Because I don’t have a car here in Bucharest, I end up spending a lot of time walking. (Some days, in fact, I feel like that’s *all* I do.)
While I do some intellectually-stimulating things (like practice speaking/thinking Romanian, listen to Romanian preachers), some spiritually-strengthening things (like listen to preaching form the U.S., pray in tongues, meditate on Scripture, talk with God), and some mind-numbing things (like get annoyed at the slow-walking people, complain about the weather, hurry), I also do one thing that really doesn’t fit into any category: I practice Tuvan overtone singing. 🙂
It’s probably one of the most difficult and useless skills I hope to develop while in Bucharest, but it really sounds awesome when it’s done right. (Trust me, it does!) Unfortunately, I don’t do it right. (Trust me, I don’t!) Fortunately, since I often walk along some pretty empty streets, I’m the only one who hears my pitiful attempts.
Posted in Bucharest
Tagged alash, alash ensemble, culture, languages, music, overtone singing, practice, singing, throat singing, time, tuvan overtone singing, tuvan throat singing, unreached people, walking, worship
As an American, I have many weaknesses that are simply a part of my culture. I love entertainment, probably too much so. I get really bothered when people with titles expect to be recognized for those letters in front of their name. And I feel a constant need to DO THINGS.
Romania–partly because the culture is much more relationship-driven than events-driven and partly because I’m still discovering what purpose I’m supposed to have here–has been helping me to overcome this tendency to be always busy. While I am certainly not advocating laziness, I am very much in favor of recognizing that an over-committed life is not always the best recipe for following Jesus and so intentionally creating space for God to interrupt your day.
Luke 5:15-16 tells us of the success of Jesus’ ministry in Israel: “The report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases. But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.”
Here he is, in the midst of a crazy busy ministry schedule, surrounded by people who are sick and dying and desperately in need of some help. And he’s the only one capable of meeting their needs. There’s pressure. There are deadlines. There are needs and wants and…. in the midst of it all, Jesus leaves. And he leaves often.
I have found myself in need of some wilderness time lately. I’ve been stressed from preparations for Romania, tired of working in the schools, worn out from ministering to people… and I need desperately to get to the wilderness, alone with God.
Posted in Spring Green
Tagged bible study, knowing Jesus, ministry, prayer, preparing, romania, solitude, spring green desert, time, wilderness, work
That’s 38 days until my departure date… Wow.
In this whole thing, I’ve flopped back and forth from “freaked out” to “in denial” to “excited beyond words.” Right now, I feel mostly freaked out and in denial. (How does that work? Seriously. Does this mean I feel freaked out about something that’s not actually happening??? Or that I’m in denial about freaking out about something that is actually happening?)
During the past months, I’ve been learning the language, reading about the history and culture of the people, selling my possessions, packing and sorting through what to bring with, saving money, talking to people about supporting, and in general preparing as best I know how.
But in these months of preparing, I have often found myself asking, “Have I done enough?”
I used to spend the first two hours of my day with God and the last two hours. It was awesome. I grew so much.
But then something happened. I got busy.
At first, I simply chose to wake up earlier than before, and oh how my spirit was satisfied.
But then I got tired. And busier. So I started staying up later working, and I quit getting up so early in the morning. I cut back on my time with God.