Thursday, December 26, 2013

December 25 getting closer

 On December 18 Sarah was in a piano and voice recital. She played Ode Of Joy and sang Oh Little Town of Bethlehem. She did a wonderful job, I was very proud of her.

As we got closer to to the 25th we delivered presents to widows and widowers in several towns. We have a total of 44 now. Pictured directly above is a family that receives gifts every year, they beg along the main truck crossing. The boy is special as well as having both of his legs amputated at the knees. The other children are in school and usually it is just the mother with her son in the wheelchair. Not an easy life.
 Christmas morning at our house. If you look closely you can see that Sarah now has dark pink dip-dye.
Only a few strands of teal/green hair show here with Elizabeth. She had the back of her hair done. We actually had 4 different gift times on Christmas. We started out at 9AM with Spencer and Lynsey's children, Trinity, Jonathan as well as their weekend visitor Alex coming over for pancakes with Elizabeth and Sarah. They stayed to open their stockings and presents at our house. Lynsey was taking the shift with the babies at the hospital so they would open their Christmas presents later.  They went home and we opened our gifts, The girls gave me a foot bath massage unit - it is awesome! After we once again cleaned up the paper and such Vio and Ioanci with Rici and Cati came over and opened their presents. We all had dinner at Spencer and Lynseys and we got more presents. Lovely day all around.  With all the busyness and gifts, it all still centered on the celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus!

This Christmas season was incredibly busy and I am blessed that it all got done!  Maranatha Orphanage received gifts and a party as well as many poor families were visited and received gifts. The girls and I are "running away from home" tomorrow and heading to Hungary for several days  to visit with wonderful friends. I have coverage for my baby hospital shift, Vinga church as well as Mocrea on Tuesday.

Thank you for your prayers and following the snapshots of our lives here in Romania with this blog. I think 2014 will be a dynamic year. It was exciting this year to partner with Rock of Hope Ministries. Scott and Carolyn have a wonderful ministry with young ladies. Several of us missionaries meet weekly for bible study, prayer and fellowship. It has been a true time of refreshing for us all. This year also saw the beginning of the Pre-Placed Child Development Program, which has been well accepted and we have seen the Lord do wonderful things. The children's programs at Vinga and SNM are going so well. Marius continues to offer music lessons at SNM. Bogdan is really coming on as a youth leader and also goes to the Youth Detention Center to minister. Spencer has been helping him these last months.  The widows received doctor visits and medicines along with their monthly food and visits, and of course winter wood. If it's Tuesday it's Mocrea. The first week of February I am hosting a seminar on doing camps for the Roma children. I hope it will be well attended and that this will be a beginning of something big! 

May all of you be enjoying a joyous Christmas season as well as a Happy New Year!


 Here is the Osana family. I won't even try to explain what Cerbu has on his head - but he is definitely the life of the party!  Osana is where Beca and Gulia are and they are growing in to fine young ladies!  Osana is building a boys home in Iaonva, a nearby village which will hopefully be ready to open this year.
The girls loved their presents!

Christmas fun at Mocrea

 Cerbu and the girls from Osana, a private Christian girl's facility in Timisoara. put on a Scrooge play and did a puppet show for the patients at Mocrea. Cerbu opened with some upbeat singing and got the patients involved right away.
 Matthew Marshall hauled the bag of goodies to all the patients that were unable to attend the show. Callum King was the super-Santa and Marius Aslau with Danny provided the music. Peter's absence was very much felt as we did these parties. .
Here is Wayne manning the gift table. We had tee-shirts for the men and ladies, sweat shirts, knit caps as well as some underwear for the patients. A new bible was also given to each patient. 
The patients worked on their "goody bags" for three weeks as their craft.. Here is Chris after we finished filling them.  While the show was going on we stuffed the bags with chocolates, hard candies, cookies, cappuccino, hot chocolate and coffee packets.  They were all served several cups of soda during the performance. This Christmas event is one of my favorites. To so many of these patients we are the only "family" to visit them. We are there every Tuesday. My special thanks to Scott and Carolyn Pouncey as well as Traian who are so faithful every week.

