Sunday, December 18, 2005


This is a picture from this morning, taken near our church...There is so much more snow now! It just keeps coming down!

Snow and Simona!

Its actually snowing!!!!!!!! I woke up this morning to the whole city covered in snow! I knew it was getting colder here but I was not expecting snow! It is BEAUTIFUL! During church it continued and now there is a thick blanket of this "zapada" everywhere. Now I feel like Christmas is coming! Church was great, though I didn't understand a word. One of the families that we have been visiting came to church with us today and three boys from the street as well. It was great to see them all there.

And then at the end of the service, God sent me the best Christmas present...SIMONA! Simona is the girl that has been on my heart the most since I was here last, but when I got here I found out that she was no longer part of our ministries (She is about 13 and is from a very abusive home, spending a lot of time on the street and in other unhealthy living situations). I saw her sister and boyfriend but never Simona. For THREE WHOLE MONTHS I have been here and never saw her once. But today we had a very happy reunion and let me tell you it was wonderful! :) SO thank you Jesus for this very special gift of being able to see Simona. If you guys can keep praying for her that she would start coming to church again and that Jesus would continue to draw her close. This is a special girl and I know that God can do miracles in her.

Have a beautiful day my friends...Thank you for being a part of my life!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2005


Hello there!

Well I've just finished my first three months here! Yippee!! And I am about to have my first Christmas away from home...but I'll tell you a secret- I think it will be one of the best Christmas' ever! :) I am missing my family lots but Romanians have so many special traditions for Christmas and being with my friend's family in her village is just going to be so different, that I can only expect it to be quite special! We are going to go caroling in the village with her youth group and eat sarmale and mamalica, which is the tradtional Christmas meal that EVERYONE eats, and I must say that it is one of my FAVORITE things to eat! Its stuffed cabbage and something like grits. I can't wait!

This week was so busy and I was pretty stressed for most of it but we had some pretty special times. Our street team took some hot cocoa and cookies and small gifts to the kids on the street. We say Christmas songs with them and Chris shared about how Jesus coming to earth is the reason we celebrate Christmas. It went pretty good over all and we had some great times with the kids.

Remember Elena that got beat up? Well, she's been asking me for a jacket for a long time and was pretty mad when I didn't bring her one. But this week we brought her one that was warm and good for the rain and man you should have seen this girl! She was SO happy! And it was one of the sweetest things I have ever seen! I will put a pic on here soon of this! And just to let you know, I think things calmed down with this kids regarding her getting beat up. Thank you for your prayers!

Do you remember Anca? She is still on the street but she hasn't been using glue and this is so great! She seems to be doing pretty good. Praise God! Despite our disappointment with her returning to the street we are happy to keep our relationship with her. She is so much fun! We have this joke about calling eachother "Miss", well "Domnisoara" and she likes to make fun of the way I say things. It is really funny! And we pretend that we are going to Discos and dance around on the street. Man, some of the kids we visit are sooo fun and they really bless my life!

Yesterday we had a big Christmas celebration at the Day Center. All the kids were dressed up like shepherds and their parents were there and they did a little program, sing songs and reading prophecies about Jesus. It was awesome! They were so stinking cute! And it was great to have the families there, many of whom our street team has been visiting. I think that God really wants to work in these families and we are looking more towards that for next year. We will see what God does!

Thank you so much for your prayers for me and for them! I know that my last updates were pretty sad, and they are the reality but I am trying to see more of the good stuff and just praise God for that. I am thankful for the simple things. Being friends with tall these kids is really a blessing and I am going to miss them over our break!

Dumnezeu sa te binecuvanteze! God bless you!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Good Stuff...

Hi there! I just wanted to clarify about the girls home...I said "I seem to be the only one here with a vision for it," and I want to make sure it is clear that the staff here really wants to see the girls home happening but we are lacking people who feel called to this specific ministry. Since I came here to Romania with this ministry in mind, I see myself as the "only one with vision for this," but there are many, many people who want to see the girls home happen. They are working hard to restore the house that was donated to the base for this purpose and they are looking forward to seeing this as it is a very needed ministry, but the process is a bit slow due to the lack of people with a specific heart to carry this project further. I hope this is making sense to you guys. I just don't want you to think that I think I am the only person who wants the girls home to happen. This is not at all the case! Okay....maybe I made you are more confused now! :) Sorry!

