18 February, 2013
Salut! Craciun binecuvantat!
I trust you all enjoyed celebrating the birth of our Savior Jesus and making memories with your families this season. I was glad to observe some of the special things they do in Romania for Christmas. Here, at Casa Ray Orphanage, we sang colinde (carols of the Romanian heritage), made angel ornaments together, the kids put on a Christmas program, and we spent a good number of days outside in the snow. Some of the foods of the season we enjoyed were pig stomach soup, spinach casserole, and salata beof – a kind of chicken salad with pickles.
The Christmas program was performed Sunday the 23rd at church, and then again Christmas Eve at the homestead for friends of the orphanage. In our poetic rendition of the Christmas story, each one of the 23 kids had lines to say and our story centered on the peace and power that came in Jesus’ birth. One of the lines everyone said together was Isaiah 9:6, that the Savior is “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
“Minunat, Sfetnic, Dumnezeu tare, Parintele Veciniciilor, Domn al Pacii!”
It was special seeing even the little ones participating! We worked hard at memorizing and reminding the kids when to come in. As our story wound its way along, the children had a fresh understanding of Jesus’ birth by participating in this all together.
With the help of your gifts I was able to give something special to each one of the orphans for Christmas. The girls received shampoos and lotions, and the boys received pens for school, a puzzle, and socks that I stitched their names in. They also had friends from Germany come to make Christmas special for them. Many of them don’t have family that they visit at the holidays, so it was special to see the relationships that had been built up over the years with the German team. Pray these relationships remain strong.
I ask for special prayers this quarter for some sisters at the orphanage, Mihaela and Alexandra. The people they see regularly in their family are some grandparents. They have been working through some difficult problems right now with their middle sister, who left the orphanage. Pray I am able to offer encouragement at times, but most importantly that they hear God’s voice leading and guiding them through this part in their lives. They interact with enthusiasm in our Bible studies and are helpful with the younger children.
I also ask special prayers for Elena, one of the 5 new kids we have this year. She has some health problems and is just different, but pray the children are able to fit her in. She is in the first grade, with 2 of our other children.
– We are working on a team-up with another orphanage for a Saturday program in the city. This work has
been started by the Baptist church 3 years ago. For two hours every Saturday, they sing, make crafts and games, have Bible study, and help with homework. Say a prayer of thanks that the directors of the state-run orphanage continue to allow the Baptist team to come in and provide a program. Continue to pray for the Baptist team as they teach the Word. Also, pray that our kids from Casa Ray can enjoy making friendships there when we go from time to time.
– Sometimes there are too many people! But I have been taking better care of myself by going to bed early if I need it, and just taking time out from the bustle of activity. I am still able to have meaningful interactions with the kids and get to know their character. Praise the Lord when He leads me to the kid that needs to talk!
– The smiles and kind acts that come from the kids sometimes.
– The specific children I have mentioned and the Saturday program in the city.
-One of our staff members, Marieta who has health problems. She is the tutor, which means she is the one who gets the kids to do their homework in classes 8 and down. Please pray for healing for Marieta, and for strength and patience.
-Each of the kids as they continue to receive marks in school. Class 8 has challenges of staying focused and working hard. In class 2, we have 4 kids and they receive a lot of work for their age. These kids take longer to write because they are small. Pray their ears are attentive to instruction and they have an eagerness to learn! We learn in a one-room schoolhouse type setting with K-8, with class 8 sometimes learning in a different part of the house, so it can get noisy.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support of the orphanage! We hope to have an eternal impact on the children as they grow up and learn to work through problems. Please continue to use the Reach ministries organization as the best way of donating, rather than through my church. Blessings as you continue to work out your Christian walk!
“El este Tatal orfanilor, Aparatorul vaduvelor, El, Dumnezeu, care locuieste in locasul Lui cel Sfant.”
2479 Impala Dr.
Ronks, PA 17572