Monday, October 13, 2014

Last but not least...

The church in Vinga, Seedtime and Harvest, is growing. We have many more children now. The Saturday program staffed by Spencer and Lynsey as well as Bogdan and Delia is awesome! Many of these children are now coming Sundays too. They often have music prepared for us.  Elizabeth often goes on Saturday so she can accompany them with her guitar. It is time for us to have an activity of some sort for the teens, we haven't done anything for quite some time with them. Bogdan is the faithful leader of that age group.

Our young boys with their prepared song
We have 7 teens in the 2nd Chance school program this fall. The State is thinking of closing the program but we pray that they won't. This gives school dropouts a 2nd chance for a diploma.  Seed Time and Harvest pay the school costs for these kids and in several cases have provided clothes and shoes. I do not think these teens have much of a chance in life without education. The culture of their families is such that there is no emphasis on getting an education and so many are allowed to drop out. The Saturday program at the church addresses this as well as other areas besides the bible program.

Mocrea is going well.  We are hard pressed to find a different craft each week.  I think tomorrow we are making hedgehogs out of dried leaves (if I get outside soon and collect the leaves!)  The people in the mental hospital at Mocrea bless us. Scott and Carolyn, Edith and Traian are faithful to help each week. Some times really comical things happen - the patients can be pretty unpredictable. One of us will comment to another "well there's one that won't appear in a blog or fb!"  The patients rush to the windows and call out greetings, many only get out of a locked room when we have them to the program or for meals.

Elizabeth turned 16 this month. It is hard for me to believe.  She got new Converse shoes and the cartridge in her upper ear pierced as her gifts. Sarah can hardly wait until she is 16.  On your birthday you get to choose the menu, I'll cook or you can go to a restaurant of your choice. Elizabeth wanted stuffed baked potatoes AND Mexican food. In addition to the potatoes and all the fixings I made 3 pans of enchiladas, tacos, burritos and refried beans.  We had the party at Spencer and Lynsey's because they have a long indoor hallway that could accommodate 3 tables end to end.

Elizabeth's friends surprised her

Happy 16th Elizabeth!!!!

 This week I was blessed to have part of a World Race team come for a work day at my house. They are staying out at Sistarovat and Callum is scheduling their time.
Lots of painting

Fence mending and rebuilding of animal shelters

Hopefully they were well fed!

This next week it will again be time for me to visit the children's facilities where we sponsor. I hope to have all the updates sent out by November 15.

The Pre-Placed Child Development Program at the hospital is really going well. Right now we have 6 babies.  The hospital knows they can count on us to be there every week day and the staff often tell us how much they appreciate us.  I think the only way we can truly explain our favor and success is that The Lord went before us!

We are still helping many individual families with their needs. The needs will always exceed the funds but I am blessed that so much is getting done, widows visited, orphans cared for and the Word being preached!

More of what has been happening

Marius and his lovely wife Elena have been doing a wonderful job at The Kids Club (called Jesus Generation) in Sanicolaul Mic.  The group is growing and more kids and teens are coming to learn to play instruments and sing as well as learning the Word and how it applies to their lives. I am so blessed that I added on to the building when I had the funds, do we need the room now!

Widow"s Mite program has recently lost another of our elderly.  Ghita went home to be with the Lord this month.  He was really special, well I guess they are all special to me - he will be missed but I am happy he will not have to withstand another winter.  The program was blessed because I contacted the family through Bogdan and asked if I could have all the wood back as the program had purchased it and Bogdan and Scott had cut it and stacked it. This type of request is unheard of here, a neighbor had already posted a notice to try and sell it. The sister said I could have the wood so we moved it to others in the program in Dud.  God's provision is an awesome thing and I am waiting to see how He will provide for the winter for those in this program and this wood is part of it.
See you in heaven Ghita

Summer Camps

Elizabeth and Sarah spent 3 weeks up at Sistarovat at summer camp.  Elizabeth wants to join the ministry of Grain Game and go on Euro trek in the summer of 2015. She will need to raise her own funds and we are kicking around ideas now. Things that kids can do to earn money in the States do not work here so we will need to be creative.  Sarah had a wonderful 3 weeks and was very helpful at camp - she is a good little translator too.

Sistarovat 2014

We did a 2 day VBS in the village of Dud with a large team here from Saint Louis, Joy FM.  The plans were to do it outdoors but it poured the second day but we were able to get the keys to the community center and I went around the village picking kids up.

