Friday, July 13, 2007

Operation Bucharest -- A Walk To The Palace


We are somewhat getting into the routine of things here in Romania. We are having occasional bouts with jet lag or with jet slag, whichever may be appropriate. We are both lagging and slagging in a real way.

We were up this morning at 7:10 AM thanks to our alarm clock, Jay Lewis. Brother Jay toasted his digital clock the very first day here when he tried to plug a 110 clock into a 220 outlet. It didn’t work and his toasted alarm clock stands as a very mute witness to all of this. However, not to be outdone, he told us that his “internal” clock goes off at 5:15 AM or 5:30 AM or some other ridiculously early hour and when he gets up, he is quite bright-eyed and bushy tailed. The fact of the matter is that Brother Jay and Brother Patterson sat down with me this morning at breakfast. I didn’t feel much like talking, they did! They discussed the kinds of bread, the types of omelets that folks eat, the grout on the tile, the veneer on the tile, and the types of roofing on all the houses. They discussed much, much more. I didn’t contribute much to the conversation because I don’t feel too much like talking in the mornings. However, right now it is currently 1:05 AM, I am wondering if both of them would like to talk about bread, omelets, tile grout and veneer, roofing, and this new book that I have started reading about Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger. I really feel like talking about all that stuff, I ought to go check in with them and see!

Anyway most of us labored through breakfast and then went out to the patio area where we get ready for the morning instructions for the prayer walks. This morning, Sister Rodenbush is not going to be with us, nor will Mike and Jill Patterson. I found out later in the day that Sister Rodenbush has gotten very sick and needs our prayers. In her stead, Brother and Sister Robert Kelly were sent to guide us on the prayer walk. They are the UPCI missionaries to Scotland. We again prayed to invest ourselves into the armor of God as we did yesterday. This was followed by the Disciples Prayer. After this Brother Kelly prayed that the blood of Jesus Christ would cover every aspect of our beings.

We then took off for the Metro which is very similar (at least in my mind) as the subway system of the larger cities in the U.S. We walked probably a good mile or maybe more to get to the entrance. Our group today had 24 people in it and we were a little strung out as we would be for most of the day.

The Metro is a large train that has about 10 cars on it that will hold probably 75-80 people in each car. I am not certain of the speed but it zips along pretty well and as you stand on the landing to board about six feet down there is a track that is for all practical purposes a railroad track. Prior the train coming one can feel the wind start rushing toward you that it literally will wave your hair. Then you can hear the engine rushing around the corner. It comes to a very rapid stop and is stopped for no more than 20 seconds and people rush off and leap on. You either get a seat or you may stand and hold on to the bars that are dispersed throughout the train. An electronic Romanian voice says something and off you go! If you are not hanging on when it takes off you are either likely to end up on the floor or banging into the person behind you.

While you are doing the walking it is best for you to be praying mentally with fervency to release revival. I found two things that were very helpful for me. I would pray passages of Scripture that I was familiar with (Psalm 91; 42; Ephesians 6:10-18; The Disciple’s Prayer) also I would resort to singing songs that I was familiar with (I See A Crimson Stream of Blood; Cover The Earth With Your Glory; and All Hail the Power of Jesus Name). It worked quite effectively for me for the first 20 minutes and I tried to follow this pattern for the rest of the day. I mentioned to Stacey and Monica what I was doing and they helped me for a little while with it. I also mentioned this to Jay and Rhonda Lewis. I felt like if we could all get on the same page mentally and spiritually that it might make a difference in what we were trying to do.

We rode the Metro for probably 15 minutes, changed trains once and then entered the streets into a literal mass of walking folks. We would walk probably three miles or so to the Parliament/Palace Building to pray in and around the government offices. Several people brought it to my attention today that there are no fat Romanians. We know why! They walk literally everywhere they go.

Prior to going into the Palace, a very nice young Romanian young lady named Doreena came up to Teresa and me and told us that she was a university student and was doing a project on tourism. She asked if we would answer some questions in regards to travel and all things related to travel. We took her survey and then she allowed us to take her picture with the group.

The security measures at the Palace were pretty interesting. We basically had to do that same thing that we had done in all the airports. We emptied our pockets into a bin and sent all of our bags through an X-Ray device for security clearance. Kay Patterson was the first one to be detained and after dumping the contents of her purse out, they finally let her through. While this was going, Jay Lewis sent off the alarm and a female security guard had him to stand with arms out as she “wanded” him. I thought I would take advantage of this whole situation and capture the event on camera for the world to see. I managed to get the picture but when I started putting up my camera, another security guard rushed up to me and started saying over and over, “Delete picture! Delete picture! Delete picture!” I looked at the guy and told him that I had paid to bring my camera in, in fact it cost me thirty lei (one dollar is equal to 2.22 lei) to bring my camera and camcorder in. I am not sure if he understood English but he just kept on “Delete picture! Delete picture! Delete picture!” So I pulled my new digital camera out which I do not know a lot about because I had just bought it on the Sunday before we left on Monday. So I stand there trying to figure out how to delete the picture. Periodically my carnal nature rises and it was starting to drift up a little and so I thought to myself that I would give this fellow an in-service on my new camera. It took me a good two minutes or more to very deliberately figure out how to delete the picture which I finally did.

