We are down to one whole day left in Romania. We had to push our vans up a small steep hill to the Church lodging at Tamna the last 4 nights in a row! Each night, exhausted from working, the team somehow found the energy to get out and slip and slide in the snow to get the vehicles back to the Church. At the time, we were less than happy. But now this will be one of the most treasured memories we have from this trip. It’s something we laugh about. It’s also quite indicative of our perspective as we prepare to depart Romania in the coming days.
The conversations have changed from anticipation and wonder to reflection and meditation on God and His work here. We talk more and more each day about our trip out and the schedule of the upcoming journey. One thought keeps surfacing in our discussions. We’d love to stay to the end of the construction of the Orevita Mare Church. It would be an honor to see the project through, dedicate the building to the Lord and worship with the Church community there. Being that we aren’t able do that, we opted for the next best thing; to get as much work done on this Church building as possible. We’ve decided to push hard to the end. We have worked long hours on Friday and Saturday trying to get as much as we can done. Sunday is the community day of rest, and the we will do as much as we can on Monday before heading back to our lodging at Surduc. The word is the building may be completed enough for the Church to hold services as early as next Sunday! The building would be dedicated upon final completion in the Spring.
We say at RCC the Church isn’t a building. The Church is God’s people gathered in His name. The same is true for the Evangelical Church in Romania. But we cannot understate how important this Church building is to the Orevita community for several reasons. First, it will be a beacon to small rural Romanian communities that Christ and Christians are real and care for them. There are no buildings like these in the small low-income communities they serve. They are a sign of progress and promise that the Romanian way of life is improving. Second, it legitimizes the message and mission of Evangelical Christians in Romanian communities. Due to the well organized and government administrated Romanian Orthodox Church, people believe Churches are not legitimate until they have a building. Until these buildings are constructed, the gathering of Christians in a particular community meet in houses and run down rental buildings. Third, and most poignant, is these Church buildings will become vital centers of community gathering, public service and ministry. From these locations, the Church can discover and meet the various needs of the communities they serve.
So we will push as hard as we can to get as much work done as we can on this first of seven Church buildings to be constructed in Southwest Romania. Our energy level and morale has been supernaturally high. God is with us and we press on toward our goal.