I wanted to let everyone know I got my visa on Monday from the police station in Oradea.  It is valid until June 2010.  I now don’t have to carry my passport around to be able to drive.

I had a wonderful, relaxing time in Oradea with fellow American and missionary, Kelly, who works with gypsy children in Oradea.  Even the 10 hour train rides were fairly easy.

Thank you for all of your prayers!

A week in Pictures

This week has been full.  I finally finished organizing the clothes for camp and found clothes for the iddy-biddies.  I made a visit to see the newest baby in the village.  At the end of the week there was a Medieval Festival at the Castle in Suceava and it included a Blues Concert.  Saturday, I’m off to Oradea, via the train, to pick up my visa.

Sunday School

We had a great Sunday school today.  My new friend Mariuca joined me and being a translator by trade, helped with, well, translating.  Together we taught the kids a new song about reading the Bible if you want to grow in your faith.  We taught the kids all 66 books of the Bible and verse 2 Timothy 3:16-17.  The kids have next week off and were encouraged to start learning the book of the Bible so we can place games using them (games=prizes)!  They are also continuing to learn a new verse every 2 weeks.

We had 17 kids this week again.  Gabriel brought a new friend this week and one of his brothers returned!  This was great! His brother, Adi, even knew the verse..but with a little help.  Ionut, who lives across the street from the church, brought his little nephews and niece.   They were so cute and I call them the iddy-biddies because they so little…only 3 and 4 years old.  They are only here for the summer and enjoyed their time with us.

Ionut and the Iddy-Biddies!

Ionut and the Iddy-Biddies!

Yes, that is me in chalk.

Yes, that is me in chalk.

Apartment Update

The electric has been fixed.  The hot water heater when the water pressure is strong enough, which is controlled by the city not the landlord or the building.  And the water is only off when the city has it off or damages to the pipe down the street, which left me without water for 24 hours.  But I survived.  I will be staying here now.  I was reminded that the old communist apartment bloc have many problems too, including government controlled heat and water shut offs. 

My mom sent me a “test” package, which made it fine. The mail lady in Ipotesti called me to tell me I had a package at the Suceava post office.  Ipotesti is a village and doesn’t have an international desk so I have to go to the mail city post office.  The post office in here is stricter than in Oradea. I can only collect packages on Monday, Wednesday and Friday when the government customs agent is there.  He also weighs the package to prove nothing was taken and then the open it to make sure there isn’t any contraband.  Fun stuff.

I still have not gotten a mail box at the building at promised by the landlord, but for now the mail lady calls when I have mail.  My address is:

Melissa Osborne 
Str. Stefan cel Mare nr. 92
Apt 3 (Bloc Pancorma)

Bogdan’s Eye Appointment

Yesterday, we had an adventure getting Bogdan to his doctor’s appointment.  I picked up Bogdan, his mom, and sister and we left just after noon.  There was a lot traffic, but we made it to Iasi in 3 hours, not bad.  Unfortunately, there were 2 streets with the same name and GPS took us to the wrong one.  We asked for help and made it into the city center, but could not find the right street.  We pulled into a gas station and Olga went to ask directions.  There was a courier at the station and he said he knew exactly where the doctor’s office was because he made lots of deliveries there.  He volunteered to lead us to the office.  It was really close, but very complicated, he was able to find us parking behind the building and lead us though the complicated shopping center (for those in Wilmington, think Long Leaf Hills mall in the 80’s with a spiral staircase leading to nowhere).  There is no way we could have found the office without this man.  He was an answer to prayer!!!  I told him this and he said, he didn’t get a chance to help people often, and was glad to help.

Now, the appointment: We were early so the doctor took us in early.  She was very nice and kind to Bogdan.  Bogdan was so good and brave.  He had trouble with the eye exam and his mother was freaking out more than him.  The doctor had to tell her to stop giving Bogdan the answers. 🙂  It turns out there is huge difference in his eyes and this is why his eyes cross.  He is almost blind in one eye.  The doctor wants Bogdan to wear glasses for 6 weeks; he’ll start with just an hour the first day and go from there.  After 6 weeks in glasses, she will see him again and then decided if surgery is even necessary. We are praying that the glasses can correct his vision.  We have also decided that we will take the train next time.

Bogdan trying on glasses.
Bogdan trying on glasses.

After some trouble getting out of Iasi, we made it back on the road and got back to Suceava in only 2 hours.  It had been a long day and we were starving.  We went to McDonald’s.  This was the FIRST time they had ever been.  We enjoyed BigMacs and Diana had a Happy Meal.

Enjoying a BigMac and fries!

Enjoying a BigMac and fries!


Diana didn't like the burger, but LOVED the fries!

Diana didn't like the burger, but LOVED the fries!

Sunday School

I wanted to share with you this fun picture of the kids at Sunday School yesterday.  Cristi took with his new camera.

Look what we made out of Playdoh!

Look what we made out of Playdoh!

