On Sunday, the 16th of June, 1935, in the town of Maglavit, a seventeen-year-old, poor shepherd with a speech impediment finally worked up enough courage to announce to his church a short message he claimed came directly from God the Father, whom he swore had visited him in the form of an old man while he was tending sheep. His message, a stereotypical Old Testament “turn or burn” indictment of his people, was met with both obvious incredulity and a similarly expected enthusiasm. Both those in favor and those against the happenings in Maglavit, and especially those hoping to profit from the events, spread the news far and wide. Newspapers were full of stories of miracles, healings, and prophecies as excitement over the shepherd boy who had seen God spread. In time, over two million people would take part in the spectacular events of Maglavit. Today, much of the events that took place are shrouded in mystery. Who was Petrache Lupu, the man who claimed to see God, and what can we learn from his life rife with visions, miracles, and extravagant stories reminiscent of Ezekiel or Isaiah?
Posted in Bucharest
Tagged between the wars, biography, essay, healer, healing, history, miracle, miracles, orthoxy, petrache lupu, priest, prophecy, prophet, romania, romanian orthodox
Well, it’s been almost a month since my last update, so I figured It’s about time to let you know how things have been going here in Romania. Since my last update, we started teaching classes at Scoala Biblica Piatra Vie. It’s our very first semester teaching these courses in Romania, and many books are not available in Romanian, so it’s been far less organized than I like, but God is working in and through us.
We have a total of 12 students taking 3 different classes. They represent three different continents (Africa, Europe, and North America) and speak four different mother tongues (English, French, Romanian, and Swahili). Yes, we’re pretty diverse! Culturally (Romanians, Africans, and Americans), intellectually (from graduate school students to high school dropouts), and spiritually (a one-month-old believer from a Muslim background, Baptists who were taught to believe the charismatic gifts ended in the first century, Pentecostals who never learned to study the Bible, and even a few who don’t know what to call themselves)–we have a wide variety of students!
Posted in Bucharest
Tagged bible school, bucharest, bucuresti, classes, evangelism, holy spirit, miracles, prayer, romania, school, scoala biblica piatra vie, spirit-filled, teaching, worship
For those who have been curious about what Romanian’s eat, here’s a great blog post about some traditional Romanian foods, most of which are eaten regularly by Romanians and most of which I’ve at least tried. I have to point out, however, that calling slanina “bacon” is VERY misleading. It’s not bacon. Not in the least.
With that said, check out the link and learn a bit about what Romanians eat.
If you’re in Romania during the end of February, you’ll notice stands popping up all over selling little red-and-white pieces of jewelry for 1 leu (35 cents). They’re on the roadsides, in the malls, on the subways… everywhere! And they are most definitely not candy canes.
And, if you’re American, you’re probably asking yourself, “What on earth is going on here?!?!” Because the only thing going on in February in America is the Superbowl and a whole lot of snow. (Okay, so I guess we do have President’s Day and Valentine’s Day as well.)
Say “hello” to Mărțișor, a traditional Romanian celebration that goes all the way back to the ancient Roman or even the Dacian (pre-Roman) people of the Carpathian region. It has its roots as a fertility festival, the rebirth of nature, and a celebration of spring. Celebrants would participate by giving and receiving mărțișoare (the small, red-and-white, pieces of jewelry). In ancient times (and yet today in some rural areas) these trinkets were believed to have magical properties, guaranteeing the wearer of a good, blessed, and fertile future. Today, for most people they’re simply a fun way to show you value someone’s friendship.
Posted in Bucharest
Tagged bucharest, culture, dacia, dacian, fertility, festivals, friendship, history, holidays, jewelry, love, magic, martisoare, martisor, roman, romania, talismans, traditions
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
In America, I could walk up to a line of cash registers, take a quick glance, and within seconds have picked out the fastest line. I wasn’t right all the time, but more often than not, I would end up with a winner and walk out of there faster than the rest.
Not so in Romania.
Here, I seem to have a nack for picking the slowest line possible.
This “gift” has rarely ever failed me.
While standing in line in America is a fairly routine, boring thing to do–you simply follow along behind the person directly in front of you–waiting in line in Romania is a bit more adventurous. Let me explain.
There seem to be four basic categories into which Romanian lines fall: (1) the Jumbled Mass, (2) the Knotted String, (3) the Secret List, and (4) the Mysterious Complication.
(Before continuing, please note that I love Romania and this is all written in good humor and, while representing my experience, may not be completely factual. In fact, there’s a good chance it’s all completely made up.)
Sometimes Bucharest gets to me, and sometimes Romanians drive me nuts. But the last few days have been full of reminders that Romanians are really awesome people and the world would be a whole lot better if we had more of them. Yes, they’re not perfect and have all sorts of faults. But God made Romanians in his image, and I love when they show that image clearly.
So, without further ado, here are ten reasons why Romanians are awesome.
1. Nowhere else will a total stranger spend 30 minutes with you trying to help you find the obscure address you need to find. He may even lead you to the wrong place in the end, but at least he’s there in the wrong place with you and just as frustrated as you are. Seriously, I’ve never met a Romanian who wasn’t willing to help even if he didn’t really know how.