Sunday, August 17, 2008

Leaving...

We are leaving in a few hours from the hotel to catch our flight home. We will be arriving in Portland Oregon at 11:20 am on Monday August 18th. We look forward to telling you more about our adventure here in Romania. Please pray for safe travels.
Jilda

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What is salvation? How can I be saved?

Please pray that these questions become clear to these boys. The boys from the orphanage have a different power structure this year. Five have “graduated.” Meaning that they have turned 18 and must leave and find work. We met Titus at the REAL store in Sibiu. He is a stock boy and has an apartment with another boy his age that doesn’t work. So he treads a fine line. He was very happy to see us at his workplace. He is proud of his job. Pray he sees value in a church family. He came to the Lord last year with three others who debated the possibility that God has made a way to his throne-room other than the Orthadox church.

The bully- kings of last year are not here this year. A new tier has risen to power.
Pray for Gheza. He is no longer protected by any of these boys it seems. He has grown five inches i think but he is still small. His spirit is broken and he is struggling with suicide thoughts. I pray for him at every small opportunity. Jesus help this boy!

Bogdan was hit by a car four years ago. He has lost control of his right arm and knee.
He is cutting himself. He has lost hope that he will ever marry and have a family. Family is very important here as that is where the hope of happiness lies. I have been building his faith in Jesus as his healer. He has met Jesus as savior but has not heard of anyone getting healed. He wishes he lived in bible times so Jesus could heal him. I told him that our New Covenant is better. The Holy Spirit is very active in healing around the world. In training in Righteousness and revealing the gifts to man provided for by the cross. He loves hearing the testimonies of people that have come to Maui to tell of their healings. Bogdan is now praying that God use him to pray for other’s healings. And that we pray for his new gift and against his unbelief. He agrees that he is living in bible times, Acts 29 times where “we will do more than these” miracles and healings. He is also agreeing that forgiveness is a great weapon against the “snares of the enemy.” In the orphanage the strong retaliate, the weak are victimized. Forgiveness equals surrender to bullies there. He is moving from darkness to light. His face is brighter and softer, hope is returning!

Marcus celebrated his twentieth birthday with us today. At the evening meal we sang rousing rounds of the Roman birthday song. His smile was large. I’ve learned to pray fervently at these peak moments; self -or other sabotage often cycles in on these boys who have parented and been parented by each other. Low- grade love is better than no love at all. Later at bible study, outside by the river, Marcus is full of a hateful, revengeful spirit, boiling just below the surface. I ask him to come aside and pray it out.
He is determined to act it out. I have not seen the harm done to him in the few hours since breakfast from his “family’s” hearts colored dark green by jealousy. But I am about to see it full blown. Marcus will not stop throwing rocks at two other boys during our teaching on Samson. Two warnings only increase the stealth mode. He is trying to fly under radar, but the cries of his “targets” give him away. How he has a fist- size stone and up out of his chair charging a boy. I’m amazed how fast he moves with a bad leg and arm from some right-weakness. By the Spirit ( I hope ) I take him to the ground, pin him with an open hand on the chest, rebuking him sternly. His eyes are darting then focus on mine. If he sees anger, he will esculate. He had an epeleptic sesure two days ago. Jesus Help! is a short, intense prayer. God is faithful and a right spirit returns. There is more flip- flopping here than in a presidential campaign, the staff included. To be with the boys is a full on strap in jet powered roller- coaster ride. The two other boys are up to stomp Marcus. I block one, the other direct hits his weak right ankle. A smaller boy but one of our soccer stars. Alena has been trying to teach. Now she is up and has my back, dragging our soccer star away, praying out-loud with authority. She will be eighteen next year and has a quiet, gentle spirit, usually, I know she is Spirit led. She is fast, a trained volley-ball player on her high school team. Damage inspection reveals our object lesson. Marcus had stuffed stones under his low-cut socks. Now he is swelling up as I watch. “between a rock and a hard place” Danni, my budding high school inturpretor has another American idiom for his collection. Marcus has lost pjneyata striking rights later today. He has struck enough for one day. Florin has broken a chair in the ruckus and must stand to eat at lunch. He is in a group of four, standing and eating. Our birthday boy is alone with me. No other boy will eat with him.

John baptized into repentance to make hearts ready for Jesus. Jesus taught us to trust him on issues like forgiving 7x70 times, ongoing, as we go along. Some here have never said they were sorry for anything. They are too strong or too right. They are too afraid. Afraid to appear weak, afraid of being targeted. We pray God grant them a gift of repentance. The supernatural ability to say “I’m sorry.” Lord save us from needing to be right, or strong: from settling for “success” with sorrows in it. For a desire to live apart from you. We are afraid, weak and pitiful. SAVE US!

