A need for Christmas

I hope everyone had  a great Thanksgiving.  I had a very nice one with friends.  The COTC worship team provide us with an amazing dinner; they sent everything but the turkey!!!  American mac and cheese, stuffing, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie. oh, and cranberry sauce.  Perfect!  Thank you guys!

For Christmas, I would like to have a little party for the children in the village. Nothing elaborate, no bouncy castle.  I would like to have a craft for the children to do at the party.   I want to have the kids make Christmas cards.  What do I need from you??  I need Christmas stickers, confetti, Christmas foam shapes, anything the kids can use to make cards.   The stickers and such can be sent in small, flat envelopes (card size) and will be put directly into my mail box; letters take about 7-10 days.  Packages will have to go through customs and take about 2 weeks to get here.  I hope to have this Christmas party no sooner than mid-December.  So if please send the stickers and such as soon as possible. 

Thank you so much!!  The kids will love this activity!


This weekend, while in staying in Suceava, I got to spend time with Mihaela’s family.  It was great.  And then it snowed!  I love the snow.  Although, it didn’t snow a lot in Suceave it snowed tons in the mountains.  It was the major story on the news Monday morning!  Sadly, there is no snow in Oradea; there were only flurries.

I got to see the beautiful snow covered mountain villages from the train.  You have to see it yourself to really appreciate it. Here are some shots I took from the train.



A visit to Stroiesti

This weekend I went to Stroiesti to visit the families there.  I also passes out hats, gloves and lollipops to all the kids.  I gave out some coats and snow pants to those who needed them (many children got coats this summer).  It was the first time I was able to go into some of the homes. Mihaela’s sister and brother came with to help with the load and to translate. 

Our first stop was the home of Bogdan and Diana.  I felt so welcomed in their cozy home.  Their mom, Olga broke her leg/knee very badly in early September and has a cast from her toes to her thigh.  But that didn’t stop her from baking bread filled with apples and chatting with us.  It was great being able to speak with her and the kids.

Olga preparing the bread with apple filing from the bed.

Olga preparing the bread with apple filing from the bed.


Bogdan tending the fire.

Bogdan tending the fire.


Next, we were led across the village by Diana to the homes of her cousin, IN THE SNOW!  On the way, we passes a funeral procession.  In the procession I saw a few of “my” kids and I waved discreetly to them.  Well, soon they were following me.  I asked who had died.  They didn’t know.  It was just something to do on Saturday and an opportunity to get some cakes and candies.  I gave them some gloves and lollipops along with some pictures from this summer. 100_2082

We next went to Ionut’s house.

The kids are sitting on the heater above the stove. Its nice and warm

The kids are sitting on the heater above the stove. Its nice and warm


Ionut showing off his new coat.

Ionut showing off his new coat.

We went to a couple more house.  Everyone got new hats and gloves.  When we got back to Olga’s, she had hot bread with apple filling waiting for us.  It was a great way to end the day.

Me with Diana and Bogdan.  Its so nice and warm the camera lens fogged up a bit.

Me with Diana and Bogdan. Its so nice and warm the camera lens fogged up a bit.

Train to Suceave-Take 2

Ok, so tomorrow I will be going to Suceava.  I’ll be able to spend Friday in the city getting to know my way around and Saturday I will go to the village to see “my” kids.  Please pray for a safe journey and no fiery engines.  I’ll be travelling with Mihaela’s mom, who has been in Oradea this past week.  I’ll update you all when I get back to Oradea on Sunday.

A Trip to the Orphanage

Today, I went to Ci-ghid “Chee-gee-d”, which is an orphanage for special need kids and adult. My first visit there was last Christmas and then a brief trip this summer.  I must admit, today was my favorite trip.  For the first time, I could actually have conversations with the kids and the workers.  Many of the kids remembered me from before and were excited to get pictures from the last trip.  Recently, pictures were posted on line of the kids and so we are no longer allowed to take pictures of the kids.  So, I let Geta use my camera to take my picture. 


This morning, I received a package from dear sweet, Janet.  She sent a big bag of lollipops.  Perfect timing Janet!! I took the lollipops to Ci-ghid and the kids loved them!  Geta, Maria (the nurse), and I went to each of the cabins, where the kids live, and gave them lollipops.  I, also, left lollipops with the workers in each cabin for later. This is all that is left.


Here is some work Edy has done on the loom he got this summer. He was so proud of his work and he told me he needed more colors of yarn. There is a shop here in Oradea…I’ll get some for him.



My Apartment–Apartamentul Meu

My mom reminded me that I hadn’t posted pictures of my apartment.  So, today i took some and here they are!

My kitchen.  There is a table and chairs on the other side of the door.

My kitchen. There is a table and chairs on the other side of the door.

This is where I hang my clothes to dry. You can see another bloc across the street.

This is where I hang my clothes to dry. You can see another bloc across the street.

There is where I study.

There is where I study.

Do you see the yellow post it notes—they are lables to help me learn my vocab.

There is also a bedroom and a bathroom, but I couldn’t a get a good shot.  So here it is my apartment.  yeah.

A language accomplishment!

Today, I was able to buy a new month pass for the trams here in Oradea..ALL BY MYSELF!!!  It might not sound like a big deal, but to me it is huge.  When I arrived, I couldn’t even buy meat from the deli and if the cashier asked me something, I just looked at her dumbly and said “I don’t know” or I “I don’t understand” in Romanian.  Mihaela had to buy my first monthly pass and friends helped me buy food.  I was totally reliant on other people to get the simplest things. But now, I am able to get around and do things myself.

 It is very humbling to go from being independent to complete reliance. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am very independent.  God has used this experience to make me totally dependent on Him (and as great motivation to keep working hard at learning Romanian.)  I thank you for praying for me, especially for the language.

I have attached a picture of one of the brand new trams here in Oradea for which I need the aforementioned pass!  Not all of them are this nice, but they get me to where I need to go.  I am so thankful for the tram system here!!

ULF in Oradea.JPG

A change in plans

Number one rule of missions: be flexible.  So this morning, Mihaela picked me up and took me to the station.  It wasn’t very busy (possibly due to the rumors of the strike), so we quickly got a ticket and patiently waited.   About the time the train was to pull into the station, we hear announcements saying the train is 30 minutes late, fine whatever.  A few minutes later, its 40.  Mihaela went to investigate.  The train engin had caught fire not far from Oradea.  We got  my ticket refunded and I’ll go next weekend.

I praise God that the engin didn’t catch on fire after I got on.  And I praise Him for whatever the reason is that the trip should be next week.

Weekend Prayer Requests

Tomorrow, I will be taking the train to Suceava and will be going to the village (Stroiesti) on Saturday.  This trip almost didn’t happen, because there was a strike scheduled for Friday morning, but tonight it was cancelled.  The train ride is10 hours (fun fun).  Please pray for a safe, uneventful trip. 

While in the village,  Maddie (who I met last summer at camp) and I will be visiting the families.  We will be passing out school supplies and some coats (some coats where given in August, others will be given at the end of the month).  We will be able to continue building relationships with these families.  Please pray for meaningful success.  I will also get a chance to practice my Romanian skills.

I’ll be taking lots of pictures and will post them next week.  Thank you for all your prayer and encouraging comments and emails!