Sibiu, the lovely small (160,000+) Romanian city in Transylvania, high in the Carpathian Mountains, looks absolutely stunning on days like today. Very warm, clear blue sky, bright, hot sunshine, and, from my window here, a wonderful view of the mountains, some still with plenty of snow.
It’s great to be back here: I flew in yesterday about 5.30 pm Romania time (2 hours ahead of the UK). It’s two nice short flights from London – with Lufthansa, to Munich (1 hour 20 minutes), and then Munich to Sibiu (1 hour twenty five minutes). The frustration – if that’s what it is! – is that I woke at 04.15 Tuesday morning to be at the airport by 0520, for the statutory 2 hour check in (so 0720 Romania time): so, for 2 hours 45 minutes flying, it took 10 hours! Still, while I’ve got it – and hopefully can keep it – the gold frequent flyer card with Lufthansa’s network gets me into their lounge, where delicious hot and cold food, and just about every drink under the sun! – are all free. So for four hours, I ate – fruit salad, yoghurt, muesli, carrot and coriander soup….it’s so relaxing when a four hour wait could be stressful…
I’m straight back involved with the folk from the last quarter of last year. Most of them are University students – makes me feel positively geriatric! – but there was a debate as to the existence of God, no doubt inspired by Easter. I enjoy sitting listening to people talking themselves up blind alleys, and then telling some stories, which among some people are ‘clearly made-up’, talk about my own healing from childhood celiac disease (in curable, but manageable: healed in an era where ‘healing’ wasn’t even BREATHED in churches, when I was about 13. AND healing from my birth back problem – a hole in my spine that shouldn’t have been there – a ‘small spina-bifida of the neural arch’ I think the diagnosis was.
In those days, I knew nothing about not receiving diagnoses and prognoses ‘ ‘pain for the rest of your life, probable scoliosis, spondylitis, etc’ – apparently the ‘hole’ was like a millimetre away from my being a full-blown spina bifida victim. A lovely guy, then a real ground-breaking charismatic church-planter, George Tarleton – prayed for me. It was the first time (mid 70’s) any of us had seen the ‘leg-lengthening’ so commonly seen today (of course, it’s mostly NOT the keg growing, but the back straightening itself out – no less a wonderful visual miracle!). End result after x-ray? No hole in my neural arch, though by now it had been there for 20+ years!
It’s hard to argue against personal testimony, where it can be much easier for people to think I make this stuff up! I’m really not that creative! So the reason I love to get a number of 2-3 minute – or less- video clips of people telling their own story, is that it is much harder to contest… It was about 2 hours, then questions – and though I say so myself, it was generally concurred that the Brit – with the testimonies of Jesus – had won the day!!
I do love this beleaguered country. It, like Colombia, has burned deep into my spirit: so, so different to each other, but equally precious in God’s sight, and are both on the top of my ‘Ask of me and I WILL give you the nations as your inheritance’ in my goals, dreams, and visions….
Much of what I do here is student-based: therefore much more low-key than Cali, but no less important in seeing souls drawn by the relentless love of God.