Month: August 2011

My Last Romanian Blog

“Turn your eyes upon Jesus

look full in his wonderful face;

and the things of earth

will grow strangely dim

in the light of his glory and grace.”

– Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus, hymn lyrics by Helen Lemmel

I’m a sucker for a good hymn, and I love this chorus. I’ve cried and prayed and sang myself to sleep a couple of nights—at home and in Romania—with these words of comfort. I think the most encouraging idea contained in them is that, when our focus is on Christ and His glory, all of the lesser priorities become periphery. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter if I’m working alongside American or Romanian brothers and sisters. It doesn’t matter if I’m working with Gypsy babies or with spoiled American ones. It doesn’t matter if I’m eating ciorbe or mac-n-cheese. It doesn’t matter because the important thing is that the cross and the face of my savior are before me. With my eyes set on that goal I am given the vision to see that whatever else is around me doesn’t hold nearly as much importance.

Dear friends,

I would like to thank you all for praying and reading to watch how God was working in and around me in Romania. You were all a great encouragement to me, and your prayers were felt. I continue to ask for your prayers as I readjust to life here in America and hurry off to school again. The reverse culture shock has hit me harder than it ever has before. I blame that mostly on the fact that I didn’t take anyone with me to Romania that shared those experiences with me — someone who can relate to what I’m feeling and thinking and someone who shares many of the memories with me. I have been wonderfully blessed, though. God has given me a loving and understanding family, and they’ve given me plenty of hugs and prayers. I will also soon be moving into my apartment on campus with three other girls whose hearts and minds God has also claimed for missions, and each one has spent her summer in service to God as well. We’ll have plenty to talk about, and I know that the four of us will be an encouragement to each other. So, while I feel somewhat like a water sprinkler because of the inordinate amount of times that I’ve cried since I got back, I know that God is showering me with comfort and encouragement. Last night I served my family Romanian tomato salad and clatite (kind of like crepes or pancakes). That was an enormous comfort, not only to my suddenly picky tummy, but also to my Romania-sick heart.

So, as promised, I’d like to give you a recap of my trip, hitting the highlights and summarizing some of the things I saw and learned. The overwhelming sentiment the trip has left me with is that God is beautiful and faithful: beautiful because during my month in Romania I saw many parts of His character displayed as He worked in His children to glorify His name, and faithful because I saw over and over again how He keeps His promises and fulfills His plans. I don’t know how many of you have been blessed to see an orchestra perform, but I have always found that to be an interesting experience. My favorite part is watching the conductor. He isn’t the composer of the music being played, but he still seems responsible for the symphony of sound that meets my ears. The tempo, volume, intensity, and layering of the music all seem to depend on the movements of his hands. While the pieces of the orchestra all have to play their parts well, it isn’t hard for me to imagine the sound flowing from the tips of the conductors fingers and baton. The beauty and layering I saw in my last month came directly from our Conductor’s hands. He led each one of His children’s hearts as they served and worshipped Him, and after I backed away and looked at what He had led us in, I saw how beautifully He had layered our efforts and led us in an intricate dance. I worked with one missionary couple, two pastors, a dedicated children’s worker, a 3-person team of Gypsies, two translators, a team from Norway, a Pentecostal congregation, and an American from Missouri. God led us in a beautifully coordinated dance of ministry — not without a few trips on our part, of course. I was amazed at how He worked all around me and continued the work He had started with teaching and discipling and seed planting. Almost every morning when I woke up I was confronted with the joy of being hand in hand with my savior, serving in a new and exciting place. It has been a long journey for me, and I cannot tell you the number of doors God has opened for me to bring me safely to and from a month of His service in Romania.

I certainly learned a lot during my Romanian month. I am truly not the same. I will forever hold a different understanding of the unity God wishes for those in His kingdom. He taught me in many different ways how He has planned to unite us and executed those plans. I gained practical experience in working in an oral culture, working with the Roma people, and storying the Bible. I learned a bit of the language, too, and of the history and current conditions of a few people groups in Romania. I learned about myself as well. I learned that within me rests a bit of my savior’s heart for His glory among the Roma. I also learned how beautiful God’s strength is when displayed next to my weaknesses. I didn’t know the language, but God proved that His love knows no language barrier. I was an outsider to the Roma and Romanian cultures, but God formed strong friendships between me and my brothers and sisters. I was little better than an orphan in a strange country but God in His providence showed me that He has given me family all over the world within His kingdom. I have no special talents, but God has made my willing heart a beautiful and honorable sacrifice.

