Mission Trip: Romania

Dear Friends and Family,

Today was a bright sunny day. We went to the Pentecost service at the Bishop’s church and it was full. Bishop Pap delivered the sermon and several seminary students were honored. Communion was served. Afterward we had coffee and tea with the Bishop and his wife. It was a nice chance to chat.

We toured the adjacent home for the elderly. There is space for 7 residents, those who have no family left. In return, the residents donate their house. Then the church sells the houses at a discount to deserving young families. This creates connections between the generations and provides a modest operating income. The facility also has a doctor who serves the community and the residents. There is a room reserved for family members accompanying people in hospitals in Cluj. It is a very homey place.

We drove to visit Tibor Nagy and his wife for dinner. They live in a little village at the end of the road. Tibor is the pastor and musician who we had invited to visit us last fall. Unfortunately for all of us, his visa was denied. Tibor also is pastor for a church in a nearby village. The dinner was a delicious traditional Hungarian meal including bean soup, cornmeal grits and chicken with an apple dessert. We had a lovely and informative conversation.

Afterward we toured the church and village. The oldest part of the church is from the 12th century and the bell is dated 1560. Members of the congregation managed to hide it during both world wars making it one of the oldest bells around. The village has almost 200 Reformed members. Most of the trees are plum trees and they make jam and palinka. We toured the guest house where young people can stay for a retreat for six dollars a night. We were also fortunate to see the oldest house in the village which is in the process of being lovingly preserved for the future.

Tomorrow we start the drive for Budapest. Jack will be back from Ingrid’s and go with us. We will spend a good part of the day traveling. It will be good to be together again.

Thanks for all your prayers and support. We hope to see you again in a few days.

Yours in Christ,
Pat Noga

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