Archive for August, 2009
In today’s cool, misty morning, Maria called a taxi to take me to meet her at the Visa Dept. The Chief of SG Visa Dept. came to speak to us. Laughing casually, he said, “It was all a mistake! The Border Patrol did not inform us of your departure. The information came in today’s computer report.”
Not a word was spoken about the harassment of my friends, or the accusing people of lying about my whereabouts, or the accusing me of disobeying their orders. It’s over. Let’s move on. That is pretty much the attitude of some in governments most anywhere in the world.
Moving on, yes. Maria will help gather the info needed to apply for a long stay visa. Also, I’m dealing with finding what is needed for the house. I spent the afternoon looking at, making notes about what is available at the Dept. Store. Tuesday afternoon, Reka and Andrea will take me shopping for bathroom fixtures. Thursday afternoon, we hope to purchase light fixtures if they are available in the store. The furniture I looked at today has to be ordered…delivery time? Four weeks. And, it costs in dollars about what it would cost in the States! I hear there is a used furniture store where you can sometimes find good furniture at low prices.
HOW ABOUT SOME GOOD NEWS? — God blessed me by helping me pass along excellent used clothing to 6 teens/young adults, who were throw away children, and now live in a city apartment…provided for by the Social Welfare System. These young people are finishing high school and university, getting jobs, having a life! They, their house mother, Maria, and I say to you who gave the clothing, “Thank you!” — Anne
“100 Little Thoughts about Man, God and Society” – a collection gleaned from 49 years of conversations Dan had with Dr. Dick van Geet, our former neighbor in Utrecht, Holland.
Already the birth of Christ was the symbol of the reconciliation of man and God. The mere fact of the combination of the divine and the earthly in one body symbolized the end of the rupture between the two.
1. Richness and polygamy have in common that in both cases you occupy a more than proportional part of the world.
2. Some people buy everything hoping eternal life will be among it. (Tennessee Williams was right.)
(to be continued)
There are many types of Hungarian (Magyar) faces. Here are some by whom I have been blessed. –
Friday, a 13.5 hour train trip brought me back from forced exile in Hungary to Sfantu Gheorghe, Covasna County, my home in Romania. With both of us exhausted, (Adolf from a business trip to Bucharest) Adolf rushed me from the train to the Notaris’ office for the signing of the papers for the sale of the house. That only took 4 hours! After paying 1/2 of the purchase price, I now own the house. The contract stipulates very specific terms for finishing the house, paying the other half, occupying the house, etc. Some good news – the money to pay for the kitchen cabinets has been provided. More about that later.
“100 Little Thoughts about Man, God and Society”
— thoughts taken from conversations over 49 years between Dan and Dr. Dick van Geet – our neighbor in Utrecht, Holland. Be blessed. — Anne
The pearl in the field
Maybe all theology and religion could be summarized in one basic point: is God, the Spirit, present, or absent. Belief means it is there. Charity demonstrates it. Sin means it is absent. Egoism and hate demonstrate this; they are the result. Repentance means, you want to get the Spirit back. Grace means, the Spirit has returned. Etcetera.
PSYCHOLOGY AND RELIGION
A river has to be both wide and clean.
What do we need most, psychology or religion ? Wrong question. Think of a river. (Good) psychology/ psychotherapy could make the stream broader and wider; the waterflow increases. (Good) religion could clarify the water, make it purer. Both are needed, both are important. They are complementary.
1. Man is the only real, the only genuine temple. The only place on earth where God can really live. But it/he can also degenerate to a ‘house for money-changers.’
2. Man is the landing zone for the supreme, for the highest of all. Alas, it is often pirate planes that are landing.
(to be continued)
God has arranged to let me have a 10 month old lovely, well built house. It’s small – about 1,090 sf, lovely inside and has a magnificent view of the valley and Sugash Mountains. I have to admit I was stunned that I have to pay extra for the kitchen cabinets, sink, stove, upgrade on the electric furnace so that I don’t have to put wood into the furnace twice a day, etc.! I had no idea that I was basically buying the shell, and have to pay for things on the inside of the house. Oh, well, we’re never too old to learn!
That brings me to today’s portion of “100 Little Things About God, Man and Spirituality,” thoughts taken from conversations over 49 years between Dan and Dr. Dick van Geet – our neighbor in Utrecht, Holland. Be blessed. — Anne
“NEEDS AND GREEDS
Neo-classical economic science teaches us: human wants are infinite. But this neglects the difference between needs and greeds. Greeds are unlimited indeed, but human needs are quite limited. While needs are like thirst that is quenched by drinking, greeds are like drinking salty water: the more you drink the thirstier you get.
NORMS AND STANDARDS
The greatest danger for our culture consists of the absence of universal, genuine norms, of real standards. If they are missing,, the dangerous trio: money, power and success get free play. Then there is nothing to break them.
PARIDISE ON EARTH?
1. One of the best descriptions of man is: ‘a fallen angel who remembers heaven’. (Alfred de Musset).
The latter part explains why man is never content and is always striving for change: he is continuously trying to regain heaven by creating it on earth.
The former part explains why he will never succeed: he remains a fallen angel; he has a wrong memory of heaven and tries to create a wrong substitute.
2. A world inhabited by man will never change into a paridise. Nor into a definite hell.”
Things are going well. This is the place for me at this stage in my life. I am strong. I love the good people here. They take care of me. Both Dan and I wanted me to be here. During dinner with new friends the other day, Adolf told about LST. Then he turned to me to tell when the teams will be here (12 September – late October).
