The Victory Team

A couple of weeks ago, the children renamed the Sunday School program.  The kids came up with ideas and then later we voted.  The kids voted on “The House of Victory.”

We also have a good team for Sunday School.  Our team is so big now, that we don’t all fit in my car!  This is a good problem to have. 

So let’s meet the team (in order from the picture). Florin is our newest member, but he  has actually been around for a while.  We met Florin at the summer camp and the children just love him.  Next is me…but I you all know me.  Ana is my partner in crime in Stroiesti.  She has been teaching Sunday School in Stroiesti for over a year now!  She is an English and German teacher at a local school here.  Alina is our youngest member at 17.  She came to us because her sister was unable to help out this past summer at camp.  Alina is great with the kids!  Ancuta joined us this past spring.  She is a 3rd grade teacher at the same school as Ana.  Ancuta has started teaching some of the lessons at Sunday School too! Finally, we have Teo.  Teo was a counselor at summer camp and recently got back from a missions trip to Mongolia.  He is an expert at games for the kids and the kids treat him like a rock star!

The team comes from 5 different churches, 4 different denominations, but we all serve the one true God.  It is truly a privilege to work with this amazing team!

The First Snow

We have had our first snow..actually it is still snowing. .  The snow is late this year, so that’s a blessing.  And unlike, Wilmington, there is still school when it snows!

Mentoring Program

It’s November and I’m two months late starting the new mentoring program.  Last year, the weekly meetings and tutoring sessions were rushed and the teens didn’t always have time to do their own homework as well as the tutoring homework. They were all on different level in English and math and that made it very hard to have tutoring sessions.   I, also, realized that for some of the teens to start working with them in the 8th grade…well, it was just too late.  Praise the Lord, Andrei, Anca and Silvia are all in high school and are doing well.  Andrei and Silvia are the first in their families to go to high school.  Andrei and Anca both have sponsors who provide money for transportation, uniforms and books.

After a lot of reflection, conversation and prayer, I think I have come up with a more effective mentoring program.  First, the girls are currently in the 6th grade.  They all come to Sunday School and have shown a level of committment to Sunday School and their general school studies.  I have spoken to the English teacher at the school and she said that each girl has the potential to move on to high school. 

The plan is to meet once a week for English tutoring. At that time, we will also talk about any problems the girls are having in their families, school, friends, etc.  The girls each have pen pals from Church on the Cape and they are required to continue that relationship.  The girls and I will also do fun things like sleep overs and ice skating.  The girls are making a three-year committment but we will review this committment each school year.

So who are the new girls?

Diana-Iuliana has an amazing voice and aspires to go to the music high school.  She is comes to Sunday School and went to summer camp.  She is mature, following her older sister, but still loves to be silly and girly.  She is the weakest in English of this group, but still has a strong desire to learn.

Nicoleta started coming to Sunday School this fall.  She has shown great committment and has taken on the lead role in the Christmas program.  She had missed a couple of Sundays but quickly learned verses and came with us to Dorohoi. She is quick to smile and to admit when she doesn’t understand something.

Diana is a well-known figure on this blog. Diana actually brought Iuliana and Nicoleta to the Sunday School program.  I figured since I had been “mentoring” Diana for over year unofficially, I might as well make it official.  Diana is a shinning star in her extended family.  She would rather study than eat, but still likes to play with her cat and be a girl. She is quick to help her younger cousins and get disgusted when her older cousins misbehave and are disrespectful.  Over the past year, she has grown closer to God and has learned that prayer isn’t just memorized prayers.  She has shared with me a few times when she was having troubles, esp with school, when she prayed and God said “yes” to her prayers. She has learned to go to God for help.   When I first met Diana, she wasn’t able to dream past the eight grade, but now, she dreams of college in America and being a teacher. 

Please pray for these young ladies as we embark on this adventure together.  Please continue to pray for Andrei, Anca and Silvia. Pray for a close relationship for each one of these young people with God.

In the Hospital

Seven-year old Severin and his four-year old sister, Mirela are in the hospital.  Over the weekend, their mother called and asked me to take them to doctor.  She needed a ride.  I picked them all up on Tuesday.  Wednesday, they checked into the TB unit at the hospital.  Their father has TB and although he has done the treatments, the kids have gotten it.  I’m very impressed by this mother who has taken her kids to be tested multiple times.  My heart hurts that these two precious kids have TB.

So, I packed them a bag of toys, puzzles, and coloring books and took them to the hospital.  When they need something, their mother does call, but she doesn’t ask for much.  I was able to bring the kids apples, yogurts and juice.  And for a special treat I made them pumpkin muffins. 

They are expected to be in the hospital 2 weeks or more.  Please pray for quick healing for these two little children.

Mirela and Severin with their mom in May 2010.

Field Trip to Dorohoi

When we were at summer camp this year, we met a group of kids from a orphange in Dorohoi, which is about an hour north of Suceava.  My kids and their kids got along really well and we decided to continue the relationships that were started at camp.  I had been to visit the kids with a couple of the counselors from camp in September.  The kids from Stroiesti earned points at Sunday School and were able to come with us this past Saturday to Dorohoi. We met at a youth center in the city. 

Being the day before Halloween, Ana taught a lesson based on a track that someone from the US sent me this summer.  Who ever you are thank you!  I was sent 70 packets with lollipops and stickers and tracks. They arrived in a big shipment so I don’t know who sent them. Please let me know if it was you! 

Ana taught this lesson: we are like pumpkins. God chooses us, washes us clean, He takes away our sins (the seeds), He transforms us (carving a face) and He puts a light in us.

The rest of the day was filled with games and crafts.  We ate a great lunch and the kids had free time.  The weather was so nice that the kids were able to play outside too.

Making lanterns

Earlier in the week, Ana had the idea to make a pinata.  WOW!  I didn’t know it took 5 days to make a pinata.  But we made it.  I almost cried when the kids broke it! The kids had to say the memory verse in order to get a chance to hit the pinata!

After the pinata, the girls found a box of yarn and knitting needles.  Ana and Alina taught the girls how to knit.  Love it. 

 Our friend, Teo just got back from a mission trip to Mongolia, so he gave a presentation, which impressed the kids.  The coolest part was that he saw Jackie Chan…very cool.

We had a great time and have invited the kids from Dorohoi to visit us in Stroiesti at Christmas!

Harvest Celebration

Iuliana has an amazing voice; she is dressed in a traditional outfit.

I seriously, waited all fall for this event.  Last year, it was so much fun.  This year didn’t disappoint. And I didn’t forget my camera.  Part county fair, part talent show, part homecoming, part beauty contest…this harvest celebration was full of entertainment.  Students from the school made up dances, sang songs, and recited poems.  This year, because the community culture hall is being renovated, the celebration was held in the disco.  It was so packed, but worth it!  This is what talent shows are all about.  The community came out and really supported the kids.  Love it.

First graders started the program off with a song about the fall.

I’m waiting to see what the kids have in store for next year!

Ionela won Miss Autumn


One second grade class dressed up and did the penguin dance