I was blessed to see God’s hands working around me to build and heal and invite. Isaiah 55 details the winsome invitation I saw offered again and again.

“Come, all you who are thirsty,

come to the waters;

and you who have no money,

come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk

without money and without cost.

Why spend money on what is not bread,

and your labor on what does not satisfy?

Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,

and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.

Give ear and come to me;

hear me, that your soul may live.

I will make an everlasting covenant with you,

my faithful love promised to David.

See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,

a leader and commander of the peoples.

Surely you will summon nations you know not,

and nations that do not know you will hasten to you,

because of the LORD your God,

the Holy One of Israel,

for he has endowed you with splendor.”

Seek the LORD while he may be found;

call on him while he is near.

Let the wicked forsake his way

and the evil man his thoughts.

Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him,

and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways,”

declares the LORD.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.

As the rain and the snow

come down from heaven,

and do not return to it

without watering the earth

and making it bud and flourish,

so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

so is my word that goes out from my mouth:

It will not return to me empty,

but will accomplish what I desire

and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

You will go out in joy

and be led forth in peace;

the mountains and hills

will burst into song before you,

and all the trees of the field

will clap their hands.

Instead of the thornbush will grow the pine tree,

and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.

This will be for the LORD’s renown,

for an everlasting sign,

which will not be destroyed.”

We fed bellies and souls. We watered gardens and gospel seeds. I saw children learn of God’s character and they learned more of their own nature as well. I watched adults begin to seek and children who found answers to their questions. I saw the need for human affection met alongside the need for affection from our Heavenly Father. I saw God working in Romania like crazy, and I will continue to pray for His work and His workers there. I miss it, and I can’t wait to go back, but for now, I will watch and pray.

I want to leave you with a few prayer requests until you hear from me again. Firstly, there is an overwhelming need for workers in Romania. It took me, a translator, and the three FARM team members to conduct the program for fifty kids in the slums, and all the while the children’s families were left in the dark. My heart burns for those Gypsy parents. They know nothing of the gospel, nor of the life that it gives and the joy it contains. The parents need to know as much as anyone else that they have a Heavenly Father who loves them and will give their lives meaning. The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Secondly, please pray for discipleship. There are new Christians in each of the places I served in Romania. Their hearts are full of passion to serve, but they have been given no training or discipleship. Pray for God to burden the hearts of His children to spend time with their younger brothers and sisters in fellowship and training. The Gypsies are an unreached people group, and because of that most of the believers are first generation Christians and many lack maturity. I saw Gypsy believers whose hearts yearned for service among their own people, but on their own and without a mentor they were not sufficient. Pray for our Father to glorify His Name among the Gypsies and for Him to become a beacon in their isolated worlds.

The End

Well, I was going to post today during my layover in Amsterdam, but after I typed everything up I found out that I didn’t have internet. 🙂 So, enjoy!

I am posting this blog from an airport terminal in Amsterdam. I’m on my way back home, and I’m fixing to board a plane to timewarp back to Dallas. I leave here at 10:30 in the morning and I’ll land in Dallas at about 2 in the afternoon. How is it possible that my flight over the Atlantic Ocean will take only as long as my drive home from the airport? I’ll tell you how… I’ll lose 7 hours (crossing time zones) during my 10 hour flight. I like to think that I’ll be traveling at the speed of time. Maybe that will make it easier for me to leave behind my friends and family in Romania.

Seriously though, I want to thank you all for praying for me while I’ve been gone. It has been a wonderfully blessed experience, and I am certainly not the same as when I sat in this airport waiting on the plane that would take me to Romania. In my last week God strengthened the bonds He has given me with my sisters and brothers in Romania, and leaving comes very hard. I am ready to be home, and I miss my family and friends dearly, but my chest is still tight from the grief of leaving behind my home here. God blessed me beyond my wildest imagination with the family I lived with, and I feel like I’m leaving behind a mother and father and some brothers and two little sisters. I will also miss my church family here and the beautiful children I got to work with every day. I almost want to be mad at God for the unity he gave me with the Body of Christ here for the fact that I have to leave, but I know that it is His timing, and I feel very strongly that He will bring me back. So, don’t stop praying now. Re-adjustment will be hard and I will be seeking God’s will about how and when to return and who to come with.

