In the States

I have made to Wilmington. It only took 28 hours not including the train trip the day before to Bucharest. My flight from Chicago got cancelled, but I got a standby flight to RDU (Praise the Lord) where my cousin picked me up.  My luggage got into Wilmington Airport today! 

I will post about the Children’s Christmas Program soon.  My computer crashed (i left it in the car and the temp went down to 3.2 degrees F. oops!) and I wasn’t able to get the pictures up. But I’ll get that done soon.

Have a Wonderful Christmas!

A Christmas Tradition

One tradition, they have here in Romania, is the annual slaughter of the Christmas hog.  I was “invited” to help on my friend’s farm.  I told them I would be there after the hog and calf were slaughtered. 

Because Romania is part of the European Union, butchering in one’s courtyard  is no longer allowed.  One is  supposed to take their pig and calf to the butchers.  So far, this law has not been enforced, but most expect it will be soon.

Well, I got to the farm and went into the outside kitchen and saw pig and calf  parts and knew that I just couldn’t do it. I’ve gotten used to cleaning and cooking fresh chicken, I think I’m doing pretty good.  So, I was assigned to clean the deep freeze, which I did.  Everyone had a nice laugh at the city girl who couldn’t  butcher a pig.  I said I would try again next year.  I was given some meat to cook at home and it was oh so good. 

I thought about posting pictures, but thought you all wouldn’t like that at all!

Ice Skating

I took the mentees ice skating at the mall for our little Christmas party.  One girl decided at the last min. not to come.  I think she was just scared to ice skate.  At first, only Anca would go and really wanted me to go with her.  I had planned to just take pictures. But I got on the ice with her.  It was easier than I remembered…I think it was the good skates.  We were able to get Alina Gabriela on the ice after a few mins. And Andrei stayed happily on the side lines taking pictures.  Finally, there was too much snow on the rink to really skate, so after an hour we went to eat.

Snow princesses!

Andrei chose McDonalds.  It was the first time there for the girls.  They enjoyed it.  We had ice creams and then took the elevator back down to entrance.  I mention the elevator, because it was Anca’s first time on an elevator.  Sometimes, I am surprised at what these kids haven’t experienced.

McD's and Suceava's own Betty Ice Icecream, what could be better?

The mentoring program will continue in the new year. Please continue to pray for this great teenagers!

snow snow and more snow

This southern girl is in shock! 

A friend of mine complained there was no snow.  I told her, stop praying for snow until after I get winter tires.  I got winter tires on Friday afternoon.  Friday night the flurries started.  I loved it.  There were flurries for 3 full days with a beautiful dusting everywhere and the roads were very drivable.  Then Tuesday happened.  Tuesday the flurries turned into full snow!  And it hasn’t stopped snowing since.  The main roads are drivable with a nice layer of brown slush covering them.  I am totally learning to drive in the snow.  Like I said, the roads are ok, its just getting to the roads.  You see, the parking lots are not cleared.  So I have to drive through the snow.  Fortunally, I am able to follow other’s tire tracks.  And I haven’t gotten stuck (yet)!

So, unless I have to use the I’ve been walking.  By the time I put on all my warm clothes (tights, leggings, thermal pants, 2 socks, fur lined boots, 2 shirts, a sweater, hat, scarf, gloves AND mittens, and my coat) I feel like the Stay-puff Marshmellow Man!  Then, of course, like a 5 year old, I have to use the bathroom, and have to take of a least two layers, before repeating the process.  Oh my, it will be a long winter! But it will be fun.  It’s an adventure!  🙂

A new house in the village

One of the poorest families that I work with just got a new house.  Their old house was on a small plot of land with no usable ground for a garden.  There was no electricity in this cramped one room house and the floor was packed dirt.  The family has 9 children ranging in age from 15 months to 16 years.   A local Christian family felt compelled by the Lord to do something for this family.  And after 2 years the house was built from donations from Greece, Germany, and here in Romania.  The family worked alongside the professionals, even the kids got involved.  It was amazing to see the transformation!  I volunteered to help, but was told it was men’s work, oh well.

The new house has 2 bedrooms and a living room.  There is even a bathroom INSIDE the house!  This summer, garden was lush and green!  The house is beautiful and a blessing from the Lord.

Last Wednesday, there was a dedication for the house.  Family and neighbors came to celebrate with the family.  The pastor from my church in the city, gave a short sermon and presented the family with a Bible and a Children’s Bible! 

This house is the only house I know of with running water in the village.  A well pump is used. When the mother went to the kitchen to rinse something out, all eyes were on the running water.  I never realized how interesting running could be!  It was a great blessing to be apart of the celebration that has changed the life of one family!

Part of the family waiting for things to start

Me and some of my kids!

Home for Christmas….

Yes, the rumors are true, I will be in Wilmington for Christmas this year. My parents were able to use frequent flyer miles to purchase a ticket for me.  What a blessing!!!!  This will be the first Christmas in 2 years that I won’t be in Romania; it will be great to see my family…I’ve heard there will be 32 people at Christmas dinner.  I’m especially excited to meet my new niece, Eva, who was born in October!

I made the announcement a couple of weeks ago to the kids here in Stroiesti.  At first they were concerned I wasn’t going to be here for the Christmas pageant…and that I wasn’t coming back!!  And secretly, who was going to give them their Christmas boxes if I wasn’t there!  But I assured them, I would be here for the Christmas pageant and nothing could prevent me from coming back to my kids!  Diana’s mom told me that Diana was very concerned that I wasn’t coming back.  She told her mother, “I know Melissa is much older than me, but she really is my very best friend!”  Yes, I got all teary eyed when I heard that.  But now  that she knows I’m coming back, she is totally fine with  me leaving for Christmas.

So for the next week, we are making the final preparations for the Christmas pageant and having a week a rehearsals since the kids are out of school a week early to save the government money.  Please pray that we have a good attendance for the program and that people are reminded of the true meaning of Christmas.

Please also pray for traveling mercies, as I will be traveling for 2 days: one day on the train to Bucharest and then over 24 hours on planes and in airports!

Christmas Time

I took four of the kids from the mentoring program to a Christmas concert last night.  They enjoyed it!

In front of the city Christmas Tree.

Romania Day Part 2

My friends and I were able to go the city center just before the fire works started.  There was music and lots of crazy people.  Here are a couple of pictures! Notice the election posters for the election on Sunday for the President.  Also, in the back ground you can see folks with Romanian flags.  The Christmas lights were turned on too…its so pretty.

Smiling in front of the Christmas Tree.

Notice the election "poster" that covers the entire side of the culture hall!