Monday, January 26, 2015

2nd Chance

2nd chance is the name of the State run educational program here in Romania. It accepts school drop outs from all age groups, over 16 I think. The school will issue a diploma which is almost a must to legally obtain employment. The drop out rate is very high among the Roma kids I work with in Vinga. It is usually OK with the parents for them to drop out, which makes it very hard to convince these kids they need an education. Last year I was able to fund getting 5 students to school and back daily from my own personal funds. The first semester of this school year the Vinga church paid for the transportation but is no longer doing that. The second semester starts in a week and I do not have the extra funds needed.

Do we have high success rates with these kids? No, not really. We have had two so far that were able to get jobs. If a student gets a job the 2nd chance program allows them to stay enrolled and continue if they can pass the exams. Just being in this program gives these kids a better chance at getting jobs.

As most know - I really don't fund raise and often do not do a very good job of making the needs known. So I am making a need known now.  The cost for our five students to go to school this second semester is $350 a month and $1575 total for the semester. This sum also includes their school supplies. This program is near to my heart. Their culture is such that self motivation is not usually seen.  The kids that are enrolled in the program attend the Friday night youth meetings at Vinga. Bogdan is doing a wonderful job and the group is growing. Bogdan knows that had some of you not helped him he never would have been able to attend a University.

Will some of you invest in the future of these kids? .

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Since my last post...

Well I may have set a new record -over 3 months without an update. Almost all of the pictures are on a friend's memory stick computer operating system is old and can't read the stick. I kept putting off updating the blog - surely THIS is the week I will update my operating system - so this explains the lack of pictures, I haven't gotten it updated yet.

Thanksgiving was wonderful with over 50 people gathered around a 38lb turkey and all the trimmings.  The celebration was at Scott and Carolyn's apartments. Carolyn had to return to the States to be with her mom, who passed on in Dec. This has been a really tough few months for the Pouncey family.  They faithfully help at Mocrea every week and soon Carolyn will soon join the volunteers in the Pre-placed Child Development the hospital. I think there were 63 babies we were able to help care for in 2014. We have gained the respect and trust of the staff.

Irene Phillips with Reaching Romania was able to be in Romania to help distribute all the hundreds of Christmas shoebox gifts her charity works on all year. There were many wonderful celebrations with orphans, widows, the poor and the homeless. The Mocrea Christmas party was truly a lot of fun. Cerbu came with the girls of Osana girl's home and a great performance of The Christmas Carol along with carol singing. We had bags for every patient with fruit and candy as well as coffee and hot chocolate packets. Matthew, Callum and Marius came to help. Bogdan was Santa. There were also gifts for all.  I love that Christmas party. To so many of those patients we are their family.

The Jesus Generation bible club in Sanicolaul Mic, with Marius and Elena leading it, is doing fantastic. I was able to expand the building over a year ago and we are again bulging at the seams with children. Marius continues to give music lessons and we are again in need of instruments.

Several widows and 1 widower passed away in 2014. Each one was special.  It was a wondrous thing to see how the need for winter wood was met.  We bought wood as the funds came in...and as always it was enough.  These precious elderly in the Widow's Mite program are so thankful for the food every month but they are always the most thankful for wood.  We are buying more medicines than we were and again it is loaves and fishes!  The Ball family helps in Arad and Vlad is faithful in the Timis area.

The program continues at the detention center every Thursday evening. What a wonderful opportunity to bring the gospel to these children that would ordinarily be skipped over. We want them to know that The Lord has a plan for each and every one of them.

The Vinga church, Seedtime and Harvest, is doing fine. The Saturday program for the children is very poopular. Spencer and Lynsey Ball as well as Bogdan and his mother are so faithful. They are building relationships with these kids and the children know they are loved. After a dry period with the Vinga teens the group is now growing again.  It is truly amazing. It really shows - don't give up. If we are supposed to do a ministry - just do it the rest is up to God..."and God gave the increase". Last Friday night I think we had 17 there. I have taken in a new supply of bibles for them and Bogdan will start going through the New Testament - chapter by chapter.  I would like to plan a fun event or outing for them in the Spring - funds permitting.

The 2nd chance project is faltering right now. It is very expensive to get these kids back and forth to school as well as provide the supplies. God knows all this and we wait on Him. Several of the boys who attended have found some employment.

Elizabeth and Sarah are involved in several groups. They are 16 and 14, what can I say?  Phases come and go at this stage.  I do remember the teen years and I would not choose to repeat them. They are a joy to my heart and I look forward to seeing the plan of the Lord worked out in their lives.

The next big thing on the agenda is the the Grain Game Roma conference in Feb.  After last year's conference we were able to do one camp and Callum and Bogdan are following up. Spencer will be joining the team.  I am hoping we can do 3 camps this summer and have 3 new kid's clubs up and running by mid-fall.  Reaching the gypsy kids is very different from others. It is not an easy work...but oh so worthwhile!

Thank you all for your support, both prayer and financial.  Without you I would not be able to be doing this ministry. May 2015 be an awesome year for us all and may we all work together to build His Kingdom.