Life in Romania
*Originally sent as an email newsletter on December 15, 2022
Hello Friends, I pray that you are doing well and are reminded regularly of God's faithfulness! As I prepare to move to Romania, I want to share with you more about what I understand about life in Romania. I'm sure that my Romanian friends will see from this newsletter that I have so much more to learn about the culture, but I will do my best to share what I know.
Romanians are wonderful people! They are kind, friendly, talkative, and down-to-earth, and I love their often straight-forward, practical way of interacting with others and dealing with situations. Many Romanians also have a great sense of humor. They are often energetic and passionate people, and it's so easy to become friends with Romanians! The friends that I have had the privilege of making in Romania are very open, easy-going, real, and loving! My Romanian friends have taught me so much about generosity with their openness, love, patience, and willingness to share their resources, time, and help. Family seems to be a very big part of Romanian culture, and although the families are often tight-knit, they are also welcoming to friends and outsiders and make them feel at home. *Some information taken from this website
People in Romania work hard and are typically punctual for meetings and get-togethers with friends. In Romania, work tasks often take a long time to complete, however. Processing paperwork usually requires multiple steps and many stamps of approval. Many tasks have to be done in person instead of over the phone or online, which also takes extra time. Romanians in farming areas typically do tasks the old-fashioned way and most food and products are made from scratch. Romanians also know how to relax and enjoy life well. During the day, in the tourist town of Brasov, people are often walking around the piata, sitting in a cafe or restaurant to enjoy each other's company, and exploring the city. At the city parks, there are often large numbers of local families enjoying an outing and playing with their children on the weekends. During the week, groups of young people can be seen playing at the public sports areas. There are frequent events in the main square, and people are always seen walking in all parts of the city. I love the spontaneity and flexibility of life in Romania as well. Twice, while living there, friends and I made spontaneous stops to explore and eat wonderful food at the Christmas Market, one of those times being on Christmas Day, when large numbers of people were there to celebrate together. *Some information taken from this website
Romanian cities, towns, and villages are quite varied and interesting! In Transylvania (part of Eastern Romania), outside of bigger tourist cities like Brasov and Sibiu, there are smaller towns like Codlea, Budila, and Sacele that often have Roma villages on their outskirts and a lot of green, open land in between them. Within Brasov, there is quite a bit of variety as well. Parts of the city are mountainous and quaint, colorful cottage homes with orange tile roofs wind up narrow cobblestone streets, other parts are filled with colorful Medieval and centuries-old buildings in disrepair, some areas are filled with taller business buildings from both Communist and modern eras, and, in other areas, new apartment buildings tower over green farm land. This video (Most Beautiful Town in Romania?) shows an American couple exploring some of the historic parts of Brasov, giving you a view of what that part of the city looks like. Not far from Brasov is the mountain town of Sinai, where a Romanian king once lived in his beautiful Medieval castle, Peles Castle. In the other direction from Brasov there is another town nestled in the breathtaking Carpathian mountains that houses Bran Castle, also known as Dracula's Castle (although it is uncertain whether Vlad the Impaler, the historical figure that Bram Stoker based his novel on, ever lived there). Here's a video of the same couple visiting two of the nearby castles, including Bran Castle: Exploring Dracula's Caste and an Incredible Hilltop Fortress. It also gives you a look at what some of the gorgeous surrounding landscape and villages look like. Other parts of Romania include farm communities where gigantic haystacks are piled high and centuries-old traditions are lovingly maintained, still other areas are filled with pasture land for sheep, goats, and cows in rolling hills or in jagged mountains where shepherds fight off wolves and brown bears, and some towns consist mainly of Communist-era block buildings. Along a small stretch of coastal lands off the Black Sea, Constanta is one of the main Romanian coastal cities. Overall, Romania is lush, green, and absolutely gorgeous.
More information about typical Romanian food, driving, parking, and cars, and the language is to come in future newsletters!
So that tickets can be purchased and final arrangements can be made, I am praying for 85% of my monthly support to be committed to 1-2 months prior to moving and am now preparing to move at the end of February 2023. To cover living and ministry expenses, I have a monthly budget of around $3,000, of which $1,195 is committed to monthly. Praise God, one-time donations have covered all of the initial costs, and the additional amount given in one-time donations will cover $320 monthly for 2 years, bringing overall funding to 50% covered for 2 years. If the Lord leads you to give, I would be so blessed to have you on my team!
The link above leads to a form where intended donations can be shared and a link for giving can be found.
He has provided the opportunity for me to minister with Firm Foundations Romania and they are willing and eager to host this mission of using Occupational Therapy to share the Gospel and help bring transformation.
I have been given the opportunity to attend and get involved at Providenta Church!!
A sweet friend has offered to pay for my plane ticket and all of the initial costs have been covered, above and beyond what was needed, so that the additional donations can be used towards monthly costs for 2 years!
My wonderful church here in Colorado has agreed to be my sending church! I am very thankful for their leadership and covering as God sends me to Brasov!!
New monthly supporters to help meet monthly needs
Grace and wisdom to complete the tasks and projects required before moving
Open hearts to hear and receive the Gospel in Romania
Opportunities and God's leading to minister to abandoned/orphaned children
Open doors to visit the children with disabilities in the institution again
Housing in Brasov
Grace to become fluent in Romanian
Thank you very much! Your support, prayers, and encouragement mean the world to me. If you have any questions or would like to meet in person or over Zoom to learn more about this mission, please reach out as I'd love to arrange a time to get together. You can find previous newsletters on my blog page at www.toromaniawithlove.org/blog, and please make sure to check out my updated website for additional information: www.toromaniawithlove.org!