Sunday May 23, 2010

This morning I woke up exhausted from a terrible night’s sleep and this time it wasn’t because of Minnie but because of those mosquitoes that got into my apartment again. I kept waking up, turning on the light and killing them. Oh, how annoying and frustrating that was! This afternoon I tacked down the screen better where the large window is in the main room in my apartment so hopefully tonight it won’t be a repeated night like it was last night.

This morning I went to Salem church again where my friend Stefy goes to church.  I had plan on taking the tram to church this morning but because I left too late I ended up taking the taxi. When I walked up to the church entrance I was surprised to hear my name being called! It took me a few seconds to realize who called my name. It was Maria who works with the babies at the hospital with Pathway to Joy Ministries. I didn’t know she goes to that church. It was nice to see her again. We sat together in church for the service.

I really wanted to check out the Sunday service to see how it was. I also wanted to see how the worship was like too on Sunday because the worship was amazing on Friday evening for the youth and young adult’s service. The service was really, really great!! When I walked into the sanctuary at 9:50am there was hardly any one there. I was a bit surprised that there wasn’t very many people there considering it started at 10:00am. I told Maria that and she told me that people will come (she was right by 10:15am the sanctuary was full!).

I really liked the layout of the service. The first 15 minutes they had a prayer time while people came into the sanctuary, then they had one worship song, then we had a short break to greet people, then announcements, then the worship time and the sermon. I really liked it how we opened the service with prayer. The worship time was awesome and it was just like Friday evening with the youth/ young adults! The worship band passionately worshipped God as they clapped, raised their hands, jumped and danced but it wasn’t just the band it was also most of the people in the church that freely worshipped God! It was awesome to not only see the youth freely worship God but also the adults too! The Pastor preached a great message on the Holy Spirit as today is Pentecostal Sunday. He preached on some keys we need to remember: we are accepted, the importance of faith, prayer and waiting on God.

After the service I spoke with the Youth/ Young Adults Pastor. He asked me what I thought of the service. I told him I really like it a lot. He wanted to introduce me to a couple of missionaries but they weren’t there. I met his wife and spoke to her a little bit too. I told her that I find the worship at this church really great and I asked her how it got this way. She told me that the Pastor went to the United States for 3 years, and then he came back to Romania and wanted to bring the same DNA to this church. I told her that I haven’t found hardly any churches here in Romania of how the people worship God with so much passion like they do at Salem.  She told me something that is very true that a lot of churches may have good worship bands but sometimes the people aren’t’ worshipping with a lot of passion and hunger so then the worship time is just like music not a worship time. She told me a lot of churches in Romania are like that with a “music time” instead of a true worship time. I also told her I was surprised to see how large the youth and young adults are in this church. She told me that it started 7 years ago with only 80 people and now they have an average of almost 200 every week! Wow, incredible and most of the young people are not from Christian homes too! For the Sunday morning service there are almost 400 people that go so almost half of the church is young people! It is encouraging to see how the church has grown but not only in numbers but how they are growing spiritually too.

I felt welcomed in the church which I feel it is important. When I spoke to the Youth/ Young Adults Pastor he seemed really nice and he gave me a warm welcome. Even though this church is larger compared to the other church I have been attending and it’s further from where I live I really like this church much more because they seem more friendlier, they worship with such passion and they really put an emphasis on prayer (I really like how they start the Sunday morning service with 15 minutes of prayer and every Wednesday they have a prayer meeting). The other church where I have been attending none of the Pastors welcomed me nor spoke to me once which was disappointing but this church I already met three of the Pastors.

I think it is really great how all of the Pastor’s family is involved with the leadership of the church. Teodor Ciuciui is the founder and Senior Pastor of the church. Two of his sons are also Pastors at the church: Ted Ciuciui – Youth/ Young adults Pastor and Călin Ciuciui – Children’s Pastor and Youth Leader (he also plays the guitar in the worship band). Pastor Teodor’s other son – Daniel Ciuciui is in charge of the media department and he is a Youth Leader (he also plays the drums in the worship band). Pastor Teodor’s daughter Ligia Ciuciui is the Worship Leader and Youth Leader (I believe God has anointed her for this ministry as I see she is very gifted and talented as she translates songs from the Hillsong Australia worship songs). The Pastor’s family all speak English too because they have lived in the United States for 3 years in Portland, Oregon.