I left letters with the church and my foster family and my translators explaining how grateful I was for their help and for their time spent with me as we served the Lord together. I couldn’t bear to say most of the things I could write, nor could I take the frustration of imprecise translation, so I just left the letters. I know that someone (probably Florin) will end up translating them later, and so long as I’m not there, it’ll be alright. I wrote most of them Monday and I almost cried then, even though I still had a few days left.

Sunday morning we had communion at the church and I really understood for the first time the communal aspect of that meal. I have broken bread with my brothers and sisters here almost at every meal, and I thought nothing of it, just like the disciples probably thought when Jesus began to break the bread at the Last Supper. But, as we were all eating from the same loaf of bread and drinking from the same (incredibly strong!!) wine, I felt the connectedness of the community of the Kingdom wash over me like a tangible wave. It was a really odd/exciting experience. I wanted to grab the hands of the people sitting next to me and squeeze them and kiss them on the cheeks. While that is the appropriate way to express friendship or kinship here, I didn’t think it was quite appropriate for communion, so I restrained myself. It’s just become second nature now to greet people and tell them goodbye with the cheek kisses. Anyhow, after reading a bit and studying, I learned that Paul is so mad with the Corinthians (1 Cor 11) about the way they celebrate communion not only because they did so irreverently. Verses 17 to 22 indicate that Paul was fuming because the Lord’s Supper was not practiced in a way to unify, as it should have been. Instead of uniting the body, they were eating in such a way as to tear it apart into factions. It is a symbolic act to help us remember what Jesus did for us, but also to remind us that we all share in the same grace (Phil 1:7) and salvation, no matter where we are or how we are serving God. The same Body was broken for all of us, and the same blood spilt. Communion unites the Body of Christ in the same mystical way that the physicality of marriage unites a couple and makes them “one.” Paul describes this a little when he talks about the Body of Christ (the church), Christ himself, the individual believer, and married people (1 Cor 6:16-17, Eph 5:28-33). This view of communion makes sense, especially when taken in the larger context of the 1 Corinthians. Paul is talking about creating and keeping unity in the Body from chapter 10 to chapter 14. He speaks of things that divide and things that unite and he instructs on the way things should be done so as to promote unity and cooperation. I say all of that to say that I experienced communion in a completely different way Sunday, and I became even more attached to my church family here.

Sunday afternoon things just got worse (I’m getting ready to leave, people! Quit being so nice to me and inclusive; you’re making it even harder!!!). Gaby and Gigi took me and the family camping for the rest of the day. We were on a tributary of the Danube (so it was wide and shallow and great for playing in – even if no one brought a swimsuit) in a beautiful forest. Florin still couldn’t walk, so he stayed home, but Alex and Catalin (cousins) and Gaby and Gigi and I all went. We dug a fire pit and grilled some pork and toasted bread to eat, and we had dinner under the trees. Alex and Catalin caught some small fish and I took them off the hooks, and then we all played in the water. Afterwards Gigi fished with the boys and Gaby and I walked through the woods and talked. We went back and the boys finished fishing and we started to pack up. With my impeccable balance I managed to slip into the mud by the banks twice at this point, and the second time I was laughing so hard that I couldn’t get up again. Catalin and Gaby came over to pull me out and then Gaby gave me a thorough washing before we left. She made me stand on one foot so she could wash the other (or one of my shoes) and I was afraid I was going to slip again, but I didn’t. 🙂

Of course, on my last full day here (Thursday) things got even worse. Gaby and Gigi and the FARM team and I went to Dobrogei to see and play in some mountains with caves. Florin is, thankfully, on the mend. He’s had an infection but he is getting better. Dobrogei was a lot of fun, and I got closer to the FARM team. We may or may not have illegally fed the şobolani (fieldmice) our croissants. They were just so cute that we couldn’t help it. The FARM team members are from Bucareşti and they got here about the same time I did. They only have part of next week left before they go home. Ana translated for me again at Barǎci that morning and she did an excellent job. We both prayed for her to do well. She can’t speak probably about the same amount of English that I can Romanian, but she understands well. I can’t translate, of course, but I know enough words to be able to tell if I’ve gotten a true translation. After Barǎci we went straight to Dobrogei, and then we picked up Monica and dropped off FARM and headed to Peştera for my last day there. Those kids are wonderful. I’m really going to miss them. After that we went to Bible study at the church in Medgidia and then all the young people had a going-away party for me. I cried at church because of the church family I was leaving, and Ana (the FARM girl) almost made me cry at the party.

