Saturday, July 30, 2011

Highlights from Sacuieu and Calatele: July 20th-30th, 2011

July 20th I traveled from Oradea to Sancraiu to meet up with the Hagiu's along with their team from Calvary Chapel Treasure Valley (CCTV). Initially CCTV had planned to have a team of ~10 people come to do a VBS for the children of Calatele and Sacuieu; however, due to several circumstances, the team dwindled down to Daryl (their pastor) and Tom. However, we knew that this was still part of God's plan. Back in May I had spoken to my friends Randy and Adelina about possibly helping with a 2 day VBS in the villages. Thankfully God carved out for their team (Randy, Adelina and 2 of Randy's interns~Vic and Josh) a few free days~ the exact time period in which Daryl and Tom would be in Romania!

Before I write more on the VBS programs, I want to share with you a few pictures from one of our services in Sacuieu. When we first entered the village, several people came out to greet us. Most of them I knew; however, there was one person I did not recognize, a woman holding a baby. Others then brought her to me, wanting me to look at her infant daughter. Her baby was born with only a partially formed arm/hand. Knowing how much disability is regarded as such a stigma here, I was amazed to see the love this woman had for her child. The mother, Luminita, has been faithful at coming to church and you really see her joy despite her many trials. Interestingly, her name means "light", a fitting description as she truly is shining her light for the Lord in Sacuieu! During our worship service, Nicu did a baby dedication for Luminita's sweet baby girl, Maria.

Baby Maria and her mom, Luminita

Nicu dedicating Maria

Randy and his team blessed the children (and adults!) with a wonderful 2 days of VBS on June 25th and 26th.  They prepared stories, songs, object lessons and skits that truly spoke to the heart of the gypsies. Randy and Adelina then put their clown skills to work and made each of the children a balloon. We were so thankful for their labor of love~thank you Randy, Adelina, Josh and Vic!

Waiting for VBS to start~Sacuieu

Adelina and Randy~bringing lots of smiles to Sacuieu

Captive Audience~Sacuieu VBS

Randy made balloons for all the kids (with help from Adelina)

My friend "Jimmy"~he was the first child I met in Sacuieu in 2007

Veta, Corina, Garafoa, Larissa~Sacuieu
Calatele VBS~ nearly 40 children were packed into this small room!

Sweet smiles in Calatele

Adelina leads the kids in prayer~Calatele VBS

Cristina and Crucita~Calatele VBS

Vic, Josh and Randy with gypies in Calatele
We then did an additional 2 days of VBS on the the 28th and 29th. Tom and Daryl had brought a variety of puppets from CCTV so with the help of Naomi and Leon (the Hagiu's children) and Nicu, we were able to put on puppet shows in both villages. The children and adults loved the puppets! We did 2 skits, one on waiting and one on the parable of the sower and the seeds. Daryl and Tom then did a great job explaining the skits and trying to related them to the lives of the gypsies.
Waiting for the puppet show~Sacuieu
Watching the puppet show~Calatele

Our amazing puppeteers~Naomi, Nicu and Leo

Silvana, Nicu and his sidekick Cristi

Great attendance~Calatele VBS

Tom illustrating the parable of the Sower and the Seeds
Daryl teaching on "waiting on the Lord"

The puppet shows were a great success in Sacuieu and Calatele

Delivering dresses from "Dress A Girl Around the World"

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