We loaded the vans this morning and headed south on our second day in Romania. Most of us were battling jet lag and preparing our minds to join the work on the Church at Orevita Mare. Blessings are peculiar. Some would say this trip is a “success” or a worthwhile thing because we came and contributed to a physical work happening on the ground in Romania. Some would rightly say the work completed is the blessing. Undoubtedly, It is a blessing to serve here, yet God’s blessing was already upon us by agreeing with Him to come here. From the day the decision was made through all the preparations and fundraising, blessings have enveloped us and helped us feel as though we are fortunate to just be on this adventure together with the Lord.

Several of us gained various history lessons from our drivers on the way to Orevita Mare. We learned about Romania during times of communism. We learned of all the hard choices made by our hosts families and friends to flee communism and religious persecution to America. We learned of the flourishing growth and development of the Evangelical Church since the stricture of communism was lifted. Again we found our new friends eager to share and educate us on Romania and how their country’s journey has impacted them and their loved ones.

We’d been informed that our presence here to work in the winter months sparked some needed attention from professional Romanian contractors to come help with the construction of the Church building. Contractors don’t work  at all in winter here. When we arrived at the Church we found not only contractors, but Church members, and others numbering more than a dozen people. The building was a hive of activity as different parts of the construction project were underway.

At first, we didn’t know where to jump in on the work. We took some time, gathered our tools, communicated with the workers already busy and simply joined them in whatever they were doing. Soon, the lead contractor, Samuel, who speaks English, was comfortable coming to any one of us and asking that we accomplish tasks. We slowly became more at ease with one another and by the end of the day our team was gelling with the others.

We first thought that we’d come to Orevita Mare to plumb the radiator system and work on installing the ceiling in the building. However, when we arrived, we got started helping with drywall finishing while the contractors had already begun the ceiling project. Tomorrow we are primed to help them finish the ceiling and the drywall leading to the work Thursday and Friday on the plumbing and pouring a concrete floor in the whole building! Our expectations of the work to be done have been greatly surpassed so far.

We arrived back at the Church building in Village of Tamna in the late evening after a careful snow-covered drive. The drive ended with the van carrying the bulk of our party getting stuck irreparably in the snow. Gigel took action by seeking to get us all to shelter first, then he and the driver shuttled our baggage back and forth from the stuck vehicle to the Church building. Even getting stuck was a blessing. We were able to see the servant hearts of our hosts and know this whole trip is the big blessing which contains a million small blessings. It’s great to notice how God works in this way.