Monday, December 31, 2012


It is hard to believe that another year has come to a close.  I am excited for 2013, I think it will be an dynamic year in Romania.

Thank you to all those who have prayed for me, Elizabeth, Sarah and the ministry.  Thank you to those special people who have encouraged me.  Thank you to all who have so generously donated the funds to feed the poor and care for the elderly, to sponsor orphans, to love the unlovely, to teach the children, and to preach the gospel. Thank you to those in Romania that help me so much.

I am waiting to hear from the Lord on a couple of projects. I know that if He asks me to do it He will provide me with everything required including the funds, strength and health as well as those who will come along side of me.

Happy New Year.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Jesus - The reason for the season

I want to wish each and everyone a joyous Christmas season!  I pray that you be filled with the Peace that passes all understanding, know the true Love that only God provides, have the Joy of the Lord (our only true strength) and Hope for a tremendous 2013.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas at the Detention center

 Last year the director of the center contacted me and asked if we could start some sort of program for the children and teens being held there. This facility is similar to the Juvenile Hall facilities in the States. We began a bible study followed by a game or craft time.  The detainees come and go, some are there for long periods of time however. The reasons why they are there vary.  here they were singing a Christmas Carol for us.
 They are patiently waiting for Santa to call their name. There were 12 of the 15 total residents present today.  All the pictures needed to be taken from angles that do not allow individuals to be recognized.
Bogdan and Santa with one of the boys.  The kids really enjoy Bogdan. Some of them are really soaking in the lessons from the bible study. We pray that some seeds have been planted that will yield a harvest in their lives. Some of their stories are truly horrific.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Guess what this is????

Every year I want to take a picture of this and share it. This is the decorated Christmas tree outside our little city hall in my village. If there were an ugly tree decoration contest - this tree would win - hands down! Every year I wait with baited breath thinking "surely they won't do it the same AGAIN"  Alas - they do. Just wanted to share this.  The picture does not do the ugliness justice.

Saturday bible classes in Vinga

 This is our leadership team: Alina and Vlad and Bogdan and Delia. They do a wonderful job with the two classes that are given simultaneously. One for the 4-8 yr. olds and the other for the 9-12yr. olds.

Each week we have more children. This week there were 35. We started on Saturday because these are the rooms we use for church on Sunday while our renovations of the sanctuary are in progress.  I think though that we will leave them meeting on Saturdays even when the sanctuary is finished. It is easier for the leaders and also we will reach more children.  I noticed children are coming that had never been attracted to Sunday School.

We were treated to the dress rehearsal of their Christmas pageant. They had worked very hard and did a really good job. I hope there is a good turnout of parents and friends next Saturday.

Of course the children all had a gift from Santa. 

Teens in Vinga

 I think there were 15 teens at their Christmas party Friday night. We couldn't get them all together for one picture. Elizabeth and Bianca were playing guitar and trying to get everybody singing the same Christmas Carol.

 Santa and Sarah. Bogdan is the leader of the teens and does a great job of it.  There's a youth pastor in the making I think. The teens each got a present plus cakes and soda. Usually they practice a couple of songs during their meetings for our Sunday service.
Some of the rest of the group.  I hope we can have another "missions" experience for them in 2013.  2 years ago they went to Bulgaria to help build an orphanage, last year they were junior counselors at a summer camp.  They can be challenging but over all they are a great bunch of teens!

Night Shelter for the homeless

Thursday evening we went to the night shelter.  This is the first year we have had a Christmas party at a homeless shelter. I drive past this place almost every day.  One day last week we stopped to see if they would let us come in for Christmas - yes they would.  Marius, Sanicolaul Mic music school and kid's club, Elizabeth, Sarah, and Bianca were the caroling group.  We went in with toiletries, hats, scarves, and socks for all. I ordered 20 extra large pizzas and we had soda.  Everybody had a wonderful time! 
 Irene visiting in the ladies area.  There are two widows there that lost their homes and have no children to help them. We are seeing if we can find housing for them. The shelter allows the older ones to remain there during the day also. The rest all have to leave each morning and are left to wander the streets during the day.
Everybody got almost all the Pizza they could eat. We visited with many.  The police brought in a couple of men that were pretty inebriated as well as one came by ambulance. Left outside for the night they would have died. We didn't have enough of many of the items for everyone to receive everything - but the people were very gracious and there was no arguing or remarks.  They were just so happy to have what we were able to give them.

