We didn’t have to rush this morning as our itinerary did not start until the afternoon. After a leisurely breakfast Ray and Anita set off on foot to go into Deusa (Dewasha) which is the village just 500 yards from FAF and where the warehouse is. They met some local people but the language barrier prevented them having a meaningful conversation. On their return they said how friendly the people are as they will just start talking to you as you walk by. When they set off into the village the mist was rolling in as we are quite high up on a hillside, but then just as quickly as it arrived the mist would disappear. By mid morning the sun had broken through and we had another good sunny day, albeit slightly colder than previous days.
Last night after we arrived back from Mera we spent a long time talking and praying as this was the first time that we had any chance to do a debrief, because we have been so busy that we have been getting back late, do the blog and then to bed in readiness for the next day. Knowing that Friday morning was free we decided to leave doing the blog until then. It was very evident from how we spoke last night that we are not the same four people who arrived in Romania last Sunday. Our emotions have been on a roller coaster and we are quite overwhelmed by the welcome we have been given and the love that has been shown. We came here to bless the people with our material aid but we shall go home with a bigger blessing in our hearts.
Lunchtime soon arrived as we were having an early one because we needed to set off at 1pm for the prison visit in Cluj. Bridgette was coming with us; she is a team member from FAF, but I felt it would be good for her to join us and speak to the women in the prison about her faith because she has gone through many trials in her life and she is only 30. She has a servant heart and does all the cooking and cleaning at FAF and never grumbles, but it is obvious that she has more to give than serving.
And so we set off for Cluj. Dr Stanca once again was giving directions, which means that when you get to a junction and just level with it, she then tells you to turn in to it, either left or right. Thus, we would miss the junction and then she gives me an earful for missing the junction. I did try once to carry out a manoeuvre into a junction on her instructions and nearly got taken out by several cars. We were going to visit a prison I didn’t want to be staying in it for dangerous driving!! We arrived at the prison which is connected to the law courts and she wanted me to park on the pavement, and then when I said no she said to park in a space that was available. The space was the entrance to the prison. She was determined to get me in that prison.
Dr Stanca had said that they are short of ping pong bats and balls in the prison, so we bought seven sets that included a net for the table. When we gave them to the guard who looks after the education department he was overjoyed and said that they had been wanted these for many months. Unfortunately we could not see the men prisoners but that would give us more time with the women prisoners. After going down several corridors we finally arrived in the cell block. This time we actually met the women on the landing of the cell block and this gave us a better understanding of their conditions. Each of us spoke to them including Bridgette who had them captivated by her story; listening to how Jesus had changed one of their own countrywomen had a big impact on them. One of the women, Lydia, said that she had turned her back on her faith but now she was going to follow again and change her life. 13 women decided that they wanted to follow Jesus for their life. Throughout our time speaking with the women, one of them, Christina, never stopped looking at Maud. When the meeting finished Christina made a bee line for Maud and held onto her hand and asked how old she was; when Maud told her 78 she held onto Maud even more and began kissing her hand. It was evident that she and Maud had connected and she wouldn’t let go of her until we reached the gates. These are memories that we shall treasure.
On our return to FAF we were emotionally drained. Fortunately we didn’t have anything to do this evening which has meant that we could talk about the day and reflect on the visit to the prison. Levi and Ioana’s daughter, Beatrice who is 5, came to join us and began to sing songs that we were taught at her age. What a joy she is.
Tomorrow is a free day so we are going into Cluj to have a look around, so I am sure we shall have something for the blog.