Catching up

IMG_0488.jpg

Well. It has been quite some time since I’ve written. I know many of you have been keeping up with me outside of this blog, but for those of you who haven’t, I’m sure there is quite a bit that has happened that you don’t know about. (If you fall into that boat I’ll attach my last two prayer letters at the end of this post.)

To be brief, let me just say that the last 6 months that I’ve been in the US has been a wonderful blessing….I’ve grown much in my faith, learned new things about God and myself, grew deeper in relationships…meeting new people and being reacquainted with old friends, getting some answers & direction on my health (which had drastically declined in Romania), and much more.

Through a process of discernment, prayer, invitations and conversations, I’ve decided to accept an invitation to return to Romania for a time. I will be leaving this Friday, June 30th! This seems soon, and yes, it is, but this has actually been developing for a while but I was waiting on a few other things before announcing it.

While in Romania, I will be working alongside homes that help young women and new Moms get on their feet to become self-suffient in society, and hopefully through this, showing them the love of Christ which gives our life purpose and hope. I’m planning to be there for 3 months and be praying during that time to see if this could be something I could invest my life in. Please be praying about this with me. This is an exciting opportunity and hopefully you will continue to journey with me into this new chapter.

Also, I will be traveling to another country that I will leave unnamed, to participate in an outreach unlike anything I’ve ever done. Once the trip has concluded, I’ll give an update of what we were doing & how it all went. For now, be praying for Divine guidance, strength, courage and protection both physically and Spiritually. This will be soon after I leave, so be in fervent prayer.

For now, this is really all I can say. I will write again once I am settled in Romania. Will you join me in this adventure? Please be praying, I will need your support in this! The photo at the beginning of this post was part of a vision that came to me of this next stage….like a flower just on the cusp of blooming. This could be the beginning of something big, and we will all have to wait, trust and see what God will bring and do!

 

 

Here are those older prayer letters that never were posted here:

September 2016

September2016-1September 2016-2

April 2017

April 2017-1April 2017-2

Blessings in Blue

When I was a little girl, there was something I dreamt of and prayed about….it was a blue swing-set. I only wanted that. My sweet parents, wanting to fulfill this dream of mine went to the store only to find that all the blue swing-sets were sold out and only brown swing-sets were available. They must have told me they were coming home with one so they just prayed that I would understand, bought the brown one and came home. Upon opening the brown swing-set box however, much to my delight and their surprise, we pulled out pieces for a BLUE swing-set! It was a little thing, but to that 3 year old, I understood that God had answered my prayer.

Years later, around Christmas when my Mom was hospitalized with Leukemia, I was doing some shopping and noticed this gorgeous blue plaid coat. I wanted to make an impulse buy but thankfully my parents taught me well that sometimes you need to leave it be and if you still want it when you come back after some time then (and only if you have the means to do so) you can make the purchase. I left the store with no new coat but told my parents about it and I’m sure I was gushing over every little detail. Christmas came and my Mom was still hospitalized, unable to come home. She had told us to open presents without her and to stay home with each other (and without her). After all the presents were opened, me being 25 at the time, naturally threw a childish tantrum about how stupid everything was, how I didn’t get anything good, how all I wanted was the blue coat and how it was the worst Christmas EVER. I’m sure that’s word for word of what I said and much more. My sweet Papa just looked me in the face and said, “Do you want to go see Mom?” Big sigh. “Yes.” So we all loaded in the ‘burb and drove to the hospital to surprise my Mom. She was so happy to see us and we were just happy to be near her. Then she motioned towards the window and said there were a few gifts she hadn’t gotten wrapped on time. I opened the first one and from the tears in the paper it was unmistakable. The blue plaid coat. There was nothing so special about the blue coat, but that at that particular moment, it was like God telling me that He saw me and He knew. He was watching over me.

Time passed again and as you know I’ve been wanting to go to Romania to work with orphans for quite some time! After much prayer, a few failed attempts and many closed doors, one opened. When I found out about the house and the kids, it was just like, Yes! Do this! Then I saw the pictures. A blue house. Again, God was answering a deep and long sought after prayer with this beautiful blue house to be filled with kids.

