S: Romania 2011
BC: The End
FC: Romania 2011
1: Friday, July 1 Beni picked us up at the airport in Budapest, Hungary. We stopped and ate our first goulash. We drove past tons of sunflower fields like this one then crossed the border into Romania. | Waiting for us in Timisoara was our Romanian family: Alex, Beni, Eugenia, Criss & Carla
2: If I've ever seen two more awesome-looking guys riding down the road in a mule-drawn wagon, I'm not sure when...
4: Got up Saturday morning and drove to Anina. Spent the afternoon with the youth group. Beni, Ryan & the boys played soccer. Had homemade french fries & grilled sausage for dinner.
5: Very tired and quite cold, we were happy to have a place to sleep and warm blankets! | That night, Ryan and Rebecca had the great honor to spend time with about 25 guys and 20 women. Ryan talked about leadership, and Rebecca talked about each woman's role in God's story.
6: This is Anina, a beautiful mining town. But the mine closed several years ago leaving the town with no employment...and no hope. That is until our friends helped plant a church there: Hope Church (Biserica Speranta). Beni & the team drive 3 1/2 hours to Anina 1-2 weekends each month. Beni preaches at this build- ing at 10am and 6pm. | Ironically, the building that has been converted into a beautiful church was once the regional headquarters for the Secret Police during Communism. | Anina
7: The story is that Ceausescu wanted to move all of the people from Anina up and around the mountain so that he could say HE built Anina. He started building cement apartment buildings but didn't complete them before he died. Families have finished them as best they can. | The New City | Before | After | Unfiinished apt building
8: After the 1st service, Beni & the team always eat with one of the families. This is the family we ate with. | This is the other family we got to know very well. The kids had been at the youth camp Saturday and were at the meetings | Beni's mom Camillia was the one who arranged meals for us at the church. | The guys had met Beni (16 & sharp as a tack) Sat. night. | that night. Rebeca & Andreea were at Rebecca's side all day Sunday, and Alex played the guitar for all 3 services. Their whole family is very musical. | As one parent in every Anina family is forced to do, Beni's dad works in another country and only sees them twice a year.
9: When we arrived at the New City after lunch, lots of young children were waiting at the church for us. Rebecca, Eugenia & Carla passed out the little stuffed animals Brandon had brought to all of the girls. Ryan, Beni, Brandon & Jonathan gave baseballs to all of the boys. Ryan had handwritten 10 scripture references on each of the balls and gave each boy a copy of the Bible verses (in Romanian) that went with them. These may be the only toys these children will ever have. | "ribbit" | Antonia
10: Sibiu the Gypsy Royal Family | The King's son Dorin | Luminita, the King's sister and well-known writer & film maker | The church is built on the site where the Gypsies first pitched their tents in Sibiu around 1940 and where the first Christian Gypsy George visited them from France.The King's Father, the first King of the Gypsies, died of a heart attack while fighting for the right to build the church and adjacent cultural center. | King Cioba on the steps of the Gypsy church | Just your average Monday night dinner with a Prince. The Prince's wife and daughter-in-law grilled huge platters of meat for us.
11: Maria praying in the Gypsy church | Beni played the accordian for a few minutes | This beautiful little Gypsy girl sang the Zaccheus song for us | Dorin was pleased to show us footage of the first case televised from the new courtroom. They use Skype!
12: Beni's parents, Nelu & Lia | Tuesday morning we headed for Bucharest. Thankfully we didn't eat in Sibiu before we left or we would have missed out on breakfast prepared by Beni's mom! | Beni's niece Aliana | Cherries in Beni's garden | The house God is building behind Beni & Eugenia's house
13: Romanian history lesson at the ruins of the Roman city | Corridor where animals entered the arena to fight Gladiators or Christians | Huge Latin inscription | Roman Ruins
14: Looking back at Sibiu | In the clouds! | Balea Glacial Lake, 6673 ft.
15: Long waterfall down the mountain | this is the windiest and 2nd-highest paved road in Romania. Built as a strategic military route, the 55 miles of twists & turns run across the tallest sections of the Southern Carpathian mountains, between the | the 2 highest peaks in Romania. The road connects the historic regions of Transylvania & Wallachia & the cities of Sibiu & Piteti. It was built in the early 1970's by the military so they could get | across the mountains quickly if the Soviets invaded.
16: Bucharest | Live dinner music at the oldest restaurant in Bucharest | "Fortune teller" in the square with mice running around his hat as well as 2 trained birds. Where was the monkey?
17: We spent 4 hours Wed-nesday morning with Gabi Achim from WorldVision | We spent the night in the Senator's hotel | We spent Tuesday night in the JW Marriott used by the Senators
18: The Palace is the 2nd largest building in the world | The Palace of the Parliament | You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. Gen 50:20 | Beni had a WorldTeach seminar for the Gypsies in this beautiful room | Beni & Cristi's seat in the Parliament
19: View from the Palace balcony of the street Ceaucescu built so the people could praise him on his way to work | tank carrying insurgents down that same road | military presence in Bucharest after the Revolution | our view of the outside today
20: Cultural Festival in Timisoara Square
22: Timisoara Square | A once-in-a-lifetime chance..the boys and I were hanging on Beni's every word as we walked through the square where the 1989 Revolution that overthrew Communism began | Pictures from the Revolution
24: Future home of The Butterfly Center | Lili | Ryan | Beni | Victor | These floorplans started pouring out of me as we were driving through Romania | Lili wasn't able to walk the land with us, but we met her when we picked Victor and Sergio up.
25: The boys spent the day at the mall with Alex | First Baptist Church, Timisoara Peter Dugulescu's church meets in a former Communist Theatre | Adi had prepared several songs in English | This sweet little boy was very curious about us. Although he's an "orphan" we could tell he is well taken care of and loved... | Alin came to the church service. Great to meet him since he played such a neat role in the story of The Butterfly Center. He was with Beni when Victor called trying to find someone to donate the land to. He'd been trying for TWO YEARS! Thank you God for saving it for us!!
27: "Giraffas" | "Appendicitis" | "Fishing Wire" | "uloy ut" | ...ended our time in Hungary the way we started - tummies full of goulash!