A Belgian college student who needed help with English introduced me to Vacareşti about six months ago. Having lived eight years in a small town in the country, I was in desperate need of some solitude and fresh air, so just the mention of a taste of “wilderness” nearby was enough to get me excited. (Note, for a more full look at the tangled history of this place, check out my post here.)
On one of my more recent trips into the area, I came across about 4 or 5 houses, built of discarded materials, pieces of wood, plastic, and metal. It was actually quite an idyllic scene when I arrived; the sun slowly setting was lengthening the shadows of the grass blades and highlighting the smoke rising from the homes while a man’s steady hammering cut through the blanket of soft talking that filled the area. A handful of stray dogs walked among the homes, and I for once almost smiled at them. Almost.
The one thought that stuck in my heart, though, as I walked through the homes was that I had to figure out a way for bringing the gospel to these people. How cool would it be to see a handful of people gathering here to pray and seek God together.
Well, whether or not we’ll get a church meeting going, I don’t know. But we made our first attempt yesterday when we met the small community. Jake, Jason, and I shared the gospel and brought oranges and chocolate bars for the kids for Christmas.
This area has been described by some as the “perfect hideout for criminals,” and the people here have a very bad reputation in the city, only some of it actually deserved. Some families have been living here illegally for decades, and others are here temporarily as money and employment proved more illusive than their dreams. As far as we know there is not yet any regular ministry reaching out to these people.
Anyhow, we were happy to find all the families to be very receptive and open to the gospel, and we hope to visit again soon.
So pray for the seeds that were planted yesterday, that they would bear much fruit. And pray for God to give us wisdom concerning how best to proceed in this interesting neighborhood.