Brother Kelly told me that he saw me about to get “busted” but he could not get across the room fast enough to tell me to put up the camera. Apparently none of the European countries want any of their security, police, or military staff to have pictures made of them. After all of this transpired, I again thought how fortunate and free that we Americans really are and we take much of it for granted.

After we toured the Palace, we went out front and prayed in a large circle for the government. We prayed that corruption would be overcome and that God would give the true Apostolic church favor in the eyes of the government.

We left the Palace and walked another two miles or so to a KFC and had lunch. We waited in line for an hour and spent 51 lei on Colonel Sanders’ secret recipe. The taste was very similar to that of the US but none of the Romanian resturants offer ice with their drinks. So we ended up drinking lukewarm Pepsi.

Jay and Rhonda Lewis, Annette McCoy, Amanda Collette, Charlie Joyner, John and Rita Cureton along with Teresa and me commandeered a large corner area of the KFC and had our meal. We all think that Brian Applefield needs to come into this place and tune it up. Brother John said that he thought that Helen Applefield might get better results than Brian! Either one of them would have been nice to see today after we spent 50 minutes waiting to order. I do admit that there was a crowd with five or six lines running and people lined up 10 deep.

After this we hit the streets again to pass out flyers. I was told that there were 10,000 (although I am unsure of this) but we spent two and a half hours passing out flyers to the masses that were continually marching up and down the streets. We passed out half of them and will get rid of the others on tomorrow during our prayer walk and street service.

We saw several of the gypsies hawking their wares. One lady had some crocheted table covers for a coffee table that she was trying to sell for 75 lei. Another young girl was trying to sell some Nike ankle socks in a bulk form (about 10 pairs or so) for whatever she could bargain for. She never told a price but she was constantly chanting out. Kay Patterson told me that she was saying, “Good socks. Good socks. Good socks.”

About 20 feet from her was another gypsy woman sitting up next to a building and begging. Her legs looked horrible. One of them was bandaged up and the other one was open to the air and had horrible erythematous (bulbous-looking blood blisters) areas from mid-calf and extending on above her knee. I told Teresa that this woman needed an angiogram and either a stent placement and/or a femoral-popliteal artery bypass graft (I guess my medical marbles will be with me always). I am guessing that if proper medical intervention is not carried out in the next three months that she will need an amputation. I did manage to discreetly get a picture of her from a distance but could not get close enough to get pics of her legs (which you probably would not want to see anyway).

At this point in the day, it was around 3:40 PM and we descended back into the Metro. We changed two trains and then walked the rest of the way back. By this time, we were carrying around a lot of lead. Lead feet and perhaps some lead in some other places also. Strangely enough, all of the “cranky, stressed, and old folks” (at least this is what Stacey Cureton called us) wanted to pass out. But the young, energetic folks (like Stacey and her cohorts) wanted to go to the mall and shop. So we figured out that we would drop into the nap zone until 7 PM and then have choir practice with Justin Ward. Not much napping was done with all the interruptions occurring! Not much rest was accomplished with all of the banging around in the halls! Finally, I gave up and got up to see what all was going on.

I found out that we were going to the mall after fire practice, I mean choir practice. So we had choir practice although I was working on my blog while they were singing. As they were singing “their” songs, I was mentally singing all of the “Jesus Is My Boyfriend” songs that I could remember. It was profitable for me and for anyone who set next to me.

After fire practice, we rushed over to the rooms and grabbed our Metro cards and left the complex about 8:20 PM. We managed to get to the mall around 9:00 PM (they closed at 10:00 PM) and it was similar in layout to the Galleria in Birmingham and Houston. Very modern and very much Americanized. Jay Lewis found a tie that he liked for 150 lei (about $65) and his wife nixed the purchase before he could even think about it. My bunch (Teresa, Justin, Nathan, and Lauren) ate at the Pizza Hut in the Food Court along with Jay and Rhonda Lewis, Amanda Collette, and Daniel Patterson. It cost us 51.10 lei (about $22) to eat a medium pepperoni pizza and five drinks.

We met in front of the Starbucks at 10:00 PM and headed to the Metro which was a good mile away. About ¾’s of the way to the Metro it started raining. So we picked up the pace a bit but when we got to our road crossing about a ¼ mile from the Metro, it started flooding. However, we had a large intersection that was probably three times as big as 231 North and the Circle in Dothan that we had to cross. We disregarded the crossing lights and started running across the crossways along with a whole bunch of other Romanians. Horns were blaring! Horns were blaring! Horns were blaring! I have not had this much fun in years!

