Romania

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Stephanie, Alexis, Shae, Taylor, Samantha, Esther, Caleb, Brittany and Kaelee

Task: Team Eastern Europe A will work with Remember the Children, an organization dedicated to providing holistic ministry services to those people who are cast aside in the wake of the Soviet Union. This will be our fourth year working with Remember the Children, whose mission is to work with local pastors to participate in relationship building, children’s ministry, elder ministry, orphan care, and church ministry.

Dates: May 27 – June 10

The team has arrivedWe just received word that Team Romania has made it to the field with all their luggage! They have about a 3-hour drive before they meet up with Andy, their fieldworker, so pray for smooth travels and that everyone would fight off jetlag quickly! The first (and a much longer) update will be posted in the next few days!

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Update #1: Thursday, June 1

Hello everyone!

Thank you for your continued prayer over us; that is the best support you could give! Also, thank you for praying for the people we interact with, they need just as much prayer as we do, if not more.

We’ve been to two different gypsy villages each day: one smaller and one larger. We drive up, and as soon as the kids see us coming in the van they run up to greet us. We also had a day in downtown Oradea to help us adjust to the time zone, and to get souvenirs that we wanted for family members.

In the gypsy villages we have been going to the parents don’t show love to their children, but instead slap kids in the face when they misbehave. I saw one of the parents throw a basketball at their three year-old child. As a parent, it’s hard to watch other parents be so un-loving towards their children. However, the children have been incredible. Since they don’t get a lot of healthy physical touch, all they want to do is hug, be held and play lots and lots of games. Whether it be tickling, soccer, the big parachute from grade school, or singing songs we have seen all the kids be been involved and engaged.

If you could, please pray for our team to have energy and to be engaged with the kids, and for the gypsy children and their parents to have softened hearts when they hear the Gospel. Also ask for prayer for Kaelee who is feeling a bit under the weather. Nothing major (don’t worry, Kaelee’s loved ones!) just a little bug, but she is a trooper and is pushing through!

Lori: I love you honey, I miss you everyday, and I can’t wait to see your beautiful smiling face and our happy little boy. I’ll be calling you on your birthday, so be prepared!  Mom: I’m doing well, don’t worry! 

Taylor and the team

Check out this video from Shae!

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Update #2: Friday, June 2

Caio!

Happy International National Children’s Day from Romania!

We have been in Romania for almost a week and speaking at least for myself (and probably most of the team) it has been full of heart-warming experiences. Whether we are spending down time as a team or snuggling with Roma (gypsy) children or playing games with either Roma or Romanian children we have all been growing in understanding of Romania.

As I sit and write this post the team is participating in an American vs. Romanian volleyball tournament… we are losing real bad. The children we are playing against live in Caminul Felix village homes, which house up to eighteen orphaned children raised under house parents. They are very sweet kids and surprisingly many know a decent amount of English. As we gather on the bus to leave they flock the bus and knock on the window as we say goodbye. Driving home we get to see a beautiful Romanian sunset and rock out to music as our driver’s daughter shows us her light-up fidget spinner.

Earlier today we spent time at the park with the Roma children of “Village #2” in Santiandre. In celebration of Children’s Day we painted their faces with the colors of the Romanian flag…they loved it and went crazy painting each other with crosses and random other shapes. One of my favorite parts of spending time with the Roma children is how snuggly they are. I have made many close connections with some snugly children! I’ve got to say that any day can be made 100% better when you are holding a sweet child that holds on real tight out of the desire to be shown loving physical touch. Being able to sit back with a child in my lap and watch my team connect with the children has been a true blessing. It’s sweet to watch as each member finds a child they truly connect with. Esther found a snuggly little girl, Caleb made friends with an active little boy, Stephanie tickles all the children’s bellies, Kaelee held and smiled at a young baby not more than 2 months old, Brittany creates friendships with older children, Alexis taught the children photography, Taylor raced along the play structure with a playful little girl, Shae picked a young girl up sang “Let it Go” and I gave nose kisses to a giggly girl.

As the week continues to pass by we have made/are making the connections of a lifetime. During the remainder of our trip please continue your prayers for our team and the people we come in contact with.

To all the parents: We are all safe and are taking care of each other and we love you! More to come soon!

Samantha and the team

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Update #3: Thursday, June 8

Hey Everyone!

Brittany and Caleb here with your next update! I (Caleb) wanted to first take the time to thank you for all your prayers.  Our trip has been amazing.  We have met a lot of great people and played with lots of different children.

So far an average day for us has been visiting a couple of villages, where we would play games and share a Bible story.  For me personally it has been quite a bit of sports, they really like soccer, especially the boys. So that’s been fun to share with them, also thankfully my knees (and head…) are doing well.  Some point during the games we share the Bible story and sing some songs.  The kids have really loved to see the stories come to life on the bright felt board, and they enjoy watching us sing and dance, most of the time we even get them to do some of the silly moves that they love so much to make fun of.  It is quite enjoyable to see their smiling faces.

Today was very different from the others as we took a rest day.  This “rest” involved driving a few hours to this awesome cave that we were able to explore with a Romanian tour guide for about an hour, then after that we got the chance to go zip lining which was so much fun! Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be zip lining in Romania, so that was really cool.  Today was a great day, that was much needed for the whole team but honestly it was a little hard because I missed the kids so I am looking forward to playing with them again tomorrow.

Now before I wrap this up I wanted to thank everyone again for their prayers and I also to tell you guys about a prayer request: The whole team is pretty worn out and sore, so please pray for healing and energy. 

Thanks again 

Love you all!

Caleb, Brittany and the team.

From Caleb: Mom:  Sorry I couldn’t get ahold of you for your Birthday hope it was great, love and miss you.  Damaris: I am so sorry to be missing your graduation, I hope you know how proud I am of you, you’re an amazing person and I am honored to be your brother, love you sis. 

From Brittany: Hello mom, dad, Michelle, Megan, Auntie Deedee, Uncle Silas, and everyone else! I’m alive and well. God is doing incredible works through us all and has transformed my heart for the gypsies. I love them and we are all family in Christ Who Creates us as well as Loves us all equally. Peace be with you in Jesus name Amen! ❤

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Team Return: Team Romania made it home safely! Thank you to everyone who prayed along with their ministry efforts and supported them through reading their blog updates! Check out stories from our other teams!