School is back in session here in Iasi and that means our church has is back to the usual 60-80 people each week rather than 25-35 over the summer. Ah the ebb and flow of a church that is mostly students. I have written before about our monthly Feast Week, but now that I have been here for awhile and now that it is well-established as a church tradition, I want to revisit it. The first Sunday of every month is a Feast Week. While we share a simple meal together each week before church, during the Feast we encourage many people to cook, particularly food that is traditional to their home country. We also encourage people to wear traditional clothing from their countries. As more people have gotten on board with this idea (and become ok trekking around Iasi looking even MORE strange than simply being brown or black in an all-white city), it's become such a joyous and festive time of international fellowship. People often bring friends, and our choir almost always sings during the Feast Week church service. All around goodness.
Because Americans don't so much have "traditional" clothing, unless you count American Eagle as traditional, I usually just wear a fun dress. But this month I was fortunate to be able to dress like a Malaysian, as a friend brought me a traditional Indian shirt back from Malaysia!
As for food, we had more food than we've ever had! People just kept showing up with food! We had dishes from Nigeria, Romania, Kenya, Iran, Lebanon, and America. Loads of yummy treats, that's for sure.
One particularly excellent aspect of this Feast was that a Nigerian friend brought back MATCHING OUTFITS for Dave, Erin, Zeke, and Marit. Talk about awesome. I only managed to get a picture of three of them together. But wow, so spectacular.
Another item of note was that we had Iranians in church for the first time ever. None of us have ever met any Iranians here, but the week before the Feast Eli met a girl from Iran whose mom was also in town. And by other "coincidences" we had two other Iranians show up. Four Iranians in church all at once! All of whom thought they were the only Iranian in Iasi. None of whom were Christians. But who all met in our quirky little church. I mean, come on now, that's pretty awesome. And we had the usual plethora of Nigerians:
and Malaysians (I SO blend in... right?):
And everything in between. I believe we had people present from the US, Britain, Romania, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Cameroon, Israel, Iran, Dubai, India, and Malaysia. It never ceases to amaze me how beautiful and wonderfully diverse is the international body of Christ. From all around the world we gather to worship God through His Son Jesus Christ. We are united and leveled in Christ, all sons and daughters of God, and all seeking to live to glorify God with our lives, pointing others to Him.
I love our church. Love love love it.