Christmas begins

On December 9 a truck load of presents from Reaching Romania in Wales arrived.  Wayne and Christine were on hand, plus some friends and neighbors, to off load them all.  Irene was unable to be with us this year due to the ill health of her mother. The first presents to be transported went down to the Timis area where Vlad visited the 24 widows in that area.
 On December 14 we did 2 very large parties for children in Sanicolaoul Mic and Vinga. In Sanicolaul Mic we served pizza, soda and Christmas cookies before the giving of the gifts. The kids had a music competition which Wayne and Chris had to judge.
 We were blessed this year by having the funds to almost double the size of the building as well as provide a new outhouse, The winter wood has been purchased and is in a new covered area. Progress! 
 Here is Santa Bogdan with the gifts for the Vinga kids. That group is growing, the program is on Saturdays from 10 -12.
 Reaching Romania also sent gifts for every leader.
Every week the leaders take turn providing a snack, usually a sandwich for the children. Most of the kids will not have eaten when they come some may not eat every day.  Spencer and Lynsey bring their children to this program and also take a turn in providing the snacks. The children got Christmas cookies also when they left.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

If it is Tuesday, it is Mocrea

Yesterday I was really feeling tired, tired in the spirit.  There is so much going on in all areas.  As I walked into the Mocrea hospital grounds a woman from the 3rd. floor was calling out to me. I don't remember seeing her before. She was calling that she had no one to visit her and she was locked up alone in a room...please help her....I figured if she was alone in a room she probably was not one I would want to let out in the group for crafts!

Carolyn and I went in to the back room where our crafts are stored to get more materials, we were making bracelets - one of their favorite things there at the hospital. When we reentered the main dining-room it was full and I do mean full of patients.  I thought "what, everybody is having a tough time, here come the Americans, let everybody out at once?"  Then I noticed the lady from the 3rd. floor - I would keep an eye on her.  It was really chaotic but everybody was having a great time.

When it came to song and prayer time we don't have Bogdan but we do the best we can.  I had told Scott and Carolyn earlier that morning we would just keep repeating to ourselves "we are called to do this, we are called to do this..."  During our song time one of the women that really has very little touch with reality was singing. What joy on her face as she raised her hands and sung with her whole heart.  It lifted my spirit and gladdened my heart!  This is what it is all about, touching one life. The woman from the 3rd. floor got on her knees to pray - thanking God that He had sent someone to visit her and get her out of that room, even for a short while.  Great day!

Elizabeth and Sarah

Elizabeth had to be in a school play and had to have a 1950's costume.  This first year of high school is a real challenge to her but I can see her adjusting.
Sarah got her braces off!  She says she feels like she doesn't have any teeth

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Praise for God's Goodness

There will be no picture posted for this one.  I dropped a Skype note to a friend a few minutes ago - why is it that nobody else in my circle of friends seems to have to deal with as many dead bodies as I do?  This can't be an anointing!  Well - OK, sort of. I know I have what I like to refer to as "A Full Service Ministry".

I transported Ioanci's uncle home from the hospital on Tuesday.  He had been in my favorite hospital, yup TB place.  Last week Vio felt an urge to talk to him, that he was afraid of death. This always prompts the question of "does he know where he will spend eternity?".  I urged her to go and talk to him and she did.  He listened and then prayed with Vio. Praise the Lord!  Her uncle would stay with them when he was released from the hospital.

On Friday I was driving Vio and she said she didn't know what she would do if he died while with her. Like many people Vio has a fear of being around people that have died and reacts really badly. I told her I did not think he had very long and to just call me when the time came. The time came Friday afternoon.  I wasn't far away when she called me. I arrived and yes he was dead. I told her that in my opinion he had been dead before he hit the floor. He had a rather deep cut on his eyebrow from hitting the floor and almost no blood.

God's goodness:  The uncle is in heaven, no more sickness or sadness. He did not suffer. Vio has to start work on Monday and it would have been difficult to care for him. We have had so many opportunities this weekend to explain how God's hand was on all of this and that the uncle is in heaven because he accepted the Lord!  Also this is working on Ioanci's heart, this was a favorite uncle who has the same problems as does Ioanci.