How do we get saved? Do we pray the sinner’s prayer once? Do we say we’re sorry once? Ask for forgiveness once? OK.
If we only sin once. I lead them in the sinner’s prayer. I ask that they pray whenever they sin. I pray we all live a life of repentance; a life of trusting Jesus. When Jesus returns will he find faith on the earth? Faith is the noun, trusting is the verb. I pray these boys are trusting in Jesus when he returns. I prey one of them reminds me if I forget: “The just will live by faith.”

Altar call? No altar call? I tell them to call out to Jesus. Our sin is against others and against God. For those who cannot or will not I tell them I’ll continue to pray that God grant them a gift of repentance. Will it come in the form of yet another life crises? Is it God’s goodness to give us whatever is required? How long will we kick against the goads? I issue a warning. Until we repent we will not like where are so determined to go. I offer my life as a warning. A close call, a near disaster. 41 years needing to be right above needing to be loved. We are born into a world of rebellion to God. How long will we ignore love?, truth?. How long will we avoid saying that we’re wrong? That we are sorry? We have nothing apart from Jesus, yet our sin nature will fight to the death to defend this “nothing.” The prodigal came to his senses. I pray we all come to our senses. I know Jesus is praying in intercession for us. Will we join in that prayer?
Will you pray for us and these boys? Thank you for believing that God’s salvation plan is perfect. Please pray that it be perfectly clear, perfectly powerful.
Frank for Team Romania

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Getting to know the boys!

Today is Tuesday, our second day of the week. It already has been such an incredible two days with the boys from the orphanage. They are a worlds difference then those children we worked with last week. We encountered 35 new boys ages 10- 20 years old. Many of these boys lack discipline, are mentally and physically challenged, and are yearning for a simple touch of love. We have boys that are deaf, autistic, those with C.P and strokes, those with anger issues, and those with hearts of gold!! It is a wide range, and each of these boys are such a unique child of God. They are desperate for attention and will do anything it takes to receive it. The attention they need comes both from good behavior and extremely negative behavior. We have (in a day and a half) experienced any behavior from bitting, to yelling, to swearing, to smoking, to fighting, to throwing food, to licking....and the list goes on and on. They will push you as far as it takes, and they certainly want to know how much you really do love them. Will we go the extra mile???
I think of God's love here.... how it is never-ending. How it never fails us.
We are working through these hardships and challenges to recognize that same love. Our hearts are breaking ever single moment....or spirits are challenged...and the laughter from last week is rapidly fading....however our spirits are alive!!

It is now that we need your prayers to continue this journey....to fight the battle, and to find the strength to teach the good news! Please pray that Gods spirit breaks through the culture barriers, and that the boys will hear the gospel clearly.

There have been moments when one-on-one these boys will pour out their hearts to us. They will open up to what hurts them, and they will ask us to pray for them. It is so fascinating to get to know each of them individually. It is impossible to understand how much they struggle in their day to day, and this is when we see how much compassion lies in our hearts....
God is so amazing! He has been providing us with blessings that we never even knew existed. He is listening to our hearts, and interceding with his grace and mercy. When there are moments of discouragement, He becomes our patience. When there are moments of uncertainty, He becomes our strength. When there are moments of suffering, He too suffers. Did you hear that? God suffers too?? Many tears have been shed, and many smiles have been embedded in our hearts. I ask that each of you pray that this continue throughout the week. I ask for you to pray for these boys, and that they find the God that we all love so much!


We continue to play games and do crafts (today was tie-dye!!), have bible lessons, and enjoy soccer and volleyball! We started a game last night where we have 'secret angels.' We pick a name, and have that person all week where we are in charge of giving them little gifts throughout the day. At the end of the week, we will reveal the secret! It has been a blast!

Our health is excellent right now- thanks for all of the prayers....

We miss and love you all!

On behalf of the team,

Vanessa

Monday, August 11, 2008

New Week!

Hello Everyone! We want to ask for prayer for this week as we started today our second week of camp. We had about 30 kids from placement center come this afternoon. It will be a hard week both spiritually, mentally and physically. Please pray that God will give us rest and help us to look through his eyes at these children as we play and interact with them every minute.
We are all doing better and are excited about the new Romanian team we will be working with.
Well, better go to bed it's almost 1:30 am and we have to be up at 7:30 to pray for the day before the kids get up at 8:00 am.
Thank you all for you prayers and support.
On behalf of the team, Jilda

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Last Day of Camp

It has been an interesting week with a variety of emotions. From the beginning of camp when we first met with the children we were uncertain what to expect. The volunteers as well as the children became more comfortable day by day. This daily contact and interaction helped us develop a bond with the kids making it an exciting experience. Daily it was a challenge attempting to communicate and working through the language barrier to create a relationship and building trust with each child. It was a joyous experience to find some of the children could speak and understand some English. We were able to communicate because each of us were willing to step outside our comfort zone, even though at times feeling foolish we just continued to make the effort. Although some of the children were shy at the beginning and some were very outgoing all of the children made an effort to communicate with us from hugs, a touch of their hand or just making hand signals.

