Monday, September 10, 2012

Gospel Via Watermelon!

I was glad to get back to Mocrea and see all the patients. I was very happy to hear "Jackie's back Jackie's back".  Last week we had a special presentation - "The Gospel Via Watermelon"  The watermelon has 5 messages for us. When you cut it you will see: yellow in the peeling between the red and white - that's to remind us of heaven; the black seeds represent our sin; the red the blood of Jesus; the white the righteousness we receive when washed by the blood; and finally the green which represents the growth we experience as we walk in faith. Of course this was done with much drama and explanation, everyone loved it.  This girl ate so many pieces of watermelon I was beginning to get concerned - what a treat!  Now I am thinking if we know anyone who knows how to juggle, we could teach the patients with oranges and everybody gets the fruit...

Friday, September 7, 2012


AURICA -  1953 - 2012.   The fact that Aurica was only 59 came as a shock to me, I only found that fact out when I spoke at her wake.  She had only been in the Widow's Mite program for one year.  I met Aurica while sitting at McDonalds in Arad. I had watched her poke around in the trash can on the curb and I caught her eye so she came up to me and asked for money.  Normally I offer to buy food rather than give money but I gave Aurica money. I asked where she lived as she might qualify for the Widow's Mite program. She said she was from a distant village and had gotten a ride in to Arad to beg.  I asked if she went to church, no she didn't and that there were no churches that she could attend in her area.  I offered to go and visit her for the program - so what village do you live in? She responded "Vinga". Well that certainly simplified matters for me! We have the church as well as several women in the Widow's Mite program there. I gave her the location of the church and invited her for the next Sunday but told her it would be 2 weeks before the next food distribution and in the mean time I would visit and see if she qualified for Widow's Mite.

Of course she came to church, smelling of tuica (Romanian white lightning) - but she was there. After church I explained that attending the church had no bearing on whether she qualified for the Widow's Mite program but I was glad she had come to church. Widow's Mite was has no connection to any church but I went on to explain the food is definitely a gift from God.  I visited the room where she lived, she was the caretaker where they made gravestones and they let her stay for free.  The widow was broken, the door didn't close and the floor was dirt. There was a single bed with what looked like an old horse blanket covering it, a small wood stove, a table, and one chair - if my memory serves me correctly. Aurica told me she was a widow with no children and I know she told me she was older than 59.  Looking back I think she just wanted to be sure she "qualified" for the program. In talking with her I discovered not only did she like tuica but she liked to mix it with Valium...and would I help her get some Valium? Ah, that would be a "no" - however I told her if she went to the doctor and got a prescription for it we would discuss it. The reply was a "hmmphh!" That sound is sort of the same in any language I guess.

Aurica was faithful in attending church and eventually she stopped drinking (pretty much) and wasn't asking for vallium.  When we had the time in our service for congregation participation she like to stand up and read the words to some of our songs.  Aurica came to know the Lord as her Savior and wanted to be baptized, which she was. Then I found that there was a husband - Aurica asked to take communion home to him. Husband? You have a husband?? Alive??? OK...but I don't do "take-out communion" how about I pay him a visit. It was the same place where I had visited Aurica and delivered food, I guess I had just never ran in to him. His name is Carl and he promised he would come to church - some day.  Also there were a few grumblers among the people who come to the Vinga church. Why does she get food? Do I know she and her husband are drunks?  Are you sure she is truly ready for baptism.

When I went to the wake I found out there were in-laws and they opened their home for the wake and funeral, even provided a meal after the funeral. I was told they didn't want to be embarrassed in front of the village. The funeral was really pretty well attended. I  think some came just to see if it was true that an American woman would do the service, but also they heard I had been providing Aurica and Carl with food.. Last week I heard that many were amazed on what they heard - the Gospel of Jesus, on how to get to heaven and how I know that Aurica is with the Lord.  There is much discussion still going on.

On looking back on Aurica I am blessed to have been a part of her last year. Blessed to see how the Lord worked. Blessed to be able to provide food for them. Blessed for a chance to tell some people about Jesus who had never quite heard the message that Jesus is personal,  Jesus died for sinners, Jesus is for today. There was even some murmurings about "well if Aurica could be saved...." 

At the wake I also found out that Aurica and Carl had 3 children, two of which attended the funeral. They all looked as if they had had a rough life and we will continue to pray for them.  We will visit Carl and also I will keep delivering him.