Half a Year in Bucharest

Today at 8:20 pm is the six-month mark for when I arrived in Romania.  I don’t know that I have anything super insightful to say about it all, but it seemed an appropriate time to reflect on things.

On the one hand, I’m very happy with how things are going.  We have a stable and growing meeting with a handful of Rromi families along Mihai Bravu.  Our relationships with Christians in other ministries are growing stronger.  We’re able to get around with our limited Romanian, and we’ve learned so much since moving here.  We have shared the gospel with thousands through street evangelism and relationships.  On a personal level, my own heart is happy to know Jesus, and he’s giving me strength to listen to and obey him.  All of us have permission to stay here for five years.

But on the other hand, I’m really discouraged with the current state of things.  Our home church has a regular attendance of eight if you count the three of us missionaries and the four kids.  I cannot have a conversation in Romanian and still struggle even with buying groceries.  We hardly know our neighbors and rarely even see them.  I still feel like a stranger and an outsider even at the meetings along Mihai Bravu.  My heart is so easily distracted from prayer, studying the Bible, and devotion to Jesus.  The work with the Cora community and Vasilica is as small and seemingly ineffective as ever.  We have not seen the outpouring of miracles that Jesus promised we would see.  Street evangelism now that the winter weather has come is slow and irregular.  And I’m sure I could come up with more.

But we’re here.  We’re learning.  We’re listening.  And we’re willing.

And so, although there is much room for growth, I am not at all disappointed.  In fact, I am confident that the One who began a good work in sending us here to Bucharest will be faithful to complete it.  He’s patient, and so I can be patient, as well.

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 – “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.”

Philippians 1:6 – “For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”

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