This week a team from Ireland arrived and I will be helping to host them while they are here for the next two months. Can you believe they are ALL Americans????? They are a great bunch and I look forward to getting to know them. This week we are also having some special programs on the street for Christmas and will be giving gifts and treats to the kids and families we work with. Please pray for this and that when we share about Jesus and the real meaning of Christmas the kids will be touched. Okay...I will write more later! LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Lots of Needs

The past two times I have been out on the street with our team have been really hard. There are immense needs and my heart is broken about this and I am kind of questioning God about this and knowing that I need to get some perspective concerning the suffering that I am faced with here. I know it is not so bad as other places but it is still hard, especially because the people that are suffering have become my friends.

Pray for Anca, she is a girl who is almost 18 and our team got her to come off the street because she was going to die very soon from Hepatitus B if she did not. She stayed in a shelter for more than a month and a half, but just last night we met her on the street. She has lost her chance to be in the shelter now and doesn't even want to go back. If she starts drinking or using glue her health with deteriorate very quickly. She wants to be in the street because of her boyfriend and probably because of the freedom she has there. Costel and her really love each other and want to be together but they are keeping each other in the street. Please pray for God to work in these two. They are so precious and it is hard to see them living this life that will eventually kill them.

Last night we also met with Elena, one of my favorite girls on the street. She is 16, but she seems just like a little girl to me. She shakes from using too much glue, and last night she was badly beaten. From what I have heard some guys from the neighborhood make some sport of beating the kids in the street and that is what they did to Elena. Its aweful and now the boys that we minister to there in the street are ready for revenge and had a knife and 2x4's ready for action. Its a bit scary and so sad. I am seeing more and more what the reality of the street really is and I guess it is hitting me a bit hard. But I want to be strong here and not let all these bad things destroy my hope for the kids.

You can also pray for Daniel and Adrian, two guys from the street who we were helping to get to a rehab center. Neither one of them made it there after some problems, but we hope that its just a matter of timing and eventually they will make it there. As a team we need a lot of wisdom in knowing how much to help and how much to leave up to the kids. But we want to keep these guys in prayer so that they will keep thinking of leaving the street and not give up. We also hope our relationships with them will stay strong.

I could go on and on about each kid and the needs that they have but I think this is enough for now. There are broader needs, such as for the girls home to be completed and for God to call the right people with a vision for this work. I have been thinking a lot about my involvement with this as it seems I am the only one here with a vision for this. What does God want me to do? How can I be a part of this and what will that mean for my future? So, I could use prayer for this, and prayer that the house at least will be finished soon! It is taking so long and there is such a need for a safe place for girls in the night.

Please pray for Eugenia, an old woman with an incredibly big heart who we visit regularly. She is having a huge financial problem and is not sure what she can do. She is desperate and needs an answer soon about what to do.

Wow, I've given you enough stuff to pray for an hour! :) no, but I hope this isn't too much. These are some of the needs and I am so blessed to know that people back home and everywhere can be lifting these things up. Lastly, please pray for my language learning. I am looking into going to a language school for a week or so, but it is very expensive and very far away so I am not sure what I will do. I am learning more and more every day but it would be helpful to take some time out to focus just on language, and then I will be so happy because I will be able to speak with the people we are working with! yeah!

In just a couple weeks our base will take a holiday for about three weeks for Christmas and the new year. I will be traveling to visit friends and have Christmas with my roommate in her family's gypsy village. I am really looking forward to it and also to some rest and time away.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Babies, Rehab, Recovery and More

This week we offically started out hospital visits to feed the abandoned babies there. We are so blessed to have this opportunity to love on the babies and to help out the hospital. We are really in the beginning stages of figuring out how this kind of ministry will work, but for now we are happy just to know that when we are there these babies are receiving the love and attention they need. I have to be careful though because after holding them for just a little bit I want to take them home! :)

One of the guys from the street finally made it to the rehab center that he was accepted to. His name is Victor and he is about 27 and has no legs past his knees. He is a great guy who really wanted to get off the street and now he is doing it! Please pray that he will be able to beat his alcohol addiction and find the change in his life that he wants so much. Pray for his encouragement as well- it will be hard work at the rehab center and he will need it :) We are so proud of him though and so glad that we could help him get there.

