My God is an Awesome God

Despite the weather report, the rain stopped and there was even sun.  Only God can do that.  Yesterday, just before lunch, the rain stopped.  We took the kids on a short walk to the “bridge”.  While walking, I started making up songs thanking God for stopping the rain.  The kids even sung along. We walked back  and then had lunch.  There was still no rain, so we went on a long walk in the woods.  Joni made a crown of ferns and became the king forest. 

Joni--King of the Forest

 We had a lovely time.  The weather was still lovely and got warm. The kids took the opportunity to change into shorts and dresses. We held off having the lesson until after dinner because the kids were able to play outside. It was great. This morning we woke to sun.  Right now it is cloudy, but dry.  Praise the Lord.  Everyone’s attitude is better.  The kids are able to get some energy out and enjoy the fresh air.  During the lesson last night, we learned about Esther and how she prayed and fasted with the people of Susa for 3 days and nights for God to save them from death. We told the kids, God does hear us when we pray…the big things and the little things.  God heard our prayers for the rain to stop and He is merciful and granted them.  Praise to our Lord!  Thank you for your prayers.  Please continue to pray for us.

God said to Noah, there’s gonna be a floody floody

Ok, so maybe not a floody, floody so we have to build an arky, arky. (Are you singing along yet…Rise and Shine and Give God the Glory, Glory)  But it feels like it has been raining for 40 days and nights!

The Bridge to get into the village where the camp is located is out. The river creek bed is usually so low you just drive through it. I had to use the bridge but it is very unsafe, but I had to use it to get to Stroiesti to get the kids for camp on Tuesday.  Well, I left my car on the other side of the bridge because I just didn’t feel safe about going over it again.  Gabi agreed and said he wouldn’t drive his car over it either.  The camp staff laughed at me.  Wednesday when I went to check on my car, this is what I found.

The new bridge; fortunately, my car is on the other side.


Last week the teens got to play in the creek, this is what the creek looks like now:

White water rising, anyone?

I looked at the weather report and it says it will rain the rest of camp.  But my God is a God of miracles.  Please pray that the rain will stop and that is will get warm.  We are all cold and the camp doesn’t have heat.  One girl is wearing just about all her clothes.

Please pray for us.  We need it.

Goodbye Teens, Hello Kids

What a wonderful we had with the teens.  All of the leaders were sad to see the teens go and the teens were sad to leave camp.  Our last day was wonderful.  After lunch we went on a hike in the woods. We climbed mountains, yes, mountains!  At the top of the mountain were large boulders that the teens where able to sit on and see a wonderful view of the valley. The way up was hard but offered many surprises such as salamanders and wild strawberries and blueberries.  On the way down, we stopped and had our final lesson.  It was a mistake to have the lesson on the mountain, because the view was beautiful.  We sang songs of praise to our Lord overlooking His awesome creation.  

After dinner, we celebrated 3 birthdays with homemade cake….so yummy.  Afterwards, we all gathered in the girls cabin and played games and hung out until 10ish, then we watched “One Night with the King.” We had started the day with the story of Esther, so watching a film about her was the best way to end it.

In the morning, the teens said the last of verses for points.  During the week, teens earned points for answering questions, memorizing verses, and performing acts of service to each other.  We had one girl, Lavinia, who has problems with her legs and back, but that didn’t stop her from climbing the mountain with us all, so she got a point for courage. 

Now we have 25 kids from the village here at camp.  There are also 20 kids from an orphanage nearby. That totals 45 kids.  The group from the orphanage will join us for lesson and songs.  The kids will join us in memorizing verses and playing games.  There are a lot of kids and each one needs love and attention.  Right now, they are super excited and ready for fun. Please pray the rain will stop so we can have lots of fun outside in the fresh air.

Dear Mom and Dad

Dear Mom and Dad,

I’m sorry for anything and everything I ever did as a teenager.  I’m sorry for my bad attitude and lying to you.  I’m sorry for being disrepectful and grumpy.  I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry.  Now, please lift the “I hope you have kids just like you” curse!

Love, Melissa

Ok, so they aren’t that bad…I was exaggerating, so teen are challenging, but they are so much fun.  They love to joke and laugh and play games.  They love being silly, and when it “cool” to do so, they will act like a fool.  However, we are having some problems here at camp.  One kid has decided every time he gets angry to run away.   Some one snuck a phone. We caught one girl who stole hair clips (I don’t care about the hair clips only that she stole).  Cookies are missing, and some one has gone through the extra socks and underwear.  I had told them what ever they want, just ask, but don’t just take it.  grrrrrr.  So now, two are  cleaning the dinning hall after every meal.  The boy who likes to run away, is constantly with one leader.  I have gotten tired of dealing with each issue in regards to stealing so  the cabin is locked during the day so the girls can’ t be in it with out a leader.

