Thursday, August 11, 2011

Andreea and Fanel's Wedding

This last weekend, I went to a wedding.  It started on Friday with the civil ceremony.
It's official!!!

Saturday was the wedding.  It started with a two-hour church ceremony.  

There was an hour and a half break.
The reception followed with a five-course meal, pictures and lots of fun games led by yours truly!!

Congratulations Andreea and Fanel!  I'm so proud of you and so happy that I could be a part of your special day!

My Roberto

I call him "my Roberto"...
That toothless grin gets me every time!

Sometimes he's bad and wants to hit me...

Other times he just sticks out his tongue....

But, he's just so cute!!!

Cute Kids

The kids at Peris are just so cute...
Some are happy... 
Some are sad (sometimes)....

Some want to be like Zac Efron....

And, some just want a ball...all the time!!

Youth Group Party

Heart to Heart had three youth groups this at Peris, one at Voluntari and one in Rosiori.  The kids that had 90% attendance were invited to come to a party mid-year and then at the end of the year.  About forty kids were invited to come to Tineretului Park for an afternoon of our final Minute to Win It Competition, hanging out with friends, and playing in the park.  A fun time was had by all!!

At the Grocery Store...

This what it looks like when I help shop for: a team, a girly camp, and a boy's camp!!  One shopping cart per person....and there were six of us!!  Fun times!!

Swim Parties and teams

We did amazing things this summer!!  We held 4 girly camps, a boy's back packing excursion, 4 boy's camps, a 9-day music camp that included about 50 kids participating, day camps for the kids in Rosiori, Alexandria, Peris, and Voluntari, and about 15 swim parties!  Throw in six interns and five teams and visits to Voluntari, Peris and the baby hospital and we were busy, busy, busy!  Whew!!  I spent a lot of my time in the pool.  Here are some of the highlights from my point of view...

Girly Camps

This summer we facilitated four girly camps at our Snagov house.  The girls learned all about the Purity Code and how to live a sexually pure life in the eyes of God.  Some of the lessons involved turning trash into M&Ms (to show that what we put into our minds can either be good or bad), eating a really good hamburger and then blending a hamburger (to show how messed up our lives can get) and examining a pig's heart (to demonstrate that we need to guard our hearts).  The girl's had fun doing girly things...nails, facials, flower making, cooking, various other crafts, and a photo scavenger hunt extravaganza.  It was neat to see the girls reconnect with friends from past years and also to see new friendships formed.  The last camp was my favorite.  There were only four girls and four staff.  It was really great for them to have the one on one attention and we were able to have more in depth conversations with them.

4th of July

What do four Americans in Romania spend the 4th of July doing?   Well, we, the four American missionaries of Heart to Heart spent the morning putting in our papers to get our five-year visa.  Yes, I said five-year visa!!!  In the past we have had one-year visas, but we have figured out how to get one for five years.  Yesterday, we picked them up!!  

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Baptism - Alina and Mirela

On Sunday two of my girls were baptized at AlfaOmega Church.  I am so proud of them and the decisions that they have made.  Both of them have been Christians for some time now, but were not ready to take this big step because they thought that they were still too bad.  Through much prayer and many talks, they both decided to acknowledge that they are sinners, yet forgiven, even though they will still make mistakes! Way to go Alina and Mirela!!  This "mama" is so, so proud of you!!

4th Generation Girl's House Update

Many of you who have come on teams have asked about the girls that were in the house last year.  So, here is an update on what they are doing and how they are doing...

Andreea lived and worked in Bucharest until August 2010 and then moved back to Galati to where her family is.  In late October/early November, she called and asked if she could stay overnight at our team house because she was going to be flying out to London.  Through a friend, she had found a job in London being a nanny.  After being there a little while and through some connections of her aunt's, she got a job working in a hair salon, but the pay was low.  I spoke with her a couple of weeks ago and she told me she is now working at a car dealership as what sounds to me like a little more than a secretary.  She said it is hard work and there is little room for mistakes, but she likes it there.  She lives with her aunt and family and attends the Hillsong London Church.  She told me she went through some very hard times but things seem to be a little bit better for her right now.

After Mihaela finished the girl's program, she moved back to Galati to be with her son.  She searched for jobs in the hair industry in Galati but didn't have much luck.  She got married about six months after she moved back and is doing great.  She is expecting her second child in October....most likely a little girl.  She desires to go to University next spring.

Catalina worked in Bucharest for about 10 months cleaning at a local grocery supermarket.  When the firm that she was working for was bought out by a different firm and was told she was going to be transfered, she decided to quit her job.  She looked for a job for about three weeks and didn't find anything.  She had pretty much already decided that she was going to go back to Alexandria and that is what she did.  She is living in a very small apartment with four other girls and cleaning the hallways of four story apartment buildings.

Silvia went from cleaning job to cleaning job, quitting after only one or two weeks.  She probably had about 6-7 jobs in a time period of three months.  We finally told her that she needed to keep her job or she would have to go back to Alexandria.  The day finally came when we had to follow through and there was a big scandal, but in the end, Ghita and Costel drove her to Alexandria.  The next day, we found out that a young man sent her money to come back to Bucharest by taxi.  She currently lives with him in a student dormitory with two other couples.  She is doing okay, but still not working.

My babies!!

The Scottish team was just here two weeks ago and when we have a team here I try to do a special mommies and me gathering.  When I have these gatherings, I like to have a special purpose.  With this team, we had a pediatric doctor, a physical therapist and a lady who had taken a special baby massage class.  I asked the doctor to give a special talk about spending time with their babies and bonding with their babies when they feed them and not just propping the bottles with a blanket.  The physical therapist and the baby massage lady taught the girls how to give their babies a massage and how it can be so relaxing for the baby.
Mommies learning about how to give the massage and babies getting ready to have a massage!!

David loved it and Rebeca thought she needed to help!

We are cool babies!!!

This is actually from a visit to Adriana's apartment!  Rebeca loves reading!!

Easter 2011

Easter has come and gone, but I wanted to share some pictures from the day....  The Canadian team was here and it was a busy, busy weekend!!  We had a traditional easter egg hunt with the 2nd annual golden egg (which was found this year) with the transition graduates and current boys!  It was a good day to think about the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ!
Jen and I with the current transition house boys
Aurel found the golden egg!!
Me with Emanuel...he's one hot dude!!
Me with Alina and Ruthie....not sure if she is yawning, laughing, or screaming!!
Mirela....fata mea!

An Ahhhh Moment!!

About a month ago now, I was at Peris (one of the orphanages where we work) and I was going to the first grade class where all the little monkeys are.  One of my favorite kids is in this class and his name is Robert.  So, when I walked in, he got this big grin and happy smile on his face and said to me, "I've really missed you!"  What a way to make my day!