Thanksgiving Romanian Style
All in all, a pretty good Thanksgiving. You might call it untraditional, but that seems to be the norm around here these days. We started up the Magura (pictured here) at about 10'30 AM on Friday. No Romanians seemed to notice that we were celebrating the holiday a day late, and the day turned out to be much more beautiful than the real Thanksgiving Day. We all bore packs, some more full than others, and there really was minimal weeping on the way up under such burdens. About two hours to the top, and we were putting the finishing touches on the meal, most of which had been prepared, but my trusty MSR Pocket Rocket (that's a stove) did the trick for the veggies: zucchini, bell peppers, mushrooms, onion, and garlic, plus a lot of butter, which is tradition enough for me. My Aunt Barbara makes maccaroni every year with at least two pounds of butter. Once all the noodles are gone, there is enough melted butter left in the dish for a (very) small child to drown in. Seriously. But I still got my fix up there on that mountain. The rest of the food was pretty standard, and here is a picture of the spread. So, what am I thankful for? I am thankful that God has not just called me to serve Him in Romania, but that he has provided for me abundantly along the way. My needed financial support came in and continues to come in while I am here; I have joined a team that is glad I am here (I still don't think they have all the facts yet); I teach students who love the Lord and who love to learn. They actually seem cheerful when they walk in in the morning. I am constantly encouraged by them, and they have made this, by far, the best job I ever have had. I can even thank the Lord for the elements of my life here that are difficult, like being away from my family and such on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I can have a tendency to be lonely when away from family and close friends, and this holiday season could become a sort of apogee of despondency, but I am trusting that the Lord will teach me more about loving and depending on Him and on those whom He has provided for me here. He promises to only have good things in store for His children, even things that do not look all that good to us. On another note, my sister...who is ENGAGED as of Thanksgiving...will come for a visit before Christmas. That will be very nice, as she will be the first familiar face I will have seen here for four months or so.
Parting shot: a poster for the movie "8 Below"