The missionary adventures of the Stimpson family

Day 29 – Getting Disemboweled

Today was a full day.  Here’s a quick, not-so-organized run-down of the day’s events:

– Jessie and I studied some more Romanian this morning.  We learned about “poftim” and “poftiti,” two of the most powerful and versatile words in the Romanian language.  They can mean everything from “What did you say?” to “Please, you first” or “Excuse me?” or “Here you go.”  I got to use them a few times today, which is helpful in getting it to stick in our minds.

– Train tickets are pretty cheap here, so Thursday Jessie and I are gonna head out of town for the day to explore Sinaia, a little mountain getaway an hour or so to the north, in the Carpathian Mountains.  Thanks for the advice, Irina!  We’re excited to check it out.  So today we made our way to a ticket office to buy our tickets.  Technically, you can buy your tickets right at the train station just before you go, in most cases, but we had heard it was a lot easier to get them from an Agentia de Voiaj instead, so we headed out for the nearest one.  Due to a combination of Google’s inaccurate directions, me reading an address wrong, and us heading in the wrong direction a few times, we couldn’t find the ticket office and just decided to go to the train station to buy tickets, since it was pretty close.  I had written down some Romanian phrases to use, and I was looking forward to getting some practice, but they had electronic kiosks set up that were really easy and quick, so we never even spoke to a person.

– While heading to the train station to buy our tickets, we had 2 different people ask us how to get to such-and-such a metro station.  For the first time while in Bucharest, we were able to help both people out.  We not only understood what they were asking, but we actually knew the information to give them, and we were able to communicate it all in Romanian!  Big steps forward!  One of the times was really funny because it happened just after Jessie and I realized we were at the wrong metro station didn’t know how to get to the right one.

– I met with Cosmin today, a student who goes to Missio Dei church.  I wanted some practice with Romanian, and I just want to keep meeting more people, learn the situation here, etc.  Cosmin is awesome.  He’s got such a heart to see Jesus glorified in Bucharest.  He loves people, he’s got a real sensitive heart toward Jesus, and he actually has done street evangelism and is hopeful of seeing people born-again through it.  Anyway, we talked about tons of stuff, mostly in English.  He did help me with a few Romanian words, but mostly I learned a lot about the situation in the city.  Cosmin confirmed what I’d been hearing and reading about prostitution being one of the biggest ways students make money in the city.  The biggest thing right now is webcams, and companies are now hiring both guys and girls at an alarming rate.  They promise salaries of 1000 euro a month, which is huge.  Cosmin estimated that well over 50% of part-time jobs (which are the only ones open to students) were in the sex industry, specifically webcams.

– After talking for a bit, Cosmin offered to take me to visit a Romanian Orthodox church service at Mitropoliei, Romania’s biggest Orthodox church.  Despite the fact that many Orthodox Believers may be genuinely saved or at least seeking God as best they know how, the Orthodox church as a whole is given to idolatry, corruption, and legalistic ritualism.  When we got to the church, I was surprised at how few people were in the service, and my heart broke because those who were there seemed genuinely hoping to experience God, but all they’d find was emptiness.  People were kissing icons, laying on the floor weeping, and praying quietly, all while the priest sang Scriptures in highly formal Old Romanian that most people can’t understand.

– This evening, Susie treated us all to Pizza Hut and bowling.  The Romanians pronounce it “boweling,” so there were a lot of jokes about getting disemboweled tonight.  Emi, a member of Missio Dei church, joined us and helped translate for us.  He also confirmed the many uses of the word “poftim” and helped us with some of our pronunciation.  And I only mention this because it has never happened to me before, but I won the game of bowling tonight.  Miracles are happening already.

– Today was a good day to practice speaking.  Some words I learned and used a lot today:

  • Poftim / Poftiți, which mean almost anything
  • Gata, which you can use when the kids are being rowdy and you’ve had enough, or if you say it like a question it can mean “Ready?”
  • Deasemenea, which is a really hard to spell way to say “also”
  • Bilet, which means “ticket”
  • Dus-intors, which means “round trip”
  • Mișto and Madfă, which, according to Cosmin, both mean “cool” or “awesome” in Bucharest guy slang
  • Vehicolul meu pe pernă de aer e plin cu țipari, which means “My hovercraft is full of eels.”  OK, realistically I didn’t use that one very much.

Well, I’m tired and I’m gonna go to bed.  Love you all!

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5 responses

  1. Jeff

    Nice Monty Python reference. I enjoy seeing some of the Romanian you are learning. I was playing scrabble once and I got only consonants… I was disemvoweled. 😉 Also, if you ever want to win at bowling again, you can play me. 😉 Good luck in all your family’s ventures!

    May 30, 2012 at 2:55 am

  2. Nola

    It’s good to hear that you all had a good day. My heart has been praying for you guys because I know adjustment and transition are hard. Great post and congratulations for winning a bowling game. Love, Mama Beach

    May 30, 2012 at 11:12 am

  3. Derek

    I am SO glad you are now able to explain the situation with your hovercraft! Man, I am looking forward to coming to visit sometime – my mind is already trying to catalog those words. We miss you guys and are praying for you, and will be sending someone over shortly that you can teach all those words to! 🙂
    – Derek

    May 30, 2012 at 11:21 am

  4. Okay…now that you’ve established HOW to say your hovercraft is full of eels…break down the pronunciation for me so that I can let that one rip when I’m particularly bored with a conversation or just need a way to make myself giggle lol. LOVE it…I’m SOOO looking forward to doing mission trips. My first one will be at the end of this month when I travel with several members of my missions team “Faith Riders” (a motorcycle group that reaches so many people, particularly bikers, and introduces them to Christ. At Daytona every year they put up a Harley…if you listen to the main guy’s testimony…which he has broken down to 3 minutes…you can put your name in the box to win the Harley. Last year a 19 year old won), to a juvenille detention camp here in the Roanoke Valley. I grew up in SE…Jessie can explain…it was basically the wrong side of the tracks for lower class whites…so I knew plenty of people who were ferried in and out of juvie. They’re going to work on teaching us how to break our testimonies down to 3 minutes, but in missions trips such as this one, they’ll probably break us down into groups and have us meet with several of the kids at once. There is also a prison ministry, and while a lot of the people I grew up around have been in, or are in, prison/jail, I’m not comfortable just yet with being confined in a prison with convicts, no matter what their crime is. It’s not that I can’t forgive them, it’s not my place, it’s just that I’m not, as a female (I may be 25 lbs overweight but I’m only 5’4″ so I’m still tiny), and a small one, I’m not comfortable with the idea of it just yet. If God wants me to do it, He’ll make me more comfortable with it. Besides, sometimes you just have to get out of your comfort zone to make a difference for Christ. Anyway….eels…I know no one who even KIND OF speaks Romanian…although I do know one person who learned Latin growing up…so you’ll have to break it down for me kindergarden style…lol

    June 4, 2012 at 11:36 pm

  5. That ministry sounds really awesome! Here’s how you pronounce “Vehicolul meu pe pernă de aer e plin cu țipari”:

    Vay-HEE-koe-lool MAY-oo pay PAIR-nuh day ah-YAIR yeh pleen koo tsee-PAH-ree

    June 5, 2012 at 3:59 am

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