Sunday, June 29, 2014

A quick catch up

The music group from Sanicolau Mic joined us in Vinga one Sunday to do the praise and Worship. For any of you that have visited with us there in Vinga know what a big blessing this was. Marius and his lovely wife Elena are doing such a great job with the kid's club.  It is such a blessing to those kids and my ministry as I can no longer pay Marius but they continue on.
 Sarah's 8th grade graduation. Good job Sarah!!!!
Dressed up for a program the evening of the graduation. Good grief but they have grown up. Elizabeth and Sarah are a joy to my heart.  The next picture down is the graduation party after the program.  The Ball family as well as Vio and Rici joined us. Everybody had a great time. Don't know why I can't put text in between all of the pictures...oh well. The 2nd picture down is Sarah getting her graduation present - yup that's pink hair!  Elizabeth wanted me to be sure and say that Sarah is wearing heels and she is not (Elizabeth is still taller, which is important to her!)
 The finished product is next picture. Sarah is a happy camper...The religious here are in shock  of course.
Bogdan, Lilli and Max after church. Max is growing so much and he is a delight to his parents and grandparents! 
We finished the first summer camp for Roma kids. It was held in a almost finished camp in a tiny village of Cralovat. A 13 member team from Mt. Vernon ILL came along side Ruben and Karen Popet - they have an orphanage here. Their 13 children plus 20 kids from Pesac came to camp. Bogdan Galea  and Callum King were superstars! Their hearts for these kids is amazing - it is a very difficult work but they give it their all. A regular monthly kids club will begin in September.
Well these are some of the highlights of the last 30 days. The program at the hospital with the babies is going really well. Lynsey Ball runs the training and scheduling of volunteers. She has gained great acceptance and the respect of the staff at the hospital.  We pray over each child and I really believe that it makes a difference. For the last 30 days or so we saw a drastic reduction in the number of babies that needed our care! What a joy.

The Ball family is helping with the Widow's Mite program in our area, this is a real blessing to me as well as our widows.

Edith Bond has been staying with Scott and Carolyn's girls for the last 2 months but will be returning to my house next week. She is faithful helper at Mocrea and also attends church in Vinga, accompanying me to Saturday prayer there. Speaking of is really amazing the way the patients join in.  They love the song and prayer time, we have added an occasional bible quiz game with rewards of extra cookies for the right answers. To so many of the patients we are the only family they have. No matter how tough things may seem to me when I arrive there on Tuesdays and they are at the windows yelling for me it warms my heart. I know I am really going where Jesus would go.

The summer camps are beginning this next week in Sistarovat with Matt and Lorraine Marshall. For the last several years my ministry had been able to sponsor around 60 kids at camp - not so this year. ITHM is sponsoring the girls from Osana and I can cover a few from other places myself.  On one hand I am very saddened not to be able to get these kids to camp but on the other hand the kids programs are going so very well in Sanicolau and Vinga that I know the message of Jesus is going forth to the kids and their families. We will have some day activities this summer for both groups though.

I think this summer will be truly awesome!  I am expecting the Lord to move  in many areas of the ministry. We have a large 4th of July party planned with our small group at the camp in Sistarovat.  Reach Beyond (Dave and Beth Jolly) will do a huge event in Vinga in July.  Elizabeth and Sarah will be at the camps in Sistarovat for 2-3 weeks. Elizabeth is helping with praise and worship as a leader and Sarah helps in the kitchen and cleans. I have seen Sarah blossom as a real servant - she jumped right in to help at the camp in Cralovat - what a joy to see that!  Awesome Sarah!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

2 month UPDATE!!!!

OK here we go - two months since I updated. I actually had scheduled to do this this weekend and while shopping I got a text from my dear friend Anita reminding me to do it!

One of my great joys in working with the "Pre-placed Child Development Program" at the hospital is helping to avoid babies being abandoned.  We have received great favor with the staff and now we are able to be involved with helping these precious little ones return to families when possible. Above is a little girl who was identified as abandoned...but she wasn't really.  We were able to communicate with the family and return her home as soon as she was healthy enough.
Above is Vio helping me to return twins to an extended family. The family is shown below.  Are the living conditions great in these cases?  No, but many times they do not really want to renounce their children and a family that wants them is better than a sterile hospital atmosphere any day!. Sometimes they just need a mediator or some temporary help to get over a rough spot.

