a couple who saw us standing around looking in, we got in free. The girls got to dress up in princess dresses, make some art projects, and play on those awesome inflatable toys that every adult wishes to go on but can’t because he’s too big.
KidFest was a paradox. On the one side, there’s this massive fair thing going on set aside simply to love kids, be a blessing to parents, and give people something healthy to do. On the other side, between the advertising featuring scantily-clad women and the constant scent of smoke and garbage in the air, there was the music selection. We heard songs such as Rihanna’s “S&M”. I know it’s catchy, but really?
Although this is only my first day here, I feel like Bucharest will be like KidFest. I expect to see many places of kindness and beauty, of genuine love and respect. And I also expect I’ll see many areas of immorality, greed, hedonism, deep darkness.
Pray for me, that I’d learn the language well, that God would give us open doors to share the gospel with these people, that we’d connect with radical, Bible-believing Christians, and that the Spirit of God would be present in signs and wonders.