DIARY Wednesday December 16th 2009
There was a coat of snow on the car about 2-3 inches thick this morning, but it was quite slushy snow. Cars were driving more slowly we noticed but it was only this evening on the road to Caminul Felix that we had any difficulty with ice affecting the car, and then only quite minor.
We spent the day with Nelu and Cristina from FI (Fundatia Increderea) and went to visit a number of sponsored pensioners and families delivering their Christmas shoeboxes and in some cases their food parcels also.
When we delivered one box, Nelu explained how this box nearly got lost altogether as the sponsor had written the pensioner’s name and then the wrong Romanian charity. Fortunately Nelu had intercepted it at the unloading and checked with Alex that MSR (Mustard Seed Romania) did not have a pensioner by that name and so taken the box. I thought I had checked each box and if needed corrected the charity name, but that is obviously one I missed or one that was put straight into the back room for loading without me checking it off the list.
We visited one family who have now moved into a government apartment or actually large room. Seven of them all sleep in the one room and there is a very small area for cooking. It is better than where they were before, but pretty grim sharing a toilet with umpteen other families on the same floor. But they are very grateful for this provision. The husband (a recovering alcoholic) was pleading with us to help him with nicotine patches (very expensive in Romania) as he found he could not get down to less than 2 cigarettes a day. After visiting all the families we decided we would help him, using some of the Compassion Money I had to spend.
We visited a number of pensioners – those who had received boxes before were really excited, like children to be getting another box and joyfully embraced Phil and me, as well as Nelu and Cristina. Those pensioners who had not had boxes before were overwhelmed that strangers would give to them. Many gave us a message of thanks and blessing for the sponsor – thankfully Cristina wrote it all down.
It was a good day – Phil did pretty well keeping up with Nelu though we got lost a couple of times when Nelu went off at speed leaving Phil to wait for traffic lights or to exit from the minor road. Once we had to phone Nelu 4 times before we got back to the right place! What made the day special was the sincerity of the pensioners, their welcome and often their trust in God to provide.
A number of the pensioners know of Nelu’s health problems and are praying for him. It is obvious he is struggling and has little energy, so I hope he will not be too tired tomorrow. We emphasised that if he is too tired then they must not hesitate to cancel the planned extra couple of hours for tomorrow afternoon.
We went back to their new house (very small and quite old, will need some renovation) for lunch at about 5 in the afternoon. (Phil and I ate a Mars bar at 2 o’clock as we were feeling decidedly peckish and knew from the number of boxes in the FI van that we were not near the end yet!) Nelu and Cristina told us how they have decided against building because of Nelu’s health but rather that pay rent on an apartment they have bought a small old house. They have a cat (we met his mother and sisters at one of the pensioners’ houses) and tonight their new dog arrived (a gift from the neighbours who are leaving for Bucharest) – he is adorable, 8 weeks old and the sweetest little creature imaginable. Phil and I fell in love with him, but he preferred Cristina as she fed him and followed her around everywhere till he fell asleep at her feet, so she wrapped him in a towel to keep him warm.