The Teens are learning their verses and are excited to get point for answering questions or for random acts of kindness.  We’ve done the zip line and rock wall and have played so many games!  We’ve done many art project and had a couple guest speakers.  Camp has been really fun, despite the challenges.  We didn’t know what to expect since this was the first time with teens.  I saw teens who were “tolerant” of Christians reading their Bibles and learning verses.  Girls who are too cool to come to Sunday School are singing songs about Jesus in the shower!  

Now enjoy some pictures!

Kindergarten and the Last day of School

kindergarteners dressed in their finest showing their diplomas

This past year teaching English has been a blast.  My favorite class by far was Kindergarten.  The teacher was very serious about the kids learning English and was very encouraging.  She even allowed the children to sing some songs in English for their graduation.

Singing "Ten Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed"

I’m very excited because the teacher who will have these kids for the next 4 years is also really serious about English lessons for the kids.  The new first grade teacher is last years 4th grade teacher and she had the most advanced (at least in English) class of all my classes.  I hope that these rising first graders will be speaking conversational English by the time they are in the 4th grade!

On the last day of school, there was a big celebration/awards ceremony.  Many kids got crowns and diplomas for the grade they have finished. The kids were all really excited.  There were lots of tears from the 4th graders because they will be moving to the Middle School (it’s just next door, but still…).

Moving on to Middle School

Camp updates

Just wanted to let you all know that I got the medical release forms for the 4 girls. Praise the Lord!  I am now waiting for 2 teens from Stroiesti to bring their forms and we are done!  They are the last 2 who have earned coming to camps. 

 One of the original concepts for the camps was to bring some kids from the city to camp so that the kids could all interact–so that the kids from Stroiesti would not be so isolated.  Well, this year, 2 children from the outreach project at my local church here will be joining us: Denis and Rodica.  They come to the Wednesday night children’s church each week and are super excited to come to camp.  This is a great opportunity for everyone. Another girl, who happens to a sister-in-law to a former campers, has had a tough year and I was asked, if at all possible could she come too.  Well, God opened up a spot for the teen camp and Lavina will be coming too. 

My prayer has been that God will bring the children He wants to this camp.  I will tell you, it has been hard making the lists.  There are kids I want to bring, but who have not been coming to Sunday School, so they haven’t “earned” it.  And I can’t just let them, because it does belittle the hard work and efforts of the other kids.  I know some kids felt that since they have always gone to camp in previous years, they can go this year too without the work.  I pray that those children (3 boys specifically) will start coming to Sunday School and participating.  As you pray for us at camp, please pray for these 3 boys too.

Yesterday, I discovered a snag in the great plan that is camp.  We are to leave Thursday morning, and I discovered that Thursday morning 3 of the teens (the mentoring kids) have a placement exam for high school.  Only one knew when it was, so I didn’t feel too bad about not knowing about the exam. They were all stressing about the exam and camp and how it would all work out.  And all three were ready to give up camp to take the exam.  I was happy to hear that school was more important than camp.  We are still working out the details but we’ll get everyone to camp.

Thank you for all of your prayer and contributions for camp, whether you sponsored a child or 2 or 3 or you sent supplies, we thank you.

More mis-adventures with TB

So Tuesday, I told the girls to meet me in front of the school at 9am on Friday.  They weren’t there.  I went to the school and took pictures of the kids since it was the last day of school.  When I left, 2 of the girls: Ana Maria and Alina Georgeta were by my car.  The conversation went a bit like this…only in Romanian

  “Where are your sisters, Ana?”
“In the corn field.”   ARE YOU KIDDING ME????????????
“Seriously? Which one?” 
“I don’t know.”  I called her mother.  They were in the next village over.  I drove over.  The family was in the field and wouldn’t let the girls go, even though it had been arranged for day.  The older girls and Ana had no reaction to the TB test, so they figured they were fine and I would let them go to camp.  I explained that the doctor had to read the tests.  Knowing that Alina Georgeta ( AG) would have to get an x-ray, I took the little girls and promised to return after noon for the big girls. 