Seventeen kids came.  One boy, Gabriel came for the first time last week and this week brought his brothers.  They are really good kids.  Some kids from last week decided not to come because they didn’t learn their memory verse (1John4:16).  Some of the kids who did come didn’t know their verse either, but they tried and got a candy.  We also had a study time before the lesson to work on the verse.  The kids are now in  a competition to learn 10 verses.  Once they learn 10 verses they will get a good prize!  This is a good motivator.

Our lesson today was on Adam and Eve and sin. We are going through a workbook for kids and the kids seem to like it.  Florin stepped up the discussion though yesterday and asked “Cine a creat păcat?”–Who created sin?  Wow, that’s hard to explain in my limited Romanian.  I started to explain, but gave up and told him I would tell him next week after I got some help with the answer in Romanian. It was encouraging that there are kids who will ask questions and not just pretend to understand!

Thank you for praying for these wonderful children!

Village Life

In order to mentor children and teenagers, I have to get to know them, their families, and the way they live.  Tuesday, I went to visit with Bogdan’s family.  We chatted and visited, then the guys had to go and make hay.  The women folk and I decided to go visit the guys in the field to “supervise”.  I had never seen this, so it gave me another insight.

On the way to the field, we stopped by a construction site, where Ionut’s family is getting a new house.  A local Christian family raised some fund to buy the materials to build the house, but the family with supervision has to build it.  I volunteered to help and was told, No, because I was a woman, and building was men’s work.  I thought this was funny, because 10 year old Ionut was actively working on the site.  hmmmm. 

Bogdan’s sister, Diana doesn’t have much to do during the summer.  She is too small and doesn’t have the strength to do many of the farm chores.  So she agreed to help me with language lessons.  I bought a few children’s summer workbooks.  These books for for first and second graders, but for me they are sorta hard.  I know I wouldn’t be able to do the books with Diana and Olga’s help.  By the way, I now have an extensive vocabulary about fairytale characters, which is the topic of the first grader book.  Because Diana and family does not speak English, I have been forced to speak Romanian for hours at a time, even during the break.  This is great and my conversation skills have improved. 

Olga, also, let me follow her around while doing her midday chores.  She did this, still using her crutch and wouldn’t let me help her.  She fed and watered the cow, horse, and very pregnant (and noisy) pig.  She milked the cow and gave the 1 week old calf his lunch.  So cute! Olga did agree to let me know when the potato harvest was so that I can help out.

On Thursday,  I went to visit Cristi and family and gave Cristi his first lesson on editing and printing photographs.  His parents got involved and lots of suggestions.  His parents were really excited to have pictures of the baby and themselves.  As I looked around the house, I noticed there were only 2 pictutures of little kids: kindergarten pictures of Cristi and brother Andrei.  I didn’t see any little kid shots of the girls, expect for the pictures I had taken and given to them.  I then remembered what Mihaela had told me months ago: There were few, if any, pictures of her and her siblings as little ones because of the lack of availability of film etc.  So its a treat and a treasure to get pictures of the family, especially the baby.  Being a proud family, the mother cut some beautiful galdiolouses for me to take home. 

Andrei was watching tv when I got to the house in English.  His dad showed me a notebook Andrei has of words and phrases he has learned from tv.  He can understand English really well, but admits he has trouble speaking it.  He’s excited I’ll be able to tutor him this fall with English.  He’s a really bright boy and hopes to go to high school next year.

While in the village, I was able to tell more kids about the Sunday School program and to encourage those who were there last week to learn their verses.  Many of the families did not have Bibles, so we made sure each family had a Bible.  There are a number of New Testaments, floating around with the families as well, so all the verses right now are from the New Testament.  Last Sunday, 20 kids came to the group.   It was good. 

Thank you for all of your prayers and comments.  I do read every comment!

Bogdan’s Appointment

Bogdan’s appointment is scheduled for Monday at 4:15.  Its in the city of Iasi (yaw-sh), which is 2 1/2 to 3 hours away.  Bogdan’s mom will go with us.  After the appointment, we will be able to schedule the operation.  Bogdan is really excited.  Please pray for a good appointment, safe travel, and good navigation!

I’ve got to move…

So I thought everything was finally set with my apartment. Then Monday, I turned on the washermachine and half way through the cycle, smelled smoke.  There was smoke coming from the outlet.  The landlord was in the building at the time, so i called down to him and he came up and told me to use the other outlet.  Well, that outlet doesn’t work now.  All the plugs in my bedroom no longer work.  I actually lost all power for a few hours on Monday too. 

Then today!!!!!!!  The hot water heat stopped working.  When I went to talk to the landlord he said to me.  “Whats the problem.  The lights work in my apartment.  Everything works in my apartment.  I don’t know what the problem is.”  GRRRRRRR.  That was it.  After all these problems, I think its time to go.  I’m going to begin looking for a new place.  I’m not going to rush and will make sure everything works.  In the meantime, its back to bucket baths!

So, please do not send me anything in the mail right now.  And if you have sent something, let me know, and I’ll be on the look out for it.  I guess its good the landlord never put in a mailbox, and I have spoken with the post office and they will call whenever I get something in the mail. 

Please pray I will find a good place to live soon! And that all of this is for God’s glory.  I don’t know how, right now, but I know its for HIS glory!