The day went well. I actually caught up on a little rest. I met with Biss for a while and then with I young couple I have been talking to for a while. I will meet with the man again tomorrow evening. Savella’s work schedule caused us to change the schedule for our group studies.
The pictures I have included give you a flavor of what you see as you walk down the streets of Sofia. Within a very short time you will see things like two men playing chess while waiting for customers in the book market, an old lady making money by selling religious souvenirs and letting people weigh, incredibly expensive cars, and a old lady almost too stooped to walk begging on the street. Welcome to Sofia.
Except for a near miss in the taxi to the airport, the trip to Sofia was uneventful. It is great to be here for several reasons. My best individual studies are typically here. I always enjoy Sofia. I’ll be in the same bed for 5 consecutive nights. I finally get to do laundry.
After I got settled in, I was able to meet Biss for supper. In addition to delivering some stuff- including grape juice, we caught up on the work and worked on the schedule for the following days. We should have a group study tomorrow evening. Please pray for Dinyu, the civil suite that seemed to have passed has been brought up again. In this incredibly corrupt society, the smell of money draws all the sharks.
I’ll include a few travel pictures today. I know the quality isn’t great. In addition to my obvious limitations as a photographer, there were taken using the camera on my phone. The first will show an evening commute on the Budapest subway. The others will show something of the religious diversity typically encountered here. These will include Jewish travelers waiting on their flight and a Bulgarian Orthodox priest reading as he waits to cross a busy intersection.
The last full day in Moldova was truly a full day. We met with a group of Baptists in a village in the Orhei region. The Baptist group there fell apart over controversy surrounding their preacher. Consequently, they invited Serghei to begin studying with them. The group we met with was predominately made up of older women. I think it went well. The countryside is beautiful. I’ll include several pictures from the trip.
That evening we had a meeting with the group in Chisinau. After the lesson, we had another question and answer period. The warm way I was received there was very touching.
Today I’m on my way to Budsapest. I’m posting this from the airport as we wait to board. I will be meeting with Peter tonight. He is still struggling spiritually. I’m thankful we can speak together.
The day was very long but went well. By leaving here just before 7, we were able to get to worship by 10 in Balti. Serghei was very pleased with the turnout. It’s is a group of about 10 made up almost entirely of older women. Their lives are very hard. (I’ll stick in a couple of pictures showing the garden of the house where we met.) I was only scared senseless once on the trip, so it went well.
We had a couple of hours of “down time” after we got back before worship in Chisinau. That meant lunch. The evening worship followed a similar format to that of the morning. Both were quite similar to what most readers here are accustomed to. Each group had a Bible class in addition to the worship.
Tomorrow were are supposed to go meet with a group that Sereghei has just recently begun studying with. I know almost nothing about them. The trip should take a couple of hours unless it rains. If it does, I may be pushing the van according to Serghei.
We started the day in Bendari. Passing the Russian “Peace Keepers” make the bile rise. (I’ll put in a couple of border crossing pictures.) On the bright side, we traveled with Serghei in his new used van. He doesn’t show any lingering ill effects from his wreck.
The study was attended by people from Tiraspol as well as Bendari. It lasted just under two hours. Sasha had some terrifying stories to tell about some current issues he is facing. I’ll explain it more in person, but please pray for him. (I’ll include a group picture.)
The study in Chisinau this evening was lively. After my hour, we had a q & a session that lasted another 80 minutes.
In the morning we leave early for Balti to worship with the church there. We will worship in Chisinau tomorrow evening.
I met with Emese to give her the funds for building the restroom for Maria. We met on the edge of the city. Fear of violence in the political demonstrations had the city on edge. Police in huge numbers from others areas were brought in. They had riot gear, tear gas, deluge guns, etc. The show of force seemed to take the heart from those bent on conflict. One fascist type group I got to see reacting to it all seemed to take some satisfaction from the tumult the fear had caused. I’ll throw in a few pictures.
The trip to Chisinau went well. I had time to get a Moldovan sim card before the lecture. That will save Serghei some money. The lecture went well. I’ll include a group photo. We leave early in the morning for Transnistria. We have a group study with the church in Bendari. They are an amazing story.
I feel like my first days here were well spent, but it sure was nice to realize I would be spending consecutive nights in the same bed.
In addition to the pictures I have already mentioned, I’ll include a couple from the train to Brno and the flight to Chisinau. I’ll also stick a couple of Brno street scenes in.
I arrived in Prague Monday morning. I had a great visit and study with the Novak’s that evening. I traveled to Brno the afternoon. Jan and I met for a while. we had as very good spiritual discussion. As we were walking down the street of the city of 1/2 million people, we ran into Kamila. We spoke for a bit and agreed to meet when I come back through. In the morning I head to Budapest. At the moment I’m in a KFC because they have free WiFi.
The Pictures Below
The first is a man on his evening commute on the subway. This is a wonderful means of transportation.
The second is near ther Novak’s. Thankfully, most of this style of shop have been torn down.
I’ll be leaving on the 20th of this month for Central/ Eastern Europe. During this three weeks, I’ll be working in Prague, Brno, Bratislava, Budapest, Moldova, and Sofia. I should be able to update the blog on a regular basis.