Thursday, June 29, 2006

Back to Reality

I’ve been back in Moldova for four days and am still jet-lagged from the 10-hour difference between Vancouver and here. Transferring your body from one time zone to another in the course of 17 hours is brutal. Coming to Moldova the first time occurred in increments: Toronto to Amsterdam; 2 weeks later, Amsterdam to Budapest; a month later 2 days train ride from Budapest to Chisinau. So doing that same journey, plus the difference of distance from Toronto to Vancouver… well, it’s a different ballgame and my adjustment is challenging.
Combined with that is that it is HOT. The temperature in Chisinau has been in the low 30’s, which I could handle in Toronto when I had an air-conditioned house. But here with no air-conditioning – and still jet-lagged – there’s not a lot of energy coming forth from me. So please forgive me if my blogging is not yet up to speed, and if I haven’t posted the wedding pictures I know you are all dying to see. I am struggling to catch up on the work I have to do and already this morning got caught short when I showed up late for a Bible study that I then discovered I was supposed to be leading!! Such is my first week back at work.  Oh well, I will continue to rely on grace and trust God for the strength to get into the swing of things. Sorry if I am complaining and whining, dear reader. I trust you, too, will forgive me this once.

Wedding photos

Does this bride not look unstressed? She was awesome!

Marah and Dan - happily ever after, by God's grace!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Ten Days in Canada

A bit about my trip: I stopped in Toronto for a few days en route to Vancouver, much to the surprise of many of my friends. But that gave me a wonderful opportunity to see some of the people who are so special to me. I had a lovely day to spend with my mother, and then a day with my son Ben, who helped me in my storage locker to find the things that I have really wanted to have with me here in Moldova. Surprising Doug & Jane on their 50th wedding anniversary was fantastic,
and showing up at my church on Sunday to be welcomed by lots of hugs and kind words, was also fantastic. And lunch with “the girls” on Saturday was really fun as they had no idea I was in town. I felt very loved and appreciated after my time with them and I was so blessed by the hospitality of my good friends Harold and Heather. I also got to see Sarah, who was here in Moldova last summer, and she loaded me up with Canadiana gifts to bring back to the dear ones here. They have been distributed, appreciated and our friends send salutare, Sarah. Domnul sa te binecuvinteze! In fact, last evening at our prayer meeting I led the second half and made a presentation about Canada so everyone prayed for Canada, (I read your letter as promised, Sarah, and we prayed for you) and they all received gifts from Canada. We also prayed for the mission team who will be coming from YP next summer... and for every province and territory of Canada!
So, how was the wedding, you ask? It was wonderful! My week in Vancouver absolutely whipped past, but not without some great times with family and friends. Just to see Josh again after a whole year was so special – and he is doing well. And to have my family all together - the joy of every mother's heart! Visiting with my brother Bob and his wife Jan was great. They not only had us for a meal on their boat one lovely evening, but they also hosted the wedding rehearsal party in their lovely backyard. Of course, the wedding rehearsal went longer than expected (they always do!) and Marah and I and our passengers were late – and we had the burgers for barbecuing!- but nobody was too upset. By then we had friends Eric & Vicki from Nova Scotia, Karen from Toronto, Marah’s high school friends from Toronto, and cousins Kelly and Christa from northern BC all with us,
as well as Dan’s mother Susanah who had arrived from Spain, so it was quite a gathering. I love weddings for the opportunity to bring family and friends together – where there is always laughter and love and caring.
The hero of the week, in my mind (apart from the lovely bride) was cousin Jenn.(Second from the left in this photo of the Fuller cousins.) She was the one to call if we needed information, help, or someone to get something done. Jenn is the woman! She said at the wedding reception that she has adopted my kids – even feeds them!! She has been a tremendous support for Marah ever since Marah moved to Vancouver and this week I saw how amazing she is. Thank you, Jenn!!
The day of the wedding went by pretty fast. The afternoon was spent at the hair salon and by the time we were ready to head out time was disappearing quickly. Finally on the way to the hotel to get dressed and go to the church, Marah got a phone call from Eric reminding her to bring the marriage license! “Mom, we have to go back!”… so we turned around and went back. Long and short of it is that the guests were invited to a 6.30 pm wedding that started at 7 pm. Not bad, I say. (But I won’t tell you all the things that were not done until the absolute last minute!)
At the reception, Ben had his debut as Master of Ceremonies, even gracing us all with a performance of two of the songs he has written. The DJ had great music and there was lots of dancing… just a nice evening. Marah was beautiful. What can I say? As a bride, she had handled the whole week very well – not stressing out unnecessarily, enjoying the people who had come to visit, and getting done the things that were absolutely essential. I was/am really proud of her. Dan is blessed to have her by his side. Dan was a quiet encouragement too – being the steady, laid back, easy-going guy that he is. And I think and pray that Marah and Dan will be very happy together.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Canada & back