My friend Stefy invited me to his small group. The youth/ young adult’s small groups are every Sunday evening at 6:00pm at the church. I decided to go and see how it is. I really liked it a lot. I felt a bit nervous when I went because I didn’t know anyone but when I went I felt very welcomed. Everyone seemed nice. There were only two guys (Stefy and another guy) and the rest were girls (including me there were ten of us). The study was a very interactive one with discussions and at the end we shared prayer requests and prayed for each other (for some reason the small group that I had been attending these past two months we don’t share prayer requests. I feel it is important to share prayer requests so we know how to pray for one another). When it was my turn to share my prayer request I felt nervous so I did it in English. I told everyone I am from Canada, I have been here for two months, I work with gypsy children in Sabolciu and really like working with them but I feel very alone. As I shared I almost started to cry. When we prayed the tears did come but I really couldn’t help it. Afterwards I apologized for crying and told them it has been difficult. They told me not to worry that I cried. One of the girls in the group lives in Rogerius which is in the same neighbourhood as I live in so we went home together which was really nice! It is such a blessing to meet someone who lives in the same neighbourhood as I do! I would really like to continue to go to this small group because I think it will really help with connecting with people at the church and just meeting new friends. I do hope they will be close friends and not just acquaintances.

I am seriously thinking of changing churches to Salem. I really like it there! Even though it is in Nufărul which is on the other side of the city and it would take me much longer to get to church. It is a much larger church compared to Viată Nouă but at Salem I feel more welcomed and the people are very friendly there. Also at Salem the worship was awesome and it kind of reminds me of my former church I attended when I lived in Târgu Mures when I went to church in Reghin except Salem is even more passionate!

To be honest I haven’t really grew much since I have attended Viată Nouă church but I feel in my heart just from my short experience at Salem that it is a place where I can really grow as they are really flowing in the Holy Spirit there and they also have a strong emphasis on prayer too. I think if I switch to Salem I will still continue to go to my small group I have been attending from Viată Nouă church which is every Monday evening and maybe every once and while I will go on Sundays to Viată Nouă  church because I have started to build a good relationship with Kathy and her two girls Codi and Andreea.

The only thing is with me going now to this new small group at Salem on Sunday evenings I won’t be able to go to Sabolciu to help out with the children when Dan goes there on Sundays when he does church with the adults. I really enjoy going on Sundays to Sabolciu because I am able to have a deeper bonding time with the children there that I couldn’t have during my English classes. I think it is really important to continue to go on Sundays even if I go once a month and to the small group then the rest of the month.

When I got home from the small group I ate dinner and then called my friend Cristina. Cristina and I talked for around an hour or so. I really miss living with Cristina. She is one of my very close friends in Târgu Mures and is like a sister to me but at least we can still keep in touch on the phone once a week or whenever we can talk to each other. It is so encouraging too now that we are speaking more in Romanian with each other! God is good!

Okay, that’s it for today. I think I wrote more than enough for a couple of days! Wink

Thank-you again for all of your prayers! I really appreciate it.

About Andrea

I am from Whitby, Ontario. I have lived in Romania for 9 years as a missionary but I am currently in Canada on a sabbatical break at this time. I have also lived in South Korea for a year and I have also been to Russia, Uganda, Albania and the Czech Republic on short-term mission trips. In 2012, God also gave me an amazing opportunity to go to Mozambique for the Harvest Mission School with Iris Ministries as well. I love children, reaching out to people who are in need and vulnerable, I have a passion to fight against the injustice issue of human trafficking and to simply share the love of Jesus wherever I go. I also love cats too and I have a cat of my own named Minnie!
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