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Thursday, 10 March 2011 18:22

Each evening and Sunday morning we attended a different church and, except for Saturday night, our group split between two churches. Each American gave a short testimony in each service and one of the American pastors preached the sermon through a translator.

Saturday evening all of us Americans attended the first service at the new church in Halmagiu, a church partially funded by money from Middle Georgia. Though the church is not entirely finished, you can see in the picture the striking painting of a mountain stream that seems to flow into the baptismal pool. You can also see the stove that heats the room in the lower right of the picture.

New Church in Halmagiu

The music in Romanian churches is beautiful. We heard choirs, special singing groups, a brass ensemble, and an a capella performance by Pastor Vasilie Pastean, who sang a song about the importance of the Bible. The "other half" of our group heard a mandolin ensemble on Sunday morning. There was music after each of our testimonies and, with ten Americans in the Saturday night service, Pastor Dronca is reported to have said that they ran out of songs before they ran out of Americans. I noticed that Romanians do not just sing the first and last verses to the hymns -- they sing all verses.

It was a special treat for me to attend the Virfurile church on Sunday morning because that is the home church of our host family and because our own pastor preached the sermon. The service started at 9 a.m. with an hour of prayer and lasted until noon. We arrived about 10:15 to give our testimonies. Among other things, that service taught me not to sit near the wood stove because it is much too hot. We eventually moved to the empty half of the choir seating across the room from the stove.

Dr. Phillip West preached at a funeral Friday afternoon with Pastor Dronca. It was interesting to hear how their funerals differ from ours.

Last Updated on Thursday, 10 March 2011 20:16