Updated: Sep 4, 2021
Several years ago we began to live by a phrase we heard from some of our business leaders during our Amway days. The phrase was "get comfortable being uncomfortable" and is a phrase we still live by today as missionaries. Being in Romania has given many opportunities to feel uncomfortable just as it would living in any new country. There is the new language to learn, big city life, public transportation, new foods, and a new culture. We could have stayed in America where everything felt so comortable. We could drive to our local grocery store and purchase the products we are used to buying such as pancake syrup, pancake mix, and pre-prepared biscuits. We could drive to our favorite restuarnts and eat the food we are comfortable eating such as Chick-Fil-A or Outback Steakhouse. We could ignore God and continue to speak our native language while always fishing from the same pond. The only problem is that we don't recall God ever stating that the Christian life should be comfortable.
We have been in Romania for just over a month now and it seems like everything we do or try to do feels uncomfortable. From going to the park to going to the grocery store. That being said, what matters is that we continue to go to different places so that we can become comfortable and meet people in our area. We are trying to talk to people in Romanian with the words we have learned so far. This has been extremely uncomfortable for us both. All we want to do is revert back to english.
We began learning Romanian 4 weeks ago and it has been quite the whirlwind. It seems like most days that we are drinking from a fire hydrant. We are learning a plethora of new words at each class while also working on how to pronounce the words correctly. We go home after each class mentally exhausted and we are only in class for 2 hours each time. Fortunately we go to tutoring twice a week where we have an amazing tutor who goes at our pace. We are learning so much from our tutor and are very thankful for her. Since we are so new to the language, we are unable to hear and understand the words that the Romanians are speaking. Each time all we can think to say back are the words "SLOW DOWN!!! We have to remind ourselves that we must be patient and show ourselves grace. This video explains how it feels learning a new language.
Over the past five weeks, we have ventured out into our community to try to learno go and visit different places. Our teammates sent us on a scavenger hunt in the City of Bucharest that included walking and taking public transportation to 25 different places. After a total of 5 hours we had ridden the bus, taken the metro, and walked many miles. Needless to say we were exhausted, but the adventure really help us learn the city well. It was exciting to see so many historical buildings here in bucharest. Another fun activity we did was go to a park with our teammates called Tineretului Park which is more on the south side of the city. This is a large park where you can ride your bicycle, run, and enjoy family time on the playgrounds. At the top of the park is an amusement park that is set up like to a carnival; however, it is in Bucharest all year long. Emerson and Lydia enjoyed riding the rides there such as the ferris wheel for both children and a roller coaster for Emerson. The one ride that Emerson continues to talk about is the inflatable alligator where the mouth comes down and kids can jump into the mouth leading them to the back and out of the ride. This was a great time for the family and with the teammates. We are sad that our teammates have gone back to the States, but look forward to their return in January.
We have visited two different churches here in Bucharest. The first church we went to is The International Church of Bucharest and the second is Biserica Baptista Agapia Bucharest. The International church is an english speaking church made up of people from all around the world who have moved to Bucharest. We attended a game night there on a Saturday night and met other missionaries and members from the church. Our family had a great time fellowshiping with these folks. Agapia is a church that our teammates attend. Their pastor and members have really welcomed our family to the area. Brooke has had coffee with a few of the women and Drew has enjoyed lunch with the pastor and will soon connect with some other male leaders there. As we look ahead to the coming months, we look forward to getting to know other Baptist pastors as well as other people in our community. Although we do not know the language fully yet, our goal is to share the love of Christ with whoever God puts in our path.
While here in Bucharest, we have been able to have some conversations in english with some Romanians and began relationships with them. We have exchanged contact information and hope to get back together where we can share the gospel. Also, on July 31st, our daughter Lydia turned 1 year old. We were able to celebrate her birthday with some people we have met. It is sad that we could not celebrate this special occasion with family in the States, but we are blessed to have been able to celebrate with some amazing people in Romania who have loved on us.
Moving forward, we ask that you pray for the following requests:
That we begin to gain traction with the language.
That God will give us a vision for the ministry He would like for us to take part in here in Romania.
That we will be intentional and love people well.
That our Visa process will go smoothly. We began the process Today (August 3rd).