Summer in Review

The weather has started to turn cooler and the kids have gone back to school. Next week, I start teaching English classes at the kindergarten and elementary school in the village.  I think about what we did this summer.  It went by so fast and at the same time it was one of the longest summers of my life.

We arrived back in Romania on June 13 after some crazy airline/airport changes and we didn’t even loose our luggage. Ten days later, after again crazy airline changes, we welcomed our first team of the summer.  Donna, Val, Sarah and Kaitlyn were a great team from Wilmington, North Carolina.  They were willing to play guinea pigs for us and did our first VBS at the orphanage.  We probably had over 60 different children join us over the course of the week.  We were able to do three apartment visit where the team got to play and do arts and crafts with the children and teens. Sarah being a professional artist even taught a painting class for one apartment of teenage girls. This mother/daughter team was a great blessing and encouragement for us.

Just 4 days later, sisters, Allison and Amy, from Winnie, Texas came for a visit.  They had just finished a week of ministry in another part of Romania and came to do another first for us: Diakonia church VBS.  This was a VBS for our local church but it was also an opportuntiy to do some outreach.  Allison and Amy were so easy going and helpful.  And dispite the constant pain from a knee injury, Amy never complained and played with the children and my Matt. About 28 children came through our VBS and learned about the life of Jesus. The girls got to visit with some of the children at the orphanage, again doing some craft projects. Allison and Amy stayed with us and Matt really missed their presence once they left (so did I!).

Both of these teams, also got to visit with the children of Stroiesti with a Sunday School class.  Allison even got to meet some of the boys she sponsored for camp.

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Shoes for school!

Shoes for school!

Summer camp kids with new clothes and shoes for camp.

Summer camp kids with new clothes and shoes for camp.

Ten days after our Texas team left, our Summer camp team arrived.  Most of the team was from Blue Mountain Church in Pennsylvania.  We spent one day at the orphanage doing a field day/VBS.  And one day was spent taking some children from the village to McDonald’s (a reward for their achievements in Sunday School during the past year) and in the village, seeing where the children live.

Half of the team went to Oradea to do another camp, but five amazing woman stayed to help us with our camp.  Rhonda, Kelvey, Regina, Amber and Tiffany were amazing. I know I say this every year, but this was the BEST summer camp team ever.  They were so willing to help out and they went out of their way to do activities with the campers. And there was no team drama!! They were willing to rock a sleepy Olivia or play with a crazy 2 year old Matt, so that I could teach a craft project or resolve some craziness at camp.  For me it was the hardest camp, having a 3 month old and a 2 year old who still wants Mommy (not complaining) makes for interesting challenges at camp, when we had 56 campers plus kitchen help and leaders.  But God got me, us, through it all.  I thank God for sending such a great team to help.

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After a week of rest, we had Teen Camp!  We had 30 teens and 9 children at camp. The camp was successful, but we do see areas where we can really improve this camp.  We didn’t have a team from America, but we did have some great helpers from our local Christian community.

We thought that we would have some  time to rest and recover after all of our activity. We realized with our growing families and with company coming, we really needed to finish our upstairs bathroom.  It was the storage room for all of our ministry stuff, along with the attic, hallway, under the stairs, and the mudroom. Bogdan along with mentoring student, Andrei and 2 guys from the village, built a storage shed.  I thought it was going to be too big, it’s not, its a good size and the bathroom is empty ready to be completed and my mudroom is no longer looks like a warehouse.

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Adding to our summer activities, Bogdan has been able to pick up some weekends of cooking and these weekends, I’ve been able to have some of the mentoring girls come over to help me out; it’s also been an opportunity for us to get to know each other better.  I’ve also been busy planning for the fall, which includes at least 2 if not 3 field trips for the children and teens in the village and activities for those in the orphanage. I’ve also been working on Christmas plans, including Christmas shoebox sponsors and the Christmas play.

It has been a really busy but rewarding summer. I thank God for the opportunity to share the Gospel message with about 200 children and teens and the opportunity to serve along side some amazing women from America.  I’m looking forward to the fall, even though it too will be busy.  I’m exhausted, so if anyone wants to come over and watch the kids while I take nap, please do so! 🙂

Thank you to everyone who provided for us and the children this summer in whatever way: physically, spiritually, financially, materially, or emotionally.  There is no way we could do what we do with out our amazing sponsors and supporters. Thank you.  And praise be to the Mighty God we serve, who brought us through this summer!

***If you want to know more details about any of the events above please see past blogs from June, July and August 2014.

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