A few weeks ago, we were speaking about movies at our English Conversation Club. I mentioned that I haven’t enjoyed most of the Romanian movies I’ve seen, to which the students all responded with eyes wide in horror (not literally, but definitely metaphorically) at my comment.
“Why do you not enjoy Romanian films? I think maybe you cannot understand them.”
“Oh, no, even with subtitles. It’s just…” I dug my hole deeper.
“But we have many good Romanian movies.”
“I honestly haven’t seen too many,” I said, digging myself out a bit. “Probably I have only seen the bad ones.” I quickly turned the conversation away from trying to explain why I did not like Romanian movies and instead asked for recommendations of Romanian films I should see.
And that’s how I ended up watching one of the funniest and most insightful movies I’ve seen in a long time: Tales from the Golden Age.
The movie is based around a number of short stories, legends of what life was like under Communism. Some would be downright sad and painful in reality but on film are simply hilarious. (The Christmas pig!!!!) I don’t want to spoil too much of the fun, so I won’t tell any more. But if you need more to convince you this movie is worth your time, check out IMDb and the trailer (see below).
Posted in Bucharest
Tagged amintiri din epoca de aur, communism, culture, english conversation club, english language, film, foreign film, foreign language, funny, movie, movies, romania, tales from the golden age
A few weeks ago, we ran into a handful of high school students during one of our regular times handing out tracts. It started as a pretty normal conversation: the teenagers were mostly not interested but politely received our tracts, a few noticed we didn’t speak Romanian so began to speak with us in English, we asked them about Jesus and began to share a bit…
But then Jacob asked Chady if we could pray for him. He gave his assent. I told him, “Sometimes God speaks to his followers. Would you mind if we take some time to hear if he has anything for you?” The young man again nodded his assent.
Chady told us later, “I expected you would say something like, ‘God loves you,’ and I was getting ready to laugh at you.”
But God had a surprise in store for him.
My friend Jason introduced me to Rick Pino‘s music recently. Actually, he just showed me one song, and I haven’t been able to get past that one yet. It’s stuck on repeat! 🙂
The lyrics are super simple, but they really encapsulate the hunger I want to have for Jesus, where I would search for his presence until I find him and then never let him go. I am far too content to walk away from my times of prayer saying, “Well, I guess I met Jesus. By faith, I believe it…” I am far too content to be satisfied by work, by movies and TV, by Facebook, by AddictingGames.com, by food, by friendships, by the stuff of this world. I am far too content with the scraps that fall from the table or even no scraps at all, when there’s a great feast spread out for me just beyond my eyesight. Oh, may I search for him!
Enjoy the video, and let it stir your heart to greater hunger. And, for you guitarists, the chords/lyrics follow. (Sorry, but wordpress messed up the formatting.)
Oh, and make sure to check out rickpino.com to download some music and support his ministry.
I had planned to give an update from our *awesome* day of evangelism (including video thanks to our friend Jacob‘s spy camera), but then I got home and checked out wimp.com… and saw this video… and, well, you’ll see why I can’t do an update tonight. So enjoy this video… and just try not to be inspired.
For more true stories that’ll make you cry at the generosity of God working through people and inspire you to also live generously, check out the youtube channel and website.
The last two weeks, we’ve been learning a lot about some of the more difficult situations in Bucuresti. Although we are continuing to develop relationships with college students and reach out to the universities, God has been putting the drug-addicts, the homeless, the prostitutes, the insane, the poor, the pimps on our hearts. Jesus went to lepers, so it only makes sense that he would lead us to the lepers of Bucuresti.
We learned a lot from Sorin and Ana about the sewer people. In the north of Bucuresti there is an old underground complex that used to heat the entire city. Now, the place is home to families who have lost their homes for one reason or another and have now moved underground. As we spoke with Sorin and Ana, we felt our hearts stirred to bring the gospel to these people. A few have brought them handouts, but who is bringing them Jesus?
I recently came across the following documentary, and I think it’ll give you a good idea about some of what we see every day here. Although the situation has gotten better, thousands of kids still live on the streets of Bucharest. As I think about them, my heart breaks. What church would ever accept them in their ragged clothes and filth? What pastor would ever go to them?
Pray for our meeting today with Ana and Sorin. On a number of occasions, they’ve gone to the sewers with food and clothes for the kids. We hope to team up to bring them not only physical help but also spiritual.
God, open up a door for the gospel!
As part of my Romanian language studies, I like to watch Romanian movies. Ideally, I would watch each movie three times, once without subtitles, a second time with them, and a third time without them. That usually doesn’t work because either I don’t have enough time or the movie doesn’t have subtitles in English.
Although it sounds like just having fun, it really does teach me the language. I learn when to use what phrases. I learn new vocabulary. I learn how to pronounce words. I learn about the culture and mannerisms. A translator we had to hire once said she honestly thinks watching TV is one of the best ways to learn a foreign language. And nearly everyone I know tells me they learned English by watching cartoons. So there’s my argument: seriously, I’m studying.
In US history class today, I showed a video called “The Children’s March” by Teaching Tolerance. Tears formed in my eyes as I watched video footage of thousands of kids (some as young as four years old) rising up to protest inequality in Birmingham, AL. I was struck by God’s heart for justice and by the courage and power of those who stand up for what is right and true.