Archive for March, 2010

Sibiu, Romania – Ancient City

“Everyone” told me over and over, “You must visit Sibiu!  It is so beautiful, historical.”  So, I arranged to fly to Sibiu on this last return trip.  I am so thankful that I chose to do that.

Sibiu  was the largest and wealthiest of the seven walled citadels  built in the 12th century by German settlers known as Transylvanian Saxons. The Romanians call them Saas.  The riches amassed by its guilds paid for the construction of both impressive buildings and the fortifications required to protect them.

Sibiu’s Old Town retains the grandeur of its earlier days when rich and powerful guilds dominated regional trade. Like Sighisoara and Brasov, it has a distinctly Germanic feeling. Sections of the medieval wall still guard the historic area, where narrow streets pass steep-roofed 17th century buildings with gable overhangs before opening into vast, church-dominated squares such as Great Square and Little Square.

You history buffs and lovers of ancient beauty will especially enjoy this city of 170,000 which has been inhabited since 300 B.C.  I enjoyed meeting the Lee Skeltons, missionaries, who have a great program going helping people improve their English through World English Institute, and Let’s Start Talking!  They took us out to dinner at a cozy Romanian restaurant.   Stephanie Skelton escorted Adolf and me around the city.   Here are photos from that special day in my life —

One of the ancient gates of the city

Lee Skelton with Romanian businessman who is rapidly improving his English conversational skills

The Great Square escaped the ravages of WW II bombings

Memorial in the Great Square honoring the first man to die in the revolution against the Communist regime in 1989

Memorial in the Great Square - things are buried under this stone for future generations if I remember correctly.

Stephanie Skelton and Anne in front of the Catholic Church in the Great Square

A good highway led us out of town towards the north side of the Carpathian Mountains also known as the Romanian Alps

We drove alongside the Romanian Alps for more than an hour. Such an unbelievably beautiful sight - snow covered mountains 14,000 feet above sea level. And so, we bid farewell to Sibiu as we headed towards home - Sfantu Gheorghe, or Sepsiszentgyorgy, Romania

“The spacious firmament on high,
With all the blue ethereal sky,
And spangled heavens, a shining frame
Their great Original proclaim.
The unwearied sun, from day to day,
Does his Creator’s powers display,
And publishes to every land
The work of an Almighty Hand.”

– by Joseph Addison

Be blessed.  — Anne

March 31, 2010 at 8:07 pm 1 comment

From Transylvania with Love

Meet Anna and her mother, Zsuzsa

Papa helps Big Brother, Agoston, cut one of his cakes for his 4th birthday!

Papa helps Big Brother, Agoston, cut one of his cakes for his 4th birthday.

Readers signing up to read with Rosemarie and Wanda

With horse and hand plow, two farmers plow the garden plot for Gusti & Aranka, my neighbors.

Vasile reads from The Word to prepare our minds for communion.

These mountains wore a coat of white just one week ago. Then, Spring came!

Seasons come & Seasons go, but this Roman wall has led down the mountain side in Sibiu for about 1310 years.

Ancient church still in use in Sibiu (my camera could only get 1/2 of it in the picture.)

If you look closely, you'll see that apple blossoms are about to burst forth on my tree. The birds and the bees were dancing around the 14 fruit trees in my garden today!

Regardless of the season, every morning I am greeted by the ancient church and fortress on another high hill across from my home in the Transylvania mountain country.

“None of us lives to himself, and none of us die to himself.  For if we live, we live to the Lord.  And if we die, we die to the Lord.  Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.”  Romans 14: 7 – 8

— Anne

March 30, 2010 at 7:52 pm 1 comment

Grannies for God in Transylvania!

God is so good…all the time!  Today, Rosemarie and Wanda arrived in Sfantu Gheorghe to begin reading with 12 people – 6 hours a day, 5 days a week, helping people improve their conversational English.  We use a workbook with simple stories from the New Testament – because the New Testament is written in easy to understand English…and is known around the world.

Stefan came over and taught them how to use the cell phones, set up the mobile wireless stick on their computer, and did many other things to get them off to a good start and make their stay here more pleasant.

People here know and love these ladies, and have been waiting, waiting, anticipating their arrival.  The encouragement the good people of Sfantu Gheorghe receive from the Let’s Start Talking teams cannot be measured.   And, the LST team members are blessed with weeks of joyful work helping eager students and  making new friends who love them the rest of their lives.

Would you like to increase the joy in your life?  God called us here to glorify Him.  How do you hear His call?  It helps if you learn to listen for what God is saying to you when you read His Word…”Be still and know that I am God.”  – Psalm 46:10

— Anne

Grannies for God - Rosemarie on the far left, Wanda on the right in pink, are here now! Alva and Kaki plan to come later this year. Csilla, one of our LST Readers and dear friends, is 2nd from the left. All such fine women!