Anca, the young girl with Hepatitis B is doing so well! She is walking on her own now and has put on weight and looks beautiful! I will put a picture on here of her as soon as I can. We are visiting her at the shelter where she is staying on Wednesdays and this week she asked if we can take her to church with us. Of course we would love it! It seems like she has no interest in running away and living on the street again. Thank you Jesus!

I am now looking for a language school where I can hopefully go for a couple weeks to really focus on language learning. I wish I would have done this before, but better now than never. Please pray that I find the language training I need. I really would like to be able to communicate more clearly with the kids, and I think I need to just get serious and tackle this language!

Thank you all for your encouraging responses to my last update. Your words really meant so much to me and I am thinking about them through my week as I continue to struggle. Last weekend we had a staff retreat that was very encouraging and we even talked about knowing why we are here and how we know that God has called us. It was really good for me, but I still have some frustrations inside myself that I need to work out. But I am learning more and more every day that I am here to be a part of what HE is doing. Its about HIS plans and not my own. :) So, I'm learning...Thank you guys so much for your support! You are a constant encouragment for me! I love you much!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Please pray for me. I am a little down and questioning my effectiveness here. I think I have hit a hard spot and I am needing to see what God is doing. Being here is enough, I know this, but I am having my doubts and questioning. Thank you for lifting me up :)

I had a great day at the Day Center yesterday. Mihaela, the main teacher for the kids, is great with them and we had so much fun singing songs and doing crafts yesterday afternoon. Please pray for Neazi one of the boys there. He is about 12 years old and I can see he is growing up and getting a little tougher and I just want to pray protection over him as many boys around his age stop coming to the Day Center and spend their time in the street. I really like this kid and hope that our friendship will develop.

About a month ago i started taking Romanian Lessons once a week from Ema, our base translator. I am really enjoying them and finally learning some things that are helping me to communicate more with the kids. Thank you Ema!

On the street things are basically the same. Oh Wait! We did have some excitement the other day! I brought my guitar on the street and we were singing with some of the kids and since there were so many there, not really anymore than usual, the neighbors got freaked out and called the police! You should have seen my face when they pulled up. I thought they were coming to take me away! :) haha, I know you guy who know me are thinking how silly and paranoid I am :) yeah its true!

You can pray for a situation on the street that has been scaring me. There are some boss guys coming around where we visit the kids and they are possibly hiring the kids to steel things for them. They are always walking around watching the kids and us and its a little weird.

Please pray for a boy named Alex who is 17 years old. He wants to get off the street but is too young to go to rehab. He has a meeting today with the director of our day center to get into another night shelter for a time. He had problems there before so we hope it will work out this time.

We found out that the only homes available in Constanta for pregnant women are government run and have just been closed. Now there is nothing available for women with this need. Please pray for something to develop for them, and for those with a heart for this to step forward!

Please pray for an older woman to take a job as a caregiver for Anca who has Hepatitus B and Coria one of the girls on the street who is pregnant. One of the foundations here has a home in a near-by town where these girls can live and be taken care of but we need a woman who can make it possible. They will be given free room and board and a small salary to care for their basic needs.

As I write this I see that there is so much going on here. We are involved in so many people's lives and this is really amazing. Regardless of my usefulness I am blessed by seeing God moving and working for those in need through so many people here in Constanta. Thank you for reading all this and for having a heart for Romania!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

You Can Help!

