Note from the Editor:
Recently, OCMC sent out a call to our Missionaries, asking them to provide us with blog contributions. Floyd Frantz, Missionary to Romania, answered us with this series of entries, painting a vivid picture of his activities in Romania during April and May of this year. These entries have been edited and will be posted in groups of 2-3.
Today here in Romania we celebrate our most Holy Pascha, the Easter. I was at the Church earlier and came over to “Casa Alba” to participate in a small dinner that we are putting on for those who do not have families to celebrate with. We had an AA meeting, followed by “Sarmarle,” a traditional dish of rolled cabbage stuffed with rice and meat. I just ate, and wanted to share about our dinner with you.
It was special for several reasons. For one, all of the food that we had was donated by Romanians, and the Sarmarle was donated and cooked by the members of Fr. Liviu’s church in Sanpaul. I have not mentioned this earlier, but on every great feast day now this church is cooking dinner for our homeless folks. Fr. Liviu brings it into town and then we serve it up.
The folks here were special too. There were four or five street kids, and some of them are taking the AA group more seriously. The topic of the meeting was “Hope,” and much of the sharing was about the impossibility of living life in Romania while drinking alcohol and expecting to have a decent life. Several of the people also shared about how their life has improved since getting sober and staying that way. When it is a group filled with homeless people that is talking, it’s inspiring.
Anyway, it is a beautiful day here in Romania, and I had a few minutes at my desk so wanted to share it with you. I’ll try to get back on the thread about Moldova next week. In the meantime, I wish you a most blessed and Christ filled Pascha, filled with the “Holy Light” of His resurrection.
Christ is Risen!!
I write to you on this Bright Saturday to hopefully continue the thread that we started a few weeks ago. This past week has been taken up by the many things that I had to catch up on here in Cluj, so I have not been writing.
In Moldova, I did not get a chance to tell you very much about Fr. Ion (John) the priest that I am working with over there. He is really a wonderful person to know and to work with. He has two children of his own, but he has taken in several more. He actually had 12 at one time, but some of them have gone back to their families. Along with this he has started a “soup kitchen” to feed the poor in the town, and he is building a church. His wife, Preotasa Mihiala, is a social worker and is doing some work with young people. They are doing all of this on very little money, so it is a constant stress on Fr. Ion to keep things going.
They both remind me of how little faith I really have. I mean, they really do a “faith walk,” as we like to say. For me it is much more simple and easy. They inspire me though, and are great examples of Christian life in action. As St. James has said, “faith without works is dead,” and in their case they have plenty of faith and works.
Thank you again for your support, for your good words, for your good works, and most of all for your prayers.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Greetings and I hope that this finds you well, and in good spirits today.
It has been three weeks since I have written, and would like to take some time to update you on our activities.
First of all, please do forgive me for not writing. When I got back to Cluj, Ancuţa had not seen me for about 5 weeks and had a list of things for me to do around the apartment. Also, I have not been to the project in Cluj for the same time, and there was some catching up to do over there also. The staff are doing a great job without my being there, but they still like having me keep things on track.
I was in Cluj for about 10 days, and the week after Pascha I left again for eastern Romania, where Fr. Iulian and I did training programs on alcoholism for groups of parish priests from Onesti and Bacau. I did not arrive back in Moldova until Saturday morning, and am just now getting caught up on my emails.
It is really difficult to explain about our training programs, and now they have become an important part of our work. I will be writing about them in future newsletters, but to give you an idea of what we are doing you can go over to http://www.stdimitrie.org and under “programs” and then “education” you will have more information and pictures about this part of our work.
Speaking of web pages, one of the recent things that has happened since I have been working here in Moldova is that Bishop Vasilie approved the St. Dimitrie Program in Cluj to have its own web page, the one mentioned above. Fr. Cristi and the staff did a great job on it. The page is in Romanian and in English, but you must select the text just below the American flag on the home page to go to the English side. This is our first web page, and it is critical to our training programs because it allows the priests and others to download books and files about addictions from the Romanian side of the page. I’ll post my book on addictions and some other articles on the English side in a few days.
Please note that this is not my personal web page (I don’t have one) and that for information about Ancuţa and me you can go to http://www.OCMC.org and look under “missionaries.” This page is about the St. Dimitrie program (which most of you support) and my work in Romania which is through OCMC and under the umbrella of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
Editor’s Note: To read more about the Frantzs’ work in Romania, check out the St. Dimitrie website, or join Floyd’s Yahoo group: email@example.com. To learn more about the ministries of OCMC, including opportunities for long-term Misisonary service, visit http://www.ocmc.org.