All meetings are currently suspended due to the risks and practical challenges associated with COVID 19. For now our usual services and activities are taking place online.
Whoever you are, wherever you're from, whatever you believe, whatever you've done
You are welcome
Sunday 6th September
Went to Providence Baptist Church. About 150 there. They have a choir who sang a couple of pieces. I preached on the parable of the 10 minas.
Then we had communion. I helped Sorin break the bread. After the service I shook hands with people and exchanged the traditional greeting of 'pache'
(pronounced 'patchay') which means 'peace'.
After this Sorin and I went over the road to join the Roma church for the end of their service, so that Sorin could lead them in communion.
I brought greetings from Winslow.
Then we went to the house of an elderly church member so Sorin could give him communion.
After that back for lunch. Monica cooked a delicious 3 course meal. Chicken soup (Romanian recipe) followed by lamb steaks in a sauce with spicy potato wedges,
mixed vegetables and sweet red pepper, and finishing off with a large portion of tirimasu. All home made.
I felt stuffed, but there was little I could do to prevent the overload.
For the evening service I went to a gypsy church in Mezil. Sorin didn't go because he was preaching at Providence Baptist.
I was taken by Steven, who drove the minibus, and Pavel, who is a student at the seminary. Pavel was to be my translator,
but was nervous as he was not as confident with English as Sorin (though as far as I could tell he speaks very good English).
So Pavel and I sat in the back of the minibus so I could go through my sermon with him.
It took 1 1/2 hours to reach the church. It was in a rural part of Romania, where there is no running water, just a village well.
In the front row of the church was a teenage boy wearing an 'only fools and horses' t-shirt. The keyboard player wore a union Jack t-shirt.
These reminders of home were surreal because everything else was so foreign. The music was traditional gypsy music which sounded like middle Easten music.
There was a keyboard player and singer, both being amplified through a full PA system at full blast and with echo turned up to the max in what was a tiny room.
I could feel the singer's voice reverberating in my chest. No one else was singing. A couple of times during the service everyone started to pray at the same time,
praying their own prayer. Both Steven and Pavel were asked to give a mini sermon, which neither of them were expecting to do.
Then I preached on Psalm 1 and everyone seemed to listen well. Steven then talked for another 10 minutes and appeared to be rubbing in what I said.
After the service everyone shook hands and said pache. A couple of people wanted to talk to me. One was a blind man whose wife died recently.
He seemed to still be grieving. I wasn't sure what I could or should say, so I said 'God bless you' and his face lit up as if it was the greatest blessing ever.
Then a man who had a stroke 5 years ago and lost all movement in his left side spoke to me. I said the same thing and he also seemed more pleased than I would have expected.
Maybe us brits are held in high esteem?
Before we set off I decided I would have to use the loo as my bladder wouldn't cope with the hour and a half journey. This part of rural Romania doesn't have plumbing, so that meant the facility is a hole in the ground. I'm just glad I'm a dude.