Monday through Wednesday the mission team was here from Atlanta. In the mornings they did VBS at the church here in Lugoj and had close to 200 kids. I started out in a class with a friend (she had to translate), but I felt kind of useless because the Americans were teaching everything and I don't speak Romanian to translate, so I didn't really have a job. So they gave me one. For three days I poured water in plastic cups and refilled bowls of pretzels for snack time. Exciting, right? I was so glad to be useful, though, and there had been one man doing it all himself. It doesn't sound like much, but with 200 kids... yeah. Go ahead and work up a good mental picture of that. Yep.
Then in the afternoons we went to the orphanage to do a sort of VBS with the kids there, but minus all the Australian theme stuff. Just Bible stories, crafts, games, and quality time. It was fun to go back there and have the kids remember me from last week. I really had a hard time there, though, because again the team had all the jobs covered and I was just kind of there hanging out. It was very tempting to revert to the old me, the content loner, and just watch everything because they were already doing such a great job. I did have some good quality time with a very special little girl who is a little bit different and needs a lot of extra attention. I think that's one thing to remember about the orphanage. It's easy to feel like you're not doing anything there, but quality time is one of the love languages (read the book if you haven't already).
Monday and Tuesday evenings we went to the village of Susani to have revival/evangelism services at the church there. The services were really good and very encouraging to me and hopefully to the people there, as well.
Wednesday night we had the honor of being at the first service of a brand new church on the outskirts of Lugoj. One of our good friends here runs a brick factory and found out that a building next to the factory, which was being used as a bar, was actually part of the factory's property. It has now been remodeled and the people are very excited to have a Baptist church in their neighborhood. The building was packed and there were children running around everywhere outside. As soon as we pulled up the kids started coming. We started playing duck duck goose with about ten and before we knew it there was a huge crowd. Fortunately the church team got there soon and had plenty of bubbles and frisbees and craft supplies. I have never blown so many bubbles in my entire life - I think for about 2 hours. One of the American ladies gave me a big bubble tube (like the ones from Wal-Mart) and it lasted just until the service was over. There were a few boys who stayed with me the whole time trying to see who could make the biggest bubbles, so I talked with them as much as I could in Romanian and used a translator a few times. I told one boy about Jesus multiplying the fish and bread so the people could eat, and I told him I thought Jesus must be doing that for our bubbles because they were almost gone but still working somehow! I though it was funny, but I don't think he got the joke. Oh well. Even in Romania people don't laugh at my jokes :P Another girl let me listen to her music and I tried to have a conversation with her, but I don't think she was too sure about talking to me through the translator. Anyway, it was a fun time and good to see so many people there. I think some good relationships were made with the people who live here and they will be able to do a lot in that neighborhood.
Yesterday Grandma and I travelled with two friends to a village about four hours away where they usually go and spend a week, but couldn't this summer because of schedule conflicts. We just went for the night to see the progress of a church that is being built there and to visit. They knew we were coming and the children from the church had learned some songs and Bible verses to sing and recite for us. They were so excited to see us! I told them about Abraham and how we are God's family and then taught them the song "Father Abraham" in English. I thought it would be something easy and fun, but they had trouble with some of the words. I guess "Abraham" is a little bit hard, now that I think about it. We played the telephone game with them using Romanian and English words. It was funny to see how much we messed them up by the end of the line, since they don't know English and I don't know much Romanian!
So I think that is everything for now! Tomorrow I am going to a wedding and Sunday night we are headed to Surduk for the two week Bible study session there. I leave you with some important phrases I've learned this week.
- Gata! - Enough!
- Stai jos - Sit down
- Hai! - Come on!
- Eu vreau so faca - I want to try/do/make it
- Fornetti cu mere, trei lei, te rog - I'll have some delicious, fresh, hot, apple-filled pastries, as many as I can get for a dollar, please.