Till the Cows Come Home

Nothing can prepare the soul for Romanian driving. I know in almost every post I have mentioned something about the driving here. Tonight we were returning from the village of Craiva on very small, 1.5 lane, bumpy, country roads. Brent pulled out his iPod and dialed up an app. that converts Kilometers Per Hour to Miles Per Hour. He would peer at the speed dial, enter it into his iPod and then flash it over the seat so I could see it. At one point we hit 86 MPH. If I was not born again before this trip, I am born again now. I was born again about seven times tonight. I prayed to receive Jesus as Savior three times on the way to Craiva and four times on the way home. The crazy thing about it all is that I have not seen one single wreck nor hardly a crashed car. I am not naive enough to say they don’t wreck in Europe, but I have never driven from my house to downtown Birmingham without seeing a wreck. The people driving us around act as if all of this is normal. They are very sure and I must admit I have never seen someone get as close to another vehicle as they do without hitting it. At the same time I now understand why many Europeans walk or ride bicycles. They are just too scared to drive. I will join them. Tomorrow, I rent a donkey.

The experience we had tonight at the Baptist Church in Craiva; there is no app. for that. The Holy Spirit cannot be manufactured. The church is very small and the congregation that usually attends is even smaller. We spent an hour or so visiting the village sharing with them that Americans were in town and we would be preaching the gospel at the Baptist Church. I think the pastor was even surprised when the small church was filled with people. The floor seating filled, and people kept coming in. All of the stage seating which is usually vacant was filled, and people kept coming in. The balcony filled, and people kept coming in. By the time the preaching started there were some people standing along the back wall. Pastor Adrian’s wife shared with me that usually on the first night of a crusade the crowd is small. If that is the norm we may have people standing outside on the steps by the end of our time here. Some things you just sense in your spirit. I think God is doing something special in Craiva.

There are many things different here in Romania, but human nature is universal. People in Alabama will tell you, “Sure, I’ll come to church, I will be there.” They say it so sincerely, but you never see them. Some people invent lame excuses. I thought I had heard the lamest of all excuses tonight. Chris shared with me that many people told his team they would not be able to come tonight because they had to be home when the cows came in. I laughed. I thought I had officially heard it all. If an alien landed on my head and my shoes caught on fire I would not have been more surprised than what I would later see with my eyes.

Following the incredible time of worship I stood at the front step of the church greeting people as they left the building. “Poche, poche, poche . . .” which means “May God’s peace be with you.” It is a customary greeting. It is also the only Romanian word I can say without them laughing at me. You have heard me pronounce Ainglish, you should hear my Romanian. I tried to greet the church we spoke at on Sunday and they all laughed. I think I messed up my pronunciation and accidently told them that I had lost my keys at the library. Yet while I spoke my Romanian word over and over again, I began to hear bells. I did not hear church bells, but Mississippi State bells, cow bells. In my mind flashed Saturday afternoon in Starkville, but I reminded myself I was in Romania. I turned around only to see all of the people that were leaving the church stuck in a traffic jam in downtown Craiva. The street in front of the church was full of cows. They were three deep, shoulder to shoulder, covering the entire road. They came by and they just kept coming by. After I ran back inside to tell our team what I had just witnessed, the pastor’s wife told me to get used to it because it would be happening about the same time every night, which is the reason many people will not be able to come to the crusade. They could not come to church until the cows came home.

Laying out of church until the cows come home is not an excuse, it is a valid reason not to show up. I probably won’t ever use that one for church, but I will find its rightful place in my life. My life is too hectic. I need some cows.


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