This type of thing is the Christmas spirit for me.  Touching lives with the love of Jesus.  The scripture about whatever you have done to the least of these you have done unto Me really comes home at times like this.  I am going to go back there one more time. Some were still cold at night and we have many knitted blankets that came over from Wales - they will be a very welcome gift!

I can only hope my own daughter will have someone touch her life with love this Christmas.  As I visited with many I couldn't help but think - some of these are someone's sons and daughters....

Osana Girl's Home Timisoara

 Here are the girls of Osana. Osana is a special place for me.  In the back row in the middle are Rebecca and Giulia - who were rescued from the streets a year ago.  Irina, their mother is still on the streets and in very poor shape. I am going to try and get her back in to Mocrea.  The second girl from the right in the back row is new to Osana - she is Rosie. Rosie was with a missionary family for 6 years and due to relationship issues and behavior issues they felt they were unable to keep her any longer.

Nadine and Cerbu came to the center for minors to see the sisters in the front row, Corina and Maria - middle girls in front row. I was present at the interview when they decided that they could in fact invite Corina and Maria to be part of the Osana family.  I asked if they had room for yet another? How about Rosie too...bless them they invited her along also. OK, back row left to right: Sorina, Giulia, Rebeca, Andrea, Rosie and Angi. Front row left to right: Melody, Corina, Maria and Naomi. Melody and Naomi and Nadine's and Cerbu's birth children.
This is Nadine and Cerbu with Sorina in the middle. Sorina has been there for 12 years.  Cerbu and the girls are doing a Christmas program at Mocrea with us on Tuesday.  After we left they all decorated their Christmas tree.
Reaching Romania provided gifts for all the girls here.  it was fun to see them dig through all the goodies in their gift boxes.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mocrea - Preparing for Christmas

 Next Tuesday we have the Christmas party for the patients at Mocrea.  This Tuesday we decorated paper bags, enough for everyone. We will pass out tangerines and candies and coffee packets during the intermission in our show to put in these bags.
We always finish our visit with a prayer time at with the patients.  I was blessed to have Adina, Irene, Christine, Peter and Bogdan with me.  Next week for the party and Christmas show we will have 10-12 people helping.  Sarah and Elizabeth also get to stay out of school to help.

I am about ready to TRY and get to town to pick up Irene then Peter and Christine. It continues to snow but we are scheduled at Osana girls home in Timisoara and I want to at least try to make it!  May the Lord make a way where there is no way...!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sanicolaul Mic Gifts and Party

 Here is the renovated building filled with the kids. This group includes the music students and the ones who just come to the Kid's Club meetings.  This last Saturday we had pizza, soda, tangerines and chocolate for the children. These gifts came from the Hainferd School in England (I know I just slaughtered that name, sorry Chris). Irene provided all the refreshments.  Reaching Romania also provided funds that enabled us to buy more guitar strings as  well as wood for our stove there.
Most of the pictures that we took were accidentally deleted  (yeah, it was my goof - sorry)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

This is the view from my bedroom window a few hours ago. It continues to snow. I have cancelled the church service in Vinga.  I wanted to post the pictures from the Kid's Club at Sanicolaul Mic. We had the party complete with pizza, soda, tangerines and chocolate - not to mention the Christmas gifts. I accidentally deleted the pictures I wanted to use. I'll e-mail Irene to resend them to me.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Widows in Varadia

Irene, along with Peter and Chris went with Vlad for Christmas visits with ladies from Varadia. Irene had not met any of these to date and spent much time in getting the stories of their lives and getting to know them.  Each one is precious.

