Thursday, November 12, 2015

Fall 2015

At the end of every month, I say to myself, "How did it get to be March?  How did it get to be July?  How did it get to be November?"  I guess time flies when I'm having fun or just when I'm really busy!  November is almost halfway over and in a little over a week, I fly to the US for my furlough time!  But, the day before that we will be celebrating Thanksgiving with the H2H family...only about 70 people!

The day before I left for my vacation in Israel, H2H had the joy of celebrating with 2 of our families on the birth of their baby girls....born 20 minutes in Bucharest and one close to London.  Daria Ioana is the daughter of Alex and Ioana Oprea and Abygail is the daughter of Fanel and Andreea Mirea.  Both are healthy, happy and growing.  Maybe someday they will be the best of friends!
Me with Daria
Andrea, Abygail and Fanel

Soon after I returned from vacation, this little cutie started pre-school!  And, Cutie Karla gets to say with Jen and I when mommy goes to work.  This happens about 2-3 days a week!

During the summer, H2H began a pajama project.  So, this fall, we were finishing up buying pajamas and handing them out to the kids!

The big event every fall is the opening of the H2H transition homes.  Every year we have had boys, but for the last couple of years we haven't had girls because we haven't had staff to help take care of them.  This year, we had a couple of girls that really didn't have anywhere to go and we had a few openings in one of the apartments.  So, we are running a modified Girl's Transition House program with these two girls.  Marinela and Flori are both from Rosiori de Vede.  Marinela is taking a baby sitting course and Flori is taking a manicure and pedicure course and just got hired at Pizza Hut.  Both are very excited about the things they are learning from us and I'm excited to see what the Lord is going to do in their lives this year.  We also have 4 boys at the Boy's Transition House.  Another aspect to the transition program this year is that we have two kids that have been very involved in our programs in Rosiori and they are in university.  Estera is at the Baptist Institute majoring in Social Work and Theology.  Dani at one of the universities in Bucharest majoring in Engineering.  H2H is helping them with things that they need and they will be involved in some of our transition house classes, activities and events.
Opening Day of Transition programs at the boy's house
Marinela and Flori with Jen and me 
Marinela, Estera and Flori at their apartment
Daria was dedicated at AlfaOmega.

Ruthie turned 5 years old and she had a Frozen themed party!

Ruthie had been requesting to go to the zoo and Marinela and Flori also expressed an interest in the zoo.  So, one afternoon, we visited the animals!

A week ago Saturday, I took a trip to the mountains with some of the H2H staff.  We visited the Christian bookstore in Brasov, had lunch and then went for a little hike and saw really pretty foliage and waterfalls!

I don't know if you can see it, but, there was water falling to the left of us!

Prayer Requests:
*Wisdom as I guide the transition girls.  Pray that Marinela will find a job.
*Pray for our H2H grandkids that they would learn about our Savior, especially, during the Holiday season.  Pray that they would continue to be healthy and grow into kids that love the Lord.
*Pray for our young families, Alex, Ioana and Daria and Fanel, Andreea and Abygail that just had babies on August 30, 2015.  Pray for wisdom in decisions with their precious little girls.
*Pray as I travel this holiday season; that I would be healthy, see everyone that I need to see and that I’m able to get a little rest and relaxation while I’m home.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Israel 2015

I had an amazing opportunity to go on a vacation of a lifetime!  I feel like I way this every year, but, this year it truly was!  A couple of years 2008 or 2009, Richard Rohlfing promised Jen that he would one day show her around Israel.  Fast forward a couple of years and for the last 3 years, my brother has been helping Hume Lake lead trips to Israel with an organization called GTI Tours.  So, Jen met up with Richard in January and said he helping lead a trip to Israel with Bridgeway Christian Church with GTI Tours!!  Perfect!  Sign us up (which is exactly what we did)!  The dates were great for us and so we headed to Israel August 31-September 11, 2015!  We arrived two days before Bridgeway and did some sightseeing on our own and then joined up with them.  They were jet-lagged, we were not since Israel is in the same time zone as Romania!  We saw so many great sites, learned so many new things and what they say is true: when you read the Bible it is in black and white....but, when you go to the places in the Bible and experience and see them, they turn from black and white into color!  We saw and did so many amazing things: crawled through the Caves of Adullam where David hid after he fought Goliath and was fleeing from Saul, hiked through the Wilderness of Zin, took a boat across the Sea of Galilee, swam in the Dead Sea, walked the Via Dolorosa, rode a camel, waded through Hezekiah's tunnels, prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane and stood in the spot where Jesus was born and the place where he died!  Enjoy these highlights of pictures!
At the Damascus Gate
My first Falafel...and boy was it yummy!
A view of the city of Jerusalem
The valley where David fought Goliath
Crawling through caves!
Wilderness of peaceful!
We named our camel Elsa in honor of Ruthie

Floating in the Dead Sea
At Masada with Richard
Ein Gedi!  So refreshing after being so hot at Masada!
The Dead Sea
On the Sea of Galilee
Mt. Arbel
Caesarea Philippi
Mt. Tabor is in the background...ironically we both went to Tabor College!
The Western Wall
The Garden of Gethsemane
At the Israel Museum
Our whole group in the Wilderness of Zin
Serious note taking!
Dead Sea mud is a great facial treatment!!
In Hezekiah's Tunnel with new friends!