Day 5 Romania

Last full day today involved the clearing out of the final outhouse, mice, spiders et al ! Everything was removed to be sorted and much to be given away or the broken stuff to be disposed of; consequently the morning was spent ferrying backwards and forwards. I know this sounds as though we've come a long way simply to be part of a clearing out, but our view is that the more we can do to help the Chalmers family then the more they can do within the village.

Good news today is that Heather was able to take Carmen and Elenor (?) into the nearby town of Ovideu and get them registered back into school. Because of a variety of circumstances Carmen has been out of school for three years and Elenor one year. The Chalmers family have been praying that they would want to return to school and they both decided last week. Education gives the best opportunity to escape poverty here but pressure is often on young girls to stay at home and look after the younger children.

Thankfully these two will now have a renewed hope. Please pray for them.

Towards the end of the afternoon we went to see some villagers who live in “the Buero” an official squat. We visit this every year but this year we've left it to last as there was the promise that they'd have electricity at last after many years. However the great switch-on didn't happen and they'll now have to wait a further day, hence the next photo………
Look closely and you'll see me cuddling Tante Lena in the dark of her living room/bedroom area. This was at 5.30 in the afternoon so hopefully it will give you some idea of the living conditions of many and of how good it will be when electricity comes.
Tomorrow is our last morning then off to catch our flight And another visit is over. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers and here's to next years visit !


Sermon preached in Romania

Various people have asked me about the sermon I preached yesterday, here in Poiana. As usual my notes are not detailed and the sermon included references to the parable of the sower, my first visit to Poiana and my fear, and also included a reference to how they’ve grown both physically and spiritually.


Anyway here are the short notes, but first the Bible passage itself.


Exodus 3:1-12

1-2 Moses was shepherding the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the west end of the wilderness and came to the mountain of God, Horeb. The angel of GOD appeared to him in flames of fire blazing out of the middle of a bush. He looked. The bush was blazing away but it didn’t burn up.

3 Moses said, “What’s going on here? I can’t believe this! Amazing! Why doesn’t the bush burn up?”

4 GOD saw that he had stopped to look. God called to him from out of the bush, “Moses! Moses!”

He said, “Yes? I’m right here!”

5 God said, “Don’t come any closer. Remove your sandals from your feet. You’re standing on holy ground.”

6 Then he said, “I am the God of your father: The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob.”

Moses hid his face, afraid to look at God.

7-8 GOD said, “I’ve taken a good, long look at the affliction of my people in Egypt. I’ve heard their cries for deliverance from their slave masters; I know all about their pain. And now I have come down to help them, pry them loose from the grip of Egypt, get them out of that country and bring them to a good land with wide-open spaces, a land lush with milk and honey, the land of the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Amorite, the Perizzite, the Hivite, and the Jebusite.

9-10 “The Israelite cry for help has come to me, and I’ve seen for myself how cruelly they’re being treated by the Egyptians. It’s time for you to go back: I’m sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the People of Israel, out of Egypt.”

11 Moses answered God, “But why me? What makes you think that I could ever go to Pharaoh and lead the children of Israel out of Egypt?”

12 “I’ll be with you,” God said. “And this will be the proof that I am the one who sent you: When you have brought my people out of Egypt, you will worship God right here at this very mountain.”

1. God appears in surprising ways. Burning bush. Kindly word of support from someone else. Kind action, just when needed.

2. God gives us instructions. Some we like, some we don’t. Moses didn’t want a confrontation with Pharoah, but that’s what God wanted. Moses had to obey, as we should.

3. God is with us, even at our most difficult times. He walks with us offering help and encouragement of the Holy Spirit. IF WE LET HIM.

4. God restores his people, by giving them the promised land: not some far off country, but the promised land of a good healthy relationship with us, leading right to Heaven. Do you want such a relationship ? If so, listen for God, obey his instructions and pray for the Holy Spirits help each day.




Day 4 Romania

Morning worship was quite simply awesome this morning. I had the privilege of preaching, but it wasn’t because of that. God was definitely ‘in the house’ !

The young people were amazing with their leading of the worship; the adults stood up one after another to praise God and thank him for blessings received; Catalin (14 ?) used one of my Gospel bags to tell the story of Moses and the burning bush which I then preached on; two youngsters dancing with joy at the front, oblivious to the rest of us.

Afterwards conversations and goodbyes meant we started the children’s club late, but it was good stuff.


Heather thought it was the best That she’d heard me preach, but I think it was simply one component within a God given, Jesus centred, Holy Spirit led act of worship in which we all wanted the best for God. As a preacher it’s always easier and better when you feel that the congregation are with you and drawing Gods message from you.

Earlier this week I remarked on the need to pray for your Pastor/Minister/Vicar and to that I’d want to add youth worker, Local Preacher, Church Stewards, Sunday-School leader etc. In fact all who contribute to leading/Sharing in worship INCLUDING ourselves as the congregation. So often Worship is our shop window and so we should prepare fully for it by prayer.