As each day past I found myself in disbelief after hearing some of the stories of how some of these children live on a daily basis with little to nothing. I never heard any of the children complain about their lives or their individual situations. They enjoyed the attention we gave them and were happy to be here. They never complained about the food or accommodations both of which in the United States we would think were not enough for our children.

The experience I had was truly amazing. I think of my children who have really never wanted anything. These Romania children have almost nothing and they are thankful for the week at camp that was given to them through the dedication of the American people who were made aware of the need of these children by a woman who adopted a child from Romania many years ago and was lead by the Lord to help the children she saw here who were in need and choose to do something about it.

The volunteers on both the Romania team and the American team quickly became friendly and worked extremely well together. The end the camp came quickly and the children thanked each of us with hug's and kisses. Many of the children cried as they left their new friends and we in turn were touched by our contact with them.

Thank you for taking the time to listen to our message from Romania and for those of you who have supported the “Heart of Hope” Good Shepherd camp your gift was very much appreciated by these children who are gifts from God.

God Bless you all, Jana Young

Friday, August 8, 2008

Romanian Adventure in the kingdom

I’ve never blogged so I’ll proceed like a journal. I’ve never done many things on this trip, but the willingness is there and God has not failed us. The morning meal was our
first breakfast. I’m happy not to have cold cereal. Bread is served with every meal (p─âine), and it was accompanied with salami, Jam, “Margarine” cheese, and milk.
Our morning started with a brief american team meeting, and a quick all camp meeting, with closer intros to all the group members. Eight counselor,interpreter, bible
teachers, Most coming from university’s in Romania and a couple of interns from Sibiu, and one from Portland. After breakfast the kids began free play , while we tackled chores. some cleaning dishes, toilets, and floor areas. After free play, hours of frisbee , soccer, bumbling common greetings, and fishing numerous types of balls out of the stream, we began some constructive activity. Jilda, and Vanessa had the idea and creativity to make journals, that the kids could make and decorate, I also crafted one in my showing how. After journals and crafts we all split up into Bible study groups which were led by the Romanian team, and can also be attended by us if all cleaning, resting and settling in were taken care of. I sat through with a group who sang a song. It was written on poster boards, and all the kids knew it. I couldn’t understand but was able to coax some kid to be more involved. The message was hard to get the gist of, except one verse number I picked up on. Lunch was soon after everyone had collected from study time. It’s the largest of the days meals. Lunch is hot , and starts with soup, and bread. The second course had meat,noodles, and some kind of taste red tomato based sauce. We are blessed with two local cook ladies, and a live in man named Dani who is also a great cook, and interested in pursuing culinary school. We help set up serve and clean up at every meal. After lunch we had our first go at translated game time. We had some good fun with a parachute and some beach balls. After much discussion we figured out a way to reward points for the team competition. We finished up our two hour block with relay running races to try and tire the kids out a bit. We have a few minutes of cabin cleaning time, and the kids are being judged on the cleanest. Some bribing the judges or spicing them up with flowers on the pillows and open bibles on the made beds. Upon searching the top area all the clutter of the cabin was found, and the reality check was discovered, points for trying I guess. Usually once a week the cooks have a cold dinner evening, although tonight was exceptional with hot grilled ham, and mashed potatoes. I saw them mixing the potatoes earlier with a large industrial drill and a giant dry wall mud mixing tool. It was very creative. Frank our other returning group member has been leading the evening Bible teaching for our Group. His stories are aimed to recognize with the younger age group, and the groups testimonies have been strategically placed to coincide with the evenings stories. Tonight Vanessa gave her testimony for the first time ever in public. A very heart opening experience thats well worth it once you are finished and the Lord helps you along through it, and to say what is pertinent to the audience. Frank followed up with a story of a girl and a figurine her Dad gave her, and how special it was to her. The figurine was broken one night and the Dad said he would buy her a new one but she only wanted the one to be fixed. Moral was no matter how perfect or imperfect you are God loves you. After the kids were encouraged to write in their journals before bed, and lights out in bed by 20:30 hour. Some were more ambitious and stayed up for a regimen of squats and laps on the soccer field until they were tired enough to stay in their cabins. Daily routines seem to vary a bit and some surprises even to the staff shall keep the week interesting. Off to lunch I go and someone else will tell their side tomorrow.
Mitch

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Pray for Health!

Some of the kids, staff and some of us have been sick since last night, so we ask for prayer for our health and rest as we finish up the week and get ready for next week.