Dud 2014

Some of the Joy FM team

I can't believe I have no pictures of the carnival that this team did in Vinga. There were games and prizes, snacks and a lot of fun. Over 300 kids attended from Vinga. This is the problem - I forget to take pictures. This stuff is my life and I don't think at the time that many of you would like to see what has been happening here in my ministry. I would say something like  "I'll try to do better..." but I know I have said it before.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A quick catch up

The music group from Sanicolau Mic joined us in Vinga one Sunday to do the praise and Worship. For any of you that have visited with us there in Vinga know what a big blessing this was. Marius and his lovely wife Elena are doing such a great job with the kid's club.  It is such a blessing to those kids and my ministry as I can no longer pay Marius but they continue on.
 Sarah's 8th grade graduation. Good job Sarah!!!!
Dressed up for a program the evening of the graduation. Good grief but they have grown up. Elizabeth and Sarah are a joy to my heart.  The next picture down is the graduation party after the program.  The Ball family as well as Vio and Rici joined us. Everybody had a great time. Don't know why I can't put text in between all of the pictures...oh well. The 2nd picture down is Sarah getting her graduation present - yup that's pink hair!  Elizabeth wanted me to be sure and say that Sarah is wearing heels and she is not (Elizabeth is still taller, which is important to her!)
 The finished product is next picture. Sarah is a happy camper...The religious here are in shock  of course.
Bogdan, Lilli and Max after church. Max is growing so much and he is a delight to his parents and grandparents! 
We finished the first summer camp for Roma kids. It was held in a almost finished camp in a tiny village of Cralovat. A 13 member team from Mt. Vernon ILL came along side Ruben and Karen Popet - they have an orphanage here. Their 13 children plus 20 kids from Pesac came to camp. Bogdan Galea  and Callum King were superstars! Their hearts for these kids is amazing - it is a very difficult work but they give it their all. A regular monthly kids club will begin in September.
Well these are some of the highlights of the last 30 days. The program at the hospital with the babies is going really well. Lynsey Ball runs the training and scheduling of volunteers. She has gained great acceptance and the respect of the staff at the hospital.  We pray over each child and I really believe that it makes a difference. For the last 30 days or so we saw a drastic reduction in the number of babies that needed our care! What a joy.

The Ball family is helping with the Widow's Mite program in our area, this is a real blessing to me as well as our widows.

Edith Bond has been staying with Scott and Carolyn's girls for the last 2 months but will be returning to my house next week. She is faithful helper at Mocrea and also attends church in Vinga, accompanying me to Saturday prayer there. Speaking of is really amazing the way the patients join in.  They love the song and prayer time, we have added an occasional bible quiz game with rewards of extra cookies for the right answers. To so many of the patients we are the only family they have. No matter how tough things may seem to me when I arrive there on Tuesdays and they are at the windows yelling for me it warms my heart. I know I am really going where Jesus would go.

The summer camps are beginning this next week in Sistarovat with Matt and Lorraine Marshall. For the last several years my ministry had been able to sponsor around 60 kids at camp - not so this year. ITHM is sponsoring the girls from Osana and I can cover a few from other places myself.  On one hand I am very saddened not to be able to get these kids to camp but on the other hand the kids programs are going so very well in Sanicolau and Vinga that I know the message of Jesus is going forth to the kids and their families. We will have some day activities this summer for both groups though.

I think this summer will be truly awesome!  I am expecting the Lord to move  in many areas of the ministry. We have a large 4th of July party planned with our small group at the camp in Sistarovat.  Reach Beyond (Dave and Beth Jolly) will do a huge event in Vinga in July.  Elizabeth and Sarah will be at the camps in Sistarovat for 2-3 weeks. Elizabeth is helping with praise and worship as a leader and Sarah helps in the kitchen and cleans. I have seen Sarah blossom as a real servant - she jumped right in to help at the camp in Cralovat - what a joy to see that!  Awesome Sarah!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

2 month UPDATE!!!!

OK here we go - two months since I updated. I actually had scheduled to do this this weekend and while shopping I got a text from my dear friend Anita reminding me to do it!

One of my great joys in working with the "Pre-placed Child Development Program" at the hospital is helping to avoid babies being abandoned.  We have received great favor with the staff and now we are able to be involved with helping these precious little ones return to families when possible. Above is a little girl who was identified as abandoned...but she wasn't really.  We were able to communicate with the family and return her home as soon as she was healthy enough.
Above is Vio helping me to return twins to an extended family. The family is shown below.  Are the living conditions great in these cases?  No, but many times they do not really want to renounce their children and a family that wants them is better than a sterile hospital atmosphere any day!. Sometimes they just need a mediator or some temporary help to get over a rough spot.

