DIARY 9 Saturday December 17th and Sunday 18th 2011

This diary is being written under very difficult conditions (!) as the power keeps going and we are plunged into darkness which has kept happening, due to the strong winds and now torrential rain! Last night (Friday night) we sat in candle light for a while. I am glad my phone is fully charged now as that has a mini torch light on it.

Letís go back to the beginning Ė I went to bed on Friday hoping and praying that the mice roaming in my bedroom would be caught but not suffer in the glue traps. I also prayed they would not run over me in bed as I thought I would find that just too unpleasant! I even phoned Florence to ask for her prayers Ė though the main reason was to ask her to pray for someone in the family who is ill.

During the night 2 mice got stuck and a further one cheekily looked at as I sat up in bed poking his head up from Abielís toy box. But by the amount of scuffling I heard I think there must be more!

On Saturday we had the bazaar. I woke up about 3 times during the night and so I knew it was POURING with rain but this did not deter the people and a crowd was waiting outside the gates in the rain 10 minutes before the bazaar was due to begin. It was truly amazing in the rain to see so many people coming to the bazaar and confirms that as well as being a good source of income for Mustard Seed Romania (all the fuel for heating has been paid for Casa Mabel and the girls house) it is a real service to the villagers as otherwise they must travel to Oradea or Salonta and there the cost of 2nd hand clothing is higher than our charges and not as good quality. Vio (Rodiís sister) is in charge of it and charges small amounts and to those known to be in deep need even less. The equivalent of over £350 was raised.

We are now plunged into darkness and I really canít touch type so will give up for now! [The problems with the light (or lack of it) continued for several hours but eventually Victor with help from Vali and Alin got the lights back on, and an electrician is due to come to check things.]

Now it is Sunday evening and as the old ladies or young women go off to bed I am saying Goodbye as well as Good night as I leave straight after an early breakfast tomorrow to go to Oradea, I should have a couple of hours in Oradea doing paperwork and a couple of visits then to Budapest airport ready for a VERY EARLY flight on Tuesday morning. I hope to conclude and send the diary for the final day and reflections on the trip tomorrow night so long as there is internet access at the hotel.

Well we better not talk about the almost 50 minute sermon at the Romanian Baptist church this morning Ė that was tough! It was so hot and I was so bored that I nearly fell asleep 4 times! But Flori ( who can no longer walk to church) did appreciate it so that made it worthwhile, though if I go there again to that church I will go for a walk during the sermon as 50 minutes is more than I can handle!

When we got back for lunch one of the ladies had visitors Ė her great niece or / and nephew and child. It was really moving to see the old ladyís joy at the visitorsí arrival. She came down to introduce them to us all and was glowing with happiness and so excited. When the smaller group of carol singers arrived straight after lunch she introduced them all to her family. I discovered later that although she has been at Casa Mabel about 2 years this is the first time she has had any visitors. The glow of happiness has remained on her face all evening.

After lunch I went for a walk to clear my head. Soon after I came back, people from Alexís other church came to sing carols. They had travelled almost 100 kilometers as it is in a village the other side of Oradea towards Cluj. As well as singing they brought a huge amount of food and stayed for a couple of hours. It has a good youth orchestra and was the church Alex took the Beaulieu group to. A number of them spoke English so that was useful from my point of view. They tell me I must go to their church next time I am in Romania. And the old ladies really enjoyed it as the people from the church spent time with each one talking to her.


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