Summer is over

I pray that I am wrong, but it looks like summer is over.  This weekend a cold front came in and fall arrived.  And it’s not ever September yet!  I guess I’ll be packing away the summer dresses and flipflops and trade them in for sweaters and snow boots.  This has been the shortest summer with the hot weather coming in July and leaving in August.  But its has been a great summer. 

I’ve been unexpectedly busy this summer with English Club four days a week in Stroiesti, 4  trips to Iasi with Lavinia and Bogdan, 3 trips to Oradea for my permit, and multiple adventures to visit friends in the area.  Its been a great summer…I just wish it wasn’t ending.

Today is the last day of English Club and then the kiddies will go full-time into the potato fields (once it stops raining of course).  And school will start on Sept 13 for the kids.  I’ll start the following week with my afterschool English program.

I will be taking the next couple of weeks off.  I need some time to recover and to plan for the fall and Christmas….wow, we’re talking about Christmas already!

There is one good thing about the end of the summer.  The hot water will be turned back on any day now.  And I have learned that by law the hot water must be turned on by the start of school (no body wants smelly children in the classroom!).

I hope your summer was a great as mine!

A Challenge!!

This is a challenge to you all from my Aunt Ami and Uncle Aurel in Huntersville, NC:

 Melissa, I went on-line to MBK – the pictures of the meeting place are lovely! It will be a wonderful place for your children.

I challenge all who are able to meet or exceed the $500.00 donation, Uncle Aurel and I have made online toward the purchase of the meeting place and offer continued prayers for success.

With much love, Aunt Ami

  Dear Melissa,

 Uncle Aurel thinks we should do more to help raise funds for the new center, so our plan is this: when the first person meets our original challenge of $500 or more, we will donate another $500. Be sure to keep us informed of progress.

  ….and did I say that at $500 per donation, it would take only 90 donations to reach the $45,000.00; or 180 donations of $250.00. Looking at it that way helps put the amount in perspective.

 Love and hugs, Aunt Ami

A youth center

When I first started preparing to come to Suceava, to Romania to stay, I envisioned a place in Stroiesti for the kids to go after school, a place for Sunday School, for tutoring, a place for teams to come and stay, a place for me to live in the village.  Well,  God has answered my prayers and we have found a beautiful house near the center of Stroiesti.  There are 4 rooms in the house plus a bathroom and kitchen.  A hall way divides the house well so that 2 rooms can be for ministry-a large room for meetings and activities and smaller room for study and tutoring!  There are 2 rooms for me to live in and they end up being bigger than my current apartment!  And there is storage space…oh the storage space…… There is a barn with 3 rooms, 2 of which can be turned into a space for the kids to play and one for the coveted storage space. While the house does not have running water, it is all set up for running water.  Only a water pump and water heater needs to be installed.  It will be easy to install a water based heating system to heat the entire house so that we won’t have to rely on the ceramic stove, which will not heat the entire house in the winter.

The front of the house

The barn-the second set of doors opens into 2 large rooms.

There is a fruit orchard in the front garden with apples, pears, plums, cherries, sour cherries, nuts, red grapes, strawberries and apricots.  God has provided snack for the summer and fall and the kids can collect the fruit to turned in compot for the winter! There is an outdoor grill and well in front.  Behind the barn is a field.  This field will be a perfect play space for the kids…away from neighbors to the kids can run and scream and just be kids. There is a vacant lot on one side of the property followed by fields and fields. 

Fruit trees!

The property is close to the lake and is only a 2 minute walk from our current meeting spot.  It’s in a quiet area of the village but still quickly accessible by car and foot.

I found out today that the owner will accept 30k euros for the property. We don’t have that amount now.  We are praying for the money.  We will also need a some money for the immediate renovations such a running water and the heating system. Please pray for the money to buy this building.  Pray that this center will be a place of peace and hope for the village…that it will be a light in the darkness.

To see pictures and how you can help go to:  pictures are at the bottom of the page.

MBK has a new web site

Visit My Brother’s Keeper new website at

Full of great pictures and opportunities for you to get involved here in Romania

Update on Bogdan’s Eyes

Last Friday, I took Bogdan to his annual eye appointment in Iasi.  With only a minor confusion and detour we made it to the appointment on time.  (You may think its crazy that I get lost each time I go to Iasi..but you haven’t been to such a confusing city!) 

Anyways, you may remember that last year, the doctor was adamant about not having surgery and that surgery was only cosmetic.  Well, this year, after only one minute in the chair, she was talking about surgery. Both me and Olga, Bogdan’s mom, were surprised and  sceptical.  Olga politely reminded the doctor of what she had said last year and the doctor suggested new glasses.   We were ok with new glasses.  Bogdan is also supposed to do exercises with his eyes using eye patches.  I told him he will be a pirate!   So Bogdan got new glasses, which he needed because he had grown so much in the past year, that his glasses no longer fit his head.  The new glasses should be in next week.

Olga and I talked some more about surgery and it wasn’t until we got back to Stroiesti that she made the comment that the doctor never told us how much the surgery will be, only that because Bogdan is on “medicare” the hospitalization is covered.  Then Olga made a comment about the economic crisis.  ….

We will go back in November for a three-month check up and we’ll see then.

Diana’s Birthday

Diana turned 12 yesterday!  She had a little party; it was so sweet. Enjoy some pictures.

Around the table waiting for food.

Making crazy faces!

Best friends with Izzy--who got a new pink collar for Diana's birthday.


The children who had been coming to English club faithfully got backpacks yesterday!  Thank you New Harvest Church for the backpacks. Also thank you to COTC for sending some too!  These kids earned their new backpacks and the moms were thankful they didn’t have to find the money to buy new ones.  When the kids are asked by classmates why Miss Melissa gave them backpacks, I told them their response is: We earned them by going to English Club all summer!