Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Not What I Expected (Part One)

Below is part one of my newsletter that I sent out recently. If you would be interested in getting my newsletter and prayer requests you can subscribe here.

Dear Friends,

As we come up to the end of another year I wanted to take some time to share with you what has happened since I moved to Bucureşti. (Bucharest is the English way of spelling it but I prefer to use the Romanian spelling.) In October I celebrated 11 years serving the Lord in Romania. It is hard to believe it has been that long but I know a lot has happened in that time and a lot has happened since I moved here.

I arrived in Bucuresti on February 1, 2007 after spending two months in the States to visit and raise more support. To say that what has happened since I moved here was, “not what I expected”, is an understatement! I knew my adjustment to living in a city of over three million would not be easy but I never expected what was going to happen. My time in Bucuresti has been challenging, intense and humbling but I think that is a common experience for many missionaries and servants of God.

My adjustment to living here was a lot harder than I expected. This city has over twice as many cars than the infrastructure can handle so it takes a long time to get anywhere. The only exception is the metro (subway) which I take as much as is possible. It is best to leave for work around 7:00 in the morning in order to avoid the traffic. Add to this that most people don’t obey the traffic laws and are constantly honking their horns. If it weren’t for the traffic cops the city would be in gridlock all day long.

Like any other big city people tend to be rude, always in a rush and seem very unhappy most of the time. You have to watch your back as it is not safe as most other places in Romania. A few times I had to fight off small gangs of young teens who were trying to steal from me. But my guess is that it is safer than a lot of big cities in America since they have strict gun control here.

I think what gets to me the most is the noise; it is constant during the day. When I get out of the city I really appreciate the quiet. During the first summer I was here I reached the breaking point for me. It was so humid and hot, which I don’t handle well, that I got heat rash. The temperature got up to 50 degrees Centigrade/120 degrees Fahrenheit. At that point I wanted to leave and never come back.

You know what got me through this? It was the Word of God. During this time I read Jeremiah 29:4-7 and Jonah 4:11. In those scriptures I saw God’s heart for the people of big cities. So rather than focus on what I don’t like about living in a big city I began to focus on God’s heart for the people. I wish I could say that I had the same heart as God does for the people but I don’t. Maybe occasionally I do but it is not constant. That’s ok though, I know He loves them and desires them to know His Son and that is good enough for me. Do I like living here now? Bucuresti has grown on me a lot but it will probably never be the place I desire to live but it is a place with lots of people whom God loves and who need Jesus and so, for me that is enough.

In part two I will share about the church split we went through.

In His awesome grace,



If you would be interested in giving a one time gift or supporting me regularly you can do so online or by mail. If online go to my church's Donate Online to Missions page and click on the arrow next to Romania. There a drop-down menu will appear where you will see my name. If by mail make the check out to "Chapel Missions" and attach a note saying it is for "William Anderson". On the envelope write:

Calvary Chapel Boise
ATTN: Jana Patton
123 Auto Drive
Boise, ID 83709

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