Archive for October, 2009
A lover of clouds since my early childhood, I am in total awe of the clouds that God puts on display here…in the early morning, in the evening as the sun is setting, when the weather changes. (I wonder if God has an angel in charge of cloud design and purpose? Or does God save that for personal enjoyment?)
So, now you have a taste of the flavor of early snow in Sfantu Gheorghe, Romania, nestled in the huge crescent shaped valley of the Carpathian Mountains deep in Transylvania. God does magnificent things for our enjoyment and good.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.” Psalm 19: 1-3
God blessed us with an exciting English discussion evening as we explored the depths of God’s Creation as told in Genesis 1. In our reading, we work to understand the meaning of what is written…not just looking for facts. It’s quite inspiring. The big message in this lesson for us tonight –God IS, and can do anything…even create heaven and earth. — Anne
His birthday last Sunday was some kind of watershed of reality for me. Even though I was wide awake by Dan’s side for the last 24 hours of his life, a part of me seemed to be expecting Dan to walk in the door any minute.
That expectation is gone now. He did not attend his birthday party. Had he been coming back, he would have surely been here for his birthday celebration. Some will say, “Of course not. What a strange thing for you to say, Anne. You know he’s gone.” I’m just sharing with you what I have been going through after losing the love of my life. Maybe being honest will help some other widow one day.
The little congregation came home with me for a birthday remembrance party on Dan’s 76th birthday. We were all sad, missing Dan. I asked them to focus on the fact that he is now well. God healed him and took him home to live with God. Before the gathering was over, everyone was happy and having a good time. This made it much easier for me to manage the day.
This week was a challenge. Tears came too quickly. The deep pain of loss was ever near. I don’t know what I am “supposed” to feel, but I miss Dan so much. (You do understand that grief and loss are not logical?) I don’t allow myself to think about my loneliness often. I know that I am not alone. God is with me every moment. God has filled my life with good ways to help people. It’s just that sometimes, I’d like to have my Dan healthy, by my side. But, now that he didn’t show up for his birthday party, somehow I know that Dan is really not coming back…and that’s okay. “…my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Philippians 4:19-20. — Anne
How often do you stop and list the things you are thankful for? It’s wonderful how that always lifts my spirits. Yes, I still miss Dan, but I am thankful that he is now well, whole, safe with God, free of all pain and illness. I am thankful that little Roland has a walker from God’s Children, and will soon have enough funds to begin a treatment that frees people who became handicapped because of brain damage. The Peto Institute in Hungary pioneered this treatment.
More things for which I’m thankful? For the 45 LST Readers we had this year. For the 7 super LST Workers who came. For the new Parent Training School that I was privileged to help Pro Nobis Counseling Center start. For the two English Bible Discussion Small Groups I will be a part of. For my apple green house at 2,660 ft. high in the low, rolling mountains on the edge of the Carpathians – complete with perfect guard dog who is kind to me and my visitors, but a lion to strangers. For the many, many people who continue to help me with all my needs. And for many more things.
Tonight when Gusti was showing me the light fixtures in the basement (which I bought and he had installed), he reminded me, “All this food is for you to use. Eat!” He and Aranka are sharing their winter store of fruit and vegetables with me. All I have to do is walk down 8 steps to the basement and take what I want. What a lovely example of God’s grace!
Philippians 4: 5b – 7 reminds us, “The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Amen! — Anne
That was the question asked. I wonder what people think I am doing here? My work is not an 8 hour a day job where I teach specific lesson plans, or scrub floors all day. God has blessed me with a variety of opportunities to serve others. I am so busy that I have not had time to unpack everything. When I speak, the house has a hollow sound because I have had no time to measure windows for curtains. I hope to soon find a kitchen table and chairs. It’d also be nice to find a bed frame for my mattress.
OK, so that’s some of what I haven’t had time to do, but what AM I doing? God has sent some sincere people to me who have questions about the Bible. Because I believe it is important to know what God wants us to do, I always take time to talk with them. I have done a lot of one on one counseling. I attend the LST Thursday night parties in order to get to know the Readers. Some asked to be in my Monday night English Small Group Bible study that begins Oct. 19.
On Sunday evenings, I take the Lord’s Supper to a sweet new Christian who is ill. Wednesday afternoon, I meet with the counselors to discuss cases. I meet with the Director of the Red Cross to discuss and approve the use of funds donated to God’s Children. We are providing some funds for special treatment for a handicapped child who received a walker from us earlier this year. We are providing medication and vitamins for a little boy whose immune system is very weak.
I write newsletters keeping people informed about the work. This often results in donations to help the children and elderly here. When I can steal a 1/2 hour, I unpack a suitcase or box to sort through what is to be given to the Red Cross for the needy. And, when my emotions well up inside of me because I am still grieving over losing the love of my life, I take time to be alone and allow myself to have my feelings for awhile. The God of all comfort will see me through this. — Anne
Can you imagine, though I had to pay extra for the kitchen sink and cabinets, the dog did not cost me a penny! A stray that looks a bit like a big greyhound chose to live here during the time the house was being built. He is grey with scattered horizontal black stripes. He’s so ugly that he is almost handsome! During the day, he is quiet, gentle. At night, he becomes the opposite if a stranger gets near.
Today 4 young pigs were grazing near the house. (This little development of 10 houses is surrounded by large vegetable gardens on 3 sides.) Bogi, my dog, was walking with the piglets. When one tried to come in my yard. I made a noise with a metal pan, and the piglet went away. But a second piglet decided to try his luck. As soon as that little pig got close to my yard, Bogi snarled at him, nipping in the air close to the piglet until he turned around and ran the other direction. Satisfied, Bogi came to me for well deserved praise.
At night, Bogi sleeps right beside the front door down by the foundation. He is there when I wake up in the mornings. Knowing from experience that he is ferocious when a stranger comes at night, I sleep securely. (The security lights and the double locks on the doors help too.)
So many good things have happened since I arrived here. People continue to be kind in a myriad of ways. Gusti and Aranka, former owners of this house, have stored their winter vegetables in my food cellar until their house is ready. They told me that I am to use any of it that I wish – homemade jam, carrots, beets, rutabagas, onions, potatoes, walnuts, pickled vegetables, apples.
All the extra papers needed for my visa were turned in Wednesday. The Visa Official called me by my name this time. We are finally friends. He said to return 11 November to pick up my visa card. Until then, the letter from the Health Minister will suffice in place of the card.
Almost everyone in this little city of 60,000 population know about the Americans staying in the apartment on Lalelei who help people improve their conversational English. Now, they are learning that one of the women has bought a house on the other side of town. The outpouring of kindness and thanksgiving from the citizens of Sfantu Gheorghe, Romania, is so heartwarming…a genuine testimony to the truth of Philippians 4:19, “My God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” — Anne