Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Updates from the Romania mission

Tuesday’s blog

It was 7.24 this morning when a text came on the phone. I quickly got the phone as I had a good idea who it was – yes it was Kolea to say that his ETA was about one hour to the Baptist Church in Luna De Sus with the aid. With a 45 minute drive and the team not ready, he was going to get there before us.

On the streets in Romania
Zero immisions Romanian style
We set off with Levi driving but could not make great time as the road from Deus to Cluj isn’t the best and cars have to go on the other side of the road to avoid the pot holes. We finally got into Cluj and the Oradea road to Luna but then came across a massive jam – no this was not the M25, but it could have been. We were negotiating the jam because of a road accident when another text came through from Kolea to say that he had arrived. We finally got to the church at 9.30 and began to unload.

The truck has arrived at the Baptist Church in Luna De Sus

The unloading quickly got underway with many helping hands from the church – many hands make light work. The mood of everyone was joyful and the truck soon began to empty. Pastor Pal was in the basement of the church directing where boxes should go as each box was clearly marked with the contents, so these will be easy to sort and distribute.

Before we left the UK, Pastor Rufus had written up an itinerary for us and had us down on Tuesday to go to Lunca Mores (Lunca Moresh) to be at the gypsy mothers meeting and afterwards with the children’s meeting. But, with going to Luna to unload the vehicle this would not be possible, or so we thought. Progress was so rapid with the unloading that Levi said that we could still make it Lunca, so with a quick goodbye to Pastor Pal we set off back to meet Atti who was taking us Lunca.

By 1pm we were sat in Atti’s father and mother’s house having lunch – white bean soup followed by chicken in sauce. Very tasty.

After lunch we went into the attic of the house for the mothers meeting. Corrina was quite stern as she spoke to the mothers as there had been some bickering about who had received some clothes the previous week. As Corrina said, these are gifts not a right. Although stern, Corrina was loving as she pointed out that they had a wrong attitude; the mothers accepted her chastisement and apologised. We were given the opportunity to speak to them and said that being a Christian was about being part of a big family, and that we had popped over from England to see our sisters. This was well received and brought a big smile to their faces.

When the mothers left it was time for the children to come in and we had a joyful time listening to them singing some songs. After the songs Atti was going to do some rehearsing with them for their Christmas nativity, so Corrina suggested that we go down the road and see an old lady called Essie who is wheelchair bound and has no family. She is looked after by some people who live above her small basement room that has no electricity, a small bed, no carpet, one door to the outside and one window, with the ceiling being about 5’9” inches from the floor. I say about because the floor had more ups and downs than the Alps! This woman lives by herself and spends her day sat in the wheelchair in the doorway watching the world go by. She can’t easily move the chair as she is paralysed down one side and the tyres have been removed from the rims as they are punctured. Basically her life is the pits but she still had a smile for us and welcomed us to her home. It is for people like Essie that you folks back home have given the aid and why we came out here to give whatever support we can, meagre as it is.

We spent some time with Essie but had difficulty speaking to her as her paralysis has affected her speech, so sign language was the order of the day, even for Corrina. It was hard to leave Essie because although the people above her look after her, they too are in absolute poverty and so can only do so much. But you have to leave, so we returned to Atti’s mum’s home.

Arnu, Atti’s mum, gave us a look around the farm? Yes a farm in the back yard of the house. In the yard they keep pigs, rabbits, hens, ducks and store corn on the cob that they grow in a field outside of the village. No doubt DEFRA would have a field day with them about animal welfare, but this is how these people feed themselves as they have no income or state benefit. This is not living – this is survival!!

By the time we left Lunca Mores the light was fading and so were our reserves. You can only take so much heartache in one day, but oh boy, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Despite their situation these people can still smile and just get on with life.

Anyway, it is now 11pm so I am going to my bed as we have another big day ahead. Construction work in the morning, and then, preparing for preaching at the Baptist Church in Luna De Sus in the evening. Good night.

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