Day 24 – Dinosaur Revival and Multicultural Madness
This day really sucked. It didn’t start out that way. Not until Jessie bought a Samsung SC 4330 from Media Galaxy (pronounced May-dia Gah-lock-see). Then it sucked big time. Because the Samsung SC 4330 is a vacuum, and it’s like no other vacuum I’ve ever used.
We finally caved and bought a vacuum today. The rugs were just too dirty and too hard to keep clean by shaking them out over the balcony every day. So Jessie went to Media Galaxy to scope out their selection and find something reasonable. She came back with a high-tech device NASA’s been using to pull satellites back from their orbits around the earth.
This vacuum is intense. We have a rug in our living room that’s supposedly been cleaned, and we’ve been sweeping it and shaking it out over the balcony a lot, but one time over it with the vacuum left half the bag filled dust and hair and other gunk. When I turn the vacuum on, the suction is so intense it’s hard to move across the floor. If Tim the Toolman Taylor were to design a vacuum, it would work a little something like this thing. If you wanna buy one, check it out here.
Tonight, Jessie and I were invited to a small church service / home group / Bible study on the western side of the city. This was a service specifically for some of the refugees from Myanmar that have come to Bucharest. I talked about their situation a little yesterday, but they’ve basically had a tough time in this city, what with the intrinsic anti-foreigner mentality here, the difficulties of the Romanian language, and the fact that the government has been stealing their aid money from the EU to line the pockets of rich politicians. Or so the story goes anyway.
They asked me to share a little at the service, so I gave a short message of encouragement that God had chosen them to be here in this city, for this time, to shine as lights, despite the difficulties they were facing. Jesus said, “You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, that you might go and bear much fruit.” They didn’t wind up in Bucharest by mistake but by design of their Maker and Sustainer.
The service was a lot of fun, filled with people from Myanmar, Canada, Australia, America, Sudan, and even a token Romanian, believe it or not. When the Myanmar Believers worshiped God, it felt like He just walked in the room. They sang with such force, such intensity, that you knew they knew He was there. I tried recording some of the worship on my phone, but it didn’t quite work out.
To be completely honest (because so much of this post has been a lie?), Jessie and I almost bailed on the service tonight. Jessie was really tired, and I started thinking about the fact that we didn’t really know this church, they might be a cult, they might be really wacky, the whole church might be a cover for a human trafficking ring, it might be run by the mafia, etc. We didn’t know where the service was being held (Jason wouldn’t give us an address). Jason’s friend George, who we’ve never met, was going to pick us up at a subway station we’ve never been to, in a black SUV (suspicious, isn’t it?). Jason was the only person we knew going to it and, honestly, he half-way kinda’ freaked me out with some odd beliefs he has. And, no, I’m not gossiping; I told him that he freaked me out already and he’s OK with that.
So, we almost just bailed on the whole thing, but I’m glad we didn’t because we got to minister and encourage this group of really beat-down and worn-out people. And we met some awesome Believers, including Pastor Peter from Sudan, one of the most humble and joy-filled men I’ve ever met.
My philosophy has been that if God has opened a door, we gotta go through it. We’ve gotta believe that He’s guiding us and that He’ll bring people into our lives He wants us to minister to. If you wait around to hear a magical voice from God before you ever do anything, you’ll sit at home all day and never get anything done for Jesus. You’ve gotta take the opportunities He brings your way and believe that He’s going to do something miraculous in it.
I suppose we could have been duped into coming to a creepy cult meeting tonight, or we could have been trafficked or robbed or beat up and left for dead… but so what? Yeah, it would really suck, but what does it matter compared to obeying what you think God is telling you to do?
His situation was way more radical than ours, but this whole thing reminds me of James Calvert. When he arrived on the shores of Fiji to minister to a tribe of cannibals, the ship’s captain warned him, “Turn back! You’ll lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages!” Calvert replied, “Sir, we died long before we came here.” The beginning of the Christian life involves your death. If you’re still serving yourself, pursuing your own desires and wants, scheduling your day to suite your interests, you haven’t died yet and God can’t fully use you. As soon as you die to yourself, God can begin to really use you.
Speaking of which, last night, revival broke out in the dinosaur community of Bucharest. Five dinosaurs got born-again and two whole gangs are now at peace with each other. Here’s the video footage:
First, Triceratops shares the Gospel with Brontosaurus, then the two of them street preach to a gang of dinosaurs fighting in a bad neighborhood. Revival breaks out…
The gang of dinosaurs still has some questions about the Gospel, so Triceratops and Brontosaurus invite them out to eat a giant chunk of chicken and talk about God together. They talk about heaven, hell, and where dinosaurs go when they die…
Triceratops and Brontosaurus answer the most important question of all: how to be right with God and know you’ll go to heaven when you die. At the end of the discussion, a spirit of conviction falls and dinosaurs get right with God…
Like any dinosaur should do when they receive Jesus’ forgiveness for their sins, the gang of unruly dinosaurs wants to get baptized, so they attend Triceratops’s church. Dynamic praise and worship, preaching, testimonies, and baptisms galore…
Naomi made this whole thing up on her own, with Mae and Illiana helping a little, and though it’s not entirely theologically correct, I like the simplicity of it. Every time you obey God and step outside your comfort zone, you should see results like Triceratops saw – people just receive the Gospel and get radically changed.