Thursday, September 25, 2008

There is another lady in Timis whose name is Mina Pandel. I can not find a picture of her on the computer. Vlad took one on his camera and I will share it later.

Mina took the time a few years ago to explain to me how it is that so many old people are just forgotten. In a very matter of fact way she told that the State was responsible and would take care of old people. It was a Godless society and the State was everything. This explanation unfolded when I found that Mina has 8 children and did not receive any help from them. Mina thought there was nothing odd about being abandoned in her old age, there was no emotion attached.

This lady still does hard physical labor in the fields, milks cows to receive a pint of milk herself, and now is living in a shed attached to the house. What happened to her being in the house? The house is in the name of her son and the son's wife has little use for helping her mother-in-law apparently. They had other people they wanted to let use the other parts of the house, collecting rent I am sure. The daughter came upon the scene while we were there and Ionut asked why Mina was relegated to the shed, couldn't she stay in the house? I saw the look on the daughter's face and I knew that Mina would suffer when we left. I was able to get Mina aside and talk to her. Her daughter would mistreat her if given the opportunity but there was a neighbor that looks out for that type of situation and had advised Mina to involve the police, which she has.

When I was talking to Mina there were tears, no longer is it the emotionless situation. How could the children she raised do this to her? I hugged her and said we would pray for her. I also gave her money for wood and instructed her to hide it right then while I keep an eye open for the daughter. Ionut had engaged the daughter in conversation so I could give Mina the money. We also gave Mina some comfy slippers, a lap blanket and a bright pink stuffed dog! She hugged that dog to her and there was joy on her face. I'll bet she had never been given something like that. We named the dog Rosa.

Mina has always been one of the special ladies to me. She was so excited to see me as she knew I had been sick. She asked if I would keep coming to see her as long as I lived. That made me smile, at her age I SHOULD outlive her.

There is often so little we can do for these forgotten old people, only love them and give what little help we can. Hugging these woman and seeing their tears because of a visit is a very humbling experience. Pray for Mina, pray for Smilia and Aurelia...pray for them all please.

Visiting Widows

This week I drove Ionut and Vlad to visit the widow's in the judet of Timis. Because of the distance we only deliver food every 6 weeks rather than once a month here in Arad. Because of recent health issues I had not been able to visit with these ladies in months.
Pictured above with Ionut, is Aurelia and on the bottom is her mother Smilia. Aurelia is 70 years old and profoundly retarded and has been disabled her entire life. Smilia is now 87 and has cared for her all these years. I think Smilia's husband had died years ago. Smilia said she was counseled early on to just leave Aurelia in a State institution but she would not. Aurelia sits on a potty chair all day and is placed in a crib at night. A neighbor comes to do this as Smilia can no longer lift Aurelia. Smilia is tired. I have talked with her and her fear is that she will die before her daughter does. We pray together and include a request that the Lord take Aurelia moments before He takes Smilia home. Smilia has found peace in this I think.
They stay in a small room with cracked walls and a dirt floor. There is a bigger room in the house and in in my western mindset I suggested we could fix it up and move them where it would be nicer. Smilia said she was used to this and wouldn't want to change. I thought - well besides food what can I do to make her life somewhat easier or nicer? I remembered that we had received bed pads - would they like them? How about new bedding? Now that brought a smile to the mother's face. We will take the bedding and pads to her soon. I also think a big bouquet of flowers would be great. It doesn't seem like much though.
The mother's strength and perseverance leaves me in awe. When I start to feel down over some of the little problems of my life I think of this mother and child.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

This is Ionut Bindea,who helps me with the Widow's Mite program, and Elena Ciobanu. We refer to Elena as the Tee Pee lady because she lived in a little lean-to at the edge of a field that resembled an Indian Tee Pee. That place burned down the next winter.

When we found Elena she was knitting socks from wool she scavenged from along side the roads. She would unravel sweaters or whatever she could find. I tried to buy a pair of these socks but she would only trade them for food. Last winter I finally managed to get a pair for her sponsor after reminding her I had been faithful with bringing her food for a long time.

Elena is 88 years old now but looks better than she did a couple of years ago. She was recently baptized and for that we rejoice. Elena lives in a little shed where the wind whistled through the gaps in the walls. Last winter we went and nailed tar paper to the inside walls and then covered the tar paper with blankets and quilts. It warmed up immediately and it was pretty! One by one I saw that the blankets have disappeared. It is time to buy all the participants in the Widow's Mite program winter wood. The price has almost doubled from last year and there are currently 25 old people in the program.

If you, or someone you know would, like more information about this program or the other things I am involved in here in Romania please go to my web-site at This site needs to be updated and I will get to that soon. Actually this blog thing is so much easier!

Happy Wednesday

This is one of the pictures from our mini vacation in Hungary before school started. Seated on the couch with Elizabeth is Edith, a missionary from New Zealand that has served in Hungary for many years. That is Sarah and myself behind the couch.

I can't believe how big the girls are. Elizabeth will be 10 years old in two more weeks and Sarah is 8 1/2. I will have to get a picture of Sani posted soon - hard to believe he is 19.

I am still fighting a few health issues. I may have to concede soon that I may never be able to do all that I used to - BUMMER!

Saturday, September 13, 2008


I was just a mere slip of a girl at 50 (OK, so I have NEVER been a slip of a girl) when I came to live in Romania. Early on in my career I had wanted to retire at 55. After I moved here I just thanked God that He had let me leave my job even earlier! The thought and benefits of Social Security seemed an eon away.

Today I am 62 and eligible for Social Security - boy does time fly when you are having fun. My granddaughter Elizabeth asked me if now I don't have to work anymore to which I replied "well you never retire from God and that is who I really work for".

I stopped recognizing my birthdays some time ago but today it is different, I can celebrate "retirement". I just wanted to share that.

P.S. in reviewing the post I realize my blog shows it is still Sept. 13 - here in Romania it is Sept. 14. Anyone know how to correct the time the blog is posted? It must be on California time.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hearing from the Lord

There are so many changes going on here in Romania with missionaries being reassigned as well as going home. I am hearing from other missionaries in other places that they too seem to be in a state of transition. Please hold me up in prayer that I might hear the Lord clearly in several areas.

Since spring I have had several health challenges. It has been wisdom for me to somewhat limit my schedule. Due to some of the changes in the lives of others who were helping me I do not have the same pool of people to draw from to help me.

This is just sort of a "thought for today" prayer request!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Vinga Teens at summer camp

Look - I figured out how to post this!


Our Sunday School has really grown in Vinga. We also have a youth group with about a dozen teens. It has always been one of my visions to expand the work with the children in that village.

Our teen group was at a summer camp, the first time many of them had been out of the village and the very first time any of them had been to the mountains! Ionut Bindea, who helps me with Widow's Mite, is the teen leader. We had to purchase bathing suits and PJs for all the kids as well as one outfit each. We didn't want our kids to look like "the token poor kids" at this camp. They had a wonderful time! I will post a picture of that adventure but being computer stupid this is the best I can do for one posting.

We have just about finished adding on a large room to the church for the Sunday School. God is moving in Vinga and He is letting me go along for the ride - WHHEEEE!!!!

Irene Phillips was here for a month and managed to purchase school clothes, shoes, back packs and some school supplies for 23 of the children from Vinga. She and Adina Luca scoured Arad for every possible bargain. The money went just like the loaves and fishes!