We headed out from Bucureşti Thursday morning, catching a tramvai (tram) to a metrou (subway) to a tren (train) to an autocar (coach bus) to Rotbav. Rotbav is a beautiful village of 1,000 to 1,500 people that’s only about 120 miles but 3 to 6 hours from where we live. It’s a neat little town, and it would be our home away from home through Sunday afternoon as we enjoyed fellowship and ministry with Spiritual Revival Church.
Thursday, our train to Braşov was late, so we missed meeting up with the greater portion of the Spiritual Revival crew. But Pastor Peter and Dan (pronounced “Dun” here) waited for us so we’d get on the right bus from Braşov to Rotbav. Dan is 6-foot-something, became a Christian in March, and translates many Sundays. He has a very easy-to-like personality, and I really enjoyed getting to talk with him and learn about life in Romania.
I have lots of goals. They range from the difficult-to-define (a heart more in love with Jesus, full confidence in Him, fulfillment and satisfaction in all that he is and gives, a deep appreciation for the Word of God…) to the very specific (a church planted in Bucuresti, regular evangelism in the streets and marketplaces, ongoing ministry in the Țigani (Gypsy) neighborhoods…).
Here are my three biggest goals/prayers for the time being:
1. I want to be able to communicate in Romanian. Right now, I can say a few phrases, but my Romanian is definitely very limited. I am attempting to do two hours of language study each day, mixing things up with practice out in the streets. Learning the language seems critical to being able to reach Romanians in a lasting way, but I would also be up for God bringing me someone who wants to come translate for me. (P.S. The picture to the left is a random one I found on google, but I swear 90% of Romanian young men sport the fohawk.)
I like to say that I work well under pressure, but really the truth is that I am a procrastinator. Big time. (In fact, I procrastinate my procrastinating. Errr…. Maybe not… I may have just confused myself.)
But here I am with 4 hours to get packed for the big camping trip I’m taking the boys on (starting this afternoon!), and I also have to figure out what stuff I’m bringing back go Green Bay for storing while I’m in Romania. That means I have to get my stuff packed so that my bags are all under 50 pounds.
I had planned to take care of all of this yesterday (my procrastination method), and that would’ve worked out fine. But when my church bought me Logos, a Bible study software, I was obligated to install it and then explore its vastness. Of course, installations never work right the first time, so I had a few issues there that I had to tackle. But by that time it was noon, and I had to get the house cleaned for our last CL meeting of the year (and my last one ever). And then I had to get supper ready. And counsel a student…. And after CL, I met with Seth and James to help them deal with some apartment renting issues…. And by that time it was almost 2 a.m.
So here I am with 4 hours (okay, now it’s 3 hours and 45 minutes) left to get stuff done.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll stop procrastinating.
I’m always really happy and really sad when graduation comes around. With this being my last year in the River Valley, the feelings are definitely accentuated. I’ve known some of the kids walking across the stage today since they were 10 years old. Some I just met a few weeks ago. Some I didn’t even know. I’ve subbed for most, nearly all, of them at least once, and for many I’ve subbed numerous times. Some I’ve gotten to know quite well, like younger brothers and sisters. Some are still like strangers. Some I’ve been able to help through difficult times in their lives. Some I’ve seen grow in their spiritual life in remarkable ways. Some I’ve seen make some major mistakes and then get back up and do okay in the end. I’ve seen some screw up in little ways their whole lives and still not have things figured out.
Some I’ll see again, I’m sure, somewhere down the road. Some I’ll never see again. Some will have changed much, some for the better and some for the worse. Some will pursue their dreams; some will fail miserably.
So I was all set for the Campus Life meeting tonight. I had an awesome plan. Seriously, the gospel was going to be shared, lives were going to be changed, teenagers were going to be loved… I spent the day preparing, and it was gonna be amazing, truly amazing.
But then I remembered there was a band and choir concert tonight. All but two students in this year’s Campus Life crew are in either band or choir. And one of those two students was planning to go to the concert.
So much for my plan, right?
I started the day off enjoying breakfast at the Picadilly Lilly Airport Diner with a couple of the guys from Campus Life. We do this every time the school has a 2-hour delay, and it’s been a fun tradition to stick to. Jake has been coming for the last 3 years, and hopefully he’ll continue the tradition when I head out to Romania. Only, I suppose he’ll have to call it “Breakfast With Jake.”
Today, besides getting some good food and talking about our favorite movies, I brought up something that hit home with me while reading the Bible this morning. In 1 Samuel 4, the Israelites are fighting for independence from Philistia. Not faring so well in battle, they decide to bring in their secret weapon: the Ark of the Covenant. (Ooooh… Scaaaaary….) Well, the Philistines are all like, “Aaaah! No!!! Their God’s coming to the battle! We’re DOOMED!”