We have now been in Romania for five fully days. A lot has happened, but we have been so busy that we have not been keeping up on our blog posts. So, I will now attempt to summarize the past five days for you.
First, on Saturday, Alissa and I woke up at 9am to help out with the children's program at the church. We sang a few songs and played some games with the kids. Later, we had to prepare the computers for all of our classes, so we all met at the church and made sure all of the computers worked well. The best part of the day, in my opinion, was when we got to play soccer that night. A whole bunch of people from the church got to use this fenced-in, turf soccer field for two hours so they invited our team to go. We were the "American" team, along with two American guys from the World Race Team. The Romanians are very good at soccer so the "American" team was on a constant losing streak the whole time... But it was still a lot of fun!
On Sunday, we got up pretty early and went to church. Dr. G and Drew actually went to a different church in the morning, while Matt, Alissa and I went to the church here in Draganesti. The service was all primarily in Romanian so it was a little hard to follow, but some of the songs we sang had both Romanian and English on the slides so that was very helpful. I gave my testimony during that service and then a guy from the World Race Team gave a short sermon. That was in English so I could actually understand it. After church, we ate lunch and took naps to catch up on some much needed sleep. Then we went to the 6pm service where we sang a few songs, Drew and Matt gave their testimonies and Dr. G preached. Later that night we went to the pastor's apartment, where the boys are staying, to play Mexican Dominos with him and his family.
Monday was our first day of classes! Our first class is at a school so most of the kids are teenagers, but there are still a few young ones. The second class was at a small church near another pastor's house. There weren't that many kids there that day and they were all pretty young. The third class was at the church here, in Draganesti. There were a lot of eager children waiting to use the computers here. After a long day of classes, we were invited to go over to the missionary house, just down the street from where we were staying, to celebrate the 4th of July with the Americans from the World Race team. It was a lot of fun! We ate hot dogs, deviled eggs, potato salad, and chocolate cookies. The Romanians that came also sang "Happy Birthday" to America for us. Then we played a trivia game about American facts and then played another game called "Fish Bowl" that was similar to Catch Phrase and Charades. It was a lot of fun!
On Tuesday, we again had the same three classes. We were really starting to get the routine down and I definitely became more comfortable doing chapel for each class after giving my testimony at every class the day before. It was really cool to see how some of the students had already improved so much with their typing. At one point, I was working with a little boy and girl who were cousins. The boy was a little older and understood the typing techniques, but the girl was so young that she barely knew the alphabet. So it was really cool watching and listening to the little boy try to help her do some of the exercises, even though she didn't know much. He was getting a little frustrated with her sometimes, but he was still willing to be patient and help her. After classes and dinner, we went to Alina's house to meet some of the people from the youth group and a few more Americans. It was a lot of fun because we played volleyball for a while and just talked. We also got a chance to sing songs with them, so we sang a lot in Romanian songs and a couple in English. It was so cool listening to people sing both English and Romanian of the same song and worshiping the same God. Even though we speak different languages, we are all still connected because of our love for Christ. It was a very cool cultural experience.
Finally, today we, again, had all three classes. It has been getting progressively harder to be awake so early in the morning until late at night, but the children definitely find ways to keep us awake and alert. At the first village, where we teach our first class, the director of the school invited us to eat lunch with him. So after class, we went to another room in the school to eat with him and the other teachers. A HUGE feast was prepared for us! The table was very long and very full of food. There were several different kinds of meats, cheeses, vegetables, and even fresh, warm bread. It was very good. We then did our other two classes and ate dinner where we are staying. After dinner, we went back to Alina's house again for a bonfire with the youth group. But this time, a lot more people from the church in Draganesti came and so did the World Race team. We played volleyball for a while and I got to talk with a lot of people. The bonfire was enormous and didn't go out for a while. So we sat around the fire and talked some more and sang songs until it was very dark.
So we are definitely being kept busy, but there is also a lot of fun events and things we are doing that really helps me better understand and get a chance to experience some of the Romanian culture here.
We are almost done this week in Draganesti, so please continue to be praying for the children, the pastors, and us as we finish up our classes and other activities for the week.