Sponsor a Kid for Summer Camp

 

cowboy-clip-art-peekerWelcome to the Wild West.  This summer, the children will journey to the Wild West, the land of Cowboys and Cowgirls. The children will learn about a new sheriff in town, King David and how he took leadership of wild Israel!

We need your help to send 80  kids to camp.  We are planning on taking 40 elementary aged kids, 30 middle school aged kids, and 10 teen helpers.  The campers will be coming from Stroiesti village and surrounding areas and the 2 orphanages where we are involved.   Camp is 5 nights and 6 days.     We need $8,000 to take all 80 kids to camp plus kitchen helpers and  Romanian volunteers.  Currently, the kids are earning points in Sunday school and have started to earn points with good grades in school!

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Because the exchange rates are unpredictable, only until March will the cost of camp be $100–the same cost as last year.  After March, we hope exchange rate will stay good and we can keep the cost at $100.  If not, we’ll raise it just slightly.  That $100 provides one week of camp;  3 good meals (prepared by Bogdan and his kitchen crew) plus 2 snacks each day (this is more than they get at home); transportation to and from camp on the train; toiletry items; craft projects, game and sports time, prizes, solid Bible lessons twice a day, and a great team of Romanian and American believers to supervise and guide these young campers!

Send your sponsorship to: My Brother’s Keeper, PO Box 11, Roxbury, PA, 17251 (Please put Stroiesti Summer Camp 2016 in the memo line); For Paypal sponsorship go to http://www.mbk.ro

All sponsorship money must be received by July 1, 2016!

Christmas Shopping

The week before Christmas, we were privileged to take 8 children and teens from the orphanage shopping.  They were each sponsored by someone who loves them…even if they don’t know it yet!

The kiddos were able to get what they needed and what they wanted.  Two of the girls are sponsored by one of our neighbors, and she was able to go with the girls.  How fun is that?!

Sometimes, it can be overwhelming when you take a child into a store and tell them…you have this much to spend what do you want.  (I know this first hand with my 3 year old…it always ends with tears!)  Fortunately, our shopping adventures, ended with smiles!!!  Almost all of them got new sneakers.  They all got clothes.  And they all got something fun–soccer balls, radio, puzzles, legos, Barbie dolls. We were also able to send candy and cereal to each of the apartments, so as to bless the others in their apartments.

The children and teens were selected because they are truly orphans–either abandoned completely or other less fun situations.  They have no family to help them out or to give them gifts.  Some of these kiddos have been sponsored for years by the same loving sponsors, others are new this year.  Regardless, it was a blessing to them. Especially, for the littlest girl, who was in the hospital and we were able to “kidnap” her for an hour.  Thank you JoAn and Ski for starting this tradition 3 years ago!!  Thank you to Annie and John, Rody and Paul, and  Fran and Steve!    Look at those wonderful smiles!!

 

Update on Daniel

Last week, Bogdan paid an unexpected visit to Daniel’s family.  There was no sign of alcohol or smoking. The boys showed Bogdan they still had food from the last time we visited —this shows they weren’t selling it, trading it, or bingeing.  Their sister is living with cousins in another village and a sister-in-law is helping them cook food.  But the boys know how to cook some stuff.  Bogdan brought them bread, jams, veggie spreads, and a food aid box.

The best news was that Bogdan has found a job for the oldest brother. The job is construction work, so he won’t be able to start until it warms up a bit, but he was thrilled to have the opportunity. Please continue to pray for this family. We are told the mother will be returning any day now.

Christmas Shoeboxes Part 5: Special Needs Orphanage

Kids are unpredictable at Christmas. Special needs children..even more so!

We had an interesting time delivering Christmas Shoeboxes to the 14  children at the special needs orphanage near us. We made some mistakes.  Roxana usually brings her daughters and when my Matt wanted to come I took him along. He now never wants to go back. A couple of the kids have hitting problems and kept randomly smacking Matt. He was overwhelmed. In the summer, when we can be outside, I plan on taking him back.

The other mistake was having boxes for each child.  We should have had six boxes for the children who were able to handle getting boxes and a big box of random toys and candy for the others.  As it was, we ended up quickly opening the boxes for the younger children and just handing them a toy. The workers had to hide candy after passing out lollypops!  As well, as trying to keep one of the girls from taking her 8th banana. Oh it was insane.. but fun.  I did go and check the boxes we did pass out and had to take away the permanent markers and razors!  oops!

The kids had also had visits from the State and  a family who had all brought gifts, so the kids were already wired.  But it was their Christmas day!  And they loved it. They were too hyped up to do a craft project or tell the Christmas story.  But we now know how to do it better next year.

Thank you for providing enough boxes for these children!!

Christmas Shoeboxes Part 4: The Girls!

After  the sadness of the last blog, I felt like I had to quickly write a happy story!  I delivered the Christmas boxes to this family the same day as I delivered boxes to Daniel’s family.

This is a great family that we came in contact with through an outreach project our church had a few years ago.  Two families from that project still go to our church. One of the fathers has even been baptized.

This is Rodica’s family. She and her sisters, Lenuta and Larisa, are in church almost every week. They come to camp each year and are sponsored each year for Christmas.  There is little Maria, who is three and Sofia, who turned a year old today.  The little girls have been dedicated to the Lord at our church after the insistence of the older sisters.  Rodica is very interested in being baptized.  Like all teens, she’s had her struggles and crisis of faith and family, but through the support of the church and MBK she and her family are doing well.  While the parents are not active at church, they will attend occasionally, and encourage their daughters to be involved.

Thank you to the folks who sponsored this family for Christmas! They all loved their boxes.  The family carefully cut the pictures off the packages so that they would have  pictures of their children. When little Maria heard I was coming over, she insisted on getting dressed up and that Baby Sofia did the same! It was so much fun spending time with this family so full of love!

Christmas Shoeboxes Part 3: Daniel

This one may make your cry…and not happy tears…you have been warned.

Daniel is one of our random kids–not in the village, not at the orphanage. We just sort of picked him up; he’s come to camp. During the summer, I visited him and his mom a few times bringing them food and even introducing them to Daniel’s sponsor from America.

Daniel’s sponsor sent some Christmas shoeboxes for him and his 2 brothers (there are more, but these were the youngest 3, still at home) and for his mom.

The week before Christmas, I took the boxes out to Daniel. His mom is gone. She remarried and is pregnant and living in another city. She comes and visits. Oh, and she was remarried and pregnant in the summer and never told us.  Daniel (13), his 14 year old brother, 16 year old sister, and 21 year old brother are living at the house. There is a constant flow of random cousins as well…not sure about this. When I got there, there was another organization delivering gifts and food boxes, but Daniel’s family didn’t get anything because his mom had not signed them up for it. The staff was relieved to see me, because the kids wouldn’t be empty handed.  I had three teen girl boxes and gave them to the older two siblings and one young cousin.

The house was in the worst state I’d ever seen. I was told they were cleaning for Christmas. And the children had no food. There were 3 loaves of bread and that was it. They opened up their boxes and saw candy, crackers, cakes and cookies. That was going to be their dinner. I was told they hadn’t eaten the day before. This wasn’t good. I took Daniel and his sister to the corner store. They didn’t ask for anything, “whatever you want to get.”  I got them 4 large pieces of chicken, clementines, yogurt, 4 cans of pate, and a bag of frozen vegetables with beans. I told the sister to call me if she needed anything, don’t call with every little need, but if they needed medicine or some thing, they could call. She finally asked for a pair of shoes. I was shaken up by the whole visit. Everything I had thought about the mother was wrong…or at least in question.  She called me that evening. She had just left the children the week before and would be back after New Years. I told her I had heard she was married and pregnant. She also told me that the oldest son is the one who had caused her so many problems.  I just don’t know what to believe. But I saw 3 hungry children.

A week later, the older brother called me and asked if I could bring them some thing to eat. Gathering what we had at the house yogurt, milk, cereal, frozen vegetables and turkey liver for soup; left over camp supplies (flour, sugar, pasta, rice); some of the canned pasta sauce and pickles I had made; and some of the dented cans of vegetables and bean in the shed for just this reason, we packed the trunk of the car and made a visit. We also had 3 pairs for shoes for the sister to try. Again there were random cousins and we asked that they not provide food for all of their cousin, but feed themselves. They were given over a week’s worth of food.  The older brother was shocked and grateful. We also told the brother we had spoken with Children Protection Services and that he would have to give over custody for the younger siblings. He was a bit interested, but said that they would have to decide individually. We spoke a bit with Daniel, but he wasn’t interested. We also found out he wasn’t going to school anymore.

We contacted a friend who had 2 Christmas relief food boxes left. And we have them for this family. We will deliver them to the family in the next week or so. They no longer have the chickens we gave them…they were hungry.  The pig we arranged for them, was sold by a relative and they have yet to see the smaller pig or the fire wood promise to them.  This family is pitiful. The mother is a believer, but then the children say it’s an act now…though it once was genuine. I just don’t know what to do for these children. Please pray for them, for us.