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Seventh-day Adventist Church
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Bucharest, Romania, host of the Biblical Village – a project unique in Europe



Bucharest, Romania [N.Burcea; CD EUDNews]. A record number of visitors and the consistent national media coverage of a project of rebuilding a Biblical village, unique in Europe, boosted in recent weeks the life of the church in Romania’s capital, Bucharest. Pastors and youth have worked together for the success of this major project.

Just in the first three days, over 10,000 people had already visited the Biblical Village, set in one of the largest parks in Bucharest. Most visitors were non-Adventist, but more surprising was the fact that not only people from Bucharest and its surroundings came to visit the village, but there were also organized groups who came from hundreds miles away and even from Bulgaria, especially for the “Biblical Village”.

The project was also included in the list of extracurricular activities approved by the Board of Education of Bucharest, in their bigger project, “School in a different manner: To know more, to be better", a project which aims to provide for a week alternative activities to the ordinary classes.

"We are overwhelmed by the interest shown so far, in particular by children and their parents. So far, each day has been a challenge for us. More than 500 volunteers have managed to keep the visitors connected to a two thousand years old culture. Many of those who read the Bible wondered and imagined how things looked in the time of Jesus. Now they have an excellent opportunity to see and experience all this!" said pastor Mihai Brasov, the initiator of the event.

Through the project developed on an area of ​​3.000 m² visitors can observe the lifestyle of ancient characters and learn skills of the people of those times.

The access into the history of those times was made by opening the large gate guarded by soldiers of the biblical village. Beyond the gate, a new world full of surprises was waiting to be rediscovered through all the senses and to create lasting memories for children, young people and any other visitors.

Built as a genuine Biblical village, built in collaboration with Ambientfilm (the first Romanian independent company who creates settings, set- dressing and scenography), the project includes traditional houses and workshops, and habitants wearing traditional clothing. Each piece of clothing has been handmade ad tailored for the children, women or men who were going to wear them. Each activity of the village was led by specialist in Biblical history, Jewish culture or different crafts.

Among the most attractive places were the blacksmith shop, where visitors could make coins, the weaving mill, with broadlooms, distaffs, and wool (unknown for many visitors), the carpenter shop, where they could carve wooden spoons and household items, the pottery workshop, the fishery, where visitors learned how to do the fishing knot, and the Hebrew calligraphy courses, where they had the opportunity of writing in Hebrew on a parchment with a sharp reed. Another point of interest was the small museum where were found exhibits like a menorah, a shofar, parchment, papyrus, ancient writing tools, etc.), realized in collaboration with the Federation of Hebrew Communities in Romania.

The mini-zoo which offered the opportunity to touch and even riding a horse alongside the many storyteller recounting parables from ancient times, represented two other attractions for the visitors.

Set as a tent, like those of the Biblical patriarchs, an inn offering menus from ancient times including unleavened bread, unfermented grape wine, vegetables and exotic fruits gave tired and hungry travelers the opportunity to sample the specialties of those times. In addition, every visitor of the inn received a recipe that could be prepared at home and could register for a healthy eating cooking class led by experienced cooks. The most wanted were the “Soup of Esau", the humus, the unleavened bread, wine, and other special dishes for which people queued even an hour.

In the “Biblical Village” not only children participates in thematic workshops, but the organizers prepared each day various activities and projects designed to capture certain aspects of the biblical culture. The list of events included Christian music concerts with the participation of secular and religious choirs and beloved Romanian artists, historical debates and seminars, and intercultural biblical archeology.

“Another turning point awaited with excitement was the cessation of activities on Friday evening at the beginning of the Sabbath. Although the village was opened, the activities focused on the synagogue and religious, spiritual issues. It was more beautiful than we expected and we could talk about the meaning of the day of rest, dedicated to God, when people went to the synagogue, read and studied the Scriptures scrolls, sang hymns and prayed," said Mihai Brasov.

Encouraged by the success of this pilot project, organizers want to extend the "Biblical Village" in other Romanian cities.

With most of the logistic and financial support coming from the Seventh-day Adventist Church, the project was organized by the AMiCUS Student Association and the Association “Pathfinders for the future", with the support of the Federation of Hebrew Communities in Romania, the Romanian Archery Federation, ADRA Romania and the "Mihai Ionescu" High-school in Bucharest.



By: N.Burcea; CD EUDNews;