SWAT TEAM REPORT #2

CHANGE IN COUNTRY
As I stated in the previous report, we crossed ten time zones by the time we landed in Frankfurt, Germany. There we attempted to recover for just a few days before loading the beautiful VW van (given to us by our friend and fellow missionary Rick Weimer) and began our trek to Romania. Germany is lovely, Austria is much the same. The autobahns in each are exciting and manly. The vista begins to change in Hungary, the roads are still good but the road signs begin with szk…..and end with yqp with 15 random letters in between. The Hungarians do not seem to have any respect for either vowels or simple pronunciation. It seems we were supposed to buy a road tax sticker. Since our windshield did not display a road tax sticker we were stopped by the police, hungary for action. At my window he began his chattering rebuke but because of our lack of the gift of interpretation it was to no avail. He then comes to Robin’s window and the same long diatribe was just as unprofitable. He wanted to hold my passport until I obtained the sticker but the situation was finally resolve with a solemn promise on my part to buy one at the first petrol station down the road. In the melay we lost our way and entered Romania much later and at a different border crossing than I had expected.

If you have never crossed the border into an eastern European country you may not fully get the feeling I am going to try to convey to you. It is 10:30 PM and we roll to the back of the line of about 25 cars. The cars are shut down and foreign folks are milling about. There is a line of tractor-trailers to my right which extends about a mile back. They will be fortunate to gain entry by late tomorrow. The sounds are strange, the sights are curious, the smells are undesirable, we are very tired having already driven 15 hours, we are quite anxious at the unknown decision of the authorities concerning our family, passports, van, van papers, the great contents of our vehicle and our general safety and future, and……..Mary REALLY has to go to the bathroom.

An hour later we pull safely and successfully into a non-stop (24 hour) gas station just 100 yards over the border. Mary and mom are greatly relieved while I sit and haggle with the persistent and belligerent border hawkers. They wash my windshield against my advice then press me for remuneration. They push their wares into my window against my will. The fold up stools look good so I buy two…oops…shouldn’t have done that…now they are all over me…I am overwhelmed and nearly fearful. My relieved family comes and we speed away, find a safe hotel and crash.

Rested, refreshed, and refueled we make our way on the good, but busy and only two-laned roads towards Brasov. Novel, romantic, exotic and weird sights greet us such as odd type autos, houses and even animals. Look! A farm cart with rubber tires drawn by a handsome, healthy horse. The driver and his family seem calm although cars and big trucks are zooming around them within inches. Gramma appears undisturbed as she sits content atop the mounding hay piled on the wagon. The dirt side roads of small villages catch the eyes of my passengers but mine are wide open and glued to this strange and dangerous traffic world. This world is filled with contrasts, many ancient houses look the same, I’m sure, as they did 100 years ago and right next door is a modern, lovely, half-million-dollar (American economy) home with a lovely yard. You pass the many farm carts which pose a real traffic hazard and then you are passed by a new BMW. The authorities are trying to comply and qualify with European Union status but are struggling from left-over communist ways and habits. It is a country of rapid and reluctant CHANGE…SOME GOOD…SOME NOT-SO-GOOD.

Our years on the road has gained the uncanny sense of direction and allowed us to navigate successfully, not only to Brasov but to our section of the city, Poiana Brasov, and even to our apartment high up on the mountain. Yes, we made it but have no key. The phone system is not yielding to us. I can see my landlady’s house but I don’t know how to get to it in the dark. Finally, we find the right gate and my landlady gives me the key with the admonition that first light I must deal with her about the rent due.

We happily crash into our own beds with the prospect of enjoying being home after a looooooooooong journey.

UNDER HOUSE ARREST ????
N.A.T.O. (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) has picked Poiana Brasov for the sight of their top secret conference so today begins three days of our being house-bound. We were told, in no uncertain terms that we were not allowed to leave the area and were advised to remain in our home for the duration. There are many black armed, military helicopters flying about in a flury and the entire community is empty and subdued by a presence of fear. Thank God we not subject to this fear but have been freed from it by the grace of our great God. (Isa 8:13) Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.

Pray for us as we try to be sensitive to the first impression we make in regards to PM. This will have to take place next week due to our house arrest. Stay tuned to the SWAT REPORTS and let us hear from you. Our email is gsutek@streetpreaching.com. Our phone from the USA is 011-40-268-262-468. Really cheap phone cards can be bought on the web at www.phonecard.com. Our snail mail address is

Gerald Sutek
OPI CPO 18
500500 Brasov
Romania

One way or another let us hear from you.

Serving with you but in a different foxhole,
Gerald Sutek and the SWAT TEAM for Christ