Peter always dresses as Santa for these December visits. I think he enjoys it as much as the elderly do, in fact I know he loves it! Irene's charity, Reaching Romania, in addition to all the children's Christmas shoe boxes, sends gifts for every one in the Widow's Mite program.  Everyone has had their winter wood delivered now too. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Christmas has started - Maranatha

 Yesterday was Mos Nicolae in Romania.  We began the Christmas shoebox distribution at Maranatha. Traditionally a child will put their boots outside the door and will receive candy or a stick depending on their behavior over the year.  Now all children get decorated sticks plus small gifts. Elizabeth and Sarah got sticks, a hat and M&Ms (that they did NOT share with their loving grandmother!)
 Here is Irene with one of the children her charity, Reaching Romania, sponsors. She was down on the floor playing with all the children - definitely in her element!
Pastor Hada Gligor with the children. They had a lovely Christmas program prepared just for us. At Maranatha there is also a canteen that feeds 50 poor school children a day.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Now the sorting of the gifts begin!

Hundreds, about 500, gift boxes need to be sorted. Here is Irene and her favorite helper Vio beginning the task.  In scores of the cartons are packed medicines, hats, scarves and other misc. goodies. These all need to be removed from each carton and sorted also. Irene uses every inch of space in these cartons.

 Of course it all no longer fits in to my back room.  I specified just make sure we can get to the toilet paper and toothpaste.  Needless to say I am drying clothes in the living-room for awhile.
Tomorrow morning we start to put these in to distribution piles. During the week Vlad will come and we will pull the presents for a ministry he and his wife Alina have with children about 150Km from here. On Thursday we do Maranatha Orphanage and Saturday the Kids Club in Sanicolaul Mic. Chris will have arrived from England by then to join Peter in helping. Of course all of the regular ministry continues. Please hold us up in prayer - some of us are not as young as we used to be but doing all this for hundreds of children, elderly and poor is a work of our hearts!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Christmas gifts have arrived in Romania

 The "communication" with the shipper was that I could accept the shipment anytime EXCEPT Tuesdays between 9AM and 3PM. The shipment arrived at 10AM Tuesday morning.  I had talked to the firm the night before and they had said they could have the truck at my house no later than 6AM. the neighbors and we were ready at 6.  Everybody had to go to work by 8.  When the huge truck arrives in to my village it had to turn around.  I could write an entire blog just on that maneuver!   This picture is where they are waiting for my forklift.  HMMM - don't have one guys.  Couldn't even come up with the tall ladder they needed.  I was supposed to be picking up some ladies from the UK to help at Mocrea so I asked Peter to get them and come to my house.  As they pulled up I told the driver - my crew has arrived...wish I had had a picture of his facial expression, crew = 2 old people and 3 young slender ladies. We can do this guys!
 We used my truck to ferry the the cartons nearer to the room we are using in my house.  Everybody did a great job!  We had 3 entire pallets and the total was 92 cartons. It turns out that we were 10 cartons over. These wonderful gifts come out every year from Irene's  foundation in Wales called Reaching Romania. Irene spends all year collecting them.  Irene contacted the shipper in case they had been charged to ship the extra 10 cartons and if anyone else was waiting for them. No they were ours to keep - lots of great stuff like T-shirts in them. We are blessed!
Here is Kathleen and Fifi with a little over half the load in my back room. The picture with Jodie did not come out - but thanks to all of them!  After we finished with this we hopped in a care and made it to Mocrea.  Late...but we made it.  This officially launches our Christmas season.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Today at Mocrea I really had a good time!  We decided to let many patients out at one time and we filled the dining room and even used an extra table.  We started our Christmas decorating with making paper chains. The patients made enough colorful chains to go around the walls of both dining areas. We started practicing our Christmas carols too.  Finding a craft that they can all participate in and enjoy at the same time is difficult but everybody pitched in today!  I know it doesn't seem like much when you write it down but seeing all those patients all having a good time and beginning to anticipate Christmas was wonderful for me. Most of them are locked up and forgotten but they know every Tuesday we will be there!  We are planning a huge Christmas show and party.  Sorry no pictures today but as usual I get wrapped up in what I am doing and forget to take them!

Today was a good day

This is Tabita.  She was born with some type of dwarfism which became noticeable quite early.  She has some other lesser handicaps but does attend school. Tabita is now 8.  The mother and many of her children attend the church in Vinga and we have been praying for Tabita all these years.  In Arad there was no recommended treatment but I thought we had something available in the States.