I can not just close with out giving you my take on yet another dead person along my way.  I was able to help Ioanci with the preparations and washing, all the while talking about how good God has been in this situation and how perfect is His timing.  Ioanci said we were instructed to wash the body and have him ready to be dressed when transportation arrived. Since the uncle was to be transported to Dorobrant I thought perhaps I would have to transport him in my Duster. No, thank heavens. I explained that in the States we would have had to notify the proper authorities etc. and would not be allowed to move or handle the body.  Nah - that's OK here. REALLY???  When the transportation and clothes arrived they also brought a casket. It was handled very efficiently and quickly...but ah, there hadn't even been a doctor here yet and we were transporting him directly to a chapel in the cemetery. When I softly questioned about who pronounced him dead - the answer was "you did,  oh and by the way he didn't die here."  Gotta love this country!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Tabita and Natalie

What an adventure this last week has been. I have had to personally handle much of the work Adina had been doing for me so it is taking time for me to hit my stride, see what I can delegate and work in the rest.  God is good and it is all getting done. On that note - Adina has found a wonderful opportunity that makes use of many of her talents and she is very happy, I wish her well and God's blessings.

Tuesday was dwarf day - I don't know how else to say it.  There are two little girls, Tabita and Natalie that are little people. Last year we had managed to have both girls enrolled in a medical program that entails daily injections of a growth hormone as well as monthly and yearly monitoring.  Last Tuesday was the day for the big yearly evaluation.  I know both girls were prone to car sickness and we had to drive to Timisoara to a hospital that I had never been to, and to meet doctors I had never met.  The grandfather of one of the girls has been on these visits and was familiar with the program, but he also has a problem with alcohol.  I had all but begged him to be sober to help me Tuesday...HMMPPHHH - well at least he was coherent when we started off early in the morning.

I was directed to the hospital and then to the room where the girls needed to be (up 3 flights of stairs of course)  God had granted me one of my miracle parking spaces! At least these girls were as slow as I was going up stairs. There were several children there for evaluation. We were in a regular hospital room so they just say to sit on somebodies bed and ask them to make room. Since the girls were going to have to disrobe for examination the grandfather asked me to take it from there. Natalie is pretty much non-verbal so I was communicating what we would be doing to her when the grandfather asked me for money for coffee, I was distracted so I gave him money.  Gee what a surprise, during the course of the exams, going to other departments on other floors and back, blood and urine tests, measurements and x-rays he kept disappearing. Each time he was back he was in a little worse shape. Gotta tell you I am not having a good time.  I only had to have one of the girls give a urine sample - also not an easy task. Her little forearms are very short and she was unable to get up on the toilet by herself anyway.  I managed....

Since a mother in the hospital room gave both girls a nice lunch when we were done...there was a lot of woofing in the back seat on the way home.  I was prepared with bags, wet wipes and towels but since I was in the fast lane and couldn't pull over fast enough I kept encouraging them to "please barf in to the bags!"  As I dropped the one girl off with her grandfather he wanted to stay and chat a little. I was in no mood by then, told him I'd see him in church Sunday.

In driving Natalie back to Arad I realized I was not sure exactly where she lived. I had been there once and Bogdan had picked her up in the morning. I got in to the general area and then prayed. I turned to the little one and asked if she had any inclination of becoming verbal, now would be a great time, can you tell me where you live? Point? I found it.

I await the results of all the exams and pray that both girls continue to qualify for the program.  We pray for these girls and that the treatments work. How difficult will their lives be? They already live in extreme poverty.  Tabita comes to the children's program faithfully Saturday mornings in Vinga. Natalie lives in Arad so I don't see her on a regular basis.

Project 2nd Chance

These are four of the five kids in Project 2nd Chance.  This project is one to get school drop-outs back in to a special school in Arad that has a program to allow them back to school. The area in Vinga  where I have the church, Seedtime and Harvest, is very poor and many children drop out of school.  There is no work for them so they "hang out", many becoming parents at a very young age. Children having children.

We have tried to talk to the parents about encouraging their children to stay in school but many of the poorer Romii people do not see an advantage to education past the most rudimentary reading and writing.  Most of the men work "black", under the table - of those who work at all. Stealing is still an acceptable way of producing income. The cycle just keeps on repeating itself.