That brings us to today! In preparing to come to Romania, I knew that my living conditions would be good but pretty isolated from anything around. There isn’t really public transportation in our village, and relying on the staff here for rides is occasional but not always the best. This also meant that I would be very limited to going anywhere with the kids……translation: in 9 months that I’ve been here I’ve been out in the town ONCE with one of my three kids. So before I got here I was praying for a car and the funds to purchase one! Within the last two months, I got word that a friend’s colleague was selling his 2007 Dacia with less than 40k miles! What’s more, is that within a week of hearing that, I was given a donation specifically to buy a car, which added to my car savings to that point, was exactly the amount I needed to purchase the car outright! And guess what color this beauty is!? Blue. I didn’t even really have to tell you, but really. God is cool, yes??

So once again I’m praising Him for his provision, for His faithfulness, for the fact that I know (and it’s obvious) that He hears me and knows me and provides just what I need. It’s not about the “stuff”….the swing-set, the coat, house or car. It’s about Him. He cares for us and loves us so much. He is the Creator and yet He cares even about the small things. So that’s the story of my blessings in blue. How is God speaking to you today?

Blue coat

Blue house

Blue car

Please PRAY!

IMG_4431

Hello again friends. I’m urging you to pray as soon as you read this. Some of you have been following the unsettledness inside my little 9 year old Hudson. He has been hurt so bad through his short life and it comes out in anger and abuse.  At the beginning of the month, we told him that if we didn’t see significant change by the end of the month, both he AND his sister Camille would have to go somewhere else. This seemed to shake him but for the first week we didn’t see much change. This week has been really good, but tonight he blew up again and there is a disconnect between some of the staff in how to proceed. Some want him to leave tomorrow, and some of us say that we need to stay with him through the end of the month and see if he does better.

He and Camille are two of the main reasons I’ve come here. I’m desperate for God to work in their lives, to change Hudson’s behaviors and especially his attitude about God. There is nothing I want less than to see these two children put back into a system where their future is more uncertain than here, and most likely going to end in worse behaviors and abuse. Please, PLEASE do not “try” to pray for this everyday this week, actually do it. Sorry for the bluntness, but I heard someone ask this week….”Do you try to put your underwear on every day?” If your answer is No (which I hope it is) then why not? It’s just something you do! So please. Don’t “try” but really do it. These kids’ lives are on the line.

Yes, God will and can work wherever. They don’t have to be HERE for Him to work in their lives, so we are trusting Him in this. Please pray for change. Please pray for God’s will to be done. Please pray for wisdom and grace. Please pray for protection. Please pray for stamina. Just pray. Earnestly. Thank you!

Happy Easter!

We have been celebrating Easter this past weekend, and it was a great time here! We colored eggs with metallic paint, one of many new experiences for me, and did traditional egg cracking! What is egg cracking? You and another person each take a hard boiled egg (that’s a critical component of successful egg cracking) and the first person says “Hristos a înviat!” (Christ is risen!) Then the second person says “Adevarât a înviat!” (He is risen indeed!) Then you crack the pointed ends together once and see whose egg is stronger. 🙂 It was a fun Easter morning activity! We also ate traditional meat loaf made with lamb innerds. Yes. It wasn’t my favorite part, but I tried it, ok? The best was the Pasca. This is like a sweet cheese bread. I made it for my classmates last year, so I’ll include a picture of that here. It was great, and I wish we would make this more often! mmmmm For lunch we had lamb….actual meat this time, and lots of other good things I can’t really remember. But I did also bring some of my traditions into the meal by making Pineapple stuffing. Everyone loved it.

We had a service on Thursday evening where we celebrated Passover, and lots of great old hymns, naturally sung in Romanian, but I quietly sung in English as best I could. Sunday morning we had a great service and I was able to help out on the piano for the morning worship time! Hudson and I also sang a song together and I read a “poem” or excerpt from a sermon, titled “That’s My King!” You should look that up. It’s worth a listen!

Hudson quietly asked me Saturday night if I knew how to be an Easter bunny……I “do” but honestly had not thought about that AT ALL! Oops. Oh well, I had some jelly beans in my secret stash that I hadn’t opened from Christmas, so I opened those up after church and we had a fun time trying to figure out what flavors they were!

The kids were off school all last week and will start again tomorrow (Wednesday). It has been nice having them around but it will also be nice to get back to normal school schedule. Oddly enough, since the kids had many things planned here by staff and the older teens, I feel like I didn’t have as much time with them as I do when they go to school in the morning!

Also, I found out the day before that it was Michael’s 6th birthday the next day. He went to visit his family so we weren’t together to celebrate but the kids and I made a sign for him when he comes home and will celebrate with him this weekend.

IMG_4479IMG_4466IMG_4432