I have had several people tell me they are curious about what our normal lives look like here in Romania. Here is an overview of a week in our lives as missionaries in Craiova, Romania!
On the train to Severin
When we took our trip to England a few weeks ago we left our car in Severin and took Blabla car to the airport in Timisoara. When we returned to Romania everything was covered in snow, so we took the train all the way back to Craiova and left our car in Severin. Sunday morning we walked about two miles to the “gara” (train station) in Craiova and took the two-hour train to Severin, arriving in time to worship with the brethren there. Sorin and Alexandra invited us to join them for lunch and it was wonderful to visit with them for a while. We also got to visit some other friends very briefly and made plans to have lunch with them the next Sunday. Everything was great with the car and we left in time to make it back to our apartment by 5:00 for our worship service here in Craiova. We did not have any visitors to our services in our apartment that time, but it was still a very encouraging day. We worshipped God with friends in Severin, then Sam and I worshipped again together in our apartment, singing in English (which I always enjoy), and Sam gave a message that was specifically encouraging for us.
Ever since I got pregnant I have been sleeping a lot more, so Sam almost always gets up earlier than me. Since his desk/office is in our bedroom, he puts his computer and whatever books he needs in the kitchen the night before so he can read and study there without disturbing me. Whenever I wake up I come to my desk in the living room to read and pray to begin my day.
On my way back from the store. I had lots of heavy things!
Monday was my first grocery trip of the week. I have just recently gotten to where I am comfortable enough in Craiova (which is a much bigger city than Severin, where we lived at first) to walk to the store by myself. It is helpful for both of us that I can go by myself, because now I can go whenever it fits in my schedule and Sam has more time to study or go out and evangelize whenever he needs to. I am learning to buy things in smaller quantities and go more often because now I have to carry everything myself! On Monday I took my backpack and a couple of bags and I was able to get it all home pretty easily. It is about a 1.5-mile walk to the store, but I have discovered that I really enjoy the walk. It is a great time for me to pray and reflect and the time passes by quickly, unless I bought too many heavy things and I’m ready to get home and get it off my back!
Reviewing the alphabet
Sam and I have begun to volunteer at a local after-school facility a couple times a week. Most facilities like this are very expensive, but this one is free and relies a lot on volunteers. On Monday there was another volunteer there teaching English, so we helped her out.
Monday night we had our date night! We ate dinner at a traditional Romanian restaurant in the center of town and afterwards went to the mall, where we looked at baby clothes and bought one item that we used on Tuesday (more one that later). When we got back home we watched 30 minutes or so of the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. Neither of us had seen it before. I loved it and Sam was so nice to watch it with me! He said he enjoyed it too.
Every morning Sam and I eat oatmeal for breakfast together. During my first trimester when I was dealing with a lot of morning sickness Sam cooked breakfast every morning, but I had a strange aversion to oatmeal and I he cooked me eggs every morning. Now I’m a little more normal and I enjoy oatmeal again! Also I am able to prepare it in the morning because I am free of morning sickness!
I joined Sam on his run Tuesday afternoon, and although it was slower than Sam is used to, he ran the whole six miles with me. It definitely exhausts me a lot more than it used to, but I am so happy to be back to running again!
Sam went to have a study with a couple of people and I stayed back to cook and clean. That night we had our midweek Bible study, for which we are studying the book of Mark. Later that night Sam’s parents arrived from Constanta to stay with us a few days! We gave Sam’s mom the pink outfit we had bought the night before to tell her that we are expecting a girl! I found out at my doctor’s appointment earlier in the month, but we kept it a secret until we could tell her in person.
Wednesday morning Sam did his long run, and I planned on running the last six with him, but after a couple of miles I realized that six miles two days in a row was a little to much for me at this point! I still got in a good four mile run and hopefully I’m learning how much to push myself and when I should stop.
We had an early lunch of mushroom veggie burgers and oven fries, and then Sam and I left to help out at the after-school place again. This time the English teacher was not there, but the kids still wanted an English lesson! I had prepared some material “just in case,” though I didn’t think we would use it, and I was so glad! We learned different animal names and played Bingo.
That night we were invited to a family’s house for dinner and we had a wonderful visit. It was a full day and we got home late, but it was a very encouraging day.
Thursday was a more relaxed day and we spent most of the morning hanging out, reading, and studying. I had a lot to do for my online classes because the beginning of the week was so busy, so it was nice to have some time to focus on getting reading and writing done for school. After lunch Sam’s mom and I walked to the big mall, which is a little less than two miles away. We needed a few items for lunch the next day and we also looked at maternity clothes! I do not need them quite yet, but my pants are beginning to be a little tight!
On Thursday I was fifteen weeks pregnant and our sweet little baby is the size of a naval orange! I have so much more energy and I have no more morning sickness, so I am greatly enjoying the second trimester so far!
Thursday night we walked to the center of town to meet some international students from the university for a prayer meeting. It was our first time to attend this meeting, but it was great to meet a lot of new people (who all spoke English!) and get to visit and pray with them.
Friday morning was nice and laid back again as we all relaxed, read, and studied. I cooked some soup to have later for lunch, then Mom and I walked to the park to study together. The weather was beautiful and we really enjoyed the long walk. We also stopped by the store on the way home because it seems like there’s always one thing we forgot. Sam and his Dad were out passing out flyers and talking to people while we studied, and when they all got back we had lunch together.
Every Friday afternoon I FaceTime Mama and we discuss the book More Hours in My Day. Well, we discuss it if we have time. We usually have a lot more to talk about, and lately we have been spending most of our time talking about and planning for the baby! I always ask Mama if certain things are normal, I tell her about whatever updates I got at the doctor, and she tells me all about what baby gear and clothes I’ll need or what I can do without. I tell her how my clothes fit and show her my bump, which is still pretty hard to see, but I am convinced it is there! I am so excited to have a “real,” visible bump and actually look pregnant 🙂
Saturday morning Sam’s parents left to go to a wedding in Brasov. After they left I cleaned the whole apartment and began preparing some food because we had company Saturday night.
Sam went out to pass out flyers and I went on a run before coming back and getting all the last minute things ready for our company. We had a great evening visiting with our friends and their little boy. I still get a little anxious every time we have someone into our home, wondering if our apartment is clean enough or if they will like the food, but I am always so glad afterwards. I know that most people do not care if the apartment is perfect or if it is their favorite food, and it is always very rewarding to have guests in our home.
Each week is always a little different, but I hope you enjoyed reading about this little slice of our Romanian life! We are so thankful for the opportunity we have here and I am so thankful for all the ways God has helped me get through the harder weeks. He has taught me so many lessons and continually showers us with blessings!
I hope you all have a blessed week!