Saturday, I attended a real Hungarian wedding. It was beautiful. However, the most beautiful things were the hearts of the people. Most of them have been friends for years. There was a deep thread of love and caring that runs through the group. And that love and caring was extended to me. However, what I didn’t know was that if you are invited to the wedding and the private dinner following the reception,you will be there awhile!
Starting at 4:30, the wedding was very special. During the ceremony, the priest wrapped a 4″ lovely band of white cloth around the couple’s lower arms and clasped hands as he pronounced a blessing. A reception for all followed the wedding. Then a private party for family and close friends began. We had dinner at 6:30 p.m. Being a good girl, I cleaned my plate as my mother taught me. Much to my surprise, about 10 p.m. a HUGE dinner was served on a wooden platter. Later, here came the wedding cake with a fireworks-like tube shooting sparkles out of the top of the cake!
Even though I don’t speak much Hungarian yet, speaking English (and also using my Dutch that I learned while living in Holland for 5 years in the 60’s, I communicated with all of the guests who speak English or German). Can you guess one thing that I told them about? Did I hear you say, “LST?” You are Right! After a rich, rewarding evening, I got home at 3 a.m. Sunday!
People here are very interested in improving their conversational English. We may have some more outstanding people as Readers as a result of them reaching out to me! I came to help the people of Sfantu Gheorghe. Yet, they are blessing me…it’s like walking through a warm, brilliant shower of blessings. God is good! — Anne
- The First Dinner
This is only the third day I have been here, but so many sweet things have happened. I have been invited for coffee 2 times, for dinner 3 times, and I have several appointments to meet with dear friends. This afternoon, I will attend Bogi and Torsten’s beautiful Hungarian wedding and dinner at a lovely restaurant afterwards.
I have been so warmly received by all. I am now in the apartment where Dan and I lived each time we came here from 2002 – 2008. Stefan, Camellia and their 14 year old daughter, Monica, had cleaned the apartment. Stefan arranged to have the house phone and internet connected. The double lock on the only door into the apartment works very well. The thermal pane windows are very secure. Everything is ready for me to continue life here.
There’s some saying about “things are always the same, but are ever changing.” Well, the street out front is still the same broken mixture of concrete, asphalt, gravel and dirt…only it is more broken than ever before. The grass around the apartment buildings in town is now kept mowed. No more scraggly tall grasses mixed with trash blown in by the wind. And, alas, no more tall grasses mixed with a variety of wild flowers either.
There are more flowers in the yards in front of the apartment buildings, and more planter boxes filled with colorfui flowers at major intersections and along the major streets. More sidewalks are being replaced with paving stones making for very nice walking. Provisional admittance to the European Union is having a positive influence on things in Romania. The people with good hearts continue to bless their country as they strive to bring this nation into a higher level of accountability.
A BIG prayer request, please – pray that the Spiru Haret University, Romania, students – who did the work and passed their courses and the final exams – will be awarded their diplomas. There is a big scandal about the school. Students, who paid money to take no exams, were awarded a diploma. The Romanian Parliament has cancelled all the diplomas given from the University this year. My friends who worked hard to learn and pass all exams deserve their diplomas.
I feel so at home, safe, appreciated, loved. The weather here is delicious – sunny and in the 70’s! God is good. — Anne
People are asking, “What is your flight schedule? Where will you fly from? When will you arrive in Sfantu Gheorghe?” Some are saying, “I’m concerned you won’t be safe traveling alone.” So, here’s the latest info…
Tuesday, Aug 11, at 3:10 p.m., KLM Airlines takes me from San Francisco to Amsterdam in 10 1/2 hours! After a 2 hour layover there, I go to Bucharest. Using air miles, I upgraded to Business Class which makes travel much easier. Eugen and Petronela Ana, (new friends that I met through the American missionary in Bucharest) will pick me up at the Bucharest airport 4:50 p.m., Wednesday.
The Anas invited me to spend Wednesday night with them. Thursday morning, Adolf will pick me up and bring me back to Sfantu Gheorghe. I don’t know my arrival time, but I think we will be back in town by 15:00. Yes, I will be safe the entire trip even though I am traveling “alone.”
But what I’m coming to learn is that when I choose to walk with Jesus, I am never alone. And, no matter what happens, I will be okay. Sounds rather air-headed to some people. But think about Dan…he is okay now. He is well. He is free. He is alive in Heaven. And, look at me…I am able to grieve my loss but my faith in Jesus is keeping me safe. I don’t have to sit in a dark room and cry all day. I do cry, but most of the time I save my grief for when other people are not around. And God gives me joyful things to think about after I have finished crying for that moment. — Anne
HERE ARE MORE OF THE “100 Little Thoughts About God, Man and Society,” by Dr. Dick van Geet, Utrecht, Holland.
THE LOST CODE
Man is like standing in front of a safe that contains the secret meaning of life. But alas, the code word is lost. Now what to do. One could try thousands of combinations, but the chance of finding the successful key word is extremely small. One could invite the most brilliant scientists, but intelligence will not be very helpful. The only possibility is: wait until someone turns up with the pretention that he knows the right code and subsequently applies this code hoping it will work. See whether it can really open the safe.
During 2500 years brilliant philosophers have tried to open ‘the safe of existence’ but without convincing success. So let us stop trying to pull ourselves up on our own hairs and let us apply the ‘codes’ that we received. Whoever seriously tries the ‘keys’ will soon discover that there is only one key that suits precisely and that can open up the safe. Only Christianity explains why we exist, why there is good and evil and what is the difference between them, why we have to die, etc.”
(to be continued)