After camp this last summer Bogdan has worked with many of the teens encouraging them to go back to school, have a future, dream dreams....This month Bogdan was able to get 5 teens registered and started. Getting them registered was a huge hurdle - they are not exactly welcomed. Bogdan went to meetings, made phone calls, pleaded their causes for them to have a 2nd. chance. It is a real battle to keep them in school now. Since there is no reliable transportation in to Arad, especially for the girls, Bogdan picks them up every morning and takes them to school. The other kids have sandwiches and snacks - our kids do not so Bogdan makes them sandwiches. He stays at the school most times,  and he goes over their assignments.  Now we have added another girl to the program, unfortunately she goes to school in the afternoons but Bogdan is committed to getting her there.  Keeping fuel in his car and keeping it repaired has been a real challenge to me.

Please pray for these teens!  Again we are hearing "why do you bother - they're Gypsies"  etc. etc. Pray for Bogdan not to become discouraged.  The Lord is working in Vinga and this is part of it.

Marius and Elena

Marius has been faithfully teaching children in Sanicolaul Mic area music as well as led a wonderful kids club on Saturday afternoon for many years at our buildings. The kids named the club "Jesus Generation" On Sunday Oct. 13 he and lovely Elena were married.  We wish them every blessing! It is wonderful that she has joined the work. What a blessing for us.

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Year Is Flying By!!!

My gosh - it is the 3rd week of September - already! Wasn't it just August first and I was writing about the camps and still had so much summer left. School didn't start here in Romania until Sept. 16. Sarah began 8th grade with gusto and Elizabeth entered high school with fear and trepidation. 

Sarah is taking voice and piano as extras this year.  I hope this is a really good school year for her. Scholastically it was  a little bumpy last year.  It appears Elizabeth will spend most of her time being tutored this first semester. Her language load as a freshman is Romanian, English, Latin and French.  Elizabeth has technically had French since 5th grade but they only copied things out of books and learned some recognition of the written word - but she spoke not a word. She gets in to her French class and what a shock - it is all in French and she doesn't understand a thing. Panic time. It was the end of the world for her!  Just a few days before I run in to a young woman that tutors in 5 languages. Elizabeth is now being privately tutored, plus there are a dozen other kids in her class that are in the same boat so they are offering an extra catch up class at the school. Elizabeth also needs some help in chemistry and physics. Elizabeth choose this school so she could be with a friend in high school - village kids in town high school are sort of looked down on. Elizabeth didn't make the grade average to stay with her friend so ended up as a language major. She regretted  choosing the high school altogether.

This evening we went to our first parent teacher meeting with her main teacher who also speaks English - a plus for me.  After the meeting I told Elizabeth that the Lord knew all of this and He would never set her up for failure. I said that if she hadn't tried to stick with her friend she wouldn't now be in the highest ranked high school - the Lord just used that and she is exactly where is is supposed to be. It also was no coincidence that I ran into the French tutor, this lady remembered me, I didn't remember her when we met again. God is in control.  After the school meeting we were making our way slowly out of the building ( many stairs) and Elizabeth said she could almost cry to realize God is taking care of her and has a plan for her. She didn't make a wrong choice.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Camp 2013

Well we are done with camp for this summer.  There were more than 60 kids sponsored this year. it is one of the two big one-time-a-year expenses that I have. The other is the winter wood for the Widow's Mite program.

Elizabeth and Sarah ended up with 3 weeks at camp. Elizabeth is in training to join The Grain Game (the Alabama based ministry that travels around the world to bring the gospel to children).  Sarah went along the 3rd. week and was also a help.  Both Elizabeth and Sarah bonded with the team from England and look forward to visiting them. Now they have two teams to visit!

We are looking to put together a Grain Game team together for the Balkan countries and Romania. This will be especially aimed at  Romii children. I agreed to form a team and the director of Grain Game will come back this winter for a training seminar.  My goodness, another leap of faith for me!  This year certainly has really been exciting so far.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Celebrate an Anniversary with me!

This month is the 20th anniversary of my first mission trip to Romania.  I had been on several other short term trips but July 1993 was Romania. I moved here in August 1997.

I spent some time last night reflecting and looking back.  Hindsight is so often  20-20. What an awesome 20 years this has been.  Oh my gosh - I have stood on spiritual mountain tops - feeling so close to God that I thought I could touch His face, certainly I could feel His heart beat.  I also have spent plenty of times in the valleys...feeling beaten down and despairing.  Some of the most rewarding times of my life have been here  - and certainly some of the saddest times in my life have also been spent here.