They flew into Sibiu, Romania, a beautiful ancient Saxon city.

March 20, 2010 at 8:27 pm 1 comment

Rachel’s Progress Is Hopeful

Let us give thanks for this good report from Blake, Rachel’s wonderful Christian husband…

The God of All created these Romanian watching over Rachel...and us. Let us praise the Lord.

“Hi Friends,
Just brought Rachel home. The dog was smiling along with the rest of us. She is doing well but will need lots of rest. She gets her staples out Thursday. Should hear from the pathology report any day. The kidney and tumor were all removed in a package of tissue. They sent that out to pathology to see what sort of tumor it is and if it has stayed contained in the kidney. We are all very happy to have Rachel home. Thanks again for all your love poured out to us.

1 Chronicles 16:8 (New International Version)

8 Give thanks to the LORD, call on his name;
make known among the nations what he has done.

8Tacka Herren, och bed i hans namn!Berätta för hela världen om vad han har gjort!
In Him,


March 17, 2010 at 4:55 pm 1 comment

The Good, Bad and the Brrrrrrrrr!

The Good News - Beauty surrounds me after snow falls!

What can I say??? “Brrrrrrrrrr!  Baby, it’s cold outside!”  Songs from my youth keep popping into my head.  Instead of “Raindrops, keep falling on my head,” it’s “snowflakes keep swirling round my head!”  And, “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas!”  Make that, “I’m dreaming of a White Easter!”

The good news – oh, there’s so much!  I have a very warm, full length parka.  My lungs are adjusting to the cold! I had a lovely 2 hour walk after church today.  AND —  God has provided help to buy a new Skoda Fabia at about the same price as a good, 8 year old Skoda.  The government and car dealers are offering great deals.  Unbidden, God’s people are helping with funds!

The bad news – my new Ferrolli electric furnace – said to be a big money saver using wood pellets…is a lemon. Nothing but trouble since we installed it.  Tonight, it blew the fuse on the outside electric fuse box.  There was no heat or electricity for a couple of hours. Ferrolli engineers can’t make my furnace work.  The good/bad news – I have a backup heating system but it costs about $560 a month to use it to heat this 1,000 sq. ft. house.

Other mixed bag news – the “sour cabbage” that Guzsti made for me makes my fridge smell like something is really rotten in Transylvania, but, OH, MY, it tastes delicious!  There’s only about 1 cup in the fridge, but the cover came loose.  Every time I go in the kitchen, I start looking for that smell…and, then remember, “it’s my Hungarian sour cabbage.” I’ve got to keep that stuff in a jar with a tight lid.

The good news – my dog, Bogey, comes when he hears me unlock my front gate, or even open my door.  He wants my good home cookin’ or a long session of scratching around his ears.  Today, my ride did not come, so I walked the 30 minutes to church.  Bogey walked with me the first 15 minutes.   I’m really enjoying having a faithful outdoor dog who is such a good guard dog and friend.  God is filling my life with special opportunities of service in His name.  What more can one wish for on this earth? — Anne

“Can’t you see the central issue in all this?  It is not what you and I do. It is what God is doing, and He is creating something totally new…a free life!” – Galatians 6:15, The Message

Guzsti and Aranka's house just West of me makes sunshine even on a cloudy, snowy day!

March 14, 2010 at 8:47 pm 1 comment

Please Pray for Rachel

The God who designed my morning sunrise, hears your prayers. THE God of ALL watches over you.

Please, take a minute…or more, and pray for  Rachel Andererg, of Pacifica, CA.  I first met her several years ago  at the congregation where my son and family worship.  A tumor was discovered on her kidney only a couple of days ago. Surgery will remove the kidney Thursday morning.  Godly wife, and mother of 4 children still at home, she is a living example of the woman in Proverbs 31.

This message just came from Blake Anderberg,Rachel’s husband:

“I visited Rachel this evening. Her chest x-ray was clean so there is no apparent cancer beyond the tumor. There is a very small chance that the tumor is benign but that will be determined by biopsy after they remove it with the kidney on Thursday. She is experiencing some pain in her right side where the tumor is and has been having headaches. But, these aches and pains subside after a small dose of a vicadent like drug. Her platelets were lower than normal so she will need blood during the surgery.


No apparent cancer in other areas of her body.

She is in the hospital, a controlled environment, where her pain is managed and her body is monitored.


Pray that there is no other cancer in her body. They will test tissue and lymphs once she’s opened up.

