In August 2010, four young adults participated a mission trip to Romania to work at a summer camp as part of Lehigh Presbytery’s ongoing partnership with the Hungarian Reformed Church in Romania. Read all of their entries.
1 How lovely is your dwelling place,O LORD Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—a place near your altar,
O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs; the autumn rains also cover it with pools. [b]
7 They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
8 Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty; listen to me, O God of Jacob.
9 Look upon our shield, [c] O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.
10 Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.
12 O LORD Almighty,blessed is the man who trusts in you.
~ Psalm 84: 1-12
1 Keep me safe, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I said to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
apart from you I have no good thing.”
3 As for the saints who are in the land,
they are the glorious ones in whom is all my delight. [b]
4 The sorrows of those will increase who run after other gods
I will not pour out their libations of blood
or take up their names on my lips.
5 LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup;
you have made my lot secure.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
surely I have a delightful inheritance.
7 I will praise the LORD, who counsels me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
8 I have set the LORD always before me.
Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure,
10 because you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
11 You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
~ Psalm 16: 1-11
Reflections for Your Journey
Approximately 12 years ago, Lehigh Presbytery entered into a partnership with the Reformed Church in Romania. In July of 1999, along with the World Council of Churches, European Conference of churches, the Transylvania District of the Hungarian Reformed Church and the Protestant Theological Institute, we sponsored the International Ecumenical Seminar at the Protestant Theological Institute in Cluj, Romania. At that seminar, ninety students representing numerous denominations came together to enter into genuine dialogue with one another, to discover the spiritual bonds which they share, to transcend misunderstandings and prejudices, to experience personal enrichment, to develop mutual respect and trust, and to deepen the spirit of ecumenism.
That event was the first major project in the process of an on-going partnership between our churches and the Reformed Church in Romania. Ten years ago on November 18, 2000, we entered into a partnership agreement believing that we are guided by the Holy Spirit, into a relationship of mutual friendship and partnership in the work of the Gospel. Now we seek to continue to engage in dialogue, share our vision and inspire our churches to discover new forms of cooperation.
As we reflect on this momentous occasion more especially not only as partnership, but as Brothers and Sisters in Christ, how do we recognize our human limitations, our fundamental unity in Jesus Christ and the call to mission in the discipline of partnership? In this gathering of god’s people there is a deeply felt need to enter into a dialogue on reconciliation, unity, and biblical witness, now suddenly Paul’s admonition to the Corinthians takes on relevant meaning and purpose: “Now there are diversities of gifts but the same spirit.” In this coming together of God’s people may the many gifts bestowed upon each by our Creator begin to manifest themselves. The painful immediate past with its’ many scars of communism is not left behind but through dialogue, reconciliation and peacemaking is reinterpreted in the present.
Our songs and languages, our histories and our dreams differ from one another, through the grace within the community of believers our senses are alerted and we become aware that we all belong to you and through you we belong to one another.
Almighty God, in Jesus Christ you called disciples and, by the Holy Spirit, made them one church to serve you. Be with us as we gather to share in this moment of your church. Help us to welcome new things you are doing in the world and respect old things you keep and use. In these gatherings, bring about what is best for us and for all people. As we meet, let your Holy Spirit guide, so that the whole church may be joined in love and service to Jesus Christ, who, having gone before us, is coming to meet us in the promise of your kingdom. Amen.
Lehigh Presbytery Worldwide Ministries Care Team
Adapted from Devotional written for the Young Adult 2006 Trip
Hello from Romania!
We haven’t had access to computers until today, so I apologize for the lack of communication while we’ve been away.
However, we have been able to fully immerse ourselves in the beautiful culture, history, and landscape of Transylvania. We spent our first four days traveling around Eastern Hungary and Transylvania with Tibor Nagy, a good friend and Hungarian Reformed Church Minister who spent two summers working at Lehigh Presbytery’s Camp Brainerd (2002 and 2003). With Tibor, we visited Budapest, old palaces and castles, old churches that are hundreds of years old (Tibor’s church is 700 years old), fields filled with sunflowers for as far as you can see, and the beautiful Carpathian Mountains (Brandon fell in love with the Carpathian Mountains). We also visited Tibor’s small village for a wonderful, traditional, home cooked meal with his family. We’ve also tried a huge variety of new foods, most of which we’ve really enjoyed (Dalton’s been especially adventurous, jumping in and ordering fairly blindly from the menu when we’ve been at restaurants)!
Right now, we are working in the Hungarian Reformed camp. There are about 40 kids, ranging in age from 8-18. Many of the kids are from Hungary where their villages were badly damaged during recent floods. They have been going to different camps throughout the region as their families and community work on rebuilding. The kids are having a wonderful time teaching us Hungarian, and love to laugh and giggle at our mispronunciations (Amanda is definitely picking up the most Hungarian, and seems to learn tons of new words each day). And we’re all having a wonderful time jumping in and playing games, teaching crafts, and joining in Bible study. The team leading the camp is wonderful and very welcoming, and certainly makes us feel quite at home.
We pray that all of you are well, and we look forward to seeing you and sharing our stories and pictures when we get home!
Kim, Amanda, Dalton, and Brandon
Lehigh Presbytery Romania Young Adult 2010 Team