Sunday, March 7, 2010

Pace without chips

Pace, everyone! Pronounced Pa-chay. This is "God's peace" that you say to your brothers and sisters in Christ here in Romania. It is much like saying "Peace be with you" in American churches. It is used as the greeting here, much like "hello", though. Today was a day of church and food, and we had a wonderful time fellowshipping with everyone. We began the day at a local village church in Meirlo. It was about 30 minutes outside of Oradea where Elijah - our host - is the pastor. It was a very traditional Romanian Baptist service. Men and women sit on different sides of the church. Their is a brass band made up of men of the church who were also a choir and a choir on the other side made up of women of the church. We were welcomed warmly. Many songs were played and the service was translated for us by students from here at Emanual University. They did a wonderful job translating while Elijah preached on the Lord's Supper. Many of us shared communion with the congregation. Tomorrow is also Romania's Mother's Day. So at the end of the service, the gentlemen of the church celebrated all of the women (little and big) of the church, giving us all a carnation and chocolates! :) We felt so honored. Following church we were invited to a downstairs room for a lunch (4 courses) provided by some women in the church. It was a beautiful spread complete with appetizers, soup, and veal and potatoes. We then split up into small groups and joined different families from the church for desserts in their homes. Each of our groups had a very different experience.

Later this evening we attended an evening church service at Emanuel Baptist in Oradea where Elijah and Raelene are members. It was a much larger church than the village church and much more like the churches that many of us experience with a choir loft and a balcony. There are currently 4000 members at this church. The entire service was translated for us using wireless headphones that were provided for us. That was wonderful. Pastor Nekrut, also the president of Emanuel University and known as the "Billy Graham" of Europe, preached a message on the love of God. We also many songs during this service. The Emanuel University mixed choir also sang during this service. There were a few songs that many of us recognized. We went to dinner after at a local restraunt where Raelene and Elijah know the owner. We had a traditional Romanian salad (much like a Greek salad), bread, and goulash (beef and potato stew with paprika broth).

We begin our presentations tomorrow morning and will visit the hospice tomorrow afternoon. Jan, our school teacher, will be visiting a kindergarten class tomorrow with Raelene. She looks forward to seeing how the kids will be celebrating their moms in the classroom here in Romania! :)

1 comment:

  1. I love you guys blogging what's happening on the ground. Please know I'm thinking of you and am so excited for the good work and foundation you will leave there. Much love!
    Elizabeth Johnson