Goodbyes, Adventure, and Hello
I send you greetings of Grace and Peace in the name of Jesus Christ from Sibiu Romania. We arrived here late this evening.
After a wonderful breakfast, we packed our things, purchased some homemade goodies, and said our goodbyes to our new friends at Ana’s house. Many times throughout our stay there I forgot it was an orphanage. It felt so much like a family, and little like what one might typically expect, when one hears the word “orphanage”. I’m so grateful for each child, teacher, parent and staff at Ana’s house. They are transforming lives through the love of Jesus Christ. It is clearly a ministry, and a beautiful one at that. My heart has been encouraged. Although several in the home spoke English very well, there were conversations we would have liked to have had, but we were limited by language. I’ve been sent home with the challenge to learn 300 Romanian words so that we can have a better conversation. So far I can count to ten, say yes, and hello and goodbye, and Amen. More will come. I look forward to this challenge.
As we traveled east to Sibiu (pronounced Sib-you), we stopped at a medieval citadel in Alba Iulia. It was full of fascinating architecture, an ancient Catholic Church, and ancient history. Many structures were 2000 years old….
After checking into our hotel this evening, we met up with Pastor Christi from the Light to Light church. He took us on a very small walking tour of an old wall, and to the large city square where we just happened to stumble upon some gelato.
Friends, I’m anxious to hear more from Christi. He shared his call story to plant this third UMC church in Romania. It was a clear call from God, and as I listened I got goosebumps. The Holy Spirit is doing a beautiful and new thing here in this ancient city of Sibiu. It is full of history and art. Christi says he has many stories to share of miracles where God has shown up. He is challenging his congregation to pray every time they walk into the Old Lutheran church they are able to use for worship on sunday mornings. He is filling the space with prayer. This man speaks my language, and although our time was short this pm, I’m certain we will be delighted to hear and learn from him how God is on the move. Yay!!!
I’ve also asked Suzanne, the development director of Global Hope who is traveling with us to share more about church partnership specifics… what are our options?? We hope to have this conversation tomorrow. My goal is to bring several options home with us, unless God makes one option the most clear way to go. Ideas are certainly already coming together, and this time in Sibiu will tell us much more yet. Please keep praying. Your prayers make a world of difference. God listens.
Awesome God, we delight in your presence. We fall at your feet, knowing we are made beautifully in your image, and yet fallen, and broken without you. I pray for restoration of faith in this beautiful city of Sibiu. We pray for clarity and understanding as we communicate with those around us. Lord, give us words, where words seem out of reach. Lead us directly where you want us to go. Bring clarity to the questions we have. Bring hope and joy to those still stumbling about in the darkness. Draw us close to you, Lord Jesus Christ. May your Holy Spirit pour through us. Help us to see each opportunity before us and grab hold of it. We lay our lives, individual and corporate at your feet Lord. Our lives, our resources, all we hold dear, it is yours. Thank you, Lord Jesus. Thank you. In Jesus Holy and Precious name we pray. Amen. (Amin)
Delighting in the Journey,
p.s. The pictures tonight come from the Large City Square in Sibiu. This is where the Light from Light UMC church worships.