I’m tired tonight, so I promise that today’s post will indeed be short.
Short recap of the day: Filip and I dropped Susie off at the airport so she can visit our friends in Arad for a week, then we spent way too long trying to email forms to our insurance agent so we can get insurance here (it’s required before Romania will grant us residency). While driving around with Filip, we ran across a handful of people who were most likely modern-day slaves. It makes me sick that people can be so cruel. Pimps will force others to go out on the street begging, washing car windows, or prostituting themselves, then they’ll pocket the money for themselves and send their slaves out again tomorrow. Only the power of the Gospel can ever change the hardened heart of a pimp or heal the brokenness of a slave. I read this article today about a Romanian sex slave who recently found her freedom. People need the Gospel so bad…
To shift gears a little (OK, a lot), Jessie and I did some Romanian language practice for a couple hours, which was really good and much-needed. I wish we could just download the language into our brains and know it instantly…
We found out about a good tutor today, but she charges way too much – $15 / hour / person if you do at least 2 sessions a week. So that’s at least $60 / week, $240 / month, for only 2 hours every week with her, if we were to go with her. We’re looking and praying for better, cheaper options. We’ll go with her if we have to, but it just seems like a convenient way to take advantage of “rich” Americans coming to the city and in need of language training. I’m sure she’s a great person and a really good teacher, but at that rate, if she worked full-time with just my family, she’d make over $60,000 a year. Sorry, but that just seems ridiculous to me. Especially when a typical senior software engineer only makes $20,000 a year in this city (see here).
Enough grumbling. Just pray we’d find a good, affordable way to learn the language quickly here.
Tonight, Adiel and Simona Bunescu, the pastor of Missio Dei and his wife, had us over for dinner. They’re really awesome and have paid a heavy price to plant the church, in terms of criticism and controversy and lost friendships. We talked about revival in Romania, problems in the churches, Romanian history, how Communism affected the church, what was going on during the revolution of 1989, how to say Romanian words, theology, the Holy Spirit, evangelism, and way more stuff than I can bring up tonight. We ate castraveţi cu marar (cucumbers and dill), şniţel (schnitzel, fried chicken), porumb (corn), pilaf (a rice and vegetable dish), and clătite with gem (crepes with homemade jam). So good. Simona is an amazing cook, and we all enjoyed the time together very much. The meal was minunat (wonderful)!
I would like to say more, but I’m really tired and should get to bed. Adiel and Simona are amazing people and we’re really blessed to know them. They’re pioneering something new in Romania, paving the way for a future generation of Christians to live authentic lives before Jesus, without religiosity or empty tradition. Adiel has taken all his beliefs and laid them down before the Bible, only picking back up those that line up with the Scriptures. He’ll admit there’s still stuff he’s learning, but he’s ready to change if the Bible shows he’s wrong. I think that’s good. 🙂
Today was Naomi’s birthday. She turned 7. On the 7th of May. Also our 7th day out of America. 777. Oooh…
Well, I’m really tired, and when I started these blogs, I promised they’d be short, so tonight I’m actually going to fulfill that promise and give you a shorter posting.
Today, we finally got almost the whole apartment set up. There’s just a few piles of clothes, files, books, and odds and ends laying around, but it’s actually feeling like home now. Filip even took Jessie and Susie to a local department store (Carrefour) to buy some of the things we needed, like pots, pans, garbage cans, a microwave, kitchen utensils, etc. It’ll be nice to use real metal silverware and dishes that don’t bend in half when you try to wash them.
Besides getting a microwave, one of our other victories today was finding the source of the really nasty smell in our apartment. We went around smelling all the rugs, beds, chairs, and couches until we found the offending item. The rug in the living room smelled so bad it was filling the whole place with this pungent odor. We’re not sure what we’ll do with the rug yet. Maybe roll it up and put it under Susie’s bed. 🙂
We also got to eat Romanian honey and peanut butter, two of the best-tasting things in Romania we’ve had so far. Romanian honey tastes nothing like any honey I’ve had in America. It’s so smooth and sweet and buttery on your tongue. And all we had was the Mega Image store brand, which according to certain sources is not even very good compared to the real stuff straight from the beekeepers.
This was the first day that I woke up and didn’t feel the effects of jet-lag at all. I was tired, but only because we stayed up way too late last night unpacking.
The kids were really funny today. While Jessie was out buying stuff for the house, I watched the kids and set up my desk. Isaac took advantage of my distraction and took a bite out of the wall while I wasn’t looking. There’s a part of the wall near the balcony where the cement is crumbling a little, so he decided to munch on it. I took the cement out of his mouth and told him this was unacceptable behavior. Apparently, Isaac only speaks Romanian because he didn’t seem to understand and did it a second time. Then I got him a banana.
I’m not going to tell you the funny things the other kids did while Mom was away. I need to maintain an illusion of professionalism.
Speaking of which, we still haven’t been able to get our washing machine working. I’m going to try to give our landlord a call tomorrow, to see if he can come by and get it going. If he doesn’t understand me when I try to speak Romanian over the phone, I’ll just start yelling in tongues really loudly. Ha ha, only kidding.
So today was Naomi’s birthday, and we got extremely blessed by our new friends at Missio Dei church again. Irina (with an “i”) and AndreEa (with two “e”s, one of them capitalized) planned a surprise party for Naomi. I won’t offer a whole play-by-play or anything, but we were blown away. The cake (tort in Romanian) was literally the best cake I’ve ever had, the appetizers were crazy awesome, the balloons, presents, and noisy things lit up the girls’ eyes, and the love, joy, and hospitality have made us feel part of a really loving family. Thank you for winning our hearts, Romania!
I lied about the shorter post, didn’t I? Oh well. Maybe tomorrow.