So we get to the doctors office and the nurse takes my word that the older girls have the same reaction as Ana and are ok, so she didn’t need to see them.  But as expected AG needs an x-ray.  Now, I was led to believer that the x-ray would take place at the doctor’s office.  OH NO!  We had to go to the hospital. The doctor’s wasn’t far, so we walked and after getting lost mulitiple times in the hospital got to Radiography.  We waited 40 mins and took the x-ray back to the doctor’s.  The doctor would be back at 2pm.  It was 11.  I took the girls to my apartment and to McDonalds for lunch.  We returned to the doctor’s just before 1 and she got back after 2:30.   After waiting a good hour…the girls were ready to give up…we got to see the doctor.  She declared all the girls NEGATIVE for TB. Praise the Lord.  She gave them passes for the doctor in the village and I’ll go on Monday to get medical releases for them.  The doctor wants the girls to take pills to prevent getting TB.  Ideally, everyone on the hill would do this.  I found out TB has been a problem on the hill for 3 years and no one had done anything about it.  30+ people have been repeatedly exposed in the last 3 years. …and no one cares.

Lord willing, the doctor in the village will give me medical releases for these 4 girls who do not have TB and they will have a great time in camp!

Thank you for your prayers for my girls…..

Sins of the Father

I can’t do it.  I can’t punish the kids because their parents won’t take them to the doctor. The doctor won’t give them health releases without tb  tests. Without health releases, they can’t go to camp.  So today, I took 4 girls to the get tb tested in the city.  This started yesterday, when we tried to get referrals.  By the time, they got the referrals it was too late to get the tb tests.  There is only one place in all of Suceava that does the tests.  So this morning at 9 am, the girls were not in front of the school like they should have been.  I drove to their home (look at the picture above on this blog…that’s their road) and found only one girl.  The rest of the families were in the field.  So, I tromped through the fields and we made arrangements for the girls to meet me at 1pm after school.  At one, we went to the doctor to get the last referral and then off to the city.  We actually found parking (miracle!) but got lost in the piata.  We found the office, waited and got the tests.  I had to drag…seriously….the oldest one into the office because she was scared of the needle.   We go back on Friday morning for the results.

Please pray these girls: Gabi, Ana Maria, Nicoleta, and Alina don’t have TB! 

Camp 2010

Want to see who is coming to camp?  Go to my blog and click on the tab “Camp 2010.”  There you can see who is coming to camp and pray for each child by name!

Strikes, Hospitals and a House

It has been a very interesting week here in Suceava. Monday, there was a general strike in the entire country.  Schools were closed, hospitals, and parts of the transportation network.  Many schools stayed closed until Wednesday. And many kids didn’t come to school on Thursday either.   The kids only have one more week of school.  It’s good that the strike ended.  There was talk that if the strike continued too long, all the students would have to repeat the grade.  I can’t imagine having to repeat a grade because the teachers had gone on strike 2 weeks before summer. WOW.

So, because I wasn’t in school, I took Olga to the doctor at the clinic. You may remember that she broke her leg in Sept. 2008.  She still walks with a limp and has a great deal of pain when she walks.  Well, between last weeks visit with the orthopedic doctor in the hospital and this weeks visit at the clinic, Olga has gotten disability forms for a year.  Praise the Lord!  This is fantastic for Olga.  She is a hard worker but is very limited by her leg.  These forms will allow the family to get some assistance from the government.

Wednesday, I was back at the hospital to visit Daniela.  Daniela was a wild teenager and was involved in prostitution.  Daniela is now 18 and got married last year.  On Sunday, she had a little girl–3.850 kilograms. Mom and baby are doing really well and are supposed to go home today, Friday.

Finally, yesterday, I drove a family to the offices of Habitat for Humanity about 45 mins away from here. This family is hard-working and just can’t get a loan to build a new house.  Their house is very old and needs modernization.  I asked around and found out that Habitat has a program here in Romania.  I gave the family the number and stepped away.  They arranged to meet with Habitat, and I played taxi driver.  (I can’t get involved in building house….I’ve seen that back fire in the village.) Anyways, after Habitat reject their plan, the family agreed to use an approved Habitat floor plan and Habitat will come next week to the village.  It’s very exciting to see the hope this family has.  If all goes through, Habitat will loan the family the money and they will pay it back over the next 5 years. Habitat will also over see the construction of the house!

There is so much to give praise for and to pray for in this update.  Please pray for the children at school in their last week before summer, pray for Olga and Daniela and pray for this family and their new house. And please continue praying for camp.  We did get another donation so one more camper is coming to camp.  You should have seen the grin on his face when I told him he could come to camp!