Although Romania is no longer communist, some of that mentality remains. This can be seen in the drab looking buildings and people’s faces. This is not a place to walk down the street and smile at people. To me, an American, their lack of cheer can come off as almost hostile. I have gone on many wanderings now and feel that if I smile at someone it may be considered offensive. I have been received well while shopping despite my limited ability to speak Romanian though. I will add that Romanians are some of the nicest, most generous, hospitable people I have ever met.
As I prayed about what to bring to Romania, I felt I needed to bring blessings. I made a lot of colorful laminated cards with various scriptures translated into Romanian (Jeremiah 29:11-13, Numbers 6:24-26, Isaiah 54:10, John 8:36, Deuteronomy 7:9, Exodus 14:14, Psalm 119:50, Romans 15:13, etc…..go ahead look those up, they are awesome). I keep these cards in my wallet so that when I purchase something using the proper greetings in Romanian of course, I can give them a blessing card. I’ve done some shopping and haven’t used the cards until just a little while ago.
I went shopping at a second hand clothing store (which, from what I hear, have just started popping up everywhere). The clerk and I struggled through a conversation with my limited Romanian. Despite this challenge she found the exact shirt in the exact size I was requesting. It’s a beautiful designer shirt with the tag still on it for only 25 lei (US dollars is approximately 1/3 that). As I was paying I began to feel a very strong presence of the Lord. Forget speaking Romanian at that point, I don’t think I could have even managed English. The Holy Spirit told me to give her the Numbers 6 blessing. I didn’t want her to see my shakiness as I fumbled with my wallet. Thankfully, because this was the Holy Spirit’s gig, I got the right card out gracefully. I thanked her in Romanian and gave her the card. The power of God was so strong I felt like I couldn’t even walk. I left the store, turned the corner and immediately encountered my first dog attack.
I heard about the territorial dogs in Romania that I should watch out for but was assured that in Calarasi it really wasn’t a big issue. Loose dogs are all over the place and I have walked past plenty to have my guard down around them. But yes, this little dog came at me like a devilish terror. I assertively ssssshhhhh him but he came at me more. I could almost feel his breath at my ankles and the subsequent bite. However, I just kept thinking about holding my peace, remaining calm, and that actual evil will not come to me. I crossed the street. The little devil followed me. Strange thing about that is several other people were walking right past him even before I got to him!! All through this I still felt the heavy presence of the Lord and eventually escaped unscathed. I included a picture of the local hospital. Phew! Thank God I was unscathed. I really don’t want to go there for any medical care.
This morning during worship God put heavy on my heart “powers and principalities” and being fully armored in the Lord. Later someone else gave that exact word to the group. There is such a strong oppressive power here in Romania. After getting free from the little mean dog I could clearly see how he resembled the devil intimidating and chasing away the power of God and His word. God is my protector and I need only to hold my peace being fully armored. It’s no coincidence that I just blessed someone with a powerful word of God, was filled mightily with the presence of God and then suffered an intimidating, threatening attack. How is it that this little dog chose me to attack and not all the other people walking by? (No, I did not have any food on me.)
Please pray for Romania and missionaries here. This is some rough territory that so terribly needs freedom, love, revival, and a huge, huge spiritual breakthrough. Also, never neglect providing for those who serve the Lord so selflessly in dark places.
Hospital in Calarasi