Every Day Has a Blessing for Us in Transylvania

July 5, 2008 at 8:27 pm Leave a comment

Some Highlights from the Past Seven Days

Saturday Visit to Ancient Church and Fortress

Tea with Attila and Zsuzsa

Rosemarie Visits the Farm

Anne Begins 20 Hour Training Course at Pro Nobis Counseling Center

LST Party Was Like Family Reunion

First Hungarian lesson

Dinner with Alpar and Reka, Little Anne and Sara

Practicing Conversational English Over Lunch

Last Saturday, June 28 We Visited Ancient Church and Fortress Just a 20 minute drive from here is a beautiful church built in 1223 A.D.  (Yes, we drove the dreaded Blue Van!)   During the 1500’s, the villagers built a huge fortress around it with rooms for all the villagers during times of attack.

Having been completely restored in recent years, it is a delight to visit. The museum area has a number of rooms with clothing, furniture, weaving and farm implements.  You can tour the inside of the fort, look out the holes where hot oil was poured down on the attackers, and imagine what life must have been like.

Before Columbus discovered American, Saxon (German) people were worshipping God in that church building.  A small group of Lutherans still worship there today.  There would be more, but during Communist rule, the Romanian Government sold large numbers of the Saxon descendants to East Germany. The people had no choice.  They were shipped to a country where their ancestors had come from in the 1200’s.  Even so, the village of Prejmer is a thriving little community with several restaurants where you can have delicious fresh rainbow trout!

To Get to Attila and Zsuzsa’s House, Go One Block South from the church on the Main Street.  As soon as we phoned on our cell phone to announce our arrival, Attila hurried to open the gates so we could park the van inside their huge fence.  (Most of the houses have tall fences in front as well as on the sides and back.)

For tea, we sat outside on their large covered patio that is attached to the house.  We were served delicious Hungarian dumpling soup, creamed spinach fresh from the garden, and two fried eggs with wonderful potato bread.  To drink, we could choose from 100% orange juice, bottled pure sparkling mineral water from one of Romanians 2,200 natural springs, coffee, or fruit tea.  But the best part was the long, deep discussions that we had.

Having grown up on a large farm in Germany, Rosemarie particularly enjoyed visiting Reka Papp’s uncle’s farm with us.  Nestled up against the graceful foothills of the Carpathian Mountains (the Romanian Alps), Uncle Dezu farms the land his father, and grandfather before him farmed.  The main difference is that Dezu cuts his hay with a scythe, and rakes it with a large wooden rake while his father had modern farm equipment which was “donated” by the Communist Regime to the many farm communes they created by not only taking the tractors and all the equipment…but by taking the land too.  Most of the farmers have never recovered from that devastation.  When most of their land was returned by the government after Communism fell here, no one replaced their equipment.

Adolf grilled center cup pork chops and mitz (a special Hungarian sausage) for our dinner.  Reka added fresh tomato, cabbage, and onion salad, and boiled potatoes.  There was that marvelous Hungarian potato bread too!  For dessert, we had ice cream sundaes already prepared with the strawberry syrup and whipped cream frozen in the container with the ice cream!

Anne Begins 20 Hour Training Course at Pro Nobis Counseling Centerwe do work on the weekdays by the way!  Dan and Rosemarie read 5 days a week with a total of 20 LST individual Readers between them. Wednesday this week, I began classes for the psychologists using an excellent book, Parenting From the Inside Out.  Andrea did advance translating to get all the scientific and psychological terms translated into Hungarian.  She is a gift from God.  All of my students (degreed psychologists, social workers, teachers) are gifts from God to us.  They are intelligent, kind, love God, and are dedicated to making Romania a better land by helping one person at a time grow.

The LST Party Wednesday Evening Was Like a Family Reunion.  We have come to love the Readers.  They all sat around and talked sharing our stories like old friends until after 10 a.m.  We sang, ate wonderful Hungarian salads and desserts which they brought to go along with our Texas chili.  (Some had already made chili themselves as soon as they had the ingredients and recipe.)  They were really sad to see Rosemarie return to Texas…and so were we.  We miss you, Rosemarie!  

Our First Hungarian Lesson was delayed until last Friday – we had to wait until the end of June for the teacher to finish her school year.  Kati is a cheerful, intelligent, patient, excellent teacher.  Dan learned many words – being a Linguist, he loves languages and learns easily.  I began to understand the alphabet (only 48 letters!) and learned a few words.  Kati is going to come every weekday morning for an hour.  She gives us assignments using our Hungarian CD’s and book set.  We are focusing on learning to converse.  I’m not making any predictions about my success in learning it, but with God’s help, we’ll both be able one day to communicate with those who do not speak English! 

Dinner with Alpar and Reka, Panna (Little Anne) and Sara Thursday evening was a good send-off for RosemarieThey have bought a lovely 100+ year old house, completely restored and modernized it almost completely by themselves.  Alpar is amazing.  He is a computer consultant in business for himself, and can do almost anything.  Their garden (the side and back yard) has a large place for the girls to play, flowers (lots of roses), fruit trees, vegetable garden, with a huge grape vine covering one entire side of the house.

For dinner, we had a special eggplant spread on that good bread with fresh tomatoes for salad, and fresh peaches and a sort of jelly roll with a chocolate covering for dessert.  We could choose from sparkling mineral water, juice, and coffee.  Alpar and Reka were some of Dan’s first LST Readers two years ago.

Attila and Zsuzsa’s English has improved 100% since we first met 5 years ago.  Given their work hours, we have to meet on the weekends.  He owns a large-business machines company and internet company.  She is a Clinical Psychologist who works with autistic children, and families. Today, sitting in a large garden restaurant with giant trees providing a canopy over our heads, we enjoyed excellent food and more deep conversations.  

Dan’s leg is doing very well. He walks fine.  We both are well.  We thank God that we are able to serve Him in such a beautiful area with all the conveniences of life, and good friends who enjoy learning with us.  We miss our friends and family, but we would not miss God’s call to serve Him here at this stage in our life. Thank you for sharing in this work by your prayers, and financial support. Our friends here still find it awesome that some of you care about their needs enough to help us be in St. George.  

Tonight, God gave me this scripture to share with you – “…be made new in the attitude of your minds; and put on the new self, created to be like God in righteousness and holiness….In our anger do not sin.  Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the Devil a foothold.”  Eph. 4:23, 24, 26 & 27. (We praise God that He is helping us to achieve this goal that He has set for all of us.) —  Anne and Dan

Entry filed under: Summer 2008.

True Stories from Transylvania Beautiful Country, Fine People We Left Behind

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July 2008

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