Sunday, June 27, 2010

Church All Day

Day 4 – Church All Day
The nights are getting shorter. I finished the blog at 1 a.m. which took me through the nightly dog fight. When I went to bed I realized that the hotel had actually changed the bed sheets but had only put one blanket in the bedroom which Hunter was using. I started to fall asleep but an hour or so later I started to freeze. Like a good father I went over to take the blanket off Hunter and realized he had both blankets. So I took mine and went to sleep. At 4:30 a.m. I woke up cold again because Hunter had kicked his blanket on the floor and taken mine. Now I couldn’t go back to sleep. And so I got up and packed my suitcase because we were moving hotels today. I then went to shower only to discover that when they cleaned the bathroom they completely broke the shower and so now all I had was a faucet about 2 feet off the ground. I must admit I thought about 5 minutes how easy it would be to get on my knees and take a shower that way. Realizing that the lack of sleep was blurring my logic I decided just to wait until I heard my wife or daughter taking a shower in the next room and then go in after that. Having spoken to Russ I am not sure it is much better at the new hotel. There the shower is just an attachment on the bath tub and there are no shower curtains. Russ did try sitting down in the bath tub to shower but had forgotten that everything in Romania is smaller and got kind of wedged in the bath tub.
Chrissie observed the Sabbath this morning and didn’t have breakfast for us and we ate at the old faithful Café Vienna. From here we split up into our three teams. The Parkin’s and the Hedner’s heading to Magura, The Canon’s, The Ayoubi’s and Stuart Holland heading to Fieni and The Britton’s, Emily, Damien and Katie stayed in Puciosa. There was kind of a plan about who was going to preach, who was going to give their testimony and who was going to sing. I think the preaching went on track but the singing and testimonies seemed to get added or changed on the fly.
After church we were invited to lunch at the Romanians’ homes. That too seemed to be a constantly changing plan but Damien joined the Britton’s to go to Emma’s house with her Mum (that is the Romanian spelling as well) and her cousin, Betty. Just like last year I am always blown away by the self-sufficiency and joy of the Romanian people. We had an absolutely delicious turkey soup which was made with all home grown ingredients (including the turkey). Then we had turkey, sausage, mashed potatoes and bell peppers in a special sauce. I think everything except the sausage was also homemade. It truly was delicious. As we got to know this family we met the grandmother who had had a stroke 13 years ago and had been bed-ridden since. Despite the mother working and Emma going to school they find a way to take care of the grandmother. I do think the highlight of the visit was the baby cat they had which found a way to climb up the table and into Hunter’s lap.
From here was back to Church for evening service which believe it or not was even more “on the fly” than the morning. Both Sue and Dani gave their testimonies. As much as we miss having last year’s team here it was probably very good we did not have Izzy here. When Dani started to cry during her testimony she would have never been able to finish if Izzy had been there with all the crying.
By the way at this point the Britton’s still did not have a hotel room for the rest of the stay. Some jockeying for position was beginning with Barbara staking her claim for the back seat of the van. Eventually we did get our rooms at a completely different hotel from everyone else. With us being the roving VBS team I am starting to get a complex about the obvious attempts to separate us from the group.
Before I go any longer let me give another example of flexibility. Way back in the planning stages the idea was for us to do 4days of VBS in both Puciosa and Fieni and then a roving team doing a day in Magura, a day in Vulcana Bai and a day in Varfur. Varfur was then dropped and instead it was only a day in Magura and Vulcana Bai. When we got Romania we were told it would different but no-one seemed to know what the plan was. Last night we had the first inkling of a final schedule and now we are pretty much back to the first plan. We do two half days in Magura and 2 half days in Varfur and a full extended day in Vulcana Bai. Now tomorrow morning the roving team has to redo their VBS plan to match the schedule.
After church it was the first real time when all the youth from Romania and all the youth from the US played volleyball. Barbara got an urge to relive her college days of playing volley ball and joined the US team. After going up 2 games to nothing and the dinner the Romanians finally won a game.
Philippians 4:6-7 - “ Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” In the midst of all of the “flexibility” it is always good to remember God is in control.
I apologize now for the short blog today but I have to get some sleep after the 3 ½ last night. Tomorrow we begin VBS.


  1. As always, flexibility is key! God has a perfect plan and will use you guys to share His truth with the children there. We are praying for rest and strength as you begin VBS! Sara

  2. Hey, I resemble that remark! Don't worry, Giles, I am saving up all my tears for when you guys get back and share all your wonderful experiences. I wish I could have heard Dani's testimony though. This is the second time I've missed it! I just know you guys are such a blessing to them. P.S. Love the photo of Hunter and the baby cat AND the photo of Barbara looking all professional volley player. I wouldn't want to mess with her.

  3. Gretchen BertucciniJune 28, 2010 at 8:22 PM

    I must admit I am a bit disppointed with your poor performance representing TEAM USA in the volleyball "game". Despite the fact that you are there to minister and share the love of Christ with the Romanians, I don't think you will destroy your testimony if you try to WIN! Tomorrow's another day and I am expecting a better performance.

    On another note--foreign missions always involves FLEXIBILITY. Christ was our perfect example, and while all these changes were not in your plans, they were always in God's---so trust Him and He will give you all things!

    Much love,