by Paul Persson
Some members of St Mary's Church, Thame formed a link over two years ago with Bethany Baptist Church in the village of Hidiselu de Jos, Romania. The link has been made possible by EPIC - European Partners in Christ.
Last year, we invited Pastor Danut and his family to stay with us in Thame and, in May of this year, six of us, all in our 'golden age'(!), travelled to the village in Romania. We decided on the theme of 'Friendship' and went with suitcases stuffed with equipment for games, crafts and a puppet show.
We had no idea how many would respond to the idea of a Friendship Day on the Saturday. Having blown up balloons and put up bunting, we waited. Eventually 30 children arrived and entered enthusiastically into all that we had prepared for them. We were helped by six students from the University in nearby Oradea. They were on hand to translate for us and be our voice to the children.
We were able to take with us a keyboard and sound equipment as a gift from the people of St Mary's and, on the following day, it was made good use of in the Morning Service. Two of our team preached, one in the morning and one in the afternoon and they continued the theme of friendship - Jesus' offer of friendship to us. Puppets were used to tell the story of the Good Samaritan.
On the next day, we visited the Kindergarten and Primary Schools in the village and were greeted with wide grins from 'our' children who had come to the Friendship Day. We felt that we had made real connections with them and we trust that they will be added to the life of the Church in Hidiselu de Jos.
It was a happy visit and one that we would like to build on in the future.
The link has been mutually beneficial as we meet each month to pray for them and they pray for us.
For further information about EPIC, visit the website on www.EPIC-churches.org
Paul Persson is a member of St Mary's Church.