Monday, May 3, 2010

What's It Like Where I am This Week?

Today is Monday (now 9 pm) and I just finished teaching 5 classes from 2-7 pm and then had dinner (fish, rice, carrots and tea or water to drink). I'm going to talk about classes in the next blog but let me show you some pictures of the property where I am living and teaching this week.
It is located about 80 miles from Bucharest, I would guess, though it takes about two hours to drive the distance, the last part up a steep gravel/dirt road. Sixty miles W/NW of Bucharest is the city of Pitesti. NW of Pitesti about 20 miles is a piece of property on the side, near the top, of a hill that overlooks a huge valley. In the far distance is a larger city with a Renault car factory that employs many people and has brought some prosperity to some while most remain in small houses heated by wood with gardens and fruit trees in the front and back. Some have cows (often just one or two owned by a family) and there is a flock of sheep in the nearby meadow.
I'm not sure how big the property is but I'm guessing at 40 acres. It will be the site of the Word of Life summer kids camps as soon as they can complete the dining hall and kitchen complex. The picture shows the concrete and steel beams in place just waiting for more funds to complete the rest. For the last number of years they have rented camping facilities but this will give them great advantages to have camps here.
Last year the school operated out of one building, the wood building that now functions as the kitchen, dining hall for the 16 students and 6 staff that are here right now. Last year (the first year of the school) it was the dormitory, washrooms, classroom, as well as the kitchen and dining room! Many rooms were multipurpose!
During this past year they completed the two story dormitory you see in the picture (the small building on the left is where the heat is created for the building using a wood furnace. There is no natural gas available). Only the first floor is finished and it is used for the men's and women's rooms (4 students to a room), two rooms for Alin and his wife Iuliana and daughter Ruth (no kitchen so they eat with the students every meal), two classrooms, an office, and a room for a guest (where I am staying this week). They are planning for a number of more students next year so they will need to complete part of the second story I think. They are building Alin and Iuliana a small house on the hill. It is almost completed outside and they hope they will be able to complete the inside by the Fall so they can have a place of their own. Pray for the Lord's provision for them. I wonder how many of us would be willing to live in two 20 x12 rooms with a child just so you could serve the Lord in this place? They do it without complaining and with a smile on their face. Saturday night they had me in to their "home" for tea and cookies (which they had just been given by a believer and so they wanted to share them with me). I brought them some Starbucks Coffee and they were so excited. But they made a pot to share with the students at lunch on Sunday. They have been a real inspiration to me about being content with what I have and sharing everything with fellow believers. Almost sounds New Testament. Great to read but even greater to see.
The students are a joy to be with even though I have only been here a couple of days and am just getting to know them. They are sincere, hard-working, committed to the Lord and to ministry. Most of them have accepted the Lord in past few years as teenagers. One of the first things they do when they talk to me (a few in slow English, the rest by translator) is to share how they came to know the Lord. It is just a natural thing for them to do and they are excited about it!
I'm afraid many young people I know would complain about some of the conditions (did you notice the "sidewalk" from the dorm to the wood dining hall?) but these trust the Lord for the $1,000 for the year and accept what that can provide for them in terms of food etc. They wash their clothes by hand and the ladies have a tent (the white one to the left of the wood dining hall) that they can hang some of their clothes in (bedide all the tools that are stored there!). Someone comes in to cook their lunch and dinner during the week but weekends the (female) students that their turn and the men clean up.
What an experience I am having. I think I'm getting far more than I'm giving.
Thanks to my home church, Waterbrook Bible Fellowship ( for taking care of the flight expenses to come to Hungary and to Romania. My ministry here is part of the ministry of each one at Waterbrook who gives faithfully.

1 comment:

  1. It is a privilege for Waterbrook to be part of this ministry by helping make it financially possible. We're praying for you daily back here in the U.S. Thank you for providing the wonderful updates.
    - Jeff Denton