Our Special Needs Friends


It is so true that when God closes one door another door will open.  For reasons beyond our control, we are no longer to share a Christian message with the children in the orphanage in Dorohoi.  We can do activities with a “moral” message, but we cannot openly share Jesus with the children.  We pray that this will change and we will be able to do Christian programs with them, but until then we are not abandoning them and are still doing a few activities with them during the year. In 2018, we have even schedule a “Camp with Character” for them.

However, the director of M***** orphanage for special needs children wanted to meet me. He was new, but I had heard he was a good man. I met with him for over an hour and told him frankly that we did Christian camps and told Bible stories to the children. “Very good,” he said. “There is nothing bad in telling the children Bible stories, in fact, it can only help them. ”  YIPPY!!!  PRAISE THE LORD!!!  We are now in the middle of writing up a contract with the orphanage and it’s sister orphanage down the street.

Two weeks ago, we had a team from the US here and we took 10 of the kids from the orphanage to the Planetarium and out for pizza. What an adventure for them. It was the first time they had ever been to the Planetarium and the folks at Popeye’s Pizza were so nice and we had the restaurant to ourselves.



Yesterday, we were able to take 12 of the children to the mall where there was a temporary Lego play place.  The children got to create with Legos and Duplo blocks.  For some of the it was the first since kindergarten, if ever they had played with them.  Afterwards, we took the kids to KFC for dinner…a first for all of them!


We are always in search of fun adventure to take the kids on.  Here in Romania, when presented with a list of children with disabilities, admission is free. So that helps our budget.  The orphanage is part of a larger center and that center has vans, that may be used if available, and a driver is free….complicated, but we are able to schedule around it.

We praise God for this opportunity to serve the “least of these,” precious children that were tossed aside. We are sharing the love of Jesus and giving the children happy childhood memories. Thank you Jesus!


Camp 2018 Dates

Three camps!  Three camps?  Are you crazy, Melissa?  Yes, yes, I am!

June 25-30-Dorohoi Camp/Camp with Character

July 2-7-English Camp

July 9-14-Stroiesti/Outreach/Bible Camp

Things at the top have changed for the Dorohoi orphanage and we are no longer allowed to talk about God. But we feel we can’t abandon the children either. Too many of our sponsors have grown attached to those children, and so have we. We are going to be doing “Camp with Character” for the Dorohoi children. But anyone who knows me, knows, I love a good spy movie. Underground missionaries….my heroes.  So keep thinking, and you know what I’m going to do!

Our first ever English camp is a partnership with the local Christian school.  Matt and Olivia now attend this school in the city. (The commute is worth it!)  English teachers at the school were unhappy with English camps in the country and wanted one that was serious about the children learning English, but also one with a Christian base.  They asked to produce a camp.  This camp will be open for everyone and will be a paying camp. We are in need of native English speakers, so Americans, Irish, English friends…come one and join us!  We will be celebrating the 4th of July this week as well!

Our final week of camp is our “regular” camp. The one we all know and love! Children from the village, and surrounding area come to this camp. In the past few years, more and more parents from city have asked to send their children to this camp. While the majority of the kids for this camp are sponsored, we do have a growing number of children paying to go to camp to fill out the ranks.

This is year’s theme is God’s Glorious Galaxy. We will explore God’s creation as we learn out the stars and planets!  My family loves space and NASA..we have the t-shirts to prove it! We want to share our love of outerspace with the children, besides, it’s a fun camp theme.

If you would like to volunteer to come to one or all of our camps, just let me know. We are looking for groups and individuals to make up teams for camp.  The general cost is $1000 plus plane ticket. We would love to have you join us in celebrating God’s Glorious Galaxy.

Summer Camp 2017

Summer camp 2017 was a huge success.  The campers learned the Beatitudes….Blessed are….  They made some great crafts, including beautiful bug pillows prepared by the wonderful folks at New Harvest Church.  The campers played all sorts of crazy games thanks to Regina and Jen. And our littlest campers were well taken care of and entertained by Lori, who came to us from PA.  I was blessed because my parents were able to join us.  My mom helped sew up pillows and my dad played guitar during worship time.  He taught the kids bluesy versions of “This Little Light of Mine” and “Kum-ba-ya.”   Alina, who is a purity presenter for MBK taught lessons and helped to translate for our American team.  Carmen, who is a teacher at the local Christian high school, also taught two lessons and did review games and prayer time after each lesson.

