We are having a great time at camp! This week and last week, we have been spending our days and nights out in the beautiful Carpathian Mountains near the large Transylvanian city of Sibiu. Last week, we brought 51 children from Apalina with us! This camp is an annual event lead and sponsored by Teleios Ministry. Paul and I both have a long history serving at this camp... more on that later!
We arrived with the children from Apalina on Tuesday, July 7. The theme of the week was "Trust and Obey," and our daily Bible story told powerful examples of people in the Bible who trusted God and acted in obedience to Him - and then how God blessed them for their obedience. The children had an opportunity to respond creatively to the stories and messages they heard. We also had a fun recreation time each day - led by Paul! - as well as team competitions, swimming time at the river, soccer matches, and lots of fun crafts! The kids look forward to camp all year, and we love getting to spend some extra time with them outside of our regular weekly children's meetings.
We had a great team of adults who sacrificed so much of their time to spend with the kids last week. Attila, our very busy pastor, was there, along with Orsi N., Tibi and Laura M., Adela N., and Jeno P. From America came Bonnie Parker, co-founder of Teleios Ministry and longtime friend, with two of her nieces, Sarah Grace and Abigail D. Bonnie did a fantastic job planning the week's theme and lessons, and all three of them did an amazing job putting together some really engaging and fun afternoon rotations. Abigail led the craft time, Sarah Grace helped the kids plan and perform skits (complete with costumes and musical performances!), and Bonnie did some really neat science experiments to teach the kids more about the world we live in! Each of the science lessons related to the Bible stories somehow... so creative, right?? Orsi and Adela are accomplished translators who flip effortlessly back and forth among Hungarian, Romanian and English. Jeno did a great job leading the music. His energy and enthusiasm are contagious! Tibi and Laura spent every waking moment caring for the children and making sure they were safe and healthy. We had an awesome team!
Paul and Jeno teaching the Bible verse in three languages: Hungarian, Romanian and Gypsy
Here's Attila with the whole crowd of Apalina kids
As I wrote earlier, my husband did a fantastic job running the team recreation time. This camp is special to both of us, and we have enjoyed being back here together, this time as a married couple! Here's a quick history to catch you up: way back in 2008, I came to this camp for the first time with Anna Horne and Bonnie Parker and had a life-changing experience with the people and the land. Anna and I returned to Romania the following summer for an 11-week stint, which included coming back to camp! The next summer, 2010, I started graduate school in New York City, and I wasn't able to come back to Romania for camp. Instead, Bonnie called Paul, the son of one of her friends, to see if he would be interested in filling in! Well, he did come, and he had a life-changing experience of his own. The following year (2011) I returned, and Paul and I became instant friends and camp companions! The next year, 2012, we came back again, and that's the year our love story really began. The next year, Paul had moved to Romania, and I came to spend the summer with him. Yep, you guessed it - we came to camp! Last year, 2014, we were in the states getting married, and we weren't able to be here. But on July 12, 2015, we celebrated our one year wedding anniversary right here in the place where we both fell in love with Romania and then fell in love with each other!
Paul keeping track of team points
Creative response time
Me and Kinga
Paul leading music
An unusual photo with us both in it! (We worked with the youngest kids during their creative response time)
This week, we've got 45 children with us from Gornesti, Glodeni, and Csavas. On Monday, we made the "kid switch" between the two groups, and this group has had a lot of rain and cold weather so far! Good thing they love to play bingo! We'll be back in Reghin for a day or so this weekend, and we'll look forward to sharing some more photos then! Please keep praying for us. Paul's not feeling well, and we're hoping to get him to see a doctor once we return to civilization. All of the leaders who've been here since last week are a little worn out, but the new leaders who've come with the new group have brought some renewed energy. Pray we can keep it up through these long days and short nights!