I finished up my story sets at Barǎci and Peştera this week. I did a chronological set at Peştera because the kids had enough background to the stories that I could skip a few in order to have enough time to make the historical connections and explain the order of events. They have never heard the stories that way before, so they didn’t realize the Nebuchadnezzer’s dream of the statue explained the changing empires all the way up to and through the 400 years of silence, and they didn’t realize that the mountain was Christ’s first coming and the growth of the kingdom. The story quilt Olivia made for me was a WONDERFUL help to connect the stories for the kids. I could point to Jesus and his blood on the cross and move my finger just a few inches to the picture of the Passover lamb’s blood on the doorpost to make the connection for them. I could point to the picture of Isaac carrying the wood for his own sacrifice up Mount Moriah and remind the kids how Jesus carried his cross up to Golgotha. Tuesday I did the story of Jesus (birth, twelve-year-old, baptism, miracles, teachings, healings, parables, crucifixion, tomb, resurrection, ascension… *gasping for air*), and Wednesday I started Acts and explained how the rock that fell on Nebuchadnezzar’s statue became the kingdom of God and began to fill the whole earth. At Barǎci I told a cultural set because the kids had almost no background. This last week they learned about every human’s sinfulness, the punishment we deserve, and that someone was beaten for us from the story of Balaam and his donkey; about God’s power of forgiveness and cleansing from the Gaderene Demoniac; and about His overwhelming love for us and His gift of life from the resurrection of Lazarus. I’ll probably write another blog after I’ve gotten home and processed a few more things. I’ll try to give you a recap of the trip and point out the important parts, but until then, la revedere (goodbye). Thanks for the prayers, and I’ll see you soon. Thanks, guys! You were a blessing!



Going Home

I’m really sorry that almost all of my titles have been related to the amount of time I have spent in Romania or the time I have left. Talk to God about the portion of creativity He gave me. I think all of mine went to Olivia or something… Anyhow, I have come to the sad realization that I have less than a full week left here in Romania. Things have been sad and things have been encouraging. I have cried and laughed (mostly at myself) and scratched my head (quite a lot—the little Gypsy kids have lice. Just kidding – they do have lice, but I’ve scratched my head because I have no idea what’s going on), but Wednesday driving back from Peştera a contentedness just washed over me. I became aware of how fond I was of the uneven sidewalks with sunflower seeds all over them, and of Gigi’s Nascar driving, and of holding grimy little Gypsy babies. I began to realize how much I would miss all of it when I go home. Don’t get me wrong—I miss people and things at home too, but I think re-adjusting will be hard. A picture came into my head of me cutting cabbage at home to make salata and crying because I wouldn’t eat it at Gaby’s little table with enough bread to insulate a small house. As ridiculous as that sounds, I had to fight back the tears because I know I’ll miss it here more than I have missed anywhere else God has taken me on mission. I’m sure some of you know the story of David Livingstone. He was a very famous missionary to Africa. He made some big mistakes, but he had a huge piece of God’s heart for the lost people there. When he died he asked for his body to be sent back to his family at home in Scotland(?) and for his heart to be buried in Africa. I think I’ll feel a little like that when I leave—well, except for the being dead part.

Things have been good this week. I’ve been blessed to watch God work in different ways. Most of the time I can see it in the lightbulbs that light up behind a child’s eyes when they get the Bible story. Wednesday at Peştera little Florin’s face just broke open with a huge grin after I told the story of Daniel’s life (from the exile to his service under Darius) and he understood that God would do wonderful things with his own life if he was faithful like Daniel. Thursday at Barǎci I was asking questions after I told the story of Joshua when the sun stood still and one of the boys raised his two fingers in the cute way all the kids raise their hands here, and he said “Eu, eu, eu! (me, me, me!)” because he had the answer to the question. He understood that God really is on our side when we do what He asks. He understood that God made the hail fall and the sun stop for Joshua because Joshua was following His orders. The little boy answered my questions with something like ‘God will fight for me when I’m obeying Him.’ He understood that he could be just like Joshua—that there was no difference between himself and the great hero in the Bible.

