Friday, June 15, 2007

Updates! Updates!

June 5th-7th, we traveled 2 hours by train to Sancraiu, a lovely little village in the Vladeasa Mountains. Dawn has been in contact with John and Charity Maury, a missionary family sent from Calvary Chapel Treasure Valley, and had wanted to meet them to learn more of their ministry to the Roma (gypsy) communities. It was such a blessing to be able to meet them and fellowship with them. While there Dawn, Brenna, John, and Nicu (a Romanian ministry partner of John’s) went out to two gypsy villages (Calatele and Sacuieu) where they conduct literacy programs and hold church services.

Dawn and Brenna assisted with the literacy program, helping the children to read and write. We were also blessed with the opportunity to play with the kids! In Calatele, we could feel a heaviness over the village. Because of the drama and the darkness here, there are some people who are beaten for holding church services in their home. John explained that the feuding between the upper part and the lower part of the village is extreme. Many children are abused or abandoned by their parents. You see not just the attention the kids want, but the affection they long for. In the first village, Brenna always had at least two girls clinging to her and giving her hugs. They loved playing games with us and having their pictures taken. In the second village, Sacuieu, there was a revival about ten years ago and now people are coming back to the Lord. This village was so much different in spirit than the first gypsy village, but you still see the spiritual battling. John and Nicu are renting a small building, which they are trying to fix up so that the Roma people can have a decent place to call their church. It was so neat to see the changing hearts of the people in the second village, as the men helped John and Nicu bring supplies to the church (wood, dirt, bricks), lending their horses, carts, and even labor. The children there just wanted to keep learning, so we taught them for over three hours! John and Nicu told us how blessed they were by our assistance, especially because Dawn could communicate with the children and adults in Romanian! The people are taking such a pride in their church, and are becoming really receptive to the Lord's moving among them.
Be praying that as God stirs up hearts and reveals the darkness, that they wouldn't turn away from it. Pray for God's protection over John and his family, Nicu and his family, and the believers in each village. Pray that in Sacuieu, God will give the Roma a way to work (harvesting mushrooms, making baskets, etc), and that a way to buy land for a church will be provided to John and Nicu.

Parent and Caregiver Trainings

Dawn and Brenna returned to the Center for Recuperation and Rehabilitation (the former orphanage) on June 4th so that Dawn could provide more training to Dora. She was able to see many of her children, including Elek, Luminita and Ilona. It was especially nice for Brenna to meet Elek, as she has been praying for this little boy since she helped prepare Dawn’s presentation for church last year. He is now nearly 5 and is walking, running and laughing! Later that day Dawn did a training on sensory integration for parents of children with autism. The course was well attended, and well received. On June 8, we traveled to Tinca, the village where Dawn worked in last year. We were invited to come in order to train Ioan’s foster family. Dawn was able to work with Vasile, the kinetotherapist at the foundation. Many of the children have made significant improvement. Cristina is now able to stand and crawl, and Florentina is now walking with assistance. During our last week in Oradea, Dawn was invited to present a week long course in sensory integration. We traveled to Baile 1Mai where they have a neuro-rehabilitiation hospital for children. The concept of sensory integration is quite new, however the therapists, psychologists and doctors were very receptive to the training. The doctor invited Dawn to evaluate and work with a little girl named Alesia, who has spinal muscular atrophy. It was a worthwhile experience. After Dawn worked with some of the children, Brenna handed out coloring books and crayons and colored with some of the children at the hospital, and Dawn played with a boy with autism.

Today, we are leaving for Budapest! Yay! We will get to go to Church (yay!) and hear a sermon in English (yay yay!). Thank you for your continued prayers and support.

Love, Dawn and Brenna

Friday, June 1, 2007

Children's Day

June 1, 2007

And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9 (NKJV)

Happy Children’s Day from Oradea, Romania! We arrived early Sunday morning, and since Romania is now a member of the EU, we were able to cross the border with ease, speed, and no bribes. The open borders allowed a two and a half hour drive compared to several hours! Praise God for such grace!

We ate lunch at Lucia’s mom’s house, and Brenna got to experience her first Romanian meal (we ate soup, THEN sarmale, THEN chicken with carrots and mashed potatoes, THEN two kinds of cake). It was all very delicious, and we were rather full at the end of the evening. Lucia’s son, Filip, is one year old and has gotten so big and cute! He always has a huge smile on his face. We brought him toys, which he seemed very excited about. The fellowship was sweet, and their home has been so warm and welcoming.

Monday, we started helping at the Children’s Hospital. Because of the new laws (EU) there are less abandoned children there; however, the children with severe disabilities do remain. Levente, Soledad, and Evalina remain in the excellent care of Rodica and Dorina. Sadly, Mia is no longer with the foundation who works in the genetic unit. However, she is working with a different foundation in another unit of the hospital.

Dawn spent the week teaching the caregivers how to position the children and provide developmental stimulation, while Brenna was able to spend time holding and playing with some of the babies, specifically Florina, Kevin, and Ioana. Dawn is collaborating with Ioana, the kinetotherapist at the hospital, to provide therapy for a little boy named Ioan, who is with multiple joint contractures. Next week, we will (God-willing) be going to Tinca, where a family is considering giving him foster care. While there, Dawn will provide parent training. Dawn has worked in Tinca before, and hopes to visit with the other children that she worked with last year.

We spent a day at the Center for Recuperation (the former orphanage) working with the children who are with the smaller group homes. Dawn was able to dance with Sandor, and worked with Eva, Remus and Erika. She was able to spend time with Dora and the psychologist, training them on sensory integration techniques. Next Monday we will be doing a training there for parents of children with autism.

Today, we spent time at the Multiple Sclerosis Center, where Dawn and Brenna visited all of Dawn’s former patients/friends. They were very happy to have us there.

Our week has been quite eventful and very fruitful, and we have seen the Lord’s hand everywhere despite a tiring, trying week.

Thank you everyone for your prayers and support for Abba’s Kids/Romania, and for our trip; they are so very precious to us!