Saturday, October 3, 2015

Elizabeth turns 17!

Wow - where did the years go?  We have always been "The Americans" here.  So many people are amazed at how well the girls know the Romanian language. They can not get their minds around the fact that Romanian is their first language.  No I am not quite the typical grandmother here. I like to think that I can do (or used to be able to do) almost anything. Why I could ride a horse, ride a motorcycle, do work on the Space Shuttle, raise children, build simple structures, shoot, cook and clean...but alas I fall short on what almost all, if not all Romanian grandmothers can do - BAKE A CAKE!  Elizabeth wanted a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. Can I do that she asks? Well sure I say.  The results:
Before Elizabeth saw the cake I told her to remember I made it with a lot of love. Not very pretty is it.  Also I didn't have the number 7 to make up the 17.  Hey - the numbers add up to 17!  I couldn't get the numbers to stay on the top of the cake - the surface was too uneven. The cake tastes good and Elizabeth was happy with it - that's the important thing.

Grain Game camp in Vinga

Just before school started in Sept. we had a week long Grain Game camp for the kids in Vinga aged 8-12. Fifty two attended during the week. Bogdan Galea did the gospel demonstrations and teaching, Callum King and an awesome team from World Race did games and crafts while Elizabeth and Samy Novak covered the music. Everybody had a really good week.                                           

  These were a great group of kids!

Making masks - Callum and his team came up with great crafts everyday

We had rain for two of the days but had enough floor space for indoor games on those days

Bogdan did a truly great job of presenting the gospel through the GG demonstrations. The vision of GG is for the gospel to reach every child of every nation. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

My Sarah

 It doesn't seem like I write as much about Sarah as I do the activities of her sister Elizabeth.  Sarah is having a good summer. She hadn't particularly liked the first 8 grades of school but she loves high school and is anxious for the fall semester to begin. She enters the 10th grade. She rides the train to town and back every day and that is the focal point of her social life. If I need to discipline her the biggest threat is that I would drive her to and from school!  Elizabeth would love that and wants to know why I never threaten her with that.  The girls are as different as night and day but both are a joy to my heart. Raising teens is not for the faint of heart however. Sarah is so photogenic. She would love for me to allow a tattoo or a few piercings...ah no.  Just wanted to take a moment to spotlight this gorgeous young lady.


While Elizabeth was slaving away doing camps Sarah and I were able to get a week at the Black Sea in Bulgaria. We went with the Poncey's and their girls.  It was a long drive but I so enjoy the ocean and poolside.  Scott and Carolyn as well as Tammy and Randy, visiting after a wedding, went with the girls to a water park and parasailing too. The parasailing was the highlight of the trip.  Here are some pictures:

Sarah and I both enjoyed the trip
Anghelina and Sarah on the beach
View from Apt. balcony
The lovely pools

Elizabeth and Eurotrek

Elizabeth has been a Grain Game camper for years and last year was a junior leader.  This summer she joined Eurotrek.  Eurotrek is Grain Game in Europe. Elizabeth had the opportunity to spend one week in the Ukraine, two weeks in Serbia and two weeks in Romania.  Fundraising in Romania is not an easy thing to do. Kids don't have part time jobs as a rule, they don't pay babysitters and you can't do car washes or bake sale type of projects. She wisely decided it would be somewhat rude to write to the supporters of my work and just ask for money (although some helped of course). We brainstormed and came up with nothing. I do not have the funds to just send her, besides I wanted her to raise her own funds as much as possible. I did sell a trailer just before she left which helped! Elizabeth has been invited to a Grain Game function in Alabama in January and has already made plans to join Eurotrek next summer. She feels drawn to Africa and would like to make a trip there and work with Grain Game Africa after high-school graduation. As she is gushing about her future my mind is adding up expenses... but I do know God has provision for the vision so I wasn't worried. He has provided for us here all these years.

During a week of alternate education Elizabeth took a walking tour of Arad. The city is full of old places and historical buildings. She was excited to share what she had learned with me when she got home..."LIGHTBULB MOMENT"  We decided that many people might like a similar tour of the city.  Teams of visitors come in and out all year and she could handle groups. Elizabeth has made up a booklet to hand out after the tour.  We will be advertising her tour soon on Facebook and maybe sending out e-mails. Of  course if people aren't coming to Romania and wish to support Elizabeth they will be mailed the booklet.  We are excited about this and it will give her ownership of her ministry. I am so joyful of the paths she is choosing.  Elizabeth will also help us with the Vinga camp next month.
Elizabeth in Serbia

Chip and Elizabeth

Grain Game Rromi Camp

What an awesome start to the summer.  The kids from Pesac were able to attend a summer camp up in Sistarovat!  Thanks to an American team, led by Daryl and Janna Edwards, for helping and the financial support!  This aspect of The Grain Game is fairly new.  Bogdan and Callum and a few others are the leaders. I agreed to spearhead this effort and administrate it for now until Bogdan can take over.  Grain Game primarily targets middle school age youngsters for the wonderful gospel preparations. Grain Game, Chip Riley, has developed some of the best demonstrations for children's ministry that I have ever seen.  This is our second year for camp with the Pesac kids. During the rest of the year Bogdan, Callum and team do monthly kids club with them. 

We have another camp scheduled for the 2nd week in September, just before school starts. We will be doing this camp with the Vinga youngsters. We already have a kid's club there on Saturdays run by Spencer and Lynsey Ball as well as Bogdan.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Cati is is on the left, a mentally challenged young man that helps Roza in the middle and Roza on the right. Cati and Roza are sisters and live next door to each other in Vinga. Roza is the oldest of 14.  I know Cati is younger but I am not sure how many siblings were in between.  Cati has some trouble processing information and can be quite difficult.  Cati as well as Roza are in the Widow's Mite program.  They are not close, in fact I am not sure Cati knows Roza was baptized.

Several weeks ago Cati fell in the fields while collecting flowers to sell at the Piata.  She was transported to the hospital in town with what I thought was a broken leg. Cati returned home in less than a week. She was afraid of surgery and would not let them operate. it was her hip that was broken not her leg. She was brought back by ambulance and placed on her "bed". She could not get up to go outside (there is no bathroom).  Lynsey and I visited with her to assess the needs...whoa, what a list.  Neighbors are helping to care for her so with adult diapers,baby wipes, antibiotic cream as she has open sores where she fell, a bed pan, a walker and diaper creams and a supply of sheets, she was settled. I gave her a couple of shifts of mine to use as nightgowns as she lays in a room open to the yard.   Christine let us have one of her twin mattresses as Cati really didn't have a bed. She had a rusted box spring with old filthy blankets and a quilt for padding. It also looked like there were several layers of clothes underneath her. It was pretty smelly to say the least - let alone a REALLY bad place to be laying with open wounds. Here is a picture before she was transferred to the new nylon covered mattress. That is just packed dirt beneath those crates - and that is all the furniture in that room.

Cati is actually (and surprisingly) doing quite well and is able to move her leg around now. God is good - because without Him having His hand on her - it would have been a much worse situation. Please pray for a rapid healing and that she be able to walk again!