This week has also been a little painful. Vagard is still in a coma, in a hospital in Norway, of course, but we’ve had a few problems a bit closer to home too. Florin and I went to the beach again Monday with the FARM team, and we had a wonderful time of fellowship and bonding. Cerasela’s 10-year-old sister, Andreea, came with us, and I spent a lot of time with her catching the dead jellyfish. Of course I couldn’t understand everything she said, but she was patient with me and I had occasion to thank God again for the understanding of the language He has given me. It’s obviously not complete, but I could understand almost everything she said. We also played chicken (where someone sits on someone else’s shoulders who is standing in the water and the person on top tries to knock down someone else on someone’s shoulders), and for some reason the hardest part for everyone else was getting on the shoulders. One time during all of the hullaballoo of three people clambering onto three other people’s shoulders, Florin got hurt and ended up in the hospital that evening. He is now on some really strong pain-killers and some antibiotics and he can barely walk. He’s been house-bound all week, so while we’ve been praying for healing, Monica has been my translator. It’s been a blessing to spend time with her, but please be praying for Florin with us. We went to a bigger hospital (in Constanţa) Saturday morning and he has an infection so he has to have shots daily, along with his other medicine.

Thursday morning I managed to twist my ankle trying to keep up with Gigi, so I’ve been hobbling around for a few days. It’s barely swollen, but it still hurts. On top of all that, Gigi’s father had to go to the hospital Thursday afternoon. He had a stroke a few years ago, and he is paralyzed, but he can still talk. We still don’t know exactly what is wrong with him, but he can’t keep food down and he has a lot of pain in his trunk. Please pray for him, as he is not a believer. Pray for brother Gigi as well. I talked to him late Thursday night when he came back from the hospital and he told me the same information again, but he stopped fidgeting about partway through the conversation when I cut off some of his stammered English with “God is still in control.” He was apologizing again for not being able to drive me to Peştera that day. He felt very responsible for anything that happened that day that could be seen as going wrong. I had been praying for God to give him peace and I think the prayer was answered. 🙂 His father is doing better now, but he’s still not out of the woods yet.

The story of the Tower of Babel has been more or less of a recurring theme for my time here. I’ve told it at least twice to different groups, and one time I laughed at the irony of the double translation we needed (from English to Romanian to Turkish) and a second time at the irony of the pantomime being too far ahead of my words in an attempt to anticipate the delay of translation. I personally love the story, because it makes me feel a little bit better when I can’t speak Romanian or Ţiganesc or Turkish or Spanish. I know there is a reason that the languages were separated and that eventually, when all things are set right, all of God’s children will be able to understand each other. But, Paul talks about things being imperfect now – not completely broken. God has been teaching me that we can see a glimpse of that perfection (in which we can all communicate perfectly) now, within His kingdom. You’ve heard how music is the universal language, or of the love languages, or the language of touch or of body language. I think those are all real things. The little gypsy kids love it when I hug and kiss them or tickle them. I’m communicating affection without words and they understand it (I had a really happy moment Friday when “the kid from the grass” came over and held his arms up for a hug. I don’t know his name because the little gypsy kids only speak Ţiganesc, but he will never come join the rest of the kids. He always listens and watches from the grass. He’s been afraid and run away every other time I approached him, but today he watched me love on his sister a lot and he finally came over and I got to hug him several times).