Hard to believe Sarah turned 14 on March 21.  
My dear friends George and Anita Ford and Barbara Rose came to Romania to spend 3 weeks with us. On March 4 Anita, Barb and I took off to Sibiu and Brasov. This is the 3rd. such wonderful trip that they have given me!  We had a great time!!  We left George alone in a Bed and Breakfast and the owner was appalled that we would do that and had a hard time understanding. 
George did a wonderful 3 week series of messages at Vinga about The Inconvenience of Being Christian. Mark, Scott and Gabi as well as Bogdan loved having George here.
George also did a lovely Good Friday Service. I noticed the way George and Bogdan  had a pretty color co-ordination with the alter cloth! Impressive!
 Elizabeth is introducing George to the Easter egg traditions here in Romania.
On Palm Sunday we had the dedication service for Maximilian Simion, Bogdan and Lilli's baby boy. We had 2 sets of Godparents. There was a very nice celebration dinner at Bogdan and Lilli's house afterward.
Had to have a picture of Anita, George and Barbara. These two wonderful friends do not intentionally dress alike, but it often happens.  That's how it is with such long term great friends. I miss them.

All the ministry programs are chugging along: Vinga church; Detention Center; Mocrea; Widow's Mite; Orphan Sponsorship;  and Saturday kid's programs at Vinga as well and Sanicolaul Mic. God has blessed the ministry with new hands to help. Spencer and Lynsey Ball live next door and are involved in several ministries.  They are a blessing here. They fit so well in to village life, their kids can chatter like little Romanians.  Edith Bond has arrived from New Zealand  and is not only helping me but is involved with the Scott and Carolyn's program that ministers to young ladies in jeopardy here, in fact she is house mom for a couple of months.  Scott and Carolyn are faithful Mocrea helpers. The Lord has been pretty pointed in communicating to me that I need to slow down (OK - I admitted it - does it make you happy??? Yeah, you know who you are!) and has provided help!  Accepting some of my limitations has not been easy for me.  Boy there is an understatement! The girls are learning more about pitching in to help too. We will have some relief in the schedule this summer I think. Thank you for following my blog and please pray for us here and the work that the Lord has set before us.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

OK - so it is too late for Happy New about Happy March 8?

A long overdo update:

March 8 is mother's day here in Romania.  Is has been a somewhat difficult day each year for the girls and myself.  I am thankful that the girls are doing well. Elizabeth has settled down a little in school and is not so stressed.  Sarah has just had another piano recital.

In Feb. I hosted a conference on the Grain Game for Romii kids. Chip Riley, founder of the program, came from Alabama to do the teaching. it was awesome.  This is the ministry program that has been presented for several years in Sistarovit at the summer camps. We had people from the States, Ukraine, Hungary, Romania and England attend. In conjunction with Reuben and Karen Popet, who have an orphanage in the judet of Timis, we will have our first camp starting June 24.

Last night at the Vinga youth meeting we had 13 young people! Bogdan is doing a great job. Speaking of Bogdan,  he and Lilli are the proud parents of Maximilian Simon. Max will be dedicated at the Vinga church April 13.

The ministry in Sanicolaul Mic with the Kids Club as well as music lessons is going well. Marius and his lovely bride Elena do so well with this program. Bogdan is part of that team too.

The Saturday Kid's Club in Vinga is going really well too. Bogdan heads this one up too with the help of Delia, his mom and Vlad.

Mocrea is always special because the patients so appreciate the visits, crafts and mnistry. Vlad handles the singing and prayer parts of the program and assists with the crafts. Scott and Carolyn Pouncey have been so faithful to this project, I am very grateful to them.

Widow's Mite participants have been blessed with a mild winter. It has been even more difficult financially for all of us here in Romania so using less wood was a real blessing.

Edith Bond from New Zealand has moved here to help with the work. She is living with us in Sofronea and waiting to see God's direction. She helps me in all the work and is a blessing to have here!  I think what she likes best is volunteering with the Pre-Placed Child Development Program with the babies at the hospital. We are well accepted and they have come to know they can count on us being there every day. This last week Edith and I were able to take a little baby girl that had been labeled as abandoned back to her family. Their village was a distance away from Arad. The family is very poor and there are four children. 2 of them are in a hospital in a nearby town , the mother is in another hospital caring for the third child and the fourth ended up in the hospital in Arad. We took extra clothing for the little one, formula as well as food for the family. The doctors are very willing to let us get involved and help - it is such a blessing that they have learned to trust us. We hope and pray to be able to intervene in circumstances such as this so that children will be raised by their families. Sometimes it is a matter of finding someone to care for a baby while a parent works, or providing wood, or clothing or food.

This afternoon Edith and I are heading out to do the Saturday afternoon prayer meeting in Vinga. A mother from the church called this morning and asked if we will come by and pray for her little one. She also needs special shoes to help correct a birth defect. The church is doing well!  Spencer Ball is taking a preaching rotation each month and is a blessing. Edith taught last week and the people really liked it.

Thank you for checking my blog and please continue to pray for all of us here! 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

December 25 getting closer

 On December 18 Sarah was in a piano and voice recital. She played Ode Of Joy and sang Oh Little Town of Bethlehem. She did a wonderful job, I was very proud of her.