Pray that she recovers well from the long surgery, 4 to 5 hours.

Jude 1:24-25


To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— 25to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

In Him,


March 10, 2010 at 11:52 am Leave a comment

It’s a grey misty morning except the mist freezes as it falls.  With this all being so new to me, I’m enjoying this experience.  Now, if this goes on for a week or two, I may be singing a different tune!  When I got up, it was 11 degrees F outside, and felt like 3 F!  Inside it was a frigid 60 F.   I turned the thermostat up  a bit.  After 2 1/2 hours the kithen is the first room to warm up.  Since I can’t afford to heat the whole house. the kitchen is elected as today’s work place.
5" in circumference, this icicle formed around the drip chain running from the roof gutter down to the French drain that lets water flow around to the back of the house!

From the gutter on the roof to the ground, a sold stream of ice! March 10, 2010! Sepsiszentgyorgy, Romania!

This is an indoor day – paying bills, making a list of former LST Readers to send SMS inviting them to fill the last 4 openings that Wanda and Rosemarie have.      Wednesday may be a used car shopping day at the car market.  The economy here is bad – a 30% unemployment rate.  Many people have had to turn back their cars to the bank or the leasing companies.  Perhaps that will help me get a better car for a lower price?
Guzsti and Aranka are taking me to the car market in Ciuj (chuuk is how it’s pronounced if you are Romanian.  Cheek is how the Hungarians say it with a very short k on the end, almost like Victor Borge  when he spit out  the period in his verbal pronunciation comedy performances. Remember that?)
Here are a few photos of the Women’s Day Red Cross luncheon attendees. The Covasna County only has 2 full time employees, and yet provides clothing and food packets almost 900 families December through March.   Our luncheon menu consisted of palinka to whet the appetite! ( It can also make you think you have been set on fire!)  That was followed by grilled mitche / 4 ” long mixed meat sausage…a real favorite served with delicious Hungarian potato bread and mustard.  Dessert was special fancy cookies and coffee.  Pray for these good people who work so hard to help so many.  — Anne

The men honored the Red Cross Women on Women's Day at Covasana County Red Cross Center.

Anne’s gift of Beautiful flowers say, “Thank you!”

Adolf, Pres. of Covasna County Red Cross, on the left, with the Vice Pres. of the Red Cross.

Mrs. Balasz, former Pres. of Covasna County Red Cross

Maria, Business Degree, 4' 10", Mother of 2 school age children, Adm Asst. training to become our Fund Raiser. She works for me 2 afternoons a week.

Good men, all, Volunteers for the Red Cross, helped honor the Women.

March 9, 2010 at 3:29 pm Leave a comment

It’s Been a Long Time

It has been a long time since I carved out the time to write.  For some reason, it takes at least an hour for me to put together a message.  In order to get much of my work done, I go to bed at midnight, 1 a.m.  Somehow I just don’t feel inspired to stay up another hour to write.  Yet, I do want to share with you the beautiful, challenging journey God is taking me on.

We thought Spring had come to our mountain city, but Thursday, Old Man Winter blew back in with more than 24 hours of gracious snow sifting down from above.  A huge ice cycle formed on the drip chain that runs from the roof down to a “french drain” at the front of the house.  Only 4″ inches of snow accumulated, but it stayed for 3 days…lovely…not too bad.  (Well, I did not enjoy all the mud I had to walk in once the snow melted, but the memory of the beauty and the quietness while the snow was here…maybe the muddy paths weren’t so bad!)

The freezing temperature did make it miserably  cold to stand for 30 – 45 minutes Saturday and Sunday on marble floors in an unheated chapel for the memorial service, and then the funeral service for the precious father of Camelia Raica.  She and Stefan help “make LST happen.”   Her father was Orthodox, so the service was a bit different to me, White wine and sweet bread was served after both services.  Today, they also served a tasty chocolate pudding with sprinkles and cocoanut on top!  All who attended the funeral were invited to a very nice Romanian style restaurant for a fine vegetarian meal – given that this is the time of fasting before Easter. The traditions are so very specific. Men’s handkerchiefs were tied to many of the wreaths (mine included), but I did not understand why.  I’ll ask at another time. There is so much to learn!

I have been busy preparing for the two precious LST ladies returning March 20 for 6 weeks.  To hear people talk, you’d think they are waiting to receive movie stars or something!  Rosemarie and Wanda are greatly loved here.  And, they love this little city with many gracious, caring, appreciative people.  God is so good. You just can’t outgive God!   — Anne

The artistry of God

At the graveside of Bujor Vasile

March 7, 2010 at 9:18 pm Leave a comment


March 2010