Adina was taking a little girl named Natalie to Timisoara for a consultation with an endocrinologist, she appears to have a similar condition. I asked Adina to see if we could also get a consultation for Tabita at the same time, and the doctor agreed.  This entailed taking the children as well people to stay the night at the hospital with them to Timisoara. The children could not eat or drink before the tests and were grumpy - they also got car sick. Poor Adina but she persevered and the girls got the necessary testing done.   The tests on Natalie were favorable for treatment but the results were not as good for Tabita. I was disappointed but the doctor decided to repeat the tests and today we heard that both girls will receive treatment! YIPPEE YAHOO! The doctor is not charging us for her services but we will pay for the medicines.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Meet Angi

 Angi lives in a private facility for girls called Osana. Angi is special and can not live independently. She is classified as a volunteer now with that facility since she is too old to receive help as an abandoned child. Angi goes each day to a sheltered workshop and is paid for two hours. Angi was horribly abused in all ways, when she was a child and she took to the streets. She cut herself and is scarred all over her body. Angi found love and acceptance many years ago at Osana and she loves the Lord! She participates in the Special Olympics also and has won a prize for her art. Angi loves to make bracelets out of sting. I recently took her supply, steam pressed them and they are now on the way to a missionary gathering in Croatia and hopefully will all be sold for her. She offered them to me as a gift but I would love to have her get some pocket money.

As I was pressing them I stopped to think - how do I tell people this is what I do?  Pressing bracelets to encourage one young lady?  These type of things make me happy, and I like to think it makes God smile!

I have recently helped place 3 more young girls at Osana and we need more sponsors! This is where Rebecca and Guilia are also. If you know anyone that would like to help these girls, or some of the other facilitates we help sponsor, please email me for more information:


 This is the church in Vinga. The renovations are moving right along. Mostly it is just one or two guys working. Sometimes they need to stop and take paying work, winter is coming.  The congregation is very excited about the "new church". First Presbyterian Church in Vincennes Indiana blessed us with the funds to do this.
 We have taken out some walls near the back to allow for more benches. For those of you who have visited our church, the answer is yes - we are fixing the benches so that you do not fall in to the aisle if someone else stands up first.  The roof has been raised and there will be a balcony when it is complete. We are separating the Sunday School area in the back in to two separate classrooms, each with it's own heating. We are going to launch a new children's program with the 3-7 year old in one class and then the 8-12 year old in the other  The teens meet during the week and are in the regular service on Sunday.  Vlad will be joining Bogdan and Delia to provide instruction for our children. 
The view from the front. We have thermopan windows and doors and a new heater!  The balcony will have a guard rail and steps will be on the outside on the right side.


 The extension of the music school and Kids Club starts just beyond the doorway. We have almost doubled the room inside. Kay Grover from England conducted the fund raising for this renovation with a program called "Buy A Brick"  The school has always been close to her heart.
 At one end of the room some of the children from the Kid's Club are doing a craft following the bible lesson and singing
While Marius is working on some music with some of our students. Music classes are held on Friday and Saturdays and are at no cost to the students. I will need to buy some more instruments.

First Day Of School

 Elizabeth started 8th grade. She is in a hurry to get this year over with and head for high school.  She knows what high school she wants to attend and she knows it will take really good grades - she is motivated!
 Sarah appears to be happy school is starting...she is not. Right now her life is miserable because she is being pushed to get the work done. We'll all make it through this year (I hope!)
And last but not least - this is Rici's first day at pre-school.  He really enjoys it.  It doesn't seem like it has been that long since he was born.

Elderly abuse

This lady is named Magdelina and she is from a village about 100Km outside of Timisoara.  She helped a young man for many years but he is an alcoholic and began abusing her and taking her pension money.  Vlad is still attempting to get the police to get the man out. In spite of all this Magdelina is always joyful and smiling.  So many old people are quietly hit and neglected here.  More and more elderly are needing our help. Widow's Mite is such an important program. The elderly here are among the forgotten ones.

Adina's birthday was celebrated in September. She was surprised. Her cake said "Life begins at 30"  The bakery tried to tell me that they do not put that on cakes here...yeah, so???  Adina is going to Timisoara this week. One of the babies in our program, Christina, is scheduled to have her cleft lip repaired. Adina did a brilliant job in getting the doctor to donate his time. We will just pay for expenses, and maybe medicines. Adina will stay with Christina after the surgery.