Thursday, May 26, 2016

25 May 2016 - Awesome and Long Day

We had our usual breakfast at the hotel, Bishop Igor picked us up at the hotel at around 1315 and we headed first to the town of Stara Pazova. It was a pleasant drive through Belgrade and the Serbian countryside. We first stopped at the market to get goodies and snacks for post service fellowship. We met a kid that Bishop Jerry knew his father, which was cool. We then headed to Slavisha and Maria’s house to meet with them and talk with them before the service began at 1700. Slavisha had been called away, so it was only Maria, her son Sasha and her daughter Ana and Slavish’s grandmother. 

It was very nice to talk with them and learn about them, and they got to learn about Bishop Jerry and I. We had many delicious cookies and pastries, with orange juice to pass the time away. Then at 1655, we got changed into our vestments and people started to arrive for the service. Bishop Igor briefed us on the order of the services, where the confirmation service would be held within the services, and when Bishop Jerry and I would read our sermons. The service went really well, and my sermon did too. I was a tiny bit nervous at first, but I was able to cast the nervousness aside, and preach the sermon. I had four pages written down, but because of translation, it ended up only being two, but it went over well. So did Bishop Jerry’s sermon, which was excellent.  Bishop Jerry confirmed about 6 people at this service and we had Holy Communion.

In our vestments, we were really hot and sweating and at the end of the service, I thought, finally, we can take the vestments off. No such luck, as there were photo ops to be had with Miroslav, Vera, Sara and the parishioners. It was a really good time though, and soon we had cookies and Pepsi. Vera helped me to pour a Pepsi, when I had almost knocked my cup off the wooden board, from trying to pour it. She held the cup for me, so I could pour it! 

The time flew away and soon we were on our way to Jhenko's, who was the former Chief of Police for Croatia. It was a very pleasant and scenic drive through the countryside, and soon we got to the house, which was called Etna, or Peaceful House. It was a beautiful Balkan style house. We were ushered inside by Jhenko, and he was very very nice. We met his wife Rima, and she was very nice as well. I believe she is the grand-niece or daughter of Mikhail Kalishkanov, but she was very nice. We were taken into the back room where there was a long table. First we had bread before our meal, but were warned not to eat too much of it. For the main course, we had goat meat, and other meats, and a wonderful soup and salad, that Rima had all made. I also had the chance to have some slevovich, a Serbian cognac and some Serbian beer. All was very delicious! And there were other guests, a policewoman, and friends of Jhenko and Rima’s, who were very nice, and Sara’s grandpa and grandma.

Then also I got to meet Jhenko and Rima’s daughter Alexandra, who is a couple of years younger than me, and a year younger than Sara. She was very nice and kind. I got to talk to her and Sara later, and we had wonderful conversations about ourselves, and it was a wonderful time! All too soon, Bishop Igor showed up and after we took some pictures, he announced we were going back to the hotel. We had arrived at Etna House at 1917, and we left Etna House at 2324! We did not get back to the hotel until 0015, but I got a nice 7.5-8 hours of sleep.

I had an awesome day, I think the best so far!  I love this chance to see Serbia and all the AOC Serbia people, especially Bishop Igor, Miroslav and Vera, and Sara, all of whom I consider family in Christ and they fell the same way.

Looking forward to seeing you all, but enjoying the remaining time here.

Posh Kandaroog out for the day!

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