Thursday, August 7, 2014

Multumim! (Thank you) Student.Go!

There are many choices for how one can spend their summer break from college.  Spending July in Romania? Well, it's not on everyone's list.  However, Ellie, Keyonta, and Katie followed their passions and served at Project Ruth in Bucharest this summer.  They provided "Club" for children at the Ruth School and in three different villages.  Club is like Vacation Bible School with lots of glitter and construction paper.  Children in the Ferentari community and in the Roma churches of the villages we visited have very little to occupy their summer days.  Bringing Club to them is a highlight and one they will remember for a long time.  It wasn't just the Bible story plays, the crafts, or the game time, it was giving the children attention.  It was being the presence of Christ with glue and scissors.

Thank you Student.Go for providing a program for college and seminary students to serve.  Thank you Ellie, Keyonta, and Katie for giving us July.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Don't Run With Scissors...

Have you ever thought about learning to use scissors? Most of us learned in early childhood how to take those blunt-ended slivers of silver with bright plastic handles, and a piece of construction paper, to craft a work of art. We would proudly take this master piece home to our moms to be displayed in a prominent place, probably the refrigerator.  It's a childhood activity we take for granted.

This week while doing Club (VBS style activities) I helped two young girls who had no idea how to use scissors.  The sisters, about 7 and 10 years old, just sat and stared at the construction paper, crayons, and scissors they had been given.  They quickly looked at what the other kids were doing and drew something similar on their papers.  The next step was cutting and both girls were puzzled.  "Can you help me?"  With a little coaching and practice the girls soon got the hang of it.  They happily began cutting multiple scraps of paper and speaking rapidly to each other about their new found skill - using scissors.

This scenario underscores why the need for education among the Roma is so important.  These girls live in the poor section of town where the local school is known to be sub-par.  More than likely their parents do not support them in their education because they see no need for it or because they are consumed with the daily struggle of providing for their family.  The exact reasons for these girls' lack of education is unknown but what is known is that there are many more like them. 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Here Comes the Bride...

Little girls dream of their wedding days and our girls at the Ruth School are no different.  One afternoon at Summer Club we made tissue paper flowers. The girls began asking each other to get married and then "walked down the aisle" with their flowers.  While it was a fun time I was reminded that many of these little girls will marry in their teens and begin having their own children before they are barely out of their own childhoods. The cycle is repeated over and over.  At Project Ruth we encourage education especially with the girls. Through our Afterschool program, Parents' Academy, and Transitional Program we foster a positive environment of dreaming of the future and building the skills to make it happen.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Summer Club Begins

What is your first thought when looking at this picture?  Probably not the story of the friends lowering their lame friend through the roof of the house so he could see Jesus, but that's what it is.

Summer Club has begun at the Ruth School.  Monday through Thursday the students can come for a story, craft, play time, and a snack.  It's a simple formula for teaching the neighborhood children about God's love.  And we're grateful to the Student.GO team through CBF spending the month of July helping us do that.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Gypsy Smith School Class of March, 2014

They came from various places across the country of Romania to study.  They have different roles in their churches as pastors, deacons, youth leaders, and elders but they share the desire to learn more about God's Word and how to be better leaders.  This is our largest class yet - 30!  Thanks Larry DeLand from OK and Ken Myers from NC for teaching this week.  Pray for them as this week unfolds.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Gypsy Smith School - March 2014

Being a pastor is a rewarding vocation but it's not an easy one.  The Roma pastors and lay leaders that attend the Gypsy Smith School (GSS) are also bi-vocational and many lack a formal education. However this doesn't slow their desire to learn and grow as pastors.  The Gypsy Smith Leadership Training School was designed to fulfill this need.  Four times a year the leaders travel to Bucharest to attend a week long session on Bible studies, practical church leadership training, worship planning, and other topics.  The March session is being held this week.  Will you pray for a fruitful study of God's Word for these leaders?

Friday, March 14, 2014

Dreams Do Come True

We called him "Little Laci" when he first started his studies several years ago at the Gandhi High School in Pecs, Hungary.  He was eager to learn English and wanted to practice often.  While at the school with a population of mostly Roma students, Laci was encouraged by one of his teachers to follow his dreams.  He'll tell you that up until this time he had never dreamed he could actually pursue being a graphic artist.  It just seemed impossible for a Roma boy from a small village.  But dreams do come true...

Laci studied hard and was accepted into an international studies school in Italy where he blossomed among the multi cultural students.  Still believing in the seeds planted by his Gandhi teacher he applied to an art school in the US.  Thanks to the love and support of former Gandhi School volunteers from the US, Laci, you can see from the picture we had to drop the "Little", is a freshman at a college in FL.  It's evident that he loves it as he animatedly talks about a class on the various size, shapes, and styles of fonts!  When we recently crossed paths with him he excitedly told us about living his dream and how so many had helped it to come true.

We are thankful God placed us in the right place, at the right time to be a part of helping Laci's dreams come true.  What about you?  How can you help someone's dream come true today?

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Celebrating Love at the Ruth School

Valentine's Day is not a big holiday in Romania.  However, it's a great excuse to talk about love, the different kinds of love, and most importantly God's love for us.  The walls of the lunch room were decorated with red hearts and streamers.  Lunch is usually a small bowl of hearty, warm food and a couple of slices of bread.  On this special day beside each shiny silver bowl was a cupcake with red sprinkles!  An extra special treat!  The students were asked, "What do you love about the Ruth School?"  The answers varied from food to chapel to my friends. They laughed and gobbled down the cake full of the knowledge that they are loved.  Thank you for supporting the Ruth School.