Several years ago the rather fun challenge (but serious point) was made, “make your Pastors day: next time it’s Communion, draw a smiley face in your hand for him to see” A bit of fun, I thought, but the following Sunday I was taking Communion and one person waited till I arrived at them and slowly unfurled their hand to reveal the smiley face, then another person and another and others. It made my day because not only did it make me feel special but it reminded me that we were as one in the family of the Lord.








Day 3 Romania

Woke up to one of the windiest mornings possible. As we always eat outside it made for a fun breakfast where I could hear very little because of the wind chimes !
Followed by a prayer meeting whose express purpose is to pray a blessing on the village. About 6 villagers turned up and it was a powerful time where prayers were said, Romanian style, for all aspects of village life.
The morning was spent continuing to sort out the store room, building more shelving units (this time for the tool shed) and a new broom cupboard.
Children's club this afternoon had to be held indoors because of the rain, but there were more children plus some of the teenagers who weren't at school. It was great to see Sebi, Lorenzo, Catalin and others again. They became involved in looking after the younger children today. These are young people I've seen growing up over the years, and I spent the afternoon feeling very proud of them as they're the ones who are especially beginning to blossom in their Christian Faith.
After the children's club the same teenagers stayed on to practise a song for tomorrow's worship, and I just sat and watched them thoroughly enjoying themselves. Quite an emotional day.
The video I took of these youngsters may be found on Facebook but I'm struggling to upload it into the blog.


Day 2 Romania

Mixed day today.

Wet weather meant that the children’s club was held indoors so very cramped and the teenage club hd to be cancelled. Disappointing, but when the weather is that wet people are reluctant to send their youngsters out and combined again with the fact that school was on meant that we had 10 youngsters only.

But they enjoyed themselves hearing the story of Jonah and the big fish, playing a fishing game, the boat race and baking biscuits. They especially enjoyed pretending to drive a ‘bus’ out of an old wooden unit we had thrown out.

Can you see the fun on their faces ?

What to make of it all ? The reminder that these children just need to know they’re lived and to understand that Jesus especially loves them.

This afternoon we were able to see the first delivery of 3 tons of wood. Thrilled to receive the gratitude of the family.






Romania 2014 day 1

After a delayed but otherwise decent flight we arrived in Poiana last night. Good to see Alex, Heather and Andrew again. Still hard to grasp how big Andrew is; all grown up !


Spent today assembling shelves and getting ready to stock them tomorrow. First holiday club this afternoon. Not a huge number of children but we are still in school time. Our theme this week is water and today was about Jesus and the woman at the well. Youngsters trying to make paper wells, running a water race, hearing the story and making chocolate milk shakes; yummy.


Tonight Alison led the ladies meeting and Alex, David and I went for a much more manly men's meeting but there was only one there !! Still I thoroughly enjoyed it.


Please pray for the youngsters at school and especially for those who can't attend for whatever reason.



Romania pre-day 1

Packed ready, everything in cases. Soon be off. First prayer request of the week is for myself.

Last night I lost the hearing in my left ear. There is no discharge so I`m pretty sure its either ear wax or a broken hearing aid. I think the former is more likely. Unfortunately at this stage the hospital couldn`t fit me in until Wed when hopefully we should be arriving in Romania, so I`d really appreciate prayers for hearing at this time.


Just a test to see if my new blog hosting platform is working in practise for our trip to Romania which is now just around the corner. The hope is that if I can get this to work there will be a daily update for interest and prayer.
Lovely message from Heather to say that the Holy Spirit was very present in Worship this morning. I pray he will lead us through the coming week and that we will be open to him.
Please pray for us, David, Alison and myself. Please pray for the Chalmers family and for the villagers and children that we will be sharing with. We love them so much.


What now ?


Well the most important debate has taken place, all parties have had their say, the votes have been counted and the result is finally in: Yes, women are to be admitted into the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, the home of golf!!!!

And now they will have to live with an irreversible result. How will the first lady members be received ? Will their be animosity ? sexism ? How will those who voted against react ? Who knows ?

Of course the far more important debate took place on the same day, the Referendum on an independent Scotland.   As you all know the result came back as a resounding NO to independence and so its back to the way we were, or is it ………..?

Of course, things can never be the same again and so the Government has started to work on move devolved powers for Scotland with the accompanying cry for more for Wales and England, all of which will impact on party politics;

No, things can never be the same again, but hopefully out of it will come a new style union based around regional assemblies learning to work together for the common good of the United Kingdom on those decisions that affect everyone (defence etc) and carrying out decisions that have a more regional flavour (business, commerce etc).

My prayer today has been and will continue to be, that the people of Scotland learn to set aside the differences displayed throughout this campaign and learn again to work as one nation, and alongside that I pray that the rest of the Union will bear them no ill will but simply rejoice that they voted to stay with us.