While I was studying in California, I heard about the tiny house movement: people moving out of large suburban homes into tiny houses in order to gain financial independence. At first, this seemed odd to me, but then it reminded me of a totally unrelated “tiny house movement” which was experienced by Romania in the 20th century.
During the four decades of communist dictatorship, millions of Romanians were moved out of their homes into ugly grey apartment buildings. Entire villages were teared down and sometimes the entire population of a village was moved in one building. In Bucharest alone, the communists built more than 500,000 apartments. Some who still owned homes lived in fear that any day their house might be demolished if the state has other plans with their land. People started hating the small apartments and began calling them “match boxes.” The neighborhood where I grew up was predominately made of such “match box” apartments stacked on top of each other. Although the neighborhood had a total area of only 1 square mile, the population was over 120,000.
In the process of building ugly highrises, the communists destroyed many beautiful old buildings. The new buildings brought uniformity. Everyone lived in the same kind of place and nobody was allowed to own more than one apartment. People had to adapt to the new living conditions in very crowded cities. Old farmers had to get used to living on the 10th floor of an apartment building. This left many scars on the Romanian culture.
Since the 1989 Anti-Communist Revolution, Romanians gained the freedom to live where they chose and own as many homes as they wish. In recent years, many people have been moving out of the cities and the nearby villages started growing into suburbs. Most people dream of making this transition as they are looking to obtain a better life.
As everyone is looking for a better home, the mission of the Evangelical Reformed Church of Bucharest is to proclaim the good news of a free housing program. The kingdom of heaven, through the church as its embassy, is offering free everlasting housing on a new Earth and under a new Heaven. In the City of God there will be no suffering, no tears, no injustice, no hunger, and no death!
Contrary to how things work in our economies, there is no down payment you have to make for your home in the City of God. Christ paid it all in full! Instead of making payments, we receive the Spirit “who is the guarantee (or down payment) of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it.” (Ephesians 1:14)
As the Holy Spirit works in us every Lord’s Day through preaching and sacraments as the means of grace, we are given a foretaste of the City of God. Whether we live in large homes, tiny houses, or “match box” apartments, our hope is in Jesus Christ, the first resurrected man who entered in the glory of the new creation.
Please join us in prayer that the Lord would bless the preaching of his word and work faith in the hearts of those who don’t have yet a home in the City of God!
Rev. Mihai Corcea