One Year Later

I realized earlier this week, that it was a year ago that I started my training in Oradea.  It’s amazing to see what God has done in the last year.  I have learned so much and decided to make a top 10 list of things I have learned in Romania. Enjoy.

10. That children are the same everywhere.  They all want to be loved and hugged and will live up to the expectations you give them!

9. How to drive stick shift!  And to navigate Romanian traffic.

8. That Romanians can park their cars anywhere and so can I (including sidewalks and bus lanes).

7.  That I can totally live without hot running water, but would rather not.

6.  That there are matchmakers in every country (and every age…. even 4 year Naiomi  had a try).

5.  That making friends with the postal inspector is good; I don’t have to explain everything in the packages.

4. That when the kids start getting restless in class, a good song will get their attention.

3. How to speak Romanian and that Romanians are very forgiving when I make mistakes.

2.  That “Guess what kind of meat you’re  eating?” is not a fun game.

1.  That no matter what God is always with me and will guide and protect me.

Daily Prayer Requests

I have updated the prayer requests for November! Thank you.

A Field trip and a Birthday

This week, I seemed to always forget my camera.  So I apologize for there being no pictures.

In Sunday School, we have been learning verses and all the books of the Bible in order.   For each verse learned, a child will get a star on the chart.  A child will get 3 stars for learning the books of the Bible (one for the New Testament and 2 for the Old.)  The deal was whoever got 10 little stars got a big prize.  But I wouldn’t tell them what it was.  Last week, two children, Diana and Florin  got their tenth star.  I told them they could go anywhere in the city they wanted.  They wanted to go to the mall.  Along with Ana, one of the girls who’s on the Sunday School team, we took the 2 kids to mall.  They were really shy about what they wanted to do, but eventually relaxed.  We wandered around the book shops and they each got a couple of books (Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn for Florin; Heidi and Alice in Wonderland for Diana).  We went to lunch and then left the mall for the park.  It was a fun day and a great reward.  I hope the other kids will work on learning their verses and such.

On Sunday, we celebrated October birthdays.  We only had one: Claudiu.  We embarrassed him by making him stand up front while singing to him, but he was a good sport about it.  He got a little cake and a gift.  I made blueberry muffins for all the kids.

We, also, began learning Christmas music.  The Romanians are still laughing at me for starting so early, but I really want the kids to feel confident with the music. Or maybe I just spent way too much time on the Worship Team at COTC.  hmm.  The kids seem really excited about it.

As always, we covet your prayers.  Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement!

A little boy…

The English classes at the school are optional for the kids.  If the kids start misbehaving, I ask them if they want to stay and they usually say yes and I tell them then need to be quiet and I move on.  Sometimes, I actually have ask the kids to leave and they reluctantly do so.  Two weeks ago, N, a second grader, was misbehaving and after some warnings, was asked to leave.  He stayed in the hall way and a few  minutes later a mother of another child, came in and she told me he was still there.  Well, I told N he could come back in.  The mother stayed in the class and waited for her daughter.  N had trouble staying quiet and was still a bit disruptive.  When the class was over, the mother told N’s grandfather and N got yelled at.  I felt so bad for this little boy. 

Two days later, N came up to me and said he was sorry for misbehaving, with a big smile I said that it was ok and told him I would see him the next week in class.  His teacher had also heard about the class and he, too, apologized for the little boy.

The following week, I got in the class and little N was getting his coat on and packing his bag to leave.  I asked him where he was going.  He told me the teacher said he couldn’t stay.  I bent down and looked at him and told him, ” I want you in class.  I want you to stay.”  He shook his head, unsure if he should stay.  I then said, “We are going to sing today, do you like to sing?”  His eyes got real big and he said, “I do like to sing.”  He decided to stay.  

He sat quietly in his see and copied pages from his religion book, but he was still paying attention.  I was teaching the kids the names of fruit.  For every fruit, N told me if he like them or not.  He likes apples, oranges and cherries, but does not like strawberries.   We sang “Apples and Bananas”  and other songs, and although N did not join in, he enjoyed the songs.

I wrote a note to his grandfather telling him that N had been so good in class and left another note for the teacher.  When I left, I saw N with his father.  His father asked me if N was really good in class.  I told him, he was perfect in class.  So good.  N beamed!  His father went on to tell me that N’s mom was working abroad to bring in enough income for the family.  It all made sense to me.  He missed his mom, and at 8 years old, doesn’t really know how to deal with it, so he acts out.  I’ve seen this before with other kids.   

Tomorrow, I have N’s class and I’m excited to see this charming little boy and I’m curious about his commentary on all things Autumn.

Bogdan’s Eyes Part 2

We went to the doctor today and got to the office with only getting a little lost.  Yippy!  The doctor noticed much improvement in his eyes and told him that the glasses are permanent.  She, also, said that surgery is not a good option.  The surgery is really most effective for children under 5 and Bogdan is 15.  She said at this point the surgery would be cosmetic and would be unnecessarily risky.  We are to go back and see her in one year.

