It started in March 2019, as we thanked the Lord for all He accomplished that year in the various villages, homes, churches, etc we were privileged to serve. Throughout the rest of that year, we each prayerfully went before the Lord asking if It was His will that we should return the next year.
March 2020 – the call came and we responded in faith. Lewis informed us if we felt uncomfortable participating this year – the year of the Coronavirus outbreak – that he would understand. A few reconsidered and stayed behind to care for health-compromised family members; the rest of us forged ahead. We were resolved. We couldn’t wait to love on the Romanian people we had been praying for since our last visit.
On the day of departure, we said our goodbyes to concerned family and friends – reassuring them God had not closed this door. We flew to Charlotte, then London, and eventually arrived in Budapest – so close to our second home! Dear Virgil picked us up and we headed to the border, which seemed to take forever this year due to some re-routing! Once there we waited for our passports to be confirmed – all was good and we were back on our way.
We arrived in Oradea at the Posticum Spiritual Center in the evening and were shown to our rooms. Once we had settled in, we were informed of how the Coronavirus was affecting the local area – schools were closing, meetings were being canceled, etc., and how our ministry may be different day by day based on this news. After a hearty meal, we retired to bed for some much-needed sleep.
March 11 – we woke with excited anticipation to begin our ministries! Breakfast was consumed, we made our sandwiches for lunch and dinner, then began assembling medical bags. Once we had many put together, we headed to Kauflands to pick up some goodies for the weeks ahead then headed for Brusturi and Pastor John’s church.
It was so good to see this faithful body of believers again! Pastor John’s smile was a dead giveaway of how he felt as well. We enjoyed wonderful fellowship – and enough goodies to last a while – before heading back home. A great evening!
We headed up to the bedroom area but decided to hang out a bit. Then things began to unfold. We heard the Hungarian border may close very soon, so Lewis and others worked to get our tickets changed to the next Monday. We were in disbelief. We had work to do, souls to minister to, the Love of Christ to share!
Then, not long after this, President Trump addressed the Nation and declared the USA was closing its borders effective Friday the 14th at midnight to any trying to come in from Europe – where we were.
We all stayed up waiting for answers on current events and heard Hungary had decided to close its borders. We needed to leave. Now. We hadn’t been to bed yet but at 3:30 am we began packing up to be ready for the bus picking us up at 5:00 am. Tired, cold, and still reeling from events, we headed back to the Hungarian border. We had to disembark the bus and go through the border patrol building one by one as they called our names. Not intimidating at all!
Whew! We made it back to Hungary before the border closed. Now to find lodging for 30 people! God was gracious and we found a good place. Now we wait till we can go home – and self-quarantine for 14 days.
This quick trip has taught me many things, some of which are: God’s timing is not like my timing; His plans are not like my plans; we have an amazing team who never grumbled or complained at the change in plans but just prepared/served as instructed; and if we had time for just this one village service, all were blessed and the Lord was glorified! He remains in control and none of what is going on now or in the future is a surprise to Him. And because of this, we can have a heart that trusts, rests, and finds peace in our Savior!
We remain grateful for the opportunities the Lord has provided, the lessons we have learned, the fellowship we’ve enjoyed, and so much more. Until 2021…..