If I had to do it all over again...I would come again, even knowing the costs because I truly think I am in the Will of The doesn't get any better than this!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ball Family Arrives April 24

Spencer, Lynsey, Jonathan and Trinity arrived back in Romania April 24.  Here they are pictured ready to go to Bogdan and Lili's wedding.

The family have served here before and made a mission trip back as well as a family trip back here to be sure this is where the family is called to be.  They are here for the long haul. So far they have been staying with us here in Sofronea but are soon to move in to their own place right next door to us!  The kids quickly settled in and have made numerous friends. Both Spencer and Lynsey have gotten the hang of village life.

The Ball's have pitched in in all areas of the ministries  I am involved with and feel called to serve the elderly and Romi in particular. Lynsey has long had a vision for working with babies here and the new Child Development Program is moving along.  It may happen soon!

Please keep this family in prayer as they are like additions to our family.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Bogdan & Lili's wedding

Bogdan and Lili were married April 27.  We first had the civil ceremony then went on to a lovely restaurant that provided a nice area for the religious portion of the service before starting the reception.

Clergy marriages are not legally binding here so you must have a State civil ceremony also. I have been waiting for the wedding pictures to be done to post but I have a few snapshots anyhow.

 Bodan and Lilli with his parents, Delia and Simon. It was lovely.
All smiles as they head to take more pictures before heading to the restaurant.  Pastor Rich Femia was here from my church in Ohio to help preside over the religious part of the service. I'll post those pictures when we have them.

Friday, April 19, 2013


This morning George and Anita, Priscilla and Barbara left Romania.  This was the first time I had met Priscilla but I hope she will be back some time - she is a lovely lady.

I had not seen Barb in almost 2 years - so it was a joy for me to have her visit Romania again. Hopefully it won't be another 2 years until I see her again. She has become a special friend over the years. Barb and Anita brought college students on missions trips to Eastern Europe for many years - that's how I met them!

George and Anita will be returning in June with their granddaughter Riley for another visit. Today would have been sadder for me except that I know they will be back again soon. Their tireless support of me, my family and the ministry here...well there aren't words to express how much they  mean to me.

Vinga Church - Seedtime and Harvest

Sunday April 14 was the big day for the church in Vinga. As usual many people took great pictures and as usual they weren't on my camera.  About two weeks ago, during a bible study group, a scripture in Genesis chapter 8 verse 22 really settled in my spirit. For all the years we have met in Vinga we never had a name for a church.  When I saw Seedtime and Harvest in that verse I knew that should be our name - it describes who we are what we should be about.
The church was filled.  Please note we have new benches, with upholstery and padding, and you do not fall off the end into an aisle any longer if someone in the middle stands up.  When George Ford came to our church several years ago his head scraped our light fixture on the ceiling - that didn't happen this time!
The beautiful cross on the table was a gift from First Presbyterian Church in Vincennes Indiana, who provided us with the funds for this renovation. George Ford made a lovely presentation of the cross to the leadership of the church. Daniel Negrea and I have worked together for 20 years now.  Daniel had the large wooden cross, mounted on our back wall, made for us and also gave us the bible for the table. A friend of his made the crown of thorns that we put on the cross,  Daniel did the praise and worship for the dedication service and we were all blessed.

The building has been extended and there is lovely tile on the floor. We were not able to complete everything before our dedication service due to the weather, but it looked pretty sharp I thought.
Yes! We have a balcony now too!  Many of our children were up there and had a small program of songs and scripture to present at the dedication. The children come on Saturdays at 10AM to our program. Vlad, Alina, Bogdan and Delia are our teachers and do an excellent job. We have two classrooms behind the sanctuary. Our teens meet on Friday evenings and we have begun a young men's group at a small weight room we put in at the local school in Sanicolaul Mic. Sanicolaul Mic is also where we have the music school and Kid's Club.
We were honored to have the mayor of Vinga join us and speak. I really felt this was an affirmation of our presence and work in Vinga.

Anita Ford and Barbara Rose each gave a brief word of encouragement. I also read a note from Irene, Peter and Christine from the UK who were unable to join us for the service.  My beautiful new robe was a present from Anita and George.
George Ford gave the main message and he spoke on seed time and harvest, sowing and reaping.  It meant so much for us to have George here to present the cross and dedicate the renovated building to the Glory of God. This truly is a work of the Lord, provided for by the Lord and blessed of the Lord.  I am honored and humbled that He choose me to participate.  To Him be the glory!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Comings and goings in Budapest

This last weekend I was in Budapest with Mary Jill.  While I was there I remembered other trips - my comings and goings to Budapest.