Everyone was thrilled with news.  Bogdan’s eyes will continue to improve and he doesn’t have to have surgery.  Both he and his mom were happy about this.  After the appointment we celebrated by going out to dinner!

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement!

Funny things that happened last week

So last week, funny things kept happening to me.  Now, I thought they might only be funny to me, but I then I told my dear friend, Cindi and she thought they were funny too.  So, I’ll share.

So, last week it rained a lot and in the village there are a lot of dirt and gravel roads.  Tuesday, it was sleeting out and I didn’t want Alina to have to walk into the village to meet me so we could all go into the city for English class.  So, I started on the gravel road and it was only at the bottom of the valley were there was bad mud.  It was a small little pond, but fairly easy.  Then up the hill and down the dirt road to Alina’s.  Well, Alina’s road was all mud and my car started sliding–it was actually a bit scary.  But fortunately, Alina’s road is like the ONLY road in Romania that doesn’t have ditches on either side of it, so I put two tires in the fields and was fine.  I was just about at Alina’s when this all happened. 
     So, then while  Alina was changing her clothes, I was outside scrapping the mud off my tires with a TWIG I found, couldn’t find anything better.  It was so cold and the sleet….oi!  The drive back was a bit scary as we were sliding, but God protected us.  And now, I think it’s just funny.
Funny thing two:  Wednesday the school had an event. If I had known I would have brought my camera.  The event was like a talent show, county fair, and beauty pageant all rolled into one!  Students won prizes for pies and cakes and the biggest potato and pumpkin.  Different classes got up and danced and sang.  One group of girls sang “My Heart will go On” from Titanic.  There was traditional music and dancing.  It was fantastic.   Then, they had the beauty  pagent.  Twenty girls eager to be Miss Autumn -Stroiesti 2009.  I had flash backs to Homecoming coronation.  And as in all beauty pageants there were tears.  The entire event was really fun and the kids did a great job.

Well, at this event, I got swarmed by my students.  This one little first grader was so cute and I pulled her on to my lap.  Well, she had, at some point earlier in the day, wet herself.  So, my pants got a bit a wet spot on them.  Ok, not a big deal, little smells, but  first graders do that and I washed my pants when I got home. 

You would have thought I had learned my lesson, but no.  The next day, I was teaching third graders and a kindergartener came in to wait with her brother.  Well, I had just had her class and she had done so well.  I pulled her on to my lap so she could show off her mad English skills and sing “One little, two little, three little Indians,”  when I realized, she had wet her pants at some point during the day. 

Ok, so, no more little kids getting pulled on to my lap at school.  It takes too long for my clothes to dry in the winter to be washing them everyday!!!!!

Bogdan’s Eyes

Tomorrow, Monday, we are headed back to Iasi to take Bogdan to visit the Doctor for his 6 week check up.  There has been some improvement in his eye site!

Please pray for safety in travel and that we don’t get lost this time.  Please also pray that the Doctor’s visit will go well.


SNOWING!!!!!!!!   Oh, it’s going to be a long winter.

Since last week-Mentoring

I’m sorry it has taken me so long to update this blog.  I’ve been really busy lately.  It’s been great. 

I spent much of last week and early this week making preparations for the mentoring program.  Three teens from the village are participating in the program and will be preparing to go to high school next year. (There is another girl who wants to join us, but her class schedule is very different and she isn’t sure about it.)  In order for them to go to high school, they have to pass exams.  We are studying 2 afternoons a week to get them prepared.  I had been doing the tutoring sessions in the village, but younger siblings were very distracting.  We all agreed coming to my apartment was better!

Tuesdays, we have English and Thursdays, Math with my friend’s mother, who has been teaching this prep groups in Bucharest for years.   Tonight, though, we had English.  After school, I drove the kids to my apartment and we worked on English vocab and grammar.  We had dinner and played Crazy 8 (naming the cards and colors in English for each turn) and then studied some more.  They were all home by 7 pm with homework to do for next week. 

They are great kids and each child was actually put on my heart last year.  God knew then!!  They are all cousins.  Andrei is 14 and the girls are both 16.  Gabi finished 8th grade last June and has been working in the fields with her family.  She wants to do more in her life and her mom wants more for her daughter’s life. Silvia comes from a very large family and has repeated grades before.  She has the desire to succeed.  Andrei is just plain smart.  His understanding of English is incredible (he learned it from watching TV) and he’s really good at translating for his cousins.  He wants despartely to go to high school.

Gabi, Andrei, and Silvia

Gabi, Andrei, and Silvia

Being Silly...Because we can

Being Silly...Because we can

I know it won’t always be easy with these guys, but we’re all excited. We have a lot of work ahead of us. But we have parental support and encouragement.  God put the desire for this program in all of our hearts and He will go with us.  We ask for your prayers as we go forth.