Thinking Outside the Building
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Fri Jul 27, 2012
If you’ve ever travelled to a developing country you have probably made a comment about all the garbage on the streets, and Romania is no different. In September of 2011 we were invited to join the teachers and some other parents from our daughter’s play school in picking up illegally dumped garbage. We were assigned a stretch of road and after a morning of hard work had collected 92 big bags of garbage. What was really cool was that over half a million people had participated in “Let’s Do It Romania” from around the country.
We were really excited about the great work of this group and the relationships we had made, and were wondering if our church friends had also participated. It was surprising that not one church we spoke to had participated. Almost all had heard about it, but it was not something they had volunteered for.
In Romania one of the ways we challenge people is to think “outside the church”. The church is not the building, it is the people. The building is not the witness, it is the people. A building cannot build relationships, but people can. So we were really excited when Filadelfia Baptist Church, in our city of Craiova, asked us to let them know the next time this event took place.
On May 12 we joined 11 young adults in their 20’s and picked up a whole lot of garbage! We were assigned an area where garbage had been dumped into a row of trees just off the highway. It wasn’t just a little garbage either, we’re talking construction material, household trash, broken TV’s, even a big dead cow! It was a great day we had together. It was a great witness, great fellowship, and a great time of taking care of the garden, just as we are asked to.
We had the opportunity to mingle with three other groups that were assigned to our area. We shared in the labour with workers from the Ford car plant in our city, some local children, and members of the Parti Social Democratic, the rebranded former Communist political party. It was a perfect opportunity to share why we were participating and to affirm each of them for being involved in something that we know God is pleased to see them doing.
And once a church gets a taste of thinking outside its walls, a whole world of opportunity presents itself. Three weeks after “Let’s Do It Romania” this same church rented the big theater at the University and showed the film “Courageous” to over 500 people from the community! God is doing great things and we are so excited to be playing a small part in the GREAT things He is doing.
Your partners in Romania
Kory and Erin Sikstrom
Kory and Erin Sikstrom have been serving in Romania with World Partners since August 2010, along with their 2 girls Rachel and Naomi. Kory serves as the Field Leader for the Romania field and they are involved in Leadership Development.
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