Humbled By Generosity
Tonight, we spent the evening making friends with a community of Gypsies who live near our house. At any given moment, you’ll find anywhere between 5 and 25 people hanging around this plot of land. A friend of ours we met in Bucharest, Jason, has a pretty good relationship with them, so we decided to head over there with some mutual friends, a gypsy family from another part of town, and have an impromptu church service.
Most of the Gypsies in this particular community are Christians, some only recently making the change, but they need way more solid Bible teaching.
So me and Jessie and our four kids, Tiberiu and Sorina and their three kids, Ben, and Jason, all made the 10-minute walk to the corner of Calea Vitan and Mihai Bravu, to build some friendships, share the word of God, spend some time in prayer, and just enjoy the common bond we have as Believers. Tiberiu and Jason both preached in Romanian, Ben and I shared some short messages via translators, and we all prayed and sang some worship songs (in English, Tsiganeasca, and Romanian).
We had a really great time, and, as usually happens when I hang out with Christians in Romania (Gypsy or otherwise), I was once again blown away by their generosity. One of the men, who finally found a job after being without work for a long time, saw our four kids and tried to give me his day’s pay because, as he put it, it’s hard to feed so many mouths, especially when you’re in a new country where you don’t speak the language and don’t know anyone. At first I thought he was asking me for money, but when I finally understood what he was trying to do, I was embarrassed for my misunderstanding and humbled by his generosity.
We’ve had so many people show us so much generosity in this city, and sometimes it really humbles you. It’s sometimes been simple things, like some Gypsies who make almost no money pouring glasses of soda for us. Sometimes, it’s bigger things, like friends we’ve known for less than a week invading our house to make a surprise birthday party for Naomi, complete with balloons, cake, fancy snacks, and gifts.
I think generosity is one of God’s greatest gifts. When you give, it forces you to trust God instead of yourself, and God blesses you incredibly. When you freely receive, if forces you to humble yourself, get rid of your pride that says, “I don’t need others to help me,” and God, again, blesses you for it.
Well, here’s some photos from the evening with the Gypsies along Mihai Bravu: