2014 in review-blog stats

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 6,400 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Christmas Boxes Part 2: Neighbors

I rarely put conditions on helping a family.  But I knew I needed to do so about 2 months ago.  Our former neighbors had had multiple health problems recently and of course continued financial problems.  I had visited them to deliver the pack and play and the apartment reeked of cigarette smoke.  I hadn’t noticed this problem before because they were always smoking inside.  I said to the wife that we would deliver the Christmas boxes, but if they didn’t quit smoking, that was it. No more help. I had 2 major motives 1) the parents had been in and out of the hospital with illnesses that were smoking related, the baby had been in the hospital with respiratory problems, and the other children had been sick a lot of the fall; and 2) if they could afford to buy cigarettes, they didn’t need our help.

I’m happy to report, after a couple of check ups, the apartment was smoke free for Christmas.  We were able to bring our children with us to deliver Christmas boxes.  And what amazing Christmas boxes!!!  The twins had been sponsored and their sponsor, knowing the troubles of this family, couldn’t stop giving and gave each twin two boot boxes full of clothes, shoes, toys, hygiene items, school items, snacks, etc.  The older two were sponsored by the costume department of Bolden, being filmed in Wilmington.  They had a great boot boxes too.  But I knew I couldn’t give two siblings two boxes and two siblings one box. So it turned out the woman who sponsored the older two camp was sending boxes for who ever we needed them to be for.  I asked if she could her kids’ names on two of them and it was with joy that modified boxes for her kids!

With the tough year these kids have had… it’s too sad to detail…we knew they needed a great Christmas!  and Thanks to some amazing sponsors they got it!!! We delivered their boxes on Christmas Eve.

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Christmas Boxes Part One: Stroiesti

We passed out close 200 boxes on Saturday after the children in our Sunday School program did a great job on their Christmas show!  The room was packed with parents, classmates, and friends. The choir from Diakonia joined us again and shared the message of Christmas in song.   The teens shared poems and songs, and the children did 2 skits.  One skit, reminding us that Christmas isn’t about shopping, trees, cards, or parties, but is about Jesus.  The other skit was a funny little skit in English.  The skit kept getting “messed up” so they had to try it again happier, sadder, faster, slower and eventually I gave up and just told them to do the skit in Chinese.  It was hilarious.  Kelvey, a young lady from America, has been here for the Christmas break and even played Santa Claus in the skit.

Thank you to everyone who sponsored a child for Christmas, to everyone who made a shoebox for Christmas, who gathered supplies for boxes, and who prayed for us this Christmas.  We could not do it without you.

In typical Romanian fashion, most of the kids did not smile for their picture and I wasn’t taking pictures, so they didn’t get “forced” to smile. But here are some of the cute pictures.  If you made a box and don’t see it, let me know and I’ll send you the picture. We took a photo of every child on Saturday with their box.

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Mentoring Teens Prepare Boxes

With two small children, I knew I wouldn’t be able  to get the Christmas boxes sorted, counted and labeled.  The five teens involved in the Mentoring program came over and helped out.  They were great. After getting all the boxes labeled and sorted, they were able to make 8 extra boxes and 21 bags (we had run out of empty boxes) for Saturday’s Christmas program.  One of the goals we had for the mentoring program was to have the teens volunteer for some of our activities.  We’ve already had some teens volunteer at camp and now with Christmas boxes.  They have also agreed to help pass out the boxes on Saturday.  I am so thankful for these five great teens.  I’m proud of their achievements in school and continued participation in Sunday school and other MBK activities.  I’m excited to see how they are learning about God and stepping out of their comfort zone and giving back.

One of our mentees still does not have a sponsor for next year and we are hoping to get sponsors for four more teens who will start high school in September 2015.  These teens have been with us for 2-5 years and we have watched them grow up. Please pray that God will bring sponsors for these students so that they can continue their education and continue to make a possible impact on their families, friends, and community.

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St. Nicholas Day

St. Nicholas Day was Dec. 6th and it was also Bogdan’s birthday, so it’s a pretty big day at our house.  Enjoy these family pictures! (No I didn’t get any pictures from Bogdan’s surprise mini-party.)

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Toys for Kindergarten

Thank you to everyone who donated toys for the kindergarten, especially Aubrie, Sammy and Eva!!  The kids were so excited for their early Christmas gifts.  I only got pictures of 2 of the class rooms, but the excitement was throughout the entire kindergarten.  Thank you!!!

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More Christmas Sponors

Pomeroy Chapel Youth, Smithville, Tennessee

Pomeroy Chapel Youth, Smithville, Tennessee

The shoeboxes, along with clothes, shoes, and toys have arrived. It’s been crazy but we have most of the stuff organized and have already distrubited some of it.  The teens from the mentoring program are coming to organize and label boxes this weekend.

Here are some more happy faces who made and sponsored Christmas shoeboxes for the kids in Stroiesti.  We are so blessed that we will be able to pass out so many boxes.  We are scheduled to pass out the majority of them on December 20th!  Thank you again.

 

My parents after delivering the boxes to MBK HQ.

My parents after delivering the boxes to MBK HQ.

A full van, but I'm sure they could get an extra shoebox in!

A full van, but I’m sure they could get an extra shoebox in!