Saturday, September 27, 2014
Not as expected
I am in a VW van with two others and a driver on our way from Costanta to the Bucharest airport where I will fly back through Zurich to Milan. I have put my earphones in my ears, turned Willie Nelson up loud to muffle the non-stop Romanian between my three companions. The young guy driving the van is not entirely hospitable to me, so I am playing the tortoise. This was all Sarah’s fault since she chased after the van, pounding on the window to say, “Goodbye.” Alarmed, he stopped, I opened the door and hugged her, he crossed himself, swore and we went on.
So then, after I put my computer aside, packed it away, I took out my Bible and began to read. About twenty minutes later, I put my Bible away, took off my earphones and settled back into my seat for what might have been another hour of non-stop Romanian.
Suddenly, he spoke to me. The big fellow sitting next to me spoke up in English asked where I was from and why I was in Costanta. This led to questions about where he was headed. From this I learned that he was a cook on a ship and headed for Greece. I told him why I was in Costanta and he said, “I saw you reading a Bible. Are you a Mormon?” Apparently, this is the first question they ask when they find out you are here from North America in some religious capacity. Mormons are incredibly visible in most European cities. This gave me opportunity to explain the difference between Biblical faith and Mormonism. Because we were fairly close in age he seemed to respect what I had to say. He told me he was Orthodox and said his prayers and carried an icon of the Virgin Mary everywhere he went. For the next thirty minutes I presented the authentic Christian faith. He was quite friendly and agreeable to the claims of the gospel. He took my card and said we should get together when I am in Costanta again. He promised to write me when he got to a computer and internet but mostly he will be at sea for the next six months. This doesn’t seem like much but every word punches a hole in the darkness.