It has been almost 20 years since my first visit. We came in to Budapest by train and a van met us and drove us to Romania for a short term missions trip.  That was a trip that changed my life.  On my last night in Romania I felt (actually I saw) the call to Romania.  I never dreamed that it would involve me living here. Thus began my comings and goings through that most beautiful of cities, Budapest.

I remembered how many times I arrived and how many times I left the city, many times only passing through from the airport to train station.

I have arrived joyously and excited for another trip. I have left sadly because I was leaving Romania.

I have arrived barely crawling in to the city - totally exhausted.  I have left exhausted.

I have arrived only to be called immediately back.

I have come in triumph, I have come in defeat.

I have come in and left bursting with good health, I have come and left in ill.  I have come and left with a mix of those two conditions.

I have even come in and out of  Budapest skinny and I certainly have come in and out  fat!

I have come in hopeful and come in with my hopes dashed on the rocks.  But I have always entered and left with the Lord at my side.

I await my next trip to Budapest....

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Another Exciting Funeral

 Below is a copy of an e-mail I sent to a few friends.  I wasn't going to post it because I am not sure if anyone will read my blog that doesn't know me and be offended.  I always say I have a "full service ministry" and I am certainly never bored in serving God here in Romania. Some people think I make this stuff up but if you have visited here with me you know I don't. I would have edited the names also but yesterday these guys were laughing too so I left the names in.

OK so I told you about the wake - right? Never met this guy, had to find out his name when I got there Wed. evening. This is Leontin's son-in-law's uncle. Gabi, son-in-law, doesn't come to the church - daughter Dorina rarely. Dorina has accepted the Lord but not the husband. Gabi said all the right words and was baptized before the wedding to Dorina. Later he said he just said that because Leontin wouldn't let him marry Dorina unless he was baptized...s-i-g-h. Leontin is finally starting to get the message that these things are heart issues - it is what belief is in the heart not church attendance, baptism or a saintly looking life! Anyhow I asked about this uncle - did he know the Lord? Ah probably...maybe...S-I-G-H. We said a prayer, sang a couple of songs that thankfully Leontin's sons had prepared. I read some scripture. The standard greeting at a wake or funeral is to ask God's forgiveness for the dear departed. I spoke briefly that that may be a traditional thing but it has no scriptural basis. If we have something in our hearts that we would not want to go before the Lord with, we need to settle the matter with God, do not wait. Decide what you believe . Catalin, dead guy, was only 43 and he did not plan on being run over - none of us know when we may leave this earth - let's all be ready and only through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can we be since this guy was like road kill I was hoping for a closed casket - think I told you it wasn't. Also they weren't sure whether the horse and wagon would pick him up for he trip to the cemetery. OK I'll bring the truck. The house was up a slight hill and with all the rain it was just mud - no problem I have 4x4 (or I used to). Got stuck in the mud but managed to get the truck turned around with a little push. Told Leontin they could bring the casket to the truck afterward because I had a stretch of rocky road in front of me. After the funeral (shortest in history I am sure - 10 minutes.) We loaded the casket. Now Leontin had invited his friend, a pastor, to take part (heck he could have done the whole thing as far as I was concerned) except he had no transport and neither did the body. OK picked him up along the way and it was decided I would do the funeral and he would do the graveside. Usually you do the second half of the service outside but we didn't because of the rain. They told me after they loaded the guy to exit on the main highway and take the first left. Gee I can't exactly use much speed with the casket and all the wreaths in the back. No problem - 10 or so of the mourners would go out and stop traffic. Ah isn't where this guy was run over 2 days before? In broad daylight?  I also loaded a couple of old ladies into the backseat. I managed to get the truck on to the highway and back off without incident. So far so good. Then I look up and the mud road goes up a hill - for quite a distance at about a 40-45 degree grade..!! ah - this won't work guys - not without 4x4 and with a casket in the back. I question the people as to an alternate road - up a ways there are roads to the right and left but they wind around and one goes through some guy's garden. Oh yeah I am taking a funeral procession with a guy in the back of a pick-up truck through some guy's garden - NOT! Bogdan is relieved I am not going to attempt the hill and says so. Well...hhmmm, maybe I can do it. I hear Bogdan's quiet voice beside me - "oh please don't try this Jackie." Hey Bogdan if I get stuck I just back down the hill - of course the problem is the 40-45 degree grade with the coffin. Will he, as well as the wreaths say in the back??? Being the decisive person that I am (after a short inquiry of the Lord) I decide I can make it up the hill with the guy staying in the back. I tell the people in the procession I am going to attempt it - I will not be going slow enough for them to walk behind, I am not stopping on the hill and I will keep on eye on the coffin. Bogdan is in disbelief and I hear him mumbling we go. I have to admit is was kind of humorous watching Leontin and another guy huffing up the hill behind the truck in case the coffin started to slip also to catch the looks from my rear view mirror on the old women's faces in the backseat was pretty good too! OK - yup made it to the top and waited for the procession to catch up, Bogdan was laughing and said he LOVES to do funerals with me as they are so exciting! I told him funerals weren't actually supposed to be exciting...When we get to the cemetery I discover a pretty flat tire in front (I have rear wheel drive - so maybe the 4 x4 was not the problem????) We off load the casket and hike to our designated part of the cemetery. Now to pause in the story here - I am pretty excited that our church actually now has a designated part of the cemetery, and yes it comes with taxes. This is about as close to coming being recognized as a real church as we are going to get!!! Hee hee. OK - now we have hiked to the back 40 and of course it is raining. The other pastor decides to actually preach. S-I-G-H. He did cut it shorter than normal I guess. Maybe he felt badly that I only did a 10 minute service at the house. I know the guy being buried doesn't care and the family was pleased so what the heck. Oh and yeah - there was no money to bury the guy, why am I not surprised? We paid the grave digging charges etc. I withdrew church funds for the rest but told the three deacons they needed to decide by themselves if we pay the rest. We wouldn't help this much financially for someone else that was not in the church. This involves Leontin's extended family however. I told the three I will not vote on this matter. I will do anybody's funeral - that is not the problem as I don't charge anything. I feel for the families involved, they all think it helps the guy to get in to heaven to have a Christian service - but pay the bills? It is difficult to do a wake and a service for someone you don't know that probably did not know the Lord. I imagine George is pretty good at this but I am not. Oh one more thing - the ladies in the back seat said the guy was probably drunk when hit. I hope this is just village nastiness, it makes it sadder to me.

