Birthday Surprises

One of our Christmas sponsors admited he may have been “a little” excessive in his Christmas shopping for twin 7 year boys.  He said that he had gotten a lot of school supplies so I should open up the FOUR not shoeboxes and pull what the boys would need for school in September.  Ok, good idea!

Then I found out that they had a birthday in December. I was able to make up a fun birthday box for the boys, a school box for September, and of course two boxes for Christmas.

We were able to take cake and presents to the boys last night. What a joy for them (and their younger brother!) There was much discussion about the last time any of them had eaten cake, so it was great to share it with them! It was nice to see the big smiles on their faces. dscn6760dscn6766

PS. Now don’t go gettin’ any ideas about crazy excessive boxes for multiple events…who has time to do that for 200 kids?? 🙂

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Fun times at Sunday School

Here are some of photos of the fun and crazy things, we do at Sunday school. Of course, when I do the most insane things, like bring buckets of sand to make bricks during the lesson of Exodus 5, I forget to take pictures. But you get the idea of the fun we are having and the stuff we are learning!

 

Christmas Shopping

One of my favorite things to do each year is take children from the orphanage shopping. Some of my favorite sponsors  came up with this idea a few years ago and others have joined them. This year, we have take 7 children/teens shopping and have 3 more to take later on in December.  Each child is given the equivalent of $50 and taken shopping,  but based on prices etc…think of it as taking a kid to Walmart and giving them $200 and say….”get what you need and what you want!!! ” Unlike most American kids I know, these kids are first after new shoes, coats, underwear and socks, clothes, shampoo, school supplies and then they head to the toy aisle.  We also give them an one kilogram bag of candy to share with the others with their apartment group home family.  It is such a blessing for these children! Thank you!!!

 

Mentoring Update 2016

 

I do not have the “calling” to work with teenagers, but God has called me to work with 6 teens in our mentoring program. To quote my mom, “you weren’t very good at being a teenager, when you were a teenage.”  “I know, Mom, I know. Sorry.”  BUT that didn’t stop God from pulling me out of my comfort zone and sending me teenagers!  Sometimes, in the mentoring program I feel like I am a firefighter putting out little fires of teen girl drama. But in the end, the 5 girls in our program are doing well and Bianca, who is in the private Christian school, has developed a strong interested in missions, according to her home room teacher!

Andrei graduated last year from high school and is now attending college in Suceava. He is the first to attend college on is father’s side of the family…pretty much all his relatives in the village…he’s the first. What is so funny, is that after attending the long distance high school program from the Christian school, where he only had classes 2 weeks each semester and a week of exams and a lot of self studying, he’s finding college not to challenging enough! He’s hoping to transfer next fall to a school in another city that will challenge him more!  (This from a kid who wasn’t worth the investment!!)

Paul, who is currently in the 10th grade, has earned a spot along with 14 other boys from the auto mechanics program at his high school to go on a culture exchange in Germany. He had to take many exams, including foreign language exams, to qualify.  He is scheduled to go in March for about 3 weeks. We are so proud of him! (Again, he wasn’t supposed to amount to anything.)

So while there is drama working with teenagers, the successes encourage me to keep going, pushing through the teen angst, the disappointments when a teens leaves our program, and see these teens have success!

Thank You New Harvest Church

The good folks at New Harvest Church did it again. Thank you for blessing the children with new hats, gloves and scarves for winter. And for all the warm winter socks!  Thank you for blessing us!!!

A Weekend Away

Last weekend, we took 35 kids from the village and our church to Vatra Dornei, a small city in the mountains. We had been blessed with some extra money after camp and decided to use the money in the spirit for which it was inteneded….chance to get away!  We were able to stay at the Baptist Church for a great price. Everyone went on a little tourist train ride around the city. And we all got to play in the park.  The park is famous for its black squirrels.  The squirrels are so used to people they will come and take nuts out of their hands. We had a few kids that got really good at feeding the squirrels. While the weather wasn’t great we took every opportunity to go out and play.  We also had some fun games inside, including a plastic wrap/tape ball (if you need to occupy children for a couple of hours, this is the secret!!)

Our dear friend, Alina, who is a purity presenter for MBK/Precious Life here in Romania came with her family. She was able to meet with the older girls.  The girls were able to talk to her about all the things they wanted to know about but might have been scared to ask.  Alina is a blessing to us!

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us and prayed for good weather. The only big hiccup was that the children got stuck on the train going home for an extra 2 1/2 hours because of a power outage!  They were all supposed to be home by 6:30 or so and they got home at 9 (and one teen boy, who had to get another train got home at 10!) I understand from the leaders, who were also stuck on the train, that the kids weren’t too bad and sang many songs together, including the songs they had sung in church that morning! Everyone enjoyed themselves!

I have posted over 100 pictures on Facebook for the children to see and use.  Please feel free to check them out on Facebook page!

10 Ways a Local Church Can Help a Missionary

I would like to share a recent blog post from Chuck Lawless.

10 Ways a Local Church Can Help a Missionary | ChuckLawless.com

10 Ways a Local Church Can Help a Missionary

helping-missionaries

I spend a lot of time with missionaries. Based on my conversations with them over the last year, here are some ways your church can help them:

  1. Actually pray for them. This one’s probably not a surprise, but here’s the point: many churches say they pray for missionaries but seldom actually get there. Missionaries depend on your church’s prayer – so really do it. Regularly. Strategically. Passionately.
  2. Plan your trips with their input. Too many churches do mission trips, but they make their plans and on-the-ground connections without talking with missionaries. That’s not helpful.
  3. Make a long-term commitment to work with them. One short-term trip can be helpful, but an ongoing commitment that allows for strategic partnership is better.
  4. Ask them what you can bring them. Maybe it’s food they can’t get where they live, or a book that costs too much to ship, or something for their kids. Bring gifts . . . .
  5. Talk with them before you make commitments to national believers. Missionaries are typically leading nationals to become self-dependent, challenging their own believers to give sacrificially. The dollars we give without missionaries’ input can actually hinder their work.
  6. Pray for the people they’re trying to reach. Missionaries love their people, and they want you to love them, too. Knowing others are interceding for them empowers missionaries to press on in their work.
  7. Actually read and respond to their newsletter and emails. Even a short “We’re thinking about you” or “Thank you for keeping us informed” can be encouraging to a missionary who sometimes feels tired and alone.
  8. Talk with them regularly. Missionaries are busy, but they’ll take time to talk with churches who genuinely care. Ask them about their work. Listen and learn, and you’ll strengthen somebody’s heart.
  9. Provide housing and an automobile while they’re in the States. When these things are already provided for them when they come back, their rest time is that much more peaceful.
  10. Give sacrificially to missions offerings. The dollars we give really do make a difference around the world. Give until it hurts, and lives will be changed.

What would you add to this list?