Friday, March 13, 2015

Back to the Basics

We hope you've been enjoying some of our special posts lately!  We wanted to branch out from our traditional updates to give you a bigger picture of our world and life in Romania.  Today, we'll get back to the basics and update you on what God's doing now in our ministry here in Reghin.  So for today's blog, it's Paul here, and I'm sitting down with you and a cup of coffee to share about our week!

Putting some things together

I've often shared how our life here involves more than just the specific ministry responsibilities that we have (After-school, English classes, Children's Ministry, etc.).  I usually take at least one car trip per week to one of Reghin's surrounding villages or cities. These trips range from taking people to visit family members in prison, to buying horses and pigs, to visiting the hospital.  I have also written about how many of our church members leave Romania in the spring and summer months to work in Western European countries.  Today I want to show you how two of these things (car trips and migrant work) came together last week.  On Thursday, I went to Targu-Mures with one of our Apalina church members to fill out contracts for work in Germany.  Because she is only just learning to write (during our weekly reading and writing classes!), I filled out the contracts for her and nine other people from Apalina. This kind of trip provides opportunities for conversation as well as for helping out people in the community as they try to earn a living for their families.

About the children...and spring time!

We've had several days in the last couple of weeks that the weather has been great!  It's warming up and the sun is finally showing its face!  We've even kept our apartment windows open a few times! Since the weather has been so nice, we've had some fun opportunities to be outside with the kids in the Apalina Children's Ministry and the After-school program.  Our first after-school field trip of this year was to the synthetic soccer field in town.  We had a great time playing soccer and talking about team work! Although my team didn't have the best all-around players, we won both games because we didn't argue and we worked together.  It was a great teachable moment... especially for the players on the other team!

Our Friday children's meetings in Apalina have also been going great.  We've spent the last several weeks talking about Moses and what God teaches us about obedience and honoring Him.  When we talked about the Ten Commandments, the kids made tablets with homemade play-dough to remind them that God gave us rules to live by because He knows they will help us to be happy.  After this craft, we also played games outside with the kids. They never think it's too early in the year to introduce water games! :)

Hostess with the mostest

One of the things that we love doing is having guests in our home.  As a part of our English classes, we've invited all of our students to come to our home in small groups for coffee and dessert. Any of you who know Katie well know that she's an excellent cook...especially of baked goods!  We've had a great time getting to know our new friends even better as we've shared time and delicious desserts with them in our home.  We've learned about life in our area during communism, and we also found out that a couple in our class grows asparagus, and they invited us to come and pick some when it starts growing!

This couple grows asparagus and travels around to different outdoor markets selling it
The couple on the far side shared about life during communism when they visited our home
A dinosaur birthday

Kaleb, Attila and Adel's older son, celebrated his 3rd birthday on Saturday, March 7th! Sunday afternoon, we had a party for him.  Katie and Adel worked very hard last week to prepare green dinosaur decorations and even a green dinosaur cake!  We had a great time celebrating with them.  It's so fun to see children when they are just full of pure joy...that was Kaleb as we sang "Happy Birthday" and he blew out his candles!  He wanted to light the candles and do it all over again.. and again!
Yes...this guilty face tells us someone got into the cake before it was served!
Pure joy!

Last week, one of our grocery stores advertised "American Week", and one of the items they featured was marshmallows!  We can't usually buy those here, so we happily picked up a bag!  We also can't get graham crackers here, but we just happened to have a few Biscoff cookies in our pantry along with some chocolate.  We also have a gas range... Put it all together, and what do you get?  S'mores!  They were delicious!  This was a fun treat, and I seriously recommend making s'mores with Biscoff cookies!

While the U.S. already "sprang forward" into Daylight Savings Time on March 8, Europe won't follow until the end of the month!  So, we're making the most of the bright light in the mornings and enjoying a slightly smaller "time gap" between us and our family and friends back home.  For a few weeks, we're only six hours ahead of EST!  This weekend, we're heading to Sibiu for the AMEC Children's Workers Conference, and next week we'll be preparing for our very first houseguests from the States!


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