Friday, August 7, 2015

VBS in Apalina with LCC

It's been one full summer here in the Reghin area!  After a great week at Harghita with four folks from Leesburg Community Church (LCC), five fresh faces joined us on Saturday, July 25 for a week of vacation Bible school (VBS) in Apalina: Tracey Z., Caitlin Z., Rachel Z., Alyssa S. and Alyssa B. These five were all veterans of mission trips to Romania, so they got to reconnect with many of the children, women and men they'd seen on previous trips.

During the week of July 27-31, each morning we had a women's gathering in Apalina.  Tracey led the meetings with prayer, sharing wisdom about how we speak to God and to each other, and with great questions that invited the women to share and respond.  Each day, more and more women joined us, eager for the chance to feel seen and heard.  Adel T. and Adel N. did a great job translating and facilitating the meetings.  We also had the chance to do women's meetings in Reghin, Gornesti and Glodeni as the week went on.  Thank you, Tracey, for loving and serving the women in our area!

Here's a group photo in Apalina after one of the women's meetings

Tracey with Judit, a church member in Apalina

Each afternoon, it was all-hands-on-deck at VBS in Apalina!  With over 200 kids rotating among six stations, we had our hands very full!  As our ministry in Apalina continues to expand to the Romanian-speaking street, our children's ministry is growing there, too, so we had children speaking a variety of languages - Hungarian, Romanian and Gypsy!  Alyssa B. and her team of volunteers in Virginia did a great job planning each station and activity, and the children's leaders and youth from some of our other communities came to Apalina to help lead, supervise, translate, and support.  Because we had such a robust team of local leaders and Americans, the week was smooth and fun for the kids.  Several young men like Csabi and Zoli from Gornesti did an outstanding job leading outside games and rotating with the kids.  Zozo did a fantastic job teaching Bible memory verses to a group of largely illiterate children.  The American workers brought lots of energy and ideas as well as smiles and hugs for our kids.  What a great week!

Jason speaking to the kids in Apalina

Lots and lots of the beautiful and special children we get to work with!

Adel N. translation at the crafts rotation

Szidi from Gornesti doing a great job teaching the English station

Coloring at the English station

Having a great time together!

In addition to running women's meetings and VBS, the team visited nightly church meetings throughout the area.  After one of these meetings, Paul and I were happy to get to host them in our tiny apartment one night for coffee and dessert!  We think we broke our record for highest attendance, and we loved every second of it!

On the last night of VBS, the church members from the Gornesti church cooked an enormous pot of genuine Hungarian goulash for the American team and the youth from Gornesti who served so tirelessly throughout the week.  We stuffed ourselves on steaming-hot goulash, fresh bread, crisp and cool veggie salad, and delicious cozonac cakes.  The grand finale was a huge Ligretto tournament!

Perfect goulash in every way!

The Zoetis and Stilley girls


We want to say one more big thank-you to LCC for being such a special part of our summer.  Thank you for sacrificing to come and work alongside us, encouraging us and building up those we work with.  Paul and I feel refreshed and thankful to be partners with you in the work God is doing here in Romania.  (Thank you also to Luis R. for letting me use some of your great photos from the week!)

This week, we've rested a little bit, but we've also spent lots of time gearing up for our new and continued fall ministries.  Tonight, Paul and Attila will travel to Cluj to pick up a team from Bath, England who will be with us the next two weeks for more VBS, women's meetings and church meetings.  We've got two baptism services coming up as well! There's lots more summer ahead!  Thank you for praying for us!


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