Sunday, November 29, 2009

November Update

"Therefore be imitators of God as dear children, and walk in love as Christ also has loved us and has given Himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma" Ephesians 6: 1-2

Dear family and friends,

Happy November's end! I pray you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving Day. For me, November has been a month full of extra special thanksgivings. I have so much to share with you all and have decided to do it mostly through short stories/pictures. I hope this will give you a sneak peek into my life here in Romania.

In preparing for this update, I perused through my hundreds of pictures I have taken this month and tried to choose ones that would capture all that God is doing here in Cluj, Sancraiu/Calatele/Sacuieu as well as in Oradea. As you view these pictures, I ask that you would consider spending time praying for each of these precious lives.

A New Car!

In my last update I wrote about the Hagiu family's car situation. Getting to the gypsy villages during the month of October was quite the process (getting rides from Fery when/if his car was running, walking, name it!). But thanks to God's favor and generous support from my family and church family, as well as the Hagiu's supporting church (CC Treasure Valley), we were able to purchase a car. After weeks of praying and looking at cars, Nicu and Silvana found a 1995 Volkwagon Passat at a good price. We are so thankful that we can get to the villages of Calatele and Sacueiu consistently and safely. An added bonus is the size of the car. Because the car can hold 6 people, we are taking Fery, Mircea and Danut to our services in Sacuieu. Thank you to all who sacrificially gave.

Children's Ministry

Traian and Laura, Danut's children

It has been such a joy to serve alongside Silvana in reaching the gypsy children of Sacuieu and Calatele. During this past month I have been leading to worship and doing all the teachings in Romanian. My Romanian is pretty pathetic, but the children are so forgiving! In November we focused on Creation and the Fall. December is of course about God's promise fullfilled; our Savior's birth. In Calatele, we are holding children's worship in Fery and Verdeata's 1 room home. Last week that little room was packed with more than 30 children! We are so thankful for Fery's heart. He even stays with me during children's worship and prays with the children in their language (gypsy dialect).
The situation in Sacuieu continues to be challenging. We can only meet outside on the grass. Thankfully we haven't had any snow this month; however, it has still been cold and often rainy. Yet, amazingly the children still eagerly come. Please continue to pray that we would find a meeting place, specifically that someone would willingly open their home for us to use and that all children would be welcome. These children sure have captured my heart.
Another HUGE praise to share: my church at home did a bake sale a few weeks ago and raised enough money for me to make Christmas goody bags for all 250 kids! Each bag will contain some fruit, cookies, candies, chocolate and a bible verse/tract. This will be the only gift these kids receive so I am incredibly thankful to everyone who baked and also to everyone who bought all those yummy treats! Oh, another amazing praise: Baba Maria left for Spain so her grandchildren are all coming to worship again.

Lamaie and Adina, sisters in Calatele

Kids Worship in Calatele

Lisa and Soleda, Sacuieu

Silvana and me with Mircea's girls

Therapy Time: Special Needs Kindergarten

Each Monday I traveled by train from Huedin (the closest train station to Sancraiu) to Cluj. The train ride takes about an hour, so it is much like my daily commute back home without the hassle of being stuck in traffic. I continue to work alongside Ciprian, my Romanian PT friend. I have also begun to mentor Ramona, a PT grad student. Most of the children we see are quite involved, many with cerebral palsy or birth defects. Andrei has made excellent progress in his arm movement and towards learning to feed himself, Timi is learning how to dress herself, and Maria, Radu & Roni are accepting all kinds of new movement experiences. I love collaborating with Ciprian and am thankful to know that the investment I have made in him has~and will continue~to impact many children here in Romania.

Andrei, all smiles with his new splints

Radu, one determined little boy!

Timi and her art project

Andrei learning to feed himself

A Special Birthday

In the middle of November I traveled back to Oradea for a very special occasion: Denisa, the little girl I cared for in the orphanage as a infant, turned 7 years old. The party was a surprise for Denisa. When I arrived, I was shocked to see Lia, Denisa's former foster mother! We were the only guests. Lucia and Iuliu (Denisa's adoptive parents) wanted all the people who raised Denisa to be together~Amazing! Denisa was so happy to have her "3 mommies" together for the very first time. I continue to marvel at God's mercy and His perfect plan for her adoption; how He rescued a child without any hope and gave her such a beautiful life. I am so thankful for her life, for she was the impetus behind Abba's Kids. And to think He has done that for all of us who are His children~we are Abba's Kids!

"Mommy" Dawn and Denisa

The Birthday Girl

Denisa and her 3 "Moms" (with her brother Adam)

December is promising to be an adventurous month. I have been joking about my upcoming "nomadic lifestyle" for a few weeks now. I was planning to begin traveling to other cities at the beginning of January, focusing on providing 1-2 weeks of therapy inservices at each location. However, the woman I was renting from in Sancraiu informed me that her family would be coming for the month of December; hence I needed to move out. The Hagiu's and I searched for other accomodations in the village, but to no avail. Amazingly, I was less stressed than Nicu and Silvana! After much prayer and consultation with people here and at home, I decided to split my time the first 2 weeks of December in Cluj and Sancraiu. This will allow me extra time to work with the children (Monday-Wednesday) and still go to Calatele and Sacuieu with the Hagiu's. So let the train traveling adventures begin! I will then be traveling to Budapest (YAY!) for a few days before heading back to Sancraiu for the week of Christmas. Good thing I adjust well to living out of a suitcase :) In all honesty though, I would greatly appreciate prayers as I know my flexibility and adaptability will surely be tested.

Joyfully His,



Debbie King said...

Thanks for sharing your amazing experiences, you are really living life in a huge way. You look so happy and spirit filled. I am working in Early Intervention and still doing some independent contracting and some work with Easter Seals. Reimbursement is harder to come by as a reflection of California's dire budgetary circumstances and the overall sluggish US economy. Just had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family. My son has graduated college and is living in San Francisco, about a hour from our home. Our daughter is in LA going to college. Just saw Tom Eggum at our church on Sunday!
I will pray for your ministry and the wonderful help you are providing to the children of Romania. I will attend a NDT workshop in LA this weekend, which will focus on birth-age 3. Do you see children this young? I was happy to see Levante and the other little girl, I've forgotten her name she had the corrected Cleft Palate!
Debbie King

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