Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!

Our family wishes you a very happy 2011. We thank you for all the support you've given us this past year and look forward to what the new one will bring. Blessing to all!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Where Did You Spend Your Christmas Break?

I tried to convince our children, Amy & Josh, that the answer to that question would be a conversation starter for their friends in the USA. "Well, first our parents took us to see Dracula's stomping ground at Bran, Transylvania, Romania and after that excitement we toured the People's Palace in Bucharest, the 2nd largest building in the world!" They said it was a conversation stopper - what do you say after that? Oh yeah, they have to add watching the Bear Dancers and the Santa Band on the street in front of our apartment building on Christmas Eve. OK, maybe it is hard to beat that...

Friday, December 24, 2010

Wait, Santa speaks English??

Dec 17th was the last day of school before the Christmas break. Guess that makes it the last day of this year too. The Ruth students were excited because they knew it was a special day with parties, a program, and most importantly a visit from Santa. (Moș Crăciun) A generous donor from Germany provided gifts for each student and the bright bags were full of goodies! The classes did Christmas skits for their fellow students, the staff, and for the parents in the audience. It was a wonderful celebration. (even if Santa didn't speak a lot of Romanian - it was Ralph behind that white beard!)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Project Ruth Staff Lunch

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Today was the Project Ruth staff lunch. The weather outside was frigid but the fellowship inside was warm. We were suprised when Tita, the Ruth School director, out on medical leave, came in. She was greeted warmly with kisses and hugs. The food was yummy and the laughter contagious. We dined on traditional Romanian cheeses and meats, followed by delicious desserts. Secret Santa was at work as each person received a gift but didn't know who it was from. It was a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas and for the Project Ruth administration to show the staff how much they are appreciated.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Update & Prayer Request

Many of you know Alex Ghitsa, student coordinator and translator for the Gypsy Smith Leadership Training School with Project Ruth. Alex's mother lost her battle with cancer Thurday, Dec 9th. Please pray for their family to have peace and be comforted during this time of grief. Alex was serving at the December session of the GSS when he received the news.

Thank you for praying for our resident permits. We turned in all of our paperwork today and everything was accepted without a problem. Now we wait... Please pray all will go smoothly and we will receive long term permits.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Providence Ladies Christmas Fellowship

The Providence Ladies' Christmas Fellowship was a huge success! How did we know? The Ladies had such a good time that even after they were finished with their candy wreaths they sat around talking and snacking. The clock ticked on but no one seemed in a hurry to leave. It was a relaxing time of being together as women, making new friends, and reflecting on God's Gift given to us at Christmas.

Take a look at the pictures and see the women as they sat around the tables making their wreaths. Every 20 minutes a bell sounded and you had to move to new spot to sit by someone different. There were also 6 Santa hats with little gifts underneath them. We drew a name and the lucky person got to chose a hat with a surprise. Christmas music filled the air along with the aroma of oranges and cinnamon. As are reminder of being loved by God, a sweet aroma to Him, the ladies also took home a natural ornament made from oranges, cinnamon, and cloves.

God blessed us and our time together. Joyful Christmas!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Decorating Continues at Ruth School...

"It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas..." The young students may not know the words to the American Christmas song but they know the feeling. The 1st grade crafted Santa Hats to add Christmas cheer to their room with their bright red and gold tree. The 2nd graders studiously applied sequins to their paper trees to make ornaments to decorate their windows. It was a fun time and I learned a few new Romanian words as the little ones tried to express their joy. Yes, it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

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What's more fun than watching a child's eyes light up and hearing their giggles as they decorate a Christmas tree? Today at the Obed Day Center the students enjoyed preparing for Christmas by setting up their tree and adding their own little touches to make it shine. We also helped them make little Santa hats with construction paper and strategically placed cotton balls. Smiles, giggles, sticky fingers, and happy faces were abundant today!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Celebrating 16 Years With CBF Among the Roma

December 1st marked our 16th year with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship living among the Roma. When we think back on those days of living in a little village with two small children we are grateful for the prayer support we felt. After 15 years of life in Hungary we could see God's hand in so many ways as the Hungarians and Roma alike began to lead in the ministry, preaching, teaching, and starting churches. Our calling to be among the Roma led us to transition from Hungary to Romania. We remain grateful for your prayers through this time too. We are thankful that it has not been as difficult as that first move to Hungary.

Thank you for your consistent prayers, faithful giving and meaningful service alongside our ministry among the Roma. God is at work in the world, and when you participate with us in ministry, you join God in that work.

At this time of year, many of you make an extra gift to the CBF Offering for Global Missions. During this economic downturn, your gift, while sacrificial on your part, has the potential to have more impact on not just our ministry but also the lives of the people CBF field personnel minister among who live at the margins around the world.

Please consider making an online gift now through CBF’s secure giving site, or you can mail your gift to Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, P.O. Box 101699, Atlanta, Ga., 30392. Be sure to indicate “CBF Offering for Global Missions” in the memo line.

May God richly bless you, your church, your family and all the ways you are using your passion to participate in God’s mission. We are grateful for your continued support and look forward to being a part of God's work in Romania. Come and join us!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy National Day!

Today is a holiday in Romania. It's a celebration of Romania being reunited with Transylvania in 1918. It's a patriotic holiday similar to our Independence Day. Like on the 4th of July the stores are open and everyone has the day off work. While receiving back Transylvania is a reason to celebrate among Romanians, it is NOT among our Hungarian friends. We often heard negative comments about Hungary losing Transylvania to Romania - even to this day 92 years later! It is a beautiful place with the mountains so I can understand this a bit. "Happy Transylvania Came Back to Romania Day!" to our Romanian friends and "So Sorry" to our Hungarian ones.

Life in a Block Apartment

Much of the housing in Bucharest is in block apartment buildings and many of them are left over from the Communist era. We chose to live in one - on a street, in a neighborhood made up of block apartments. Ours was built during Communism and it has some funny quirks. For one thing they did not put any electrical outlets in bathrooms. Luckily my hairdryer has a long cord so I use the outlet in hallway. Another unusual thing is the hot water. It periodically doesn't exist. It seems the hot water to many of the block buildings comes from a central location and is piped to the building. We have plenty of it - when it works. But it never gets scalding hot and the kitchen sink has yet to have hot water. (We boil water in the microwave when washing dishes by hand.) One of the nice things is the heat. We have yet to turn our radiators on. Heat rises and since we are on the 6th floor of 7, we get other people's heat. So far we've been comfortable. We are also thankful for the elevator. It works most of the time. Life is good!