Patience, Hot Water and the Mayor

I was told a couple of years ago never to pray for patience, because God would give you the opportunity to be patient.  Since then I have never prayed for patience; I think God has given me plently of situations where I’ve had to be patient (or at least tried).  Well, somebody out there must have prayed for me to have more patience and when I find out who…… 🙂

As you know, I’ve had a hard time getting the apartment set up.  Half of the lights didn’t work, the water meter runs backwards, the gas wasn’t installed and a number of other minor problems.  My frustration with this has just turned into hilarity and a lesson in how this side of Romania works. 

Before going to Oradea last week, I stayed at the apartment for a few nights.  I had to stay here during the day waiting for repair etc.  Well,  I needed  to bathe, but the thought of icey cold water made me shutter.  My mom suggested heating water in the coffee pot, add cold water and a take a bucket bath.  I did this; its not too bad.  And all the floating coffee grounds just added a nice color to my hair.  Lovely.  This could work, but I still wanted running hot water. 

Then I had to go to Oradea where I enjoyed many hot showers!  When I returned, there was still no hot water.  But after driving for 9 hours, I really wanted a bath.  So I took Mihaela’s suggestion, which was to use hot water from the washer machine.  The washer machine is in the bathroom and the draining tube can easily be put into the tube (in fact many romanians do this daily when washing clothes.)  So I set the empty washer to 90′ Celcius and went about unpacking while the washer heated the water.  I didn’t realize the 90′ cycle took over 2 hours, but after about an hour, the power went off.  No kidding.  The power was out for the whole street.  After about 2 minutes, the washer unlocked and I was able to open the door on the front. Some water spilled out, but I was able to scoop out the almost boiling water with a cup and pour it into a wash tub.  I added some cold water and was able, yet again, to have a bucket bath.  An hour and half later the power came back on just as I was falling asleep. 

Two days later, the gas man finally showed up!  Joy of Joys, O happy day!  I could finally cook a hot meal and have a hot bath.  After the gas man left, I realized the Immergas, which provides hot water and the heating in the winter was not plugged in.  No problem, except there was no plug, just bare wires! I called down to the landlord, who shaking his head at his horrible decision to rent to an american, came up to fix it.  Only, he couldn’t.  So he called his father, who happens to be the mayor of Ipotesti, the village/suburb where I live.  Mr. Mayor put the plug on the Immergas and the gas leak alarm and turned on the Immergas.  Hot water at last!

But NO!  The Immergas was installed incorrectly and started leaking.  Mr. Mayor turned on the water and started taking apart the unit.  He turned it on again and water leaked into the computer panel.  He took that apart and  spit on it.  When that didn’t work he started drying the circuit board with an old towel.  While doing all of this,  Mr. Mayor asked if I had a boyfriend, when I said no, he told me there were many fine men in Ipotesti and I would have to make one of them my boyfriend.  Great, Mr. Mayor is not only a repairman, but a matchmaker too!  Mr. Mayor finanly finished drying the unit and put it all back together and plugged it back in.  Surprise, Surprise, it didn’t work.  He told me to leave it for a couple of hours let it dry and later that night I could have a hot bath.  Well, I went to the grocery store and came home and had a hot dinner of tacos!  After dinner, I turned on the immersgas, and it still didn’t work.  I decided that I really wanted a bath, so I tried Mihaela’s washer machine trick again.

I turned on the washer machine and went about tidying and then some Bible study.  I checked on the washer to see if the water was hot and noticed soap suds in the machine.  Then I saw some cleaning rags that I had put in there earlier in the day.  When the water drained, it was hot, but blue.  It was late, after 11pm and I was tired.  So yes, I took a bath in blue water and no my skin did not turn blue.  

Mr. Mayor returned the next evening and took apart the immergas, spit on it some more and declared that he could not fix it.  The next morning (yesturday), he returned with a repairman who declared the computer unit needed to be replaced.  This would happen either in the afternoon or the next day.  I was meeting with some people in the evening and wanted to clean up before going.  I went back to the coffee pot method of bathing, much easier.

Finally, this morning, another repairman showed up with the Matchmaking Mayor and fixed the immergas and I have hot water!  The water was a nice yellowish brown going through the pipes for the first time, but it was hot. I let the water cycle through a bit and  I took a hot bath and feel like a million bucks!

I did realize something through all of this.  The families in Stroiesti don’t have running water and have to get water from the well using a bucket.  When they want a bath, they have to heat the water on the stove and take a bucket bath.  Had the hot water been working from the begining, I wouldn’t have ever taken a bucket bath, but now I have a better idea of some of the struggles the families in the village have.  But I’ll still take the hot running water, thank you very much.

A view from my window

This was in the sky Sunday and I took pictures to share it with all of you.  The rainbows looked fake; the one was a prefect arch and was bright, there was even an extra violet band, that didn’t show up on film.  I was reminded of rainbow God put in the sky for Noah.  I have been feeling frustrated with the apartment  and slightly anxious as I began the program in Stroiesti, but it was like God put these rainbows in the sky to remind me that He is here,  in control and that everything would be alright!



I have updated the wish list with a new need.  Without details, I need flannel board characters; I only have a partial set and therefore very limited w/ the stories that can be done w/ it.  Please help if you can!

The Kitchen Sink, etc.