But anyhow, I’ve been learning about the language of praise; body language and the language of touch don’t even compare. Wednesday Gigi and I were looking ahead to the passage for Thursday evening Bible study and we were reading and stammering back and forth in choppy English and a few of my stammered Romanian words. I pointed out a part that I had never really understood before and we both got a fire in our eyes and started flipping through concordances and commentaries and turning the pages of each other’s Bibles to a verse we wanted to show the other. We both came to a new understanding of the passage after cross-referencing elsewhere in Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 2 Corinthians, and several places in Isaiah. It was a beautiful experience because we were both a brother or a sister in Christ and He had given us the common language of His word and His praise. Gigi mentioned the Tower of Babel after we were done and said something about how wonderful it was that even though our languages were different, we could communicate to each other because we were both part of the same împǎrǎţia (kingdom). I was thinking and praying about the Tower of Babel story later and my mind came to rest on a part of the story that has always confused me just a tiny bit. We know from other stories that God confused the languages because the people had congregated at Babel and refused to fill the earth, The actual story of the Tower says that God says something like, ‘If they can do this with one language, nothing they attempt will be impossible for them.’ We know from science that there is no possible way they could actually build a tower to reach heaven. God’s heaven is outside of the universe. I’ve always wondered what God was talking about. What great work would the people be able to do with their single language? That work was glorification. The people at Babel could all communicate as one people and they could glorify. Instead of using this beautiful gift of sound and meaning and communication to glorify God, they used it for themselves. They wanted to glorify themselves with the tower. And they would have done, if God had not confused their languages. As members of God’s kingdom here on earth, and eventually one day in heaven, we all desire to glorify God with our words and our actions. Thing sounds and meanings we communicate with all glorify God (or, they are supposed to, anyway). When we praise God it doesn’t matter if we sing “Ce mare eşti Tu” or “How great Thou art.” We all mean the same thing. It really is a beautiful thing.

Along with this theme I thought I’d tell you about a couple of gifts I have received while I’ve been here. The first one is a memory. Last Sunday morning Frate Gigi and Sorǎ Gaby and I went to Peştera for the service. The church plant there has no pastor, so the more mature men of the church here in Medgidia take turns leading. The services here last as long as the congregation feels like. We sing a few hymns corporately and a few people pray, but before the message there is almost always a time when anyone can (and most everyone does) read some poetry or sing a favorite hymn or read a scripture passage and share a testimony. After that is a long serial prayer, starting with a short prayer from the pastor, filling up the middle with almost everyone else in the building, and a closing prayer from the pastor. Afterwards the pastor or fill-in reads a passage and gives more or less of a sermon (less exegetical and more narrative focused). During the singing time I asked Gaby to sing Come Thou Fount with me. It is one of my favorite hymns, and it has been adapted into Romanian and it’s in their song books. It is one of her favorite songs too. I knew she liked it because during the day whenever both of us are at home we almost always sing together (she in Romanian and a little in English and me in the reverse). She has a beautiful and strong soprano voice and God has given me a strong alto voice and I love to harmonize. Together we sang the first two verses in our own language and then I looked at her songbook and we sang the last verse in Romanian together. It was the most beautiful song I have ever sung, and pretty close to the most beautiful thing I’ve ever heard. I say that not out of even a smidgen of pride—but because God has given us both voices to praise Him with and because we both sang out of the depths of our souls. It was beautiful sounding, but all the more because of the souls behind the sounds. The second gift was a Romanian Bible. I’ve been trying to think of something I want to bring back to remember my time here by, and I kept coming back to a Bible in Romanian. Because of what God has been teaching me about languages and words and the universal language of praise used by His kingdom, I felt like a Bible in Romanian was the perfect thing. Thursday when Gaby and I were just talking in my room she stopped and got up and walked over to the bookcase and took down a New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs and study notes and gave it to me. I hadn’t said anything to anyone about wanting a Bible, and she gave me that one with seemingly no prompting. It was a heartfelt gift and a heartfelt blessing to me. I’ve memorized a couple of verses so far, but I’ll write my favorite for you here. Again, I’m seeing a repeated theme from my trip. 😉 Ioan unu cu unu (1:1): „La început era Cuvântul şi Cuvântul era cu Dumnezeu, şi Cuvântul era Dumnezeu.” That’s John 1:1, if you want/need to look it up. 🙂

Well, I’m sure you have to get back to your lives, but in case you want any more advice on dealing with food in Romania, read on.

  1.         If anyone offers you cletita or cozonac, heartily accept them. You might even tell them that you have a rare stomach condition that allows you only to eat cletita and cozonac. Cletita are like sweet crepes, and you put jam or nutella on the inside and roll it up to eat it. Cozonac is a sweetbread with raisins, walnuts, and chocolate swirls. It has the puffiness of wedding cake and the perfect amount of sweetness.
  2. Make sure you have an accountability partner with you if you think you are likely to run into a corcoduş tree. Those little fruits are so good that you may not realize how many you’ve eaten in one sitting. They are as soft and juicy as the best plum you’ve ever eaten, but in the center around the pit they are satisfyingly tart. They are about the circumference of a quarter, and the trees are loaded with them.

Until next time, keep my in your prayers!