Monday, January 28, 2013

So much going on!

It appears that we will have the renovations completed on the Vinga church in time for the official opening April 14.  Daniel Negrea has had a huge cross made for the wall behind the pulpit - we are so excited! Also he has found affordable material for our new benches.  I need to go and approve the material and Daniel will arrange to deliver the donated cross and then pick up the benches for upholstering at the same time.  The balcony rail is almost done too.

I saw a pulpit in a church in FL that was awesome and asked for some pictures of it from several views. I took these pictures to the carpenter in the village. He couldn't figure out what it was so I explained it was a pulpit.  I gave him the basic dimensions including the height of the Plexiglas piece where the bible or notes will rest.  The carpenter said it was too high as most of the priests here are short...but I'm not. He was astonished to hear it was for me. He muttered something anything else they don't know about me????  Yeah, probably there is.  Now I have to figure our where on earth to find Plexiglas in this country.  If I can't locate it I may have to ask some of the people that are coming in March from the States to bring a sheet of it with them.

There is an exciting new project that may be started this year...but since I am not sure I won't say anything yet - but it is HUGE!  It is definitely too big for it MUST BE GOD! I have also been praying about adding another person to the ministry as an employee so they get full benefits and I believe I have gotten the go ahead from the Lord. Thanks to a pledge I have received lately it will be possible.

Please continue to pray for us here.  Elizabeth and Sarah are at difficult ages for them, 14 &13. Please remember them in your prayers.  They are a joy to my heart! 

Tabita is growing!

This is Tabita. I had previously written that she is a dwarf from the Vinga church.  By the favor of God and man she was admitted in to a program in Timisoara and started receiving daily injections of a growth hormone. She was measured and has grown 2.4cm.  Praise the Lord! Little Tabita is so happy. We continue to pray for her continued growth!