Sunday June 19. Going with the Danube Flow.

Written by Jack van Ommen on June 19th, 2011

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From plan A to plan B.  At dinner, last night, Camelia had a friend from Swishtov join us. When I mentioned that I was going to give the Pentacostals here a try for a church service and commented on my frustration with the Orthodox liturgy, she told me that there is a Roman Catholic church in Swishtov. You might remember that I tried in vain to find this church last November. She gave me the name and location. So, I set out early to the boat to put a third coat of Clear Awlgrip on the transom and companian way hatch and then take the 9 a.m. ferry to Swishtov. Around 8.15 I see the ferry cross to Bulgaria. So, I figure that they had an extra sailing for particular traffic. But at 9.30 the ferry was still moored on the Bulgarian side. I could not do much else on the boat other than make dust which was not what I wanted on the fresh varnished transom.

So, I decided to go back to the Pentacostal plan. The small church looked like something you’d find at an intersection in small town S.E. U.S.A. complete with the white vinyl steeple. There were a dozen in the congregation. About half were Roma’s. The sermon was short but I could not understand it. Then nearly every one, of the dozen in attendance, said a 10 minute, or so, prayer. There were no hands waving or speaking in tongues. It felt genuine, sincere and good.

The Alpe dHuZes cancer benefit, held last weekend, was a great success. It brought in, so far,  nearly 2 million Dollars to find a cure for cancer. Marinus Hoogendoorn wrote about the experience at: I recommend reading this. It is in Dutch but a Google type translation program should give you a good idea of how unique and rewarding the experience was. My effort to raise contributions from you for Marinus were not very successful. Possibly it was too far removed from you. But I have no doubt that these two million dollars will help not just the Dutch in coming up with a cure for this dreaded disease. I collected $ 225 from my appeal. I take it as another lesson in generosity. And I have had a number of these lessons on this voyage. One thing is for certain the most generous people I have  met are also the ones with the least in resources. The Romanians are very high on this list, the young couple in the Solomon Islands who came to me with a cooked meal and when I later visited them in their hut the shelves were bare. What intrigues me about the Dutch is that they managed to dig this deep into their pockets and when the collection plate goes around in a church you will seldom see paper money in it, just coins.

Last night’s party at the camp went on till 7 a.m. The picture below was of a more sedate family celebration on Friday evening. Aura, the camp mother and her husband Marian, were peeling these large batches of young immature walnuts. They are preserved in honey and lemon and make a delicious desert, great with vanilla ice cream. She gave me a jar of it.

I will go back to the boat in the late afternoon, when it is not so stifling hot. The below pictures show the Linden Blossoms. There are male and female trees, and also two varieties, one of them has leaves with the backside nearly white.


2 Comments so far ↓

  1. ann unger says:

    Were there any hymn you recognized?

  2. jackvanommen says:

    I heard an organ play when I got to the church but I must have been 15 minutes after the service started. I left while the last of the 12 in attendance where saying their individual prayers. The same man that showed me to a seat followed me on my way out and I explained that I could not understand a word of the service. He said: ” God Bless you” and I responded likewise. Even though I did not understand the language I felt like I was in the communion of believers. Much more so than the seemingly meaningless procedures at the Orthodox services. Thanks for the suggestion, Anneke and God Bless You!

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