Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Beauty From Ferenatari

Ferentari is the name of the neighborhood where the Naomi Women's Center is located.  It is a poor area of Bucharest characterized by trash-strewn streets, homeless dogs, a very large Roma (Gypsy) population, and mostly gray, drab buildings.  The Naomi Center strives to empower the women of Ferentari to help themselves and their families by offering counseling and sewing classes.  The classes are more than merely instruction.  The core group of women have learned to support and care for one another as they run their machines, cut their material, and sew on buttons. 

This past Sunday we displayed the items made by the Naomi ladies for sale at Providence Baptist Church.  There was a general excitement as the members looked over the handmade flower brooches, hair bows, flower vases, and cosmetic bags.  One of the customers asked, "Can something so beautiful come out of Ferentari?"  Yes, it can and it wasn't even on display.  Something beautiful happens every week as the Naomi ladies gather to not just sew but to support one another and improve their lives and with that, those of their families.  Beauty from Ferentari...

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Who Knew Tom Made Boots? Not Me!

I confess I don't keep up with all the fads in the USA but I do know about Tom's Shoes.  When you purchase a pair, Tom donates a pair to a child in need.  We've welcomed the gift of those shoes at the Ruth School.  I didn't know they did boots!  Not just any boot but a fleece-lined, rubber soled, durable-looking boot.  This week the Ruth School was privileged to receive Tom's Boots through World Vision for our younger students and the timing was perfect!  We had already planned a sweatshirt distribution because in Romania we can easily have cold weather through March.
On Friday the weather was cold with heavy snow.  A perfect day to get a new warm sweatshirt and waterproof boots.  Many of the students put their boots on and happily wore them down the street.  And our girl students were gifted with (spoken in a whisper) new underwear.  It is not uncommon for a staff person to request socks or underwear for a student so we try to keep a supply.  These two items you can put into a child's backpack and preserve their dignity in front of their school mates.  On this day we took the girls over to a section of the lunch room and let them choose.  They giggled and giggled as they looked over the
undies in pink, purple, and white with bows and flowers.  We are grateful for all who support Project Ruth and give generously to provide for the students.  Perhaps you would consider sponsoring a student, contributing to our (say in a whisper) underwear/sock fund, or helping us fulfill the dream of a playground for our younger students.