Work continued throughout the week but the team was fuelled up by the generous portions of delicious food provided by Mona, Lidia and Doina. Even Malcolm – who didn’t eat breakfast at the start of the week – couldn’t resist! Some of the tasks were difficult: Kelvin wasn’t fond of drilling through the metal, and some of us found the wood measuring for panelling on top of the insulation somewhat frustrating. Sabrina loved using the power tools and Alan loved the smell of the wood he was working with.
One evening, Dani gave us a talk about how Charis all began. We understood that Tearfund came out to Romania and interviewed ten potential recipients of funding; they chose Dani’s application because he wanted to preach the gospel as part of his vision to care for older orphaned boys, giving them the skills that would grant them future employment.
Thursday was the most challenging day for labouring outside. At breakfast the temperature was a chilly -1 degrees and throughout the day it stayed bitterly cold. In the evening we went to a Hungarian church a mile from Charis. Matt gave a talk and we sang in English and sometimes in Hungarian. For your information, “Elvetted minden bunomet” means “you took away all our sins”!
On Friday we went with Ronela and Teo into Oradea and wandered around the citadel area where soldiers were once garrisoned. Noah, Tom, Adam, Beth and Charlotte raced up a tower to get exercise and awesome views of the city. Later on in the afternoon we went to the orphanage to give out gifts to the 26 children who live in the three residential houses there. Some of the girls sang us a couple of worship songs. We sang My Jesus, my saviour. The youth played football with the orphans, girls versus boys, and the teenage girls there were impressed with Maddy’s footballing skills. It was lovely to spend time with the orphans, chatting and playing with them. Later, we were taken to the Lotus shopping mall where certain people were keen to stock up on snacks not obtainable in the UK (Edith sent Denis to get Thai green curry Pringles and Alex purchased Doritos, flavour unspecified).
In the evening we had a special service as a memorandum of understanding (a legal term) thus continuing the relationship between Charis and St Stephen’s church. Dani gave out bread and grape juice as a celebration of communion and then we exchanged gifts.
We all spoke about how the week has been for us and there were many positive comments from each of us. Some of us are looking forward to coming back one day.
See you soon.