Sunday, May 24, 2009

Kids Klub

Friday evening Marius (the Vinga youth leader) Peter and myself took 17 of the kids from Vinga to the Kids Klub in my school located in Sanicolaul Mic. They really seemed to enjoy it. The children in Vinga are especially on my heart. The ones that go to school do not usually stay much past the 4th grade and they have a limited future. We are taking them to a summer camp out near Lipova in July. Reaching Romania, a charity in the UK, has a program to provide school clothes for many of these kids as well as the needed school supplies. Sometimes this is all the encouragement they need to go back to school - new clothes! Reaching Romania has also provided me with funds to help with the camp costs.

I hope to get to their youth meeting in Vinga on Wednesday. I want to talk to them about some service projects, liking cleaning out the weeds in the cemetery. Also as I watched them Friday night an idea hatched in my brain about a missions trip for these kids. This would be HUGE undertaking (just now I got a mental picture - a shudder going through some people that know me well). The enormity of a project doesn't slow me down much - I just need to know it is God for me to do.

Widow's Mite

The photograph below is of the 34 bags of food in my bathroom ready to be delivered to 6 villages in the judet of Timis. It takes an entire day with travel time to visit the 17 ladies. The photograph on the right is me with Mina Pandel. It was during a long conversation with Mina several years ago that I came to understand how it is that so many children desert their aged parents. She explained that the State took care of the children when you wanted them to, it was their responsibility and when you got old it was the State's responsibility to provide for you, not the children's. Of course under Communism there was no God. When I first discussed this with Mina she couldn't comprehend why I thought her children ought to be helping her. The house she has lived in all of these years is now in the name/s of her children. Mina is now relegated to a shed like area that is attached to the back of the house. There are big padlocks on the other doors - the rest of the house can now produce income for the children. Also Mina was not allowed to use the garden this year for the same reason. She said she is grateful for a tiny plot near the pig sty that they allow her to use. As she is getting older and unable to work as much things are getting more difficult for her and she longs for a relationship with her children.

I also went to visit Eva Stoll. Eva is a tiny 83 year old German woman. She requested a bible in German a year or so ago and Vlad was able to find her one but she can no longer read it. A few years ago she fell and hurt her left arm and has not been able to use it much since and then Friday she fell again. Eva can no longer use her right arm now either. A doctor came to visit her and said it was not broken but he also said she has problems with her heart and lungs. A neighbor rushed over when he saw a strange vehicle to see if Eva was alright. It seems some boys beat and robbed an old woman in that area recently. I am grateful that the neighbor is watching over her.

After visiting Eva we went right next door to deliver food to Smilia and Aurelia. Smilia is 89 and Aurelia is her 60-something profoundly retarded daughter. They were both in bed when we came. Smilia has never recovered from a bout with the flu and now Aurelia has also been bed-ridden for two weeks. A daughter-in-law comes about once a day and leaves food on a near-by table and gets a bucket of water. The daughter in law puts the daughter in her chair just long enough for her to eat and drink a little but Aurelia can no longer stay sitting up. Smlia said she thinks they are at the end of their days. I reminded her that we were agreeing in prayer for the Lord to take Aurelia first and then her right after. Smilia is asking the Lord in His mercy to take them now. I was profoundly sad, not because I think they may both die but because there is so little I can do to ease their lives now.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Claudia's House in Apply Way

On the journey from the lumberyard Aaron had to ride on top of the lumber to keep it in the truck.

We unloaded the new lumber at the building site Friday and a group of men were supposed to come Saturday and work. This is a typical "construction". Claudia just wants it done so she can sleep under one roof with her children. When Walter and Aaron checked on the site yesterday while delivering potatoes only one or two boards had been added. Walter and I will check on the progress this week or next and if it isn't getting done we'll find a few volunteers and get it done. By the way, the tailgate of my didn't really survive the load of lumber - it was way too long and too heavy on the tailgate - oh well....

2 tons of potatoes

I got a good buy on potatoes in bulk. I actually ended up buying more than 2 tons. An awesome team here from St. Paul's in Steamboat Springs CO helped me bag and deliver them. After the bagging I got concerned that the potatoes were small and low quality. The old saying came to mind "you get what you pay for" and I indeed got a really good price. Of course the few bags I checked out had a better quality potato! I do not like to give things that are second best - especially not in clothes and food. I really dislike the attitude that because these people are so poor they should appreciate anything they might be given in spite of the condition - we should give our best. I spoke with many and told them that I knew the potatoes were of poor quality. I didn't get any pictures of the team helping me. Thank you all from Steamboat Springs!

Monday, May 11, 2009

More food to Apple Way

We provided over 200 boxes of food in that really poor neighborhood. We are scheduled to distribute potatoes on Saturday but I am not quite sure how to do it. The simplest way would be to gather 200 plastic shopping bags - I could put 10 lbs. or more in each bag - but bags cost and I hate to waste the money that could go for food! I will have to give this some more thought.

Peter and I went and bought some building materials to help rebuild the shack for Claudia and her family that had burned down. I wish I had taken a picture of what they had done so far. Several boards were nailed to start some walls but they were all different lengths. I asked Claudia if they had a saw - no. We bought a saw as well as a hammer and nails along with the wood and tar paper. I have been surrounded by poverty for a long time and am somewhat used to it - but I never want to get hardened to it. Claudia and I were chatting after Peter left and she looked pained. I asked what the problem was and she looked embarrassed but I persisted. She had one of her 3 children in her arms (I do not think she is out of her teens) and she hung her head a moment before muttering "we are hungry". The family of 5 have been allowed to sleep at an Aunt shack since they were burned out but they are given no food. Claudia's husband had been sick for 3 days and not been able to seek day work. Claudia said the worse part was when the oldest one cried because he was hungry and she said she cuffed him. She felt so terrible thinking she is a bad mother. I took them to the store. As I drove off I cried.

Hat day at Mocrea

Last week we made hats at Mocrea, it was a hit! I just wanted to share some of their artwork with you. I just received a large supply of new craft items and am contemplating what we will do this week. What fun!

Just catching up

We went to deliver Widow's Mite food to a village a couple of hours away from us. Irene and Peter were able to go but also Sarah wanted to come. Both the girls enjoy coming with me on many of the projects. This lady is Pachita and I am not sure what she had said to Sarah but Sarah hugged her and told her "remember Jesus loves you every day". Irene then took a picture of them. It was one of those precious moments.