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We have lived in Romania for 16 years now. We have 6 kids.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Neighbors

I haven't been keeping up with blogging like I used to. Maybe it's because I don't think that many people read this blog or maybe it's because we are winding down on the first year of having two more children and having two more children that you didn't raise from infancy is a HUGE challenge, let me say that again a HUGE challenge! We have spent this last year trying to teach a set of 5 year olds, the basics of being in a family, listening skills, taking responsibility for your actions, not "forgetting" all the time, table manners, and we still spend a lot of time teaching that just because a new person enters our home doesn't mean you start using your manipulation skills all over again! We have also had to remind them that you don't just walk up and start hugging people you never met and sit in their laps and act as though you have known them forever. We have seen many improvements and the kids English skills have grown by leaps and bounds but we still have our struggles.

I actually started this entry to tell you what I think is an interesting story. It is typical of our life here in Romania. If someone here thinks you are doing something wrong or need to change the way you are doing something, they don't hesitate to tell you and then they keep telling you if you don't do what they "strongly suggested" that you should do. For instance, we have a dog, Buster. He likes to go back in the yard and sit at our neighbor's fence. Our neighbor who keeps his dogs chained all day has taking a liking to Buster and puts his hand through the fence to pet Buster and he feels that the collar we have on Buster is too tight. So, a while ago he let us know it was too tight and we being good neighbors loosened the collar. Well, that didn't satisfy him, once again the other day he sent Zach in to tell us that Buster was getting fatter and the collar we have on him is just too tight. We felt his collar and could slip two fingers between the collar and Buster so we left it as it was. He noticed that we left the collar on so he came by and rang the bell and told me personally..."Now I have told you this before but I am telling you again because I feel sorry for your dog, please take off that collar it is too tight, if you don't have another collar I'll give you one but please take it off." I wanted to tell him to go home and mind his own business but I didn't, I just said thank you. (this is the same man who keeps his dogs chained up all day long) So, I told Baron what he said and again we checked and there is plenty of room between the collar and Buster but my husband being the good man that he is decided instead of making a mountain out of a mole hill and loosing a chance to be a good testimony and witness to our neighbor that we should just take the collar off...at first I didn't agree and thought why in the world should we give in and take it off. Baron lovingly told me it is just as easy to take the collar off as it is to leave it on. So, he won and the collar is off. We live in an intrusive society. Everyone is always telling us to put more clothes on our kids, give them more food, don't let them walk around the house bare foot in the winter... and so on. People don't hesitate to ask us how much we paid for our house or our car. We could get defensive and get offended and tell them off but then part of being a missionary is integrating into their society. We didn't come here to make them into mini Americans, we came here to share Jesus love with them and what good would it do to tell them that Jesus loves them if we are always yelling at them to mind their own business? Don't get me wrong, I still get annoyed at times having people think I can't take care of my own family but I don't give in to the desire to tell them off. It is very tempting to do but our purpose for being here is to live like Christ and keep the peace as much as it is in our power to do so. It is interesting living in a different country with a different culture and a set of different rules. There are days when I wish I could just live an easy life in a country that is comfortable to me but most days I realize that I prefer the life in Romania to the rat race life of America.

2 comments:

Lena Clark said...

I agree with your last sentence. :)

Robert said...

very insightful!