'Be careful what you pray for - you just might get it'- is a saying that David Goulding from St Andrews Langley Mill regularly uses in church. 2 years ago, we at St Andrews started praying - Lord we want to reach out….. How do we do it and where do you want us to go….. tell us, and we'll do it.
July 1st saw six people from St Andrews and one from Mansfield Rd go on Mission to Poiana in Romania. We stayed with an English family working in a new church plant in a very poor village. We saw many people living in conditions that were Medieval, in a village that seems to have lost hope…. But there are chinks of light appearing through what the church is doing.
We hoped to have contact with the Street Kids - children who literally live on the streets, but as it is holiday time the police had rounded them up and dropped them in the middle of Romania so the holiday-makers were not offended by their begging!
We ran a children's holiday club for the under 12's and over 50 came during the week. We also had a youth club on 2 evenings - but most of the children & youth were working in fields picking fruit and veg from 6am to 8pm.
We also had contact with some families - Tante Lena is a 68 yr old widow living in one room (4' x 10') in a sqat in an old communist party building. She survives (and I don't know how) on £20 per month, with no running water and no electricity. Her room was the old toilet block! - We visited the Ali family….. Mum, Dad and 7 children living in another sqat in the city…. They had 1 bedroom for them all
We also saw the 'haves' - in the city you can buy anything you want, from Marks & Spencers to McDonalds and prostitution is growing. Alcohol consumption is increasing and becoming a big problem.
Highlights?- seeing 14 young people make a commitment to Jesus - being able to pray with folk who have nothing and all they asked for was good health - sharing in the city church (via a translator!) - giving food parcels out - attending a baptism in the sea
Low points?- feeling we should be doing more - seeing a man on the streets who was in despair and not being able to help - not meeting more Street Kids - not having enough time
So churches - Be careful what you pray for as you just might get it…. But are you prepared to pray for it in the first place????
And finally, the challenge - we are starting to pray about taking more teams out next year - what about you joining us?????? - it could just change your life.
Article reproduced from 'Printed Circuit' No51 September 2007; the quarterly magazine of the Erewash Valley Methodist Circuit
More photographs from the trip can be found here