I know, I know, you all are thinking “I thought Lawson said he was going to blog quite a bit while in Romania.” Well hopefully by the end of this post you will understand why it has been so long since I blogged…
Before I tell you about my awesome week last week I will attempt to entertain you with a little story. As many of you know the first Sunday I was here Dave asked me to preach. I told you before it was a little different getting used to the translator and what not but it went fine. Well the Sunday before last I also got the opportunity to preach, for lack of a better term. About 20 to 30 minutes before the last service Dave joking ( I thought ) mentioned something about me preaching and then gave me a little bit of a guilt trip when I told him I needed more time to prepare. Well the excuse of needing more time did not work out to well and I found myself in front of the church about 30 minutes later. Thanks to some iphone notes from a Chase Reynolds Cityreach sermon and getting up there about 5 minutes before church was supposed to let out led to a short and sweet 8 minute sermon. Thanks again Dave for the help with my impromptu preaching skills that needed a little work.
The following day was the day we left for church camp. The name of the camp is Tabara Stramba, which means crooked creek. There was about 60 people at camp the week we were there. I really didn’t know what to expect out of a Romanian church camp to be honest. All I knew was that Ramona Clinciu ( another pastor’s wife from Romania ) had told me I was going to be a “counselor”. I was a tad bit nervous about this since I don’t speak the language but I got paired up with another cool counselor and she spoke both English and Romanian so it worked out great! Even though I could not communicate with my albastru ( Blue ) team I really feel like I connected with a lot of them by just being around them and participating with them during game time and skit time. Needless to say I had an awesome group!
Brother Duke Hergan was the evangelist at camp for the week. Him and his wife live in Albany New York where he pastors a church there. I was also a little worried when I found out an American was going to be preaching to these kids from Romania. But, at the end of the week after camp was said and done I knew that Bro. Duke had laid down God’s word just as clear as it could be. There were three girls that accepted Christ the last day at camp! Praise the Lord! I know this doesn’t seem like a lot but from the messages that were preached I can promise you that seeds were thrown on to good soil just like Luke chapter 8 directs us to do.
As many of you know, the Tuesday I spent at camp was my 21st birthday. This is a day I will never forget. Thanks to Liviu and Ramona I was able to celebrate like a true Romanian. When they announced that it was my birthday and told everyone we were going to sing they also mentioned I wanted to experience the Romanian tradition of being kissed on both cheeks by everyone. Yes, everyone. So after they sang a line was formed and the somewhat awkward kisses began. See the video on facebook for a better idea of how this went. My face says it all.
We did get to have a little fun at camp as well. On Thursday we went to Brasov for most of the day to the Adventure Park. This is a hard core intense ropes course. I guess it doesn’t have to be extremely intense, but I got talked into going on the hardest route. There was one part of this route where I was a solid 150 ft. up in the air walking across one wire while holding on to another while also removing one carabineer around a piece of wood followed by the other after the first one is attached on the other side. This was somewhat nerve wracking even though I am not afraid of heights.
We left camp on Friday in time to get home and put the car in the shop (long story) and then head to Bucharest to pick up the Mactrip team, including my family! I was so glad to see them as well as all the other team members! ( Philip wanted a shoutout) God is already working through this team and I ask you to please pray for the work we are doing at VBS as well as the building project of a gazebo at the orphanage that I blogged about previously. This is a huge way for the Manary’s to get their foot in the door at the orphanage and be able to share the gospel with the workers as well as show God’s love to the children that live there.
One thing I wanted to do was make sure I keep those who helped fund my trip up to date on where that extra money was going after my travel expenses were taken care of. God truly blessed me and because of that I am able to bless others. I was able to purchase a ping-pong table for the kids and teenagers at Bro. Dave’s church here in Pucioasa. I was also able to sponsor three of the teenagers that attended camp with this church which I know was a huge lift off of their shoulders. I cannot say thank you enough to all of you who had a hand in this. God is truly doing awesome things here in Romania.
Can’t wait to update yall about VBS and the orphanage at the end of the week! Please keep praying that God will do big things in the lives of everyone we will encounter!