I got back to Suceava last night and the kitchen sink has been installed and all the lights now work.  There is still no gas connected, but I’ll talk to the landlord about that tomorrow.  I did find a dead bird in the office/supply room. It wasn’t a pretty smell. 

At church today, the first pastor spoke about Jesus as the Good Shepherd and spoke about Psalm 23.  This was the topic for camp.  I thought that was pretty cool.  The second sermon was by an American from Minnesota and he (totally not planned) also spoke about Jesus as the Good Shepherd.  I was pretty excited to hear a live sermon in English!  All in all, its a glorious Sunday!

Next Sunday, I will restart the program in the village.  The kids gathered again today and called about a lesson, even though they were told August.  I’ll make sure they know that this coming Sunday they will have a program.  Please pray for these sweet kids and for me as I teach them.  I should have some help from some local girls (I hope).

I can stay now…

On Tuesday, Mihaela called the Health Minister in Bucharest to inquire about the status of my one year visa; she had sent the paper work a week before leaving for camp.  The Health Minister did not receive it.  However, the person who answered the phone was the woman who does the actual approving of visa applications.  She said fax it and in four days call back.  In the mean time, I met an American who has been in Romania for over a year and still cannot get her visa.  Also, we found out there were more complications because I’m working in one city but the headquarters is in another.  But God is good and today, we received a call and I was approved.  Mihaela and I went to the police department today and got there just 2 minute before the office closed at 3:30.  The lady there took us in anyway and granted her approval for all the paperwork.  The extra fee of 120 euros was waived because the work I’m doing is considered humanitarian work.  The lady was very nice and took my picture for the idea.  And unlike the DMV, she asked me if I liked the picture and she could take it again if I didn’t!!!  She gave me a paper for my passport stating I have been approved for an extended stay.  I will be able to pick up the actual visa next month.  It was truly a work of God that the visa came through.  Thank you for your prayer.  This was just another confirmation that God is in this and is totally in control.

Pictures from Camp

We did so much more than this.  We made fun craft projects, played with Barbies, bounced on the trampoline, hiked in the woods, and memorized Psalm 23.  Camp was great and many seeds were planted in the hearts of these young children.  Thank you to all who provided clothes, toiletries, backpacks, games, toys, and funds for camp.  Who’s ready to come next year?

Update and On the road again….

On Sunday, I’ll be heading back to Oradea.  My car will be in the shop for a minor repair (don’t ask) and I’ll be getting most of the supplies for Stroiesti that are in storage in Oradea, making room at the PULS center for new supplies.  We should (finally) be getting the shipment for the PULS center from May.  It has been held in Suceava because there was no one to receive it in Oradea.  The shipment was supposed to come in June, but was delayed a couple of weeks and by that time we were in Suceava. 

Please pray for safe travels and that the supplies get there this week.  I should only be gone a week.  While gone, the kitchen sink, gas, and electric should all be fixed and hopefully the Internet installed.  I’m a frustrated, but was reminded by my mother today, that apartment repairs will not be the most frustrating thing I deal with while here in Romania. Everything happens in God timing, even the little things like kitchen sinks.  God has reminded me, didn’t think I needed the reminder but whatever, that missions and ministry isn’t always fun and glamorous.  Its like everyday life with all its ups and downs, but God is with me and that is enough.

I have posted the Wish List on the blogsite, please go to my main page and look for the tab at the top that says Wish List.  Things can be sent to my apartment and I will get them to the kids. 

Bogdan’s eye appointment was cancelled. The doctor called and said she couldn’t do it today (Friday).  We will reschedule asap. Please pray we can get an appointment soon.

That’s about it.  Thank you for your prayers.

The Kitchen Sink

the kitchen sink in the hallway

the kitchen sink in the hallway

The kitchen sink was finally bought yesturday by the landlord, he was waiting to see what size sink i wanted.  And when i arrived home last night it was out in the stair well of the apartment building.  Would love to have it installed today, but I haven’t seen any workmen, only their car.  Maybe this afternoon.   I’ll keep you updated!


We have gotten back from camp and monday we started moving me in. I bought a stove, fridge, and washer on monday. On tuesday I got the bedroom suite.  We had a heck of a time putting it together only to find out there were pieces missing. A pro is coming by with extra piece to finish the work.  The bed, dresser and nightstand are done, though. I’ll spend the next couple of days unpacking.  i gave the landlord the punch list, which includes putting in a kitchen sink!!!!!  The apartment is beautiful and i’m excited to have a home of my own after almost a year of living in guest rooms, a temporary apartment, sofas, and my parent’s house (though that was the best!).  I’ll send pictures soon.

The team will be leaving at 11pm tonight. please pray for safe travels.  They were a huge blessing to us all.  We got so much accomplished and they were even able to do some site seeing at the local salt mines!  We also got to stack wood at Mihaela’s parent’s house (where we were staying).  What an amazing trio of young people.

Friday, we are taking Bogdan to Iasi for his exam. We will then be able to schedule the surgery to have his eyes fixed.  Pray for safe travels and good doctors.

thank you for you comments and prayers. i’ll get internet at the apartment next week and be able to keep you better updated.

Moments like this…

Make it all worthi it.  Paul is learning his verse.  He now knows Psalm 23. 100_3716