We had 65 campers and 8 teen leaders.  Two of our oldest campers decided they were “too old” to be campers and were given the job of taking pictures.  The two each borrowed a camera and took pictures of everything and everyone.  They took pictures of every group in every activity every day!  We ended up with over 5000 pictures.  I will now share just a small handful of those pictures!


Send a Kid to Camp 2017



bug-20clipart-BUG13.jpgWelcome to the garden, full of beautiful flowers and icky, sticky bugs!  This summer, the children will journey to a beautiful  garden and learn the first part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. The campers will learn to have Bee-attitude instead of a selfish Me-attitude.

We need your help to send up to 90  kids/teens to camp.  We are planning on taking 55 elementary aged kids, 25 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.  Currently, the kids are earning points in Sunday school and have started to earn points with good grades in school!lady-bug-clip-art.jpg


The cost of camp has gone up since last year to $120 (this is due to a cost change at the camp).  That $120 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!

ki858z7ir.gifSend 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 (Mark for family and friends, so you don’t have to pay the fee!)

All sponsorship money must be received by July 1, 2017!


2017 Campers

(Photos of children in the orphanages are NOT included)






Flashlight Egg Hunt Fundraiser

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This family friendly event is for all ages, not just kids!  Don’t you miss being able to go hunting for Easter eggs?  Hunt for eggs filled with gift cards and other great prizes (and of course candy)!

Check out our event page on Facebook (you can see it even if you don’t do Facebook): https://www.facebook.com/events/641766206007154/?notif_t=plan_user_associated&notif_id=1487180648202946

You can purchase advance tickets at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/flashlight-egg-hunt-tickets-32103901634



Our family is currently on furlough in the US!  During this time, we will be traveling from Pennsylvania to Texas, if your church, small group, community organization, school etc is internested in having us speak about the ministry or the Romanian culture in general, please contact us. We would also like to visit with as many friends and sponsors as possible, so please contact us!

And this little blessing with be joining our family in May!


Christmas 2016

I know I am late, but I have many good reasons to be so late reporting on Christmas. First of all, we had almost 400 shoeboxes to give out in 10 different locations. My husband then worked 13 days over Christmas and New Year’s at the camp. The kids and I joined him for Christmas, only to be knocked down with a horrid cold virus–Matt was sick for 2 weeks, me for almost that long and Olivia….she ended up with the sniffles (HOW???).  Once we got back home it was time to prepare and pack for our furlough.  We are now in North Carolina on furlough. The kids and I will be here until July, but Bogdan will go back in June because his visa only gives him 6 months, and he already has a number of camps scheduled.  So, now you know why these photos are so late, but please enjoy all the happy faces!!

We delivered boxes to a number of families whose children participate in our summer camps. These children are often in villages too far from us to participate in our activities on a regular basis, but that doesn’t mean they don’t get Christmas boxes. There were 5 different villages to go to!


This year, we had another full house at our Stroiesti Christmas party.  With everything going on, we did not prepare a play, however, the very talented children from our church, Diakonia, presented their Christmas play for us.  The village kids were so well behaved and paid attention and so did their parents. I was happy to see so many mom and new faces. I pray some of these children will join our Sunday School classes. Our mentoring teens were a huge help and organized the boxes and helped pass them out. I love my teens!



Next, we were joined by a wonderful couple from Pennsylvania.  They came with me to the special needs orphanage. They were shocked at the wonderful conditions and caring staff. I loved how they got on the floor and played with the children! This wonderful couple also bought pizza, cake and juice for all the children and staff.  It was a special treat for them!  Back in August, I had gone to the orphanage and spoke with the “moms” and they gave me great insight as to what the children needed. Each one got a box that was made just for them and their specific needs!  The staff had never seen such perfect boxes.  YEAH!!!!


Our last big event was the Dorohoi orphanage. Our sweet friend in Texas sent Christmas lollipops and a Christmas stocking craft, along with money for pizza! The restaurant provided soda for all the kids! There are 134 kids and teens in the orphanage. Some of them still had school, or had already left for the Christmas break to stay with families, but boxes were saved for them.

We had a few boxes left over and I was able to pass them out to the children on our street and they even brought over a family in need and we were able to bless those children who would have nothing under the tree Christmas morning.

We were very blessed this Christmas time. We were able to give each child a booklet with the story of Jesus–the most precious gift! We received boxes from Texas, Mississippi, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania.  The children were full of smiles and joy as they felt loved from people they never met.  Thank you and God bless you!