About the time that we were entering the covered Metro station, a strange thought from a long time ago crossed my mind. When I was a kid about every 3rd or 4th Saturday my mother would take me and Mark to Opp to see my Grandmother and Grandaddy. My Granddaddy had been a farmer most all of his life and even into his later years he still had the semblance of a farm when they lived in Ino. At their house, they also had chickens. They weren’t in a fence and pretty much had the run of the yard (which was quite large) and they were always out and about somewhere. There were times that Mark and I would “chase chickens” until either the chickens gave out or they were delivered from mischief by my mother.

But this strange wayward thought crossed my mind as we were all running across the street. I remembered that when it would begin to rain that those chickens would all run (about 25) toward the shelter of the old wooden barn beside my grandparents house for a dry place. As we were running, I thought, “We are like a bunch of yard chickens running for the barn!” I found this very humorous and shared this with all of my “friends.” It was very strange to me that hardly any of them saw the same mirth in it that I did. . . Oh well, maybe tomorrow will be more spiritual.

By the way it is 2:30 AM. . . . I wonder if Brother Patterson and Jay would like to talk about bread, omelets, tile, and Romanian roofs? ? ? . . . I think I’ll go see. . . .

Until next time. . . our thoughts and prayers are with all of you in Dothan who are supporting us with your prayers. . . I shall be more serious tomorrow as the conference will begin at 7:00 PM. . . . .

7 comments:

Terry said...

It sounds like all of you have your days and nights mixed up to me and that half are on a.m. and the other half p.m. :-)

Try caffeine in any form. It sounds like the chocolate worked during the meeting the other day :-) By the way, how is the coffee over there. I am still trying to satisfy my cravings after doing without for 40 days.

Tell everyone I said hello and God Bless!
Bro. Mullen

Renee Butler said...

I begin to weep and speak in tongues as I watch the video clip of you guys praying. You can feel the awesome power of the Holyghost. They must think I'm crazy here at work! I play it over and over and over. And I cry more and more and more. It is with great honor that I can show these blogs to my fellow co-workers and that I have a part in this great work! Looks like you guys are having a great time. I'm trying to imagine ya'll running like chickens in the rain and you getting busted for taking pictures. Try to stay out of trouble . . . until next blog . . .

Love and prayers,
John, Renee, Rebekah, Jonathan and Sarah

P.S. By the way, I think you need to go wake Bro. Jay and Bro. Patterson!

kayla said...

Hello everyone.Good tosee yall made it this far.
kayla
p.s.hey all you girls.

Daniel said...

I hope yall are having a great time. I tried to comment earlier but i guess it failed. Im praying for yall. You can pray about Isaiah 58:6. God Bless!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Philip,
Sounds like you guys are having a blast! I think that there is a sermon or at least some theology in the toasted alarm clock. . . . Uh let's see, How about "Getting Plugged In to the Right Place So You Don't Get Fried?"
Anyway, that it is pretty funny, hate that it happened to Jay, as you have some other heathens there with you that are more deserving of a fried alarm clock instead of Jay. Tell Jay to dip it in chocolate and deep fry it. . . that seems to be the cure for some other things.
My clock is all messed up too, as we are in Sedona, AZ which is two hours behind us.
I got some theology from the Petrified National Forest today as we drove through it- just as an aside, the wind was blowing 37-40 mph. Theology of the Petrified Forest, though. Did you know that there is petrified wood in all 50 states? It gets that way but just sitting there basically doing nothing for years and years, and then it is part of the surrounding stone and can't be moved anyway. Man, that there is some good stuff.
Bet the chicken stuff was pretty funny, but were you calling them a bunch of wet hens? Careful. . . .Easy does it!
Stephanie is looking over my shoulder just shaking her head in disbelief at such drivel that I am writing. She reports that the Lord officially broke the mold I was poured out from when He made me. She said everyone else is being spiritual and I am a heathen. . . .I think my theology is pretty deep to be honest, and if I am wrong, then just let me be happy in my own little world. ;->
Prayed for you this morning, hope that ya'll rock the Romanian world tomorrow at the Crusade. Are you preaching?
Anyway, if you need something, let me know. . .


Later,
Mark

Anonymous said...

Hello, I know this is late to the blog but I have been wanting to comment and really didn't know how so today "Saturday" when Terry was with me and could tell me what to do, I can.
It has been so wonderful to be able to hear about the things you guys have been doing and each morning I want to see what has been happening. Sorry to hear Sis Rodenbush was sick. I have been praying for you guys everyday and that God would bring a revival to the Romanian people. It's wonderful that all of you can be a part. Brendi told us this morning after speaking to Chad about the service. Sister Benton being healed and another lady there who said she had been hurting for seven years and this was amazing. We love you guys. Keep up the good work.

Robbie Mullen

rebekah butler said...

hey everyone. good to see how u guys are doin and stacy if u got that text i sent u mama said u could reply. sis rhonda before y'all left i heard there were a lot of pick pockets. please dont let anybody pick me kayla or matt be picked outta your pocket.


love you guys bunches

rebekah butler