Monday, April 27, 2009

New Romanian Friends

I had a new life experience this weekend and a great time as well. I was given the privilege of teaching (the youth) and preaching (to the entire congregation) at a church in Portland that holds its services in Romanian.

I'm part of a team from Antioch that is going to Romania this July, and we visted the Portland church in order to get a feel for the way Romanian believers worship.

We spent Saturday with their youth, visiting (and hiking to the top of) Multnomah Falls, playing soccer and other games, eating (and I can tell you I'm going to enjoy Romanian food), and having a time of worship (at which I taught--without need for translation--on the obvious problems of postmodern epistemology, moral relativism, and religious pluralism). We divided up to spend Saturday night at the homes of various new friends, who come from all over the greater Portland metropolitan area to attend this church.

Sunday morning, we participated in the Bible studies and the morning worship service, at which our friend and Antioch intern Emi Popa (himself a Romanian and the organizer of our summer trip) delivered the sermon (on Galatians 5 and Christian liberty). We returned to the homes of our host families, where each of us was again lavished with traditional Romanian food. At the evening service, our team from Antioch sang two songs, and I spoke about the historical evidence for and the spiritual implications of the bodily resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth (with Pastor Nelo translating).

We not only got a taste of Romanian culture, but we established friendships that we anticipate will flourish in the coming months and years. It was a wonderful time getting to know some of our Romanian-American brothers and sisters.

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