Catching up with a volunteer

Volunteers Trip Aug 5th – 12th 2016

Matthew 13 : 1-9 Parable of the Sower

The Parable of the Sower is probably a Bible passage that is very familiar to a lot of us. There is a message within the story – indeed the whole idea of Jesus using parables was to spread the Kingdom of God to those who would listen AND hear. The message however can be taken in the context of where we are today and where we find ourselves.

This week has been a remarkable, eventful week, blended deliciously with hard work, fun, education, adventure (and misadventure) and time with God. Negustorului provides its challenges, particularly with baked hard ground to dig out, a lack of ballast for concreting, and heated debates with neighbours about the use of electricity. Contrasting this though is the immense pleasure gained in visiting the likes of Ungereni and Casa Albert where the residents and young people are so delighted to have us come and spend time with and entertain them. I’m writing the day after the microgappers and younger members of our group had erected a trampoline at Casa Lumina. Both the joy and gratitude of the young people we serve touched the hearts of everybody and where we are thinking that we are ministering to them, in reality are they ministering to us?

Prior to our trip it was requested that perhaps Steve could give some kind of time to go over the Cry in the Dark story. Last night was pencilled in to give the testimony of how God’s work is manifesting itself here in Romania through Steve Cooper and Cry in the Dark. However, on the way back from Casa Lumina , the “Wheels on the Bus Stopped Going Round and Round” when the bolts holding the rear, nearside wheel sheared, leaving the wheel dangling precariously under the wheel arch. Many prayers of thanks must be giving to God that the safety of the youngsters on board wasn’t jeopardised and also that the mini-bus grounded to a halt outside the house of a very compassionate and hospitable lady named Maria. She organised a mechanic to come and assess the wheel problem, ferried our gang into her house and fed them on freshly made popcorn whilst watching TV. All this while a shuttle service was organised to get them back to Casa Albert.

It would have been totally understandable if Steve had cancelled the Cry in the Dark story night – but he didn’t. Standing true to his word he presented the story. Whilst some of us have given talks to various groups about the history and the works of the charity, nobody delivers them with the passion and emotion that Steve does – after all, it is his witness.

The next couple of hours became very emotional, with many hands reaching for tissues to wipe over moistened eyes. Evidently people’s hearts went out to the youngsters at Casa Lumina when their stories’ of life (if you can call it life) at Dofteana unfolded. But for me the story of Albert, the inspiration behind Casa Albert cries out most.

Albert was a sower of seeds. No doubt he sowed on rocky and thorny ground. But with Steve he sowed on fertile ground. Steve has produced abundant fruits before, but his soil was tilled and prepared for a new harvest, a harvest that produced a hundred fold and more.

Are we prepared to be a sower? Are we fertile ground? Our soil may hold different nutrients that can potentially produce a higher or lower yield but we do nourish the same seed.

Terry Norrington – Tenterden.