On October 25th 2014 a team from Holland Road set out on a mission trip to Romania; with bags packed full of craft materials, toys, toiletries and food as gifts for our work, and warm clothes for the predicted cold weather. The team consisted of Jonny Holman, Sam Dracott, Debbie Varney, Jeri-Lee Kenny, Philip Deuk, Matt Lovell, Margie Fforde, Helen Wheeler and Pam Bebb.
We arrived in Bucharest during a snow storm and we spontaneously applauded the pilot upon the landing. Our team still had a further flight to catch, though, and it was no surprise that it was delayed. They found another plane, quite small with large visual propellers on the side, and we took off once again in the howling snow storm. Everyone was nervous!
One hour later we landed in Iasi. Not a drop of snow to be seen, but it was very cold. Pastor David and his son were patiently waiting. It was past midnight by now and we had been travelling since 9.00am. Pastor David’s son took us to the church hall, where we would be working and staying for the week. To our delight it was fully carpeted and toasty warm. There was a large bowl of fruit and plenty of bread, coffee and tea. The beds were all made up for us and everything was clean and comfortable. We soon settled down for a well needed sleep, because we had an early start the next day.
In the morning we took part in the Filadelfia Church service, in the city centre. Philip Deuk preached, while the team performed a song and did cardboard testimonies. Some also helped in the children’s service. Later in the evening we went to a rural church about 40 minutes out of town and repeated the process. But here the little children had no special service and they sat obediently for 2 hours on a rug at the front with little to amuse them except staring at us!
During the rest of the week, we were busy during the daylight with pastoral visits to families in the city and in the rural district. Some rural areas had no plumbed in water mains and used communal wells situated along the roadside. They had no inside toilets, but used holes in the ground in wooden sheds. The homes were mainly just two rooms, doubling up as bedrooms, kitchen, and lounge. They were warmed from the wood burning range used for cooking, which were set into separating walls built with similar bricks that we find in UK night storage heaters. This clever idea meant the walls kept the heat well and so acted as radiators.
The people were very welcoming. Occasionally there were tears from the rural people who were overwhelmed by their troubles and were experiencing real hardships brought on by health problems from a stroke, and a hospital accident which caused severe disabilities. I personally wept alongside them. There was genuine understanding and connection between us all despite the language barriers: God’s provision was working in us. It was a privilege to pray with these people and share the gospel with them.
For four continuous nights we ran a children’s club for up to 31 children aged between 4 and 14. We had Romanian ladies who worked hard translating for us. The children had a wonderful time, told their friends and family, and eagerly returned each night. We were all so blessed by their happy faces. Whatever we gave, we got back tenfold.
On the last day we held ladies’ events – one in the rural area in the morning and one in the city in the evening. Many ladies came forward for prayer. The evening was very emotional, full of joy and worship, but also there were testimonies, tears, confessions, and much healing. It was a time well spent in the presence of our Lord.
Please join with us in remembering the people of Romania through prayer. To find out more about what Holland Road does across the world see hrbc.org.uk/world