I've been back in Constanta for over a week now. It was great to be back after the seminar ended. I can't tell you how blessed I was to be at that school! God did so much! But now to put it into practice :)

There is a lot happening in the street ministry and a lot of opportunities to get to know other people are coming up. Right now I just want to let you know about some needs that we have. I hope you will be able to pray for these things and even consider how you can be a part of bringing them about! :)

*The girls home we are building is quite an endevour. We are having trouble finding the right people at the right price to do the work and because of the way that the companies are set up it is an incredibly complicated process. We need prayer for this so that we can finish the house, but I had a thought that maybe a church, maybe my church :) or some people who are trained in plumbing and construction would want to come to Romania themselves and use their gifts to build this home for our girls in need. What do you think? Spread the word! I know there are some guys out there who would love this kind of experience! :)

*One of the girls on the street, Corea is 5 months pregnant and wants to get off the street. We are having a hard time finding a place for her to go. This is horrible as it is getting sooooo cold and she has been sick. We really need God to open a door for her and quickly! Pray that other organizations will work with us to find a place for Corea for the rest of her pregnancy. I am now seeing a huge need for a home for other young women like her who find themselves pregnant and have no where to go. Pray that God will send other people with a heart for this ministry and that a house will be openned in the future to reach out to these young mothers. This is a huge request and so important!

Thank you so much for your prayers and for keeping up with what we are doing here in Constanta! If you ever have something to share with me regarding these things or want to get involved yourself please let me know! May God be with your and be your peace!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Children in Need Seminar

Buna ziua! (Good day!) I am half way through the second week of a seminar on Children in Need. The seminar is being held at the YWAM base here in Sighisoara, which is an incredibly beautiful city in the middle of Romania. I'll put pictures on here soon! I am so thankful for these two weeks as I have learned so much about myself and how much God desires to heal us so that we won't pass on our own brokenness to the children we work with. This is really an answer to my prayer as God had already begun to speak to me about healing before I left for Romania. Its awesome to see his sovereign plan working out. I have so much to grow in!

I also feel much more prepared now for the work in Constanta. My first month working there was so overwhelming and I think it was due to my perspective. I have been reminded that these are God's kids! He loves them SOOO much more than I ever could and it is only His power that can change their lives. I am only called to be obedient to God and to love these little ones. I've also gotten all kinds of great ideas for learning activities to do at the Day Center, and have been reminded about the specific areas of need children have at their different stages of development. All very important things to know!

Besides this I have gotten to know some wonderful people here from the YWAM base and a girl from South Africa who has been such an encouragement to me. She will be joining us in Constanta with the street kids as well. Thank you Lord! Well I will wrap this up with some praises and prayer requests. Thank you for your support!!!!!

*My bank card came safely in the mail! And I was provided for while I was without money all last week and until today!
*The seminar has been wonderful!
*God faithfulness in working in my life

*A safe trip back to Constanta
*A good transition back into ministry in Constanta :)
*To put all I have learned into practice and to keep trusting God for EVERYTHING
SOOOO many blessings to you!!!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Mate knows Jesus!

Thank you for praying for the funeral for Ionel. It was a tough thing but in the end of course we got to see the goodness of God working through a terrible thing. Only two street kids came to the funeral but many of the other people who work with street kids in Constanta came.

But the greatest things happened after the service. Therese a norwegian girl from my team was talking with Mate one of the two street kids and he decided then and there to ask Jesus to be his Savior. So awesome! He was so interested to know more about being a Christian and now we are trying to meet up with him for discipleship and encouragement. Thsi boy went from such discouragment to so much hope. So cool! I pray that this change in him will give him the strength to leave the street and find a new life, not only spiritually but for this life as well. Please pray for Mate!

This past year three kids have prayed to recieve Jesus and now our desire is to start a bible study for them and eventually a sort of street church. We want them to really know Jesus and grow in Him and they need a community to do so. So, can you pray for this too? :) Thank you! So...despite the trials there is much to be thankful for.

Enough for now! Ciao!


I just got back from the hospital where two people from my street team and I visited some abandoned babies and a little girl. Good times. Spending time in the hospital with these babies who would otherwise never receive touch, attention, or love is a new part of our project here. We first went to the hospital to visit the baby of one of the girls on the street, but now we go to see all the babies- there are about six at a time. Its really tough to see them in this condition but we pray that our being there might make some kind of difference. This is one of the things I was really hoping to get into here in Constanta, and look, God has already brought it about!

*Pray for favor with the nurses and doctors at the hospital
*Pray for more freedom to spend time with the babies and to be able to hold them!
*Pray for contacts to be made for the babies to possibly be placed in Christian babies homes before they are too old and unable to form attachments.
*Pray for the babies! Marian, Christina and the others ( they don't even have names!)

