It is 11 p.m. on Monday evening as I write these words from a hotel in Bucharest. It has been a very profitable time for me and hopefully an encouragement to the church in Craiova as well as the American missionaries representing the Evangelical Free Church for whom I had the privilege of speaking to this past week.
After flying in to Bucharest last Saturday morning we traveled to Craiova, a large city a few hours west of Bucharest. From there we drove north to the foothills of the beautiful Carpathian Mountains to a retreat center which offered a scenic view of the snow covered mountains.
As we flew in to Romania just a little over a week ago I looked out of the window of the plane (from a few miles above the earth) and couldn’t help but notice the beautiful and majestic snow covered Carpathian mountain range outside the window. C’est la vie. Such is life…for you non French speakers. Often times we do not have the capacity to see the larger picture (which is really quite beautiful) at ground level (The mountains were not even visible when we arrived in Bucharest). Behind a frowning Providence God hides a smiling face.
It has been an eye opening trip to Romania. My friend Doug Droll invited me to come and speak…thinking that I would say no…not knowing if I was medically free to travel internationally. After praying with Karla and discussing it I said yes…much to Doug’s surprise as he confessed to me upon arriving in Bucharest. Thanks brother for the challenge! Thanks for your and Jen’s (wife) firm commitment to the spiritually dark region of Romania called Ultania…the land that logic forgot as one missionary described Romania to me.
There was such a big difference between this southern region of Romania and Transylvania in the north defined roughly by the Carpathian mountain range. Everything seemed much more modern and sophisticated much more Western European…The people act differently here. The reason proffered by Doug and others is this: The residual effects of the light of the Reformation, which made it into Romania and stopped at the Carpathians, is still in effect in this region of Romania known as Transylvania.
The Gospel shapes entire nations and peoples and leaves a lasting impact on whatever it comes into contact with..yes even here in largely secular Eastern Europe. This is why I am so happy to see missionaries serving and loving the people of Romania. Each of the missionaries I have come in contact with this week has been a gem! Quality folks every one!
Romania from a distance is tough to understand. Get up close and look her in the eye and you may see a cross-eyed gypsy staring back at you….or you may see a millionaire, but don’t look too hard or you may think that you too understand more than you really do about this country of Romania. Goodbye Romania…I will miss you!
The last posting from Romania with a new appreciation for the missionaries working in Romania and the people to whom they minister,