Hard to believe Sarah turned 14 on March 21.  
My dear friends George and Anita Ford and Barbara Rose came to Romania to spend 3 weeks with us. On March 4 Anita, Barb and I took off to Sibiu and Brasov. This is the 3rd. such wonderful trip that they have given me!  We had a great time!!  We left George alone in a Bed and Breakfast and the owner was appalled that we would do that and had a hard time understanding. 
George did a wonderful 3 week series of messages at Vinga about The Inconvenience of Being Christian. Mark, Scott and Gabi as well as Bogdan loved having George here.
George also did a lovely Good Friday Service. I noticed the way George and Bogdan  had a pretty color co-ordination with the alter cloth! Impressive!
 Elizabeth is introducing George to the Easter egg traditions here in Romania.
On Palm Sunday we had the dedication service for Maximilian Simion, Bogdan and Lilli's baby boy. We had 2 sets of Godparents. There was a very nice celebration dinner at Bogdan and Lilli's house afterward.
Had to have a picture of Anita, George and Barbara. These two wonderful friends do not intentionally dress alike, but it often happens.  That's how it is with such long term great friends. I miss them.

All the ministry programs are chugging along: Vinga church; Detention Center; Mocrea; Widow's Mite; Orphan Sponsorship;  and Saturday kid's programs at Vinga as well and Sanicolaul Mic. God has blessed the ministry with new hands to help. Spencer and Lynsey Ball live next door and are involved in several ministries.  They are a blessing here. They fit so well in to village life, their kids can chatter like little Romanians.  Edith Bond has arrived from New Zealand  and is not only helping me but is involved with the Scott and Carolyn's program that ministers to young ladies in jeopardy here, in fact she is house mom for a couple of months.  Scott and Carolyn are faithful Mocrea helpers. The Lord has been pretty pointed in communicating to me that I need to slow down (OK - I admitted it - does it make you happy??? Yeah, you know who you are!) and has provided help!  Accepting some of my limitations has not been easy for me.  Boy there is an understatement! The girls are learning more about pitching in to help too. We will have some relief in the schedule this summer I think. Thank you for following my blog and please pray for us here and the work that the Lord has set before us.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

OK - so it is too late for Happy New about Happy March 8?

A long overdo update:

March 8 is mother's day here in Romania.  Is has been a somewhat difficult day each year for the girls and myself.  I am thankful that the girls are doing well. Elizabeth has settled down a little in school and is not so stressed.  Sarah has just had another piano recital.

In Feb. I hosted a conference on the Grain Game for Romii kids. Chip Riley, founder of the program, came from Alabama to do the teaching. it was awesome.  This is the ministry program that has been presented for several years in Sistarovit at the summer camps. We had people from the States, Ukraine, Hungary, Romania and England attend. In conjunction with Reuben and Karen Popet, who have an orphanage in the judet of Timis, we will have our first camp starting June 24.

Last night at the Vinga youth meeting we had 13 young people! Bogdan is doing a great job. Speaking of Bogdan,  he and Lilli are the proud parents of Maximilian Simon. Max will be dedicated at the Vinga church April 13.

The ministry in Sanicolaul Mic with the Kids Club as well as music lessons is going well. Marius and his lovely bride Elena do so well with this program. Bogdan is part of that team too.

The Saturday Kid's Club in Vinga is going really well too. Bogdan heads this one up too with the help of Delia, his mom and Vlad.

Mocrea is always special because the patients so appreciate the visits, crafts and mnistry. Vlad handles the singing and prayer parts of the program and assists with the crafts. Scott and Carolyn Pouncey have been so faithful to this project, I am very grateful to them.

Widow's Mite participants have been blessed with a mild winter. It has been even more difficult financially for all of us here in Romania so using less wood was a real blessing.

Edith Bond from New Zealand has moved here to help with the work. She is living with us in Sofronea and waiting to see God's direction. She helps me in all the work and is a blessing to have here!  I think what she likes best is volunteering with the Pre-Placed Child Development Program with the babies at the hospital. We are well accepted and they have come to know they can count on us being there every day. This last week Edith and I were able to take a little baby girl that had been labeled as abandoned back to her family. Their village was a distance away from Arad. The family is very poor and there are four children. 2 of them are in a hospital in a nearby town , the mother is in another hospital caring for the third child and the fourth ended up in the hospital in Arad. We took extra clothing for the little one, formula as well as food for the family. The doctors are very willing to let us get involved and help - it is such a blessing that they have learned to trust us. We hope and pray to be able to intervene in circumstances such as this so that children will be raised by their families. Sometimes it is a matter of finding someone to care for a baby while a parent works, or providing wood, or clothing or food.

This afternoon Edith and I are heading out to do the Saturday afternoon prayer meeting in Vinga. A mother from the church called this morning and asked if we will come by and pray for her little one. She also needs special shoes to help correct a birth defect. The church is doing well!  Spencer Ball is taking a preaching rotation each month and is a blessing. Edith taught last week and the people really liked it.

Thank you for checking my blog and please continue to pray for all of us here!