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Archive for the ‘daily life’ Category

A Biserica Betesda Christmas

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by Krista Hahne

Reluctantly abandoning my books in a heap on the bed where I had been studying for my Sunday school lesson, I turned to my computer. I still had to translate a recipe in time for my baking afternoon with some girls from the church. Leaving Zahariah, Elisabeth and the angel Gabriel behind, I plunged into wrestling with weighty matters like finding the best Romanian word for “topping”. At noon, both lesson and translation still unfinished I ran downstairs to have a bite with Tim before getting back to work. I thought I still had two hours before the girls showed up. But lunch had no sooner hit the plates than we thought we heard a muffled knock at the door. (more…)

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I read “Reasons Why God Calls Us to Wait” by Paul David Tripp this morning. Tim and I know how it feels to wait. We’ve been waiting for thirteen years for this little church in Romania to thrive. We don’t like waiting. Waiting often frustrates us and tempts us to sin. It tempts us to focus on our inadequacies. It tempts us to give up. It tempts us to fear what others might think instead of looking only to God. Or even to blame others for the aggravating slowness of change!

How eye-opening then to see waiting, not as an evil to endure with much teeth-gritting, but as a welcome tool of God’s grace. Thank you, Paul David Tripp!

Waiting is one of God’s most powerful tools of grace. It’s important to realize in your ministry that God doesn’t just give us grace for the wait. The wait itself is a gift of grace. You see, waiting is not only about what you will receive at the end of the wait. Waiting is about what you will become as you wait. –  Paul David Tripp

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Sitting down heavily on the steps and reaching to tie my shoes, I sighed. Tim and I were getting ready to leave the house and head for the “home by the orchard.” I knew some very isolated and lonely people were expecting us. Problem was, I felt like I had nothing in me to give them.  We had already prayed for God’s strength and wisdom.We had asked to be sensitive to His leading. But I hadn’t slept well and a dull pain was throbbing in my right temple. Plus, I kept forgetting things. If just the task of gathering together sermon CDs, purse, Bible and water bottle was this hard, how was I going to be able to minister to anybody? Only past grace got me out the door.

Two hours later, it was obvious that God wasn’t troubled by my weakness. And the morning wasn’t over yet! After opening God’s word to some of our regulars, when we had only about 15-20 minutes left, we went looking for a barely disabled woman we usually visit. We finally found her out in the garden where a group of 7-8 residents were clustered on benches or in wheelchairs, greedily soaking up the rays of an October sun.

Our friend, though, was preoccupied with a stray puppy the residents had adopted. Now what? Tim greeted Mihai, a new gentleman, while I said “hi” to some ladies. Soon, Tim called me to translate. It seems Mihai was trying to explain to him that he also had a Bible, a gift from his son, an Adventist.  That was encouraging! I wondered where the conversation would lead.

But further down the bench, Teddy, a cheerful hulk of a child-man, transferred his attention from the puppy to us. He’d spotted our Bibles too! As I sat down on the bench next to him, he immediately pounced on mine—and by the way he was flipping through the pages it looked like it would have a short life! What to do? He looked pretty determined to keep it, and Teddy was big! But this is where God’s grace poured out; because I did something then that I would never have done in front of such a big group if I had stopped to think about it: I asked Teddy, “Want to hear a story from the Bible?! Yeah? Then give me my Bible back and I’ll tell you one!” (more…)

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Ever think you’d love to try short-term missions but wonder what you could do to help? (more…)

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Dealing with the perceptions that Romanians can have of American missionaries can be frustrating. One example: Waiting for the neighborhood kids to climb into my car so I could take them to church I noticed a little old grandma approaching me. She seemed interested in meeting me so I said hello. Then she told me she wanted to come to our church too. “Really?” I asked, somewhat amazed. “Yes!” she assured me. ” I want to go to your church too. My roof’s leaking!”

Sigh.

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It’s not my job

It’s been a long time since I reported on daily life in Valcea…all the little stuff that makes Valcea, Valcea. So, today we were driving out of town taking a visiting short-termer to the airport. As we approached the green light at the intersection a white van barreled across  right in front of us. “What?” We had the normal thoughts along the lines of  “What is he thinking?” and  “Crazy Valcea driver!” But then Tim commented that the same thing had happened the night before at the same intersection. Then he turned and looked at the signal going the other way. It was green  too!

It hit us how incredibly dangerous the situation was. We had escaped but I envisioned twisted metal and broken bodies at any moment. I didn’t know who to report it to, but I couldn’t drive away and do nothing, so I fumbled with my mobile phone and called 112 for the first time in our 15 years in Romania. “Danger at the intersection of Ferdinand and Nicolae Balcescu. Green light both ways,” was the gist of my stammered message.

Operator:  “I’ll see what I can do, but you know, that’s the mayor’s office’s job, not the police’s!”

Post script: Eight hours later we cautiously approached the intersection again. Now the signal was dead both ways. There was a workman nearby. And by God’s grace, there were no bloodstains on the road.

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