Sunday, November 28, 2010

Christmas Has Arrived!

Europe generally does not join in the craziness of Christmas like we do in the USA. This is one of the things I like about living here. Only recently have Christmas decorations been seen in the stores and only this week did we notice billboards with Christmas themed advertising.

I admit I do buck the trend a little though. This weekend I got out our decorations and spread the Christmas cheer throughout our small apartment. It was a challenge - I collect nativity sets and to find places for them all I had to get creative. I hung a star with lights on our living room window and when it gets dark here (4:30-5:00) it is a bright beacon on this street of tall buildings. We will wait to decorate our main tree until Amy & Josh arrive mid-December. That's a tradition.

Joyfully beginning the season of celebrating Christ's birth!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cinderella & Her Slippers - Thankful for Shoes

During this Thanksgiving season we give thanks for many things. Tuesday we were grateful for shoes! At the Ruth School we distributed all kinds of shoes to the students. The atmosphere was festive as the kids tried on the different shoes and bagged up 2-3 pairs to take home. It was fun to see the girls try on the sparkly, glittery shoes while the boys went straight for the athletic styles. It was heartwarming to see some of the students select small sized shoes for siblings at home and ask if they could select a pair of adult sized ones for their mothers. They were eager to share.
Thank you Lord for shoes!

Friday, November 19, 2010

"Cookies! Me Want Cookies!"

"Cookies! Me want cookies!" Young children in the US have grown up hearing the words of the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. This past week the children of the Obed Day Center (a Project Ruth ministry) had a chance to play with cookies too. We set up tables with sugar cookies, icing, and sprinkles. After a few basic instructions the little girls carefully spread the icing and daintily sprinkled the colorful sugar on top. They ate one or two cookies and saved the rest for later. Not the boys! They slapped on the icing, piled on the sprinkles, and then made cookie sandwiches so they could eat them faster! All the children enjoyed their break from the routine and had a good, but very sticky time!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lukewarm Coke?!?

We don't have to look at the calendar to know winter is nearly upon us. There are a series of signs we have come to look for in Eastern Europe as the leaves turn and the cold North wind blows in. One of them is classic: Many of the stores turn their cold drink coolers off. Yes, off! It has long been known by Americans, lovers of iced drinks, that Europe generally does not serve ice in their drinks. This is taking it a step further because of a general belief that cold things one may drink or eat in cold weather can contribute to making you sick. So I chuckled out loud yesterday as I reached for a Coke Light (Diet Coke to you Americans) and noted the cooler was off, meaning my Coke was lukewarm. I admit there are many things I like about living in Europe, but this is not one of them. :) Off to find some ice...

Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas Gifts That Keep on Giving...

This Christmas your holiday shopping can change lives.

Simple gifts. That’s what the gifts in the CBF Gift Catalog are. But these simple gifts — clean water, a book, a meal, a warm blanket — can change the lives of people around the world. Each gift in the CBF Gift Catalog represents a contribution to the life-changing ministries of the Fellowship. When you give, you are helping meet physical and spiritual needs in the name of Jesus Christ. Like most people, you probably purchase gifts for loved ones during the year. This year, let some of those gifts change lives by giving through the CBF Gift Catalog. Your loved ones will know you care about them and about people in need around the world. Order online now! (Click on the dark brown script and it will take you to the site to help you choose your gifts)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Meeting Missionaries in the 21st Century

In the days when I grew up studying missions we mostly read about missionaries in our study books. If we were very lucky we might meet a missionary at an associational or state meeting. I clearly remember a slide I saw of grub worms and the missionaries describing how they were a delicacy in the African country where they served. (Side note: I remember thinking "Not for me! Ever!" Look at me now.) It was so exciting to hear their stories and ask them questions. It had a big impact on my life.

Fast forward in time to last Wednesday night in Edenton, NC. Kelly Rhodes, associate minister at First Baptist Church, gathered her group of 8-12 year olds around her lap top. At the designated time she called us on SKYPE. (I will add it was 7PM in NC but 2AM in Romania. We are committed to growing the next generation of believers!) Through the miracle of the internet we were able to see the kids and they us. They listened to our story and then asked questions. It was fun to hear of their interest in what life is like in Romania and Hungary and what life is like for Roma kids their age.

The formats change but the message is still the same: "...You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and Samaria and to the ends of the earth" Acts 1:7

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Whose Door is This?

This is our apartment door and I hope it says, "Someone different lives here and you should get to know them!"

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Ralph and I are pleased to announce our daughter, Amy Lee, accepted the marriage proposal of Tyler Gallaher at sunset on Atlantic Beach. Tyler and Amy met at Campbell University as undergraduates when both became active in Campus Ministries. We have enjoyed getting to know Tyler the last few years and are ecstatically happy for them. Tyler comes from Kinston, NC where his parents, Dr Rob and Suzanne Gallaher, also live. His dream is to become a veterinarian and their newly adopted dog, Sandy, is glad to hear that.

Join us in celebrating!

And be warned I am sure there will be future blog entries about helping a daughter plan the wedding of her dreams when living a l-o-n-g distance apart. I'm excited to begin!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Offering for Global Missions

CBF's Offering for Global Missions (OGM), is traditionally, in Baptist churches, encouraged during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. This year's offering material features our Gypsy Team members, Dianne and Shane McNary. If you would like to know more take a look at: Here you will find ways to access materials with leadership guides, clip art, posters, and bulletin inserts. These are all great ways to make your congregations aware of how the love of Christ is being shared and ways you can help through praying, giving, and serving. The offering is a large part of what enables the McNarys, our team, and other CBF field personnel to live and minister among the most neglected of this world. Thank you for considering a gift.