Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cluj and Sacuieu

Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees. Say to those who are fearful-hearted, "Be strong and do not fear! Behold, your God will come with a vengeance, with the recompense of God; He will come and save you." (Isaiah 35: 3-4, NKJV)

Visiting the Maury's

Jerusha, John, Charity and Ethan Maury are missionaries now serving in Cluj. They continue to also work alongside the Hagiu family, serving the gypsy villages of Calatele and Sacuieu.

Last Friday I travelled to Cluj-Napoca, a city about 3 hours from Oradea, to finally meet up with the Maury family. John and Charity are currently living in Faget, a village about 15 minutes from Cluj, and had graciously invited me to come and stay with them. It was great catching up with them and getting to play with Ethan and Jerusha again! I was able to work with Jerusha on some exercises to help her back and shoulders. She had a blast playing around with the theraband and they both loved playing "zoom ball".

When I arrived, I learned that a team from Calvary Chapel Treasure Valley (the Maury's home/sending church) was out in the villages doing VBS and John surprised me with the news that we were going out to Sacuieu on Sunday afternoon as they were holding their first baptisms since beginning their work out there 3 1/2 years ago! How amazing is God's perfect timing that this would be the weekend that I would be in Cluj! The whole weekend we spent in prayer as many of the team members, along with Nicu and Silvana Hagiu (the Romanian missionaries ministering out in the villages), were experiencing physical attacks, dreams and visions. Many of the people who had come forward for baptism were backing out due to fear and true persecution. Family members were placing curses on those desiring to follow Christ in baptism and one woman was badly beaten by her husband. By Saturday, Charity and Ethan were quite ill and discouragement was setting in. But then God gave me the above verse, helping us to redirect our attention to our God who has overcome this world and delivered us from fear! On Sunday, I was able to attend Calvary Chapel Cluj (Golgota), the new church plant that John is heading up. Unforunately, Charity and the kids were too sick and had to stay home. However, Ciprian (my therapy friend who recently moved to Cluj) joined me for church. Please continue to pray for him as I really see that he is seeking to understand truth. After church, John and I drove to Sancraiu to meet up with the Hagiu's and the team from CC Treasure Valley. It was such a joy to finally meet Silvana, Nicu's wife. She wanted me to let everyone know that the medication we sent over in the winter was a huge blessing for both villages. Hopefully we can do another medication drive soon.

Baptisms in Sacuieu

Around 3:00 we all headed over the mountain to the village of Sacuieu. John and Nicu first drove to Caletele to pick up Feri, a young man who desired to be baptised. We were eagerly greeted by hugs from all the children. Immediately my eyes were directed to Zorca, one of the little girls who captured my heart last year. When she saw me, her eyes became so wide and a huge smile followed. Oh how our hearts leaped, realizing we had not forgotten one another! Needless to say, she stayed by my side the entire evening. Even more exciting was the news that her mom, Marioara, was one of the women who had decided to be baptised! Church services were held with us all sitting on the hill. It was so beautiful to hear my gypsy sisters and brothers singing out to the Lord! After Nicu and Darryl (the pastor from CC Treasure Valley) preached, John and Nicu made their way down to the little river for the baptisms. We had prayed for at least 2-3 people to stand strong and not back out of their commitments. But God did a mighty work and 10 people were baptised! It was a truly overwhelming day. Afterwards, we had a barbecue and enjoyed sweet, sweet fellowship. Silvana and I went and visited several homes, and then joined some of the team members in one home to pray over a little girl, Claudia. Claudia looks like she has cerebral palsy and really needs some help. God willing, I will return next week to do some parent training and also to pass out some of the goody bags that my dear friend Jill and her Backyard Bible Club kids made.

Ciprian's Kids

Ciprian is now working in a special needs gradinita (kind of like a kindergarten, but for ages 3-8) in Cluj and had invited me to come help him for a few days. Most of the children have significant impairments, and only a few are able to walk. But Cipri has such an amazing love for these kids! I was excited to find a platform swing and ball bath, and even more excited to get to show Cipri how to use these great therapeutic tools. He ended up having so much fun and could see how much the children were enjoying their therapy time! After working all day on Monday, Cipri took me on a 5 1/2 hour walking tour of Cluj. What a treat to see all the hidden treasures of this beautiful city with an insider's perspective and knowledge. We even visited 2 churches, one from the 14th century, and another from the 15th century. I have added a slideshow on the sidebar, so you can easily check out my Picassa album by simply double clicking on slideshow.

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Awesome blog page!