Mission participant Margaret Drummond shares her experiences in Romania
A team of nine set off from Ewell at 7am on Friday 22nd May for the Barnabas Mission to Romania 2009. The oldest member was Mike Woodger (86 years old) the youngest members were Grace McIntyre (14 years old) and James Fraser (15 years old). We were a very mixed bunch. We stayed in the town of Rosiori, working with the local Baptist Church there but also visiting the nearby villages of Balaaci, Sfintesti and Vacaresti.
On the mission trip, we took part in home visits, door to door work, church meetings each evening, visiting an old people’s home and Sunday School work. This was different in that we held the Sunday School Class in the church yard because the key could not be found for the “up the ladder” loft room. The children’s ages ranged from 2 to 14 years and despite all the distractions outside, they still managed to listen to the story and drama and enjoyed songs with actions.
The highlight of the week for me was a visit to a lady’s home in the village of Balaaci. Maria was born with only one leg and is now 70 years old, living with her 97 year old mother. Teams have visited her over the years whilst on previous missions but each time, Maria did not feel able to accept Jesus as her Lord and Saviour. Those who visited Maria last year left her the Prayer of Commitment, written out in Romanian on a calendar. On this occasion, she excitedly greeted us, eager to tell us how she had read that prayer for herself and how it meant so much to her now. She rushed in to the house to bring out last year’s calendar with the prayer written on it to show us and was very sincere. Although her life is hard, growing crops in a small plot surrounding her single storey dwelling and taking care of her elderly mother, she displayed a different attitude to life and an obvious recognition of the Lord’s love, protection and provision. We enjoyed picking strawberries with her in the garden and she was delighted to give these to us as a gift to share with the others. Later that afternoon, a lift was arranged so that Maria could attend the church meeting. She met a lady there and invited her to visit her at home – we had visited this lady earlier who had told us that she wasn’t liked in the church. It was great to witness God’s grace abounding!
Another incident that really surprised me was a family we visited comprising of a young girl with five children, the oldest about 11 years, in Sfintesti. All the children were in the garden, playing in the dusty earth while we chatted to the mother. We told her that there would be a service in the church up the road and she was very welcome to come. She got the children cleaned up and all of them turned up at church in clean clothes. What an effort she had gone to, just because we had spent time talking and praying with her over the garden gate.
The ladies’ meeting in Rosiori was a very special time also. Nine Romanian ladies of various ages attended. One younger lady had left work especially early in order to get to the meeting on time at 6pm. The theme was finding the presence of God and remaining in it. They loved to hear us talk and share testimonies of God’s amazing goodness.
One thing that struck me in particular was that the people in the churches love to be prayed with. They willingly share and ask for prayer. They know their need of God.
I was nervous about going on the mission initially, but I learnt such a lot about myself, the Romanians (very warm and loving people) and our gracious and wonderful Lord.