Global Year Dates: September to May
Housing: Living conditions are in rented apartments of 2-3 bedrooms, generally sharing a common building with other apartments.
Location: Timisoara is a university city of approximately 400,000 inhabitants, situated in the western part of Romania – a country of approximately 20 million people, located in the southeast of Europe. Timisoara is located in the plains, a city buzzing with life, parks, squares, good public transportation, churches and diverse cultural and historical sites.
Culture: Romania’s culture is similar to that of other European countries; because of its location you will meet diverse influences from east and west. Communism was overthrown in the 1989 Revolution, yet its influence on the culture and the people is still present.
The official language is Romanian, a Latin based language similar to Italian. English is widely spoken especially by youth in the city. Some referred to Romania as a Latin island in a Slavic sea. In the western and central parts of the country there are ethnic groups speaking Hungarian and German, communities which lived here for centuries.
The majority religion is the Romanian Orthodox Church (approx. 85%). Other groups are Roman Catholic (Hungarian and German), Reformed (Hungarian) and Lutheran. Evangelicals are somewhere around 2-3% in the country with larger communities in the west.
Classes: Romanian, Bible and assisting the English teachers at the Christian school.
Food: Eating out is not as common in Romania as in the US, however Timisoara abounds with restaurants and fast food options of all varieties. Cost of a pizza for example is between $6-10. McDonald’s is here and a large mall with a food court offers KFC, Subway and other local fast food restaurants.
Food supplies are easily available both in large supermarkets spread throughout the city as well as in small stores located just about every corner where one can buy groceries, bread, toiletries, etc.
In general Romanian food consists of many soups – ciorba (a thick minestrone based on meat and vegetables), menus based on potatoes, pasta, vegetables, and meat. The most common meats are pork, chicken and beef (in this order).
Money: The leu (Romanian pronunciation: [lew], plural lei [lej]) is the currency of Romania. It is subdivided into 100 bani (Romanian pronunciation: [banj], singular: ban, Romanian pronunciation: [ban]). The word “bani” is also used for “money” in Romanian. There are 3.8 lei to a dollar. (as of – March 2015)
Weather: Romania has a temperate climate, similar to the northeastern United States, with four distinct seasons.
- Spring is pleasant with cool mornings and nights and warm days.
- Summer is quite warm, with extended sunny days. The hottest areas in summer are the lowlands in southern and eastern Romania where 100 F is often reached in July and August. Temperatures are always cooler in the mountains.
- Autumn is dry and cool.
- Winters can be cold, especially in the mountains. While not the rule, abundant snowfalls may occur throughout the country, from December to mid-March.
There are significant regional differences of the climate between different regions of Romania.
Ministry Partner: Missio International (MI) – For twenty years Missio International has served the spiritual and social needs of the Romanian People. From its inception, Missio International has enjoyed a distinctly relational ministry. Missio International is evangelical in its mission orientation and ecumenical in its commitment to work across denominational boundaries. Missio International works with faith-based individuals, churches and para-church interests as well as foundations and resource organizations throughout the USA.
Mission Link International (MLI) – Founded in January 2001 by a group of dedicated Romanian Christians, MLI together with enthusiastic international partners acknowledges and addresses both spiritual and physical needs of the Romanian people through two ministries:
– Church Development – MLI assists churches in their mission through three programs: Church Partnering, Church Based Leadership Development and Alpinis Camps and Retreats.
– Children at Risk – MLI address the physical and spiritual needs of the most disadvantaged categories in Romania: children at risk.
Missio is a Latin word used to speak of the “mission of God,” that is, missio Dei. As a name, Missio Link International precisely reflects the calling and and vision of the MLI team to participate in God’s mission to His Church and to the World by fostering partnerships between Christians, churches and organizations, aimed at Christian witness, edification and service to those in need.