Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Sibiu Camp: Week 1, Part 1

Two of my new Romanian Speaking Gypsy Friends: Lucian (left) and Catalin (right)
I finally have a little time to sit down and write about the week that we had at camp in the mountains.  As I am writing this, we are in the middle of the first full day of week two here.  Last week we had kids from Apalina and Peris with us.  These are the kids that I have worked with the last two years.  The very interesting and exciting thing was that many of the kids from the Romanian speaking street came with us this year.  It really reminded me of two years ago when I was not able to speak to the kids as well.  It was frustrating because I wanted to be able to talk with those kids more.  However, there are many things that can be shared simply through body language, and I still found ways to show them that I loved them. 

This particular camp was started six years ago by Attila (the pastor who I am working with).  This is my third year coming here.  It is so amazing to see the change in the kids from two years ago.  I think for Attila and the others who have come longer, the change is even more amazing.  Two years ago when I came, there were a lot of bad behaviors.  One of the kids hit me with a stick and tried to throw a big rock at me.  There was a lot of bad language as well.  This year, the kids were so much better.  One of the things we focused on in this week was teamwork.  During the game times and the evening meetings we encouraged the kids to cheer for each other and to work together to accomplish the goals of the games.  This was also exciting to see. 

Each day began with a time of sharing and prayer for the adults.  After that, the kids ate breakfast and then went to clean their rooms.  We made a competition out of who would have the cleanest room.  This was another area where we encouraged them to work together.  After the room cleaning time, we had a Bible teaching time that included singing and learning Bible verses.  After the meeting, the kids would break up into groups to talk about the lessons from the story.  A really cool part of this time was the creative response time.  Each day, the kids would have a different way to respond to the lesson through art.  One day they used crayons, another day markers, water color paint, and pipe cleaners.  The kids really love this and it also allows us to see how they respond to the story in a different way.

Reviewing the previous stories with the teams for points
Story of Paul and Silas in Prison with the Guard watching over them
Pointing out the way people are different and the same...part of sharing how the gospel is for everyone
I'm out of time to write this week, so this will have to be a two-parter! :)  Here are a few pictures of the camp and the kids.  Thanks for the thoughts and prayers!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Handball and Volleyball Championships...what???

I hate that I'm so behind in letting everyone know what's going on with the ministry here in Romania.  I'm currently in Sibiu doing some "shopping" so I only have time to update you quickly on what's been happening here.  

Let me start with two weeks ago...well really two and a half now! :)

My small group in Harghita 
We took a group of about 75 young people from six different villages/cities away to a camp near the mountains in Romania.  Each morning we had a Bible study time and then broke out into small groups.  These small groups were our teams for the week.  In the afternoons, we had a mini-sports competition everyday (soccer, volleyball, and handball) with the final for each being on the last day.  As most of you know, I'm about the least athletic person on earth.  Because of the make-up of the groups, I ended up having to play everyday, despite my strongest protests!  This was especially true on handball day.  I've never played handball, and I've only seen it once or twice on TV.  One of the guys on our team, Sandor, was a huge encouragement to me, and with his help, I was able to play.  Our team made it to the final game!  We played well together, but I do have to give most of the credit to Sandor, who is a terrific player.  In addition to the sports, we also had an evening evangelism meeting.  During these meetings, many people made decisions about following Christ!  What a blessing it was to be a part of that week.

Sandor and I...he is the great encourager!
Last week, we had a sports camp in Gornesti.  Yes, it was ANOTHER week of sports for me.  I don't think I've ever played so much in my life!  It was also a week for sports firsts...I was a part of the champion volleyball team.  I was also on the lead handball team (we didn't get to play the final game because of time...but we were in first place! :) )

This week, we had many of the same people from the first camp, and it was a great time to see them be faithful to their decisions.  In the evenings, we had many opportunities to share and sing. Several times we ended up just singing in the street or in the park for an hour or more.  God is really working among the youth in Gornesti!  Please pray that they will continue to be strong as they go about their daily lives.  
Well, it's time to get back to the campers now.  We're with children this week...doing the camp that I've done the last two years.  I will just have to fill you in on that later.  Thanks for the prayers and the support!  It's been great to know that people from all over are a part of what's going on here in Romania!