Te[am] Iubesc: A Day of Rest
Sunday, May 22th, 2011 : Tinca, Romania. 11:30pm
Sunday. A day of rest.
Never has this concept felt so real to me.
Over our three days here in Tinca, we have put in a great deal of hours doing work projects and playing with kids. I could do the math, but it’s late. Since we arrived and started working, I’ve seen the yard of the Isaiah Center transform. Where there was a pigsty with crumbling roof and dusty cement walls, there is now a freshly paved patio area surrounding a fire pit. Where there once was an empty corner, there now stands the skeleton of a woodshed to house the enormous pile of firewood stacked up against the fence. The swing set that held three swings now stands extended waiting for five brand new additions. I haven’t seen the progress made on the outhouses in the gypsy village, but I am told the work that Robbie, Justin, JP, Tyler and Ben have done has left the buildings ready for the construction of walls and roofs.
Besides all of this, I have seen my friends become attached to the children at the Isaiah Center. Each morning, as we are setting up for our projects, I watch out the corner of my eye for those little ones to begin their ascent on the yard in search of someone to play with. And we have played! We’ve got lots of sore shoulders and backs from piggy-back rides. We’ve all gotten used to hearing the children say “hai tare!” as we push them on the swings. We’re pushing as hard as we can! We’ve seen it proved true that no matter the culture, little boys love bugs, dirt and beating stuff with hammers. I’ve enjoyed playing house with Simona and Calina as we baked bread made of sand and prematurely picked apples. We’ve worked hard and we’ve played hard. And today, we were thankful for it.
Even being in the know about all this as the missions intern, I was still caught off guard by the amount of projects we would take on or the energy involved in playing with adorable little kids. But without all the time, energy, muscle power and cooperation we are spending on all these projects, this day – this Sunday – would not have meant so much.
We woke up at the usual time for breakfast (oddly bright red sausage with mustard) before packing in a van to drive 45 minutes to church in Oradea. Though the service was not in English, we were blessed by the passion and the familiarity of being among fellow believers. Some of the coolest moments happened as we sang How Great Is Our God and Majesty in English amidst the resounding Romanian chorus. Our translator worked hard to help us understand the message. It truly was encouraging to learn about God’s love even in the midst of the deserts in our lives. We were reminded that when we are in the desert, thirsty and unable to see God, sometimes we have to begin to dig deep in order to find the water that is his blessing and provision in our lives.
After church, we enjoyed a delicious and filling meal at the Capitoleum before exchanging our money and heading back to Tinca for some rest time. The few hours we had at the hotel were so good for sleep and fellowship that has been missing during our weeks of hard work.
Around eight, we went to Rachel’s for burgers and smores. During team time, we talked about what this day has meant to us. I think the general feeling was thankfulness for the opportunity to refocus. While we are hard at work during the week, it is tough to see past finding a rhythm while mixing cement or frustration with not knowing the language. But this time to spend with God and each other was a clear reminder of why we are here and what is most important. After one more good sleep, I think we’ll be ready to dig more holes and love on more kids, this time in the gypsy village during VBS. It’s no wonder that God commands us to take a Sabbath. I can’t wait for the next one to be able to see the blessings that come from this week!
Until then, keep praying, for Rachel and all the Isaiah Center kids, the three VBS days and all the work projects to come. God’s gonna do some cool stuff.