My daughter is married! Congratulations, Marah and Daniel! I have been to Canada and back and now am safely once again in my cozy apartment. I will write more once I have had some sleep. Thanks to everyone who has been praying for these events.
Wow - Vancouver was beautiful! and it is hot in Chisinau.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Romania in the Rain (and in the sun!)

Wednesday evening we arrived back from our retreat. We had a great time in Romania, once we all got there. There was a bit of difficulty initially due to new visa laws that require Moldovans to have an invitation in order to enter Romania. Some of the Moldovan team members had left Thursday evening on the bus, only to be turned back at the border. They arrived back at the OM base early early in the morning, not knowing if or how they would be able to get to the retreat. Fortunately, OM Romania were able to quickly put together an invitation and fax it to us to take to the border. So the bus travellers tried again (this time successfully) and those of us going in cars also headed out. Because of the various adjustments we made, we didn’t need to take my car, so I was able to sit and enjoy the journey through beautiful Romania
The OM base in Romania was located in a quaint, lovely small town, Ghimbav, near Brasov, right in the foothills of the Carpathian mountains.
As well as Bible teaching (led by our team leader and myself alternately), prayer and worship, and fun times together, we also had some outings to the nearby mountains – rain or shine. The children had fun in the stream at one mountain spot we went. A local guy was catching crayfish to cook up. The children held crayfish, grasshoppers, frogs, and who knows what else that day?
The day we went for a picnic up in the mountains it started raining just as we finished eating. People still had fun while we waited for baby David to have his lunch before we left. This OM team really is a big family, with adults and children and aunts and uncles and even this soon-to-be grandma!
The trip back went smoothly on a lovely clear day driving through the beautiful roads of Romania. We saw many people working in the fields, often hoeing by hand, or ploughing with a horse; and people riding along in their horse-drawn carts. In Romania, and in Moldova, people often stake their animals – cows, horses, even goats - by the side of the road. The one very noticeable thing about Romania was how smooth and well-kept most of the roads are. When we crossed the border to Moldova yesterday, one of the first confirmations that we were really home again, was that the roads were awful once more. Praise God!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A Place to Party

Last week it was Claudia’s birthday, so we had a birthday party at my place. I even bought a table for the occasion – so here we are: Claudia, Dana, Brandy and I around my new table covered with the pretty tablecloth I bought in Budapest.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Rolling to Romania

Good evening, everyone! I thought I would post a quick note just to let you all know that I won't be posting for a few days as we are going to Romania. It is time for our team's annual retreat and we will join the OM Romania team at their base in Brasov. I understand it is in the mountains of Romania and very beautiful so hopefully when I return next week, I will have some beautiful photos to share with you. We expect to do some walking/hiking in the mountains and I am told maybe we can do some shopping in Brasov. It won't all be fun and games for me, though, as I will be leading two of the four Bible studies during the course of the retreat. I'm all ready and set to go early in the morning. We will begin from the OM base here, at least starting in a convoy to make the 12-hour journey to our destination. Please keep us in prayer for the travel itself and for the time together in Brasov, that we will all be refreshed in every way, and get to know one another better as fellow team members. Some of our team have been in Romania for a awhile already so it will be great to be re-united with them.
I am also going to post this picture that we took last Sunday.
Quite often after church on Sundays a few of us go out for pizza. here's the group I went with on Sunday. An interesting thing about Moldova pizza is that quite often, they put corn on it!!

And... this is June!! Already!! This is the month my daughter gets married! Wedding plans are in full swing and starting to fall in place. One week after we get back from Romania, I will be leaving for Canada! Look out, here I come!!