Sunday, January 1, 2012

The beginning of a new year

  The month of December was a busy season for us!
Here is an overview of everything we did:
- Attended 1 Christmas performance at Rosiori
- Put on 5 Christmas parties at Peris
- 2 Christmas parties at Voluntari
- Attended 1 Christmas performance at the Boy's School in Rosiori
- Was a part of 1 additional Christmas performance at Peris
- Handed Christmas gifts out to 6 different orphanages (Peris, Voluntari, Rosiori, Alexandria, the Boy's School in Rosiori, & Tancabesti)
- The boys from the transition program came into Bucuresti and we were a part of their first Christmas in a "family setting"
- Had a Christmas celebration with all the graduates which we will never forget...
- And had an AWESOME New Year's Party with the graduates!
  There are SO many stories to go along with each of these celebrations, but I will only mention a few.  We had our first snowfall (and only thus far) on December 21.  It was so pretty but did not last throughout the day.
The first snow of the winter!
  This was the same day we ventured out to Rosiori for the Boy's School Christmas performance and to hand gifts out to them as well as to the kids at Alexandria.  When we were here 3 years ago, we met several of the kids from the Boy's School at summer camp and we spent a week with the kids at Alexandria.  (Although we call it "the Boy's School" there are some girls there, and even though Alexandria used to have girls only, they have boys there now as well.)  It was interesting to see who remembered us and to see how many did!  More than we thought!  There were a few of them that had grown SO MUCH and some that looked exactly the same.  We had a lot of fun getting to spend some time with them and can't wait to visit them again soon!
Kids at the Boy's School performing!

More kids at Boy's School performing!

Kids holding up their gifts they got!
Boy looking into his gift bag he received for Christmas!
Josh with Jen & girl at Alexandria, who we met 3 years ago.

Me with Georgiana, a girl at Alexandria, who we met 3 years ago.

  The boys from H2H's Transition Program stayed with us at the team house for a few days to celebrate Christmas together.  It was great to meet them and get to spend some time together in a different environment for them.  Josh got really close with a boy named Adrian (everyone calls him Adi).  He is super quiet but once he got comfortable we really saw his funny personality come out!  It was great for Josh and I to get that time with them.  We took the boys to see all of the Christmas lights downtown and got some fun pictures.  On Christmas morning, we read the Christmas story from the Bible and the boys opened their gifts.  This was something we were very excited to be a part of, as these boys have never had a "real" Christmas before.
L to R: Marian, Mark, Robi, Steven, Adi, Josh, Laurentiu, & George
Robi excited for receiving his Christmas gifts!
Laurentiu & George opening their gifts of winter hats, scarves & gloves.

Adi opening his Christmas stocking filled with goodies!

All the boys with their Christmas gifts!
  In the orphanages, when we or other organizations or businesses come to give gifts, the kids are handed a bag of things such as: candy, fruit, beanie hats, scarfs, gloves, stuffed animal, socks, wash cloth, soap, shampoo, conditioner, pencils and pens, hair ties for the girls, little toys for the boys, they got a working watch this year with cool characters on them, etc.  So the kids rummage through their own bag ripping the candy open, trying everything on at once and tying the bag shut quickly before someone else tries to see or take what they got.  This is why we have Christmas parties for each age group, so they do not lose the true meaning of Christmas and for these special young people who go through our transition program, they get to experience it in a family setting.
  We even visited a special school in Tancabesti where the "kids" there have severe disabilities.  We saw a small handful of kids there that had been at Peris 3 years ago.  It was good to see them and give them Christmas gifts.  Even though in America the conditions in this orphanage and others would not be "up to code" you can tell when the staff really do care for those in their care.   We were unable to take pictures due to the severeness of the kids but it was nice to visit and put smiles on their faces!
  Our New Year's Eve party was so much fun!!  It was great to play games, etc. with the graduates and other staff after a stressful, non-stop month!  We hope your holiday season was full of joy and peace in Christ!

- God's faithfulness throughout the year of 2011
- We have so many partners, friends & family who support us in all ways, "THANK YOU!"
- We have completed 1/2 of our language learning
Prayer Requests:
- That we may continue to focus each day upon the face and Word of God
- For the safety & health for each child we are in contact with
- Continued growth in relations with each area we work in

Here are a few more random pictures from December...
Me with 2 boys at Peris Christmas party.

Me helping the kids decorate their Christmas cookies.

Iulica at Peris, being wrapped up as a snowman.

Josh playing games at Peris Christmas party.

Josh, Marian, & I.  (Marian was "our boy" when we came 3 years ago.)

Josh (Santa) with Florin & Vali.

Josh & I with Iulica & Nicu.

Josh with Diana.

Josh with Cozmin.

Me helping Ana in band class.

Josh & Steffi.

Josh with 2 boys at Voluntari Christmas party.

Romanians have a tradition of roasting their own pig for Christmas.  Down this street there were several families who were doing it right on the can't see it very well, but the pink thing between the people's legs and next to the green garbage can is the pig!  They were HUGE!!

Me with a boy at the Boy's School in Rosiori.

Some kids performing at the Peris Christmas program.

Claudia dressed so nicely for the Christmas program, as she introduced each "act".

I conducted the band at Peris' Christmas performance (Kirsteen, the band teacher, had gone home for the holidays).

1 comment:

  1. Love the work yall are doing and how God is using yall. The updates melt my heart. Selfishly, I miss yall so much, but I know yall are out reaching people for Jesus!
    Yall are continually in our prayers. Thank you for your commitment and dedication to serve the Lord.