Barbuleşti is a strange town. Twenty years ago, it was called the “Gypsy ghetto” of Romania and was home to all sorts of “unsavory” characters. Over time and through a combination of revival, police action, and simple old age, the most notorious have since left the town. Now, it’s an odd collection of extremely poor, unemployed people and the recently wealthy, who don’t seem afraid to let everyone know their new status. We saw old, cement homes with dirt floors right across the street from mansions looking like Asian pagodas or castles. During our one day in the city, it seemed just as common to see a horse-drawn cart as it was to see a BMW cruising along the dirt roads.
We spent a day here ministering in February, and two of the churches asked us to come back for a second time. I definitely enjoyed the experience, but I also know that true, lasting change comes not in a one-time visit from a missionary but rather in those strong, faithful, consistent, determined men and women of God who just won’t quit challenging the people God puts in their care.
Pray for Barbuleşti. While being very poor, the people in the city have a desperation that, if turned towards God, will attract his attention. Pray for hope in their hearts, a resolution to live holy, and a firm determination to know the presence of God. Pray for jobs, for health, for wisdom… The list goes on.