Monday, November 30, 2009


I was writing a friend an e-mail and telling her about my visit yesterday to Vilma, one of the ladies in the Widow's Mite program. I realized I needed to post this here also.

I hadn't seen Vilma, one of the widows, for 2 months. I left the food bags hanging on the fence those times. This month I decided I was not going to leave the food but keep going back until I caught the daughter home. I was concerned that Vilma had either died or was being left alone most of the time. The neighbor had said Vilma was still alive but I was concerned because the daughter is mentally unstable. On my fifth trip back the daughter came out - it took a while but we determined that Vilma had been moved to her son's place. I got the address and went. The son and daughter-in-law live very poorly themselves but the room was clean where Vilma was staying and did not smell. We had taken bed-linens and pads for under Vilma and given them to the daughter but she wasn't changing the the bed. It was a relief to know Vilma was in a clean bed. She declined terribly since I last saw her, she is almost deaf and blind now. She recognized my voice and started to cry. Her daughter-in-law had wanted her to go and stay at the old place to try and catch when I came with the food so I would know where she is. Vilma's daughter brought the food to Vilma the last two months at least. I told the daughter-in-law that I was glad Vilma was there and she said they had to move her because the daughter was abusing her. That broke my heart. I told Vilma, who knows the Lord, that we will pray that the Lord takes her home soon.

Happy Thanksgiving!

OK - so I am a couple of days late! I meant to get this posted last week - honest!

The missionaries plus many Romanian guests gathered for a Thanksgiving feast. The girls had the next day off from school (part of the teacher's strike and they are still off) so it worked out nicely. Of course I have no pictures to post of this event but we had a good time. There are fewer and fewer Americans here but the kids in Network's Mission school as well as the volunteers from all over Europe quickly got the hang of our holiday! Some Romanian churches seem to be starting similar celebrations of thanksgiving.

The Orphan Sponsor Updates are completed! Yeah! If you sponsor a child and do not have e-mail, the letters are in the mail. If you do have e-mail you should have received your letter and picture.

The Vinga youth group continues to grow. This next Friday night we have movie night and they are all to invite friends. I am still praying for youth pastors for this group.

We are now heading in to our very busy Christmas schedule. Irene and Wayne arrive this week and will stay 3 weeks. Peter is here until January and is a big help. I need to get our tree up this week. I have almost all of my shopping done but I need to get everything wrapped.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Apple Way

Networks (Lee), Nigel, Walter and myself had another meeting about Apple Way. We think we have a plan. With all those families and the entire squatters camp scheduled for demolition in the spring we are unable to make any big investments in building materials.

We will continue covering leaking roofs with nylon. We have identified what we feel are the biggest needs: shelter to keep rain and snow out; heating; food; and medicine for the winter. Once it gets really cold many many of those children will become sick. We have settled on providing the staple of flour. Lee wrote up a rough budget and we feel it is doable. We will see if the City Hall is determining which of the families have identification papers for the judet of Arad - that will help to get placement elsewhere. Lee is going to talk to the forest master and see if he will let us come in with two helpers from the camp to remove downed trees and limbs etc. If the answer is no then we will buy some wood but the truth of the matter is they will go in and take what they need and we'll just not question where the wood comes from.

We are all spending time in that area just talking to people and building relationships, this allows us to assess the needs ourselves. Nigel and Walter are so faithful about being there often and spending many hours there. Today Walter and Ionut were cutting up wood for several families (did I want to know where a couple of them got the telephone poles? Ah, no I didn't). I found a few older ladies that may qualify for the Widow's Mite program so I'll go back especially to visit them.

I think most everyone is leaving in Dec. and Jan. but the houses should be fixed by then and we will be down to the distribution of the flour, medicine and wood by then. Peter will be here until February so that will help.

I am glad we have a plan! If you just look on the surface that place can be overwhelming! We look with western eyes and think "how can people live like that?" but they do and many have survived many years living in those conditions - do babies die? Yes. Do people die much earlier than other groups? Yes. Do all those beautiful children eat everyday? No. Can I fix it? No. Can I do something? Yes.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Orphan Sponsors

Just a quick note to you who have sponsored orphans - the updates on all the kids starts this week. Am I late again? well sure but I won't bother with a list of excuses, just know your update and picture will be on the way shortly.

If you know anyone that would like to sponsor a child or an elderly person please contact me. I am sure it has escaped no ones attention that there is a financial crisis all over the world but for those who were right on the edge, it is desperate.

Back to Apple Way

We are back in Apple Way. Walter, myself and a team from Networks are back working in Apple Way trying to get some of the squatter shacks somewhat ready for winter. We covered a couple of roofs in heavy nylon last week and are returning today. This entire squatter area is scheduled for demolition in the spring - what will happen to all these families is still very much up in the air. The State has no plans to relocate them and most are not from this judet.

Vinga Youth

Here is most of the teen group from the Vinga church. I have had the opportunity to be a youth pastor - never thought I was called to that but heck it seems I am doing several things here I was not called to do! It boils down to doing the best I can with what God puts before me.

While we were at camp this summer I felt it would be an awesome thing to take these kids outside of Romania on a missions trip. I talked to a fellow missionary from Eastern Germany and we may be able to work something out. I told the kids they would have to earn some of the money. The plans are for this group, plus others I hope, to attend summer camp again this next summer. I think a charity in the UK, Reaching Romania, will be helping to fund that.

Friday we are having our meeting in town over pizza. I am praying for a youth leader - I don't want to lose these kids. Vinga has so many children, between the teens and the children we would have more than 65 kids if they all came any one Sunday to church.