As we got closer to to the 25th we delivered presents to widows and widowers in several towns. We have a total of 44 now. Pictured directly above is a family that receives gifts every year, they beg along the main truck crossing. The boy is special as well as having both of his legs amputated at the knees. The other children are in school and usually it is just the mother with her son in the wheelchair. Not an easy life.
 Christmas morning at our house. If you look closely you can see that Sarah now has dark pink dip-dye.
Only a few strands of teal/green hair show here with Elizabeth. She had the back of her hair done. We actually had 4 different gift times on Christmas. We started out at 9AM with Spencer and Lynsey's children, Trinity, Jonathan as well as their weekend visitor Alex coming over for pancakes with Elizabeth and Sarah. They stayed to open their stockings and presents at our house. Lynsey was taking the shift with the babies at the hospital so they would open their Christmas presents later.  They went home and we opened our gifts, The girls gave me a foot bath massage unit - it is awesome! After we once again cleaned up the paper and such Vio and Ioanci with Rici and Cati came over and opened their presents. We all had dinner at Spencer and Lynseys and we got more presents. Lovely day all around.  With all the busyness and gifts, it all still centered on the celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus!

This Christmas season was incredibly busy and I am blessed that it all got done!  Maranatha Orphanage received gifts and a party as well as many poor families were visited and received gifts. The girls and I are "running away from home" tomorrow and heading to Hungary for several days  to visit with wonderful friends. I have coverage for my baby hospital shift, Vinga church as well as Mocrea on Tuesday.

Thank you for your prayers and following the snapshots of our lives here in Romania with this blog. I think 2014 will be a dynamic year. It was exciting this year to partner with Rock of Hope Ministries. Scott and Carolyn have a wonderful ministry with young ladies. Several of us missionaries meet weekly for bible study, prayer and fellowship. It has been a true time of refreshing for us all. This year also saw the beginning of the Pre-Placed Child Development Program, which has been well accepted and we have seen the Lord do wonderful things. The children's programs at Vinga and SNM are going so well. Marius continues to offer music lessons at SNM. Bogdan is really coming on as a youth leader and also goes to the Youth Detention Center to minister. Spencer has been helping him these last months.  The widows received doctor visits and medicines along with their monthly food and visits, and of course winter wood. If it's Tuesday it's Mocrea. The first week of February I am hosting a seminar on doing camps for the Roma children. I hope it will be well attended and that this will be a beginning of something big! 

May all of you be enjoying a joyous Christmas season as well as a Happy New Year!


 Here is the Osana family. I won't even try to explain what Cerbu has on his head - but he is definitely the life of the party!  Osana is where Beca and Gulia are and they are growing in to fine young ladies!  Osana is building a boys home in Iaonva, a nearby village which will hopefully be ready to open this year.
The girls loved their presents!

Christmas fun at Mocrea

 Cerbu and the girls from Osana, a private Christian girl's facility in Timisoara. put on a Scrooge play and did a puppet show for the patients at Mocrea. Cerbu opened with some upbeat singing and got the patients involved right away.
 Matthew Marshall hauled the bag of goodies to all the patients that were unable to attend the show. Callum King was the super-Santa and Marius Aslau with Danny provided the music. Peter's absence was very much felt as we did these parties. .
Here is Wayne manning the gift table. We had tee-shirts for the men and ladies, sweat shirts, knit caps as well as some underwear for the patients. A new bible was also given to each patient. 
The patients worked on their "goody bags" for three weeks as their craft.. Here is Chris after we finished filling them.  While the show was going on we stuffed the bags with chocolates, hard candies, cookies, cappuccino, hot chocolate and coffee packets.  They were all served several cups of soda during the performance. This Christmas event is one of my favorites. To so many of these patients we are the only "family" to visit them. We are there every Tuesday. My special thanks to Scott and Carolyn Pouncey as well as Traian who are so faithful every week.

Christmas begins

On December 9 a truck load of presents from Reaching Romania in Wales arrived.  Wayne and Christine were on hand, plus some friends and neighbors, to off load them all.  Irene was unable to be with us this year due to the ill health of her mother. The first presents to be transported went down to the Timis area where Vlad visited the 24 widows in that area.
 On December 14 we did 2 very large parties for children in Sanicolaoul Mic and Vinga. In Sanicolaul Mic we served pizza, soda and Christmas cookies before the giving of the gifts. The kids had a music competition which Wayne and Chris had to judge.
 We were blessed this year by having the funds to almost double the size of the building as well as provide a new outhouse, The winter wood has been purchased and is in a new covered area. Progress! 
 Here is Santa Bogdan with the gifts for the Vinga kids. That group is growing, the program is on Saturdays from 10 -12.
 Reaching Romania also sent gifts for every leader.
Every week the leaders take turn providing a snack, usually a sandwich for the children. Most of the kids will not have eaten when they come some may not eat every day.  Spencer and Lynsey bring their children to this program and also take a turn in providing the snacks. The children got Christmas cookies also when they left.