Thank you for praying!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

More Rain

So much rain! There is flooding again in Bucharest, and lots of water here, but no flooding. Two weeks ago, however, a village about 30 minutes away was destroyed. Tomorrow we will be putting on a memorial service for Ionel, a young man from the streets that our team has been working with. Please pray for God's spirit and comfort to be there with us. This is the second death this year and is so hard to deal with, but we see God working through these trial.

There are many needs on the street so i am just going to list them and ask that you would take a moment to pray for one or a few. There is such a battle going on in the streets but God is daily answering prayer:

*Angelica, a16 year old girl is in the hospital after being beat up on the street

*Anca, a 15 year old girl, is waiting to be moved to a hospice type house, as she is dying of Hepatitus B. We are so happy she is choosing to come off the streets during this time.

*Anca's boyfriend Costel is waiting to come off the street but struggling as he misses Anca so much. He is also sick, but praying all the time and seems to be willing to support Anca in her decision.

*We are making contacts to spend time in the hospital loving on the abandoned babies there. One is the son of a girl from the street and we really hope to make an impact in his life by giving him and the other babies some of the stimulation and love they are not getting in te hospital.

Personally I am learning a lot and even learning more Romanian than ever! I will be attending a two week seminar in a week about working with Children in need. I can't wait! Besides that I am getting to know people at my base and enjoying my new life here though the challenges often overwhelm me. BUt God is giving me grace for every day and I am so happy to be a part of seeing God's great plans for Romania come about! This is such a special country!

Friday, September 23, 2005

I'm in Romania!

Wow, I have already been here in Romania for a week and a half. I can't tell you how good it is to be back. Yes I am overwhelmed and have been experiencing some culture shock and need time to adjust, but my heart is SOOOO happy to be here among people who are serving God in such beautiful ways.

The first week I was in Transylvania at a conference for all of the YWAM staff in Romania. I got to meet so many awesome people who are serving throughout Romania, most of them Romanian themselves. I think my base in Constanta has the most foreigners but we still have half of the staff being Romanian. It is so great to build relationships with such great people! ;) Can you tell, I really like it here!

But my time here is not without its struggles as I ee the challenges that come with this kind of service. The girls I had in mind to be working with are not doing well and have stopped coming to the Day Center we have for them. The girls group home is not opened yet either, so we will see what God is going to do. Please pray for Ramona, Simona, Felicia and Marcela. These girls are the ones we had in mind for the girls home and it seems that Satan is not so pleased with us wanting to keep them out of the street life. So there is a battle going on for them I think. Yes, for sure. Thank you for your prayers and I will try to write something more concise next time. Right now I am a little jumbled. :)

Sunday, August 28, 2005

All in the Family of God

Today was my last Sunday at my home church in Ashland. My friend Elijah had me come up front and he prayed for me, sending me out to Romania. Everyone's hands were stretched out towards me and people were "um hum"-ing and "amen"-ing. I was so humbled and so encouraged at the same time. I know this family of God will keep me in prayer while I am in Romania and that is such a comfort! Afterward the service more people came up and prayed for me, taking me before the Lord. This was so powerful for me. I'm not in this journey alone. I am going with God and I have people here at home bringing my cause before Him. Thank you so much Lord. After all my complaining about your Church in America, you know how to remind me of what really matters.

Friday was my last day of work, tomorrow will be a day of solitude, Tuesday is my little brother's 19th birthday, and then Friday I will leave for Redding, CA to spend some last moments with some friends from college. Then I willbe off to my cousin's wedding in Alabama (pray for the weather) and then on to Romania! I can't believe it is coming so soon! As soon as I arrive in Romania, a friend from the YWAM base will be meeting me and we will be taking the train together to my favorite Romanian city, Sigisoara. It is so beautiful there! Then the next day we will be going to a conference for all of the YWAM bases in Romania. This way I will get to start off my year with a fresh perspective of what God is doing through YWAM in Romania. It should be awesome. I just hope I survive the jetlag and all of that! God is so good my friends! Even when we are whiney little kids he continues to remain our loving and faithful Father. Rest in who He is!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

How it all began...

The street kid outreach that I will be a part of for the next year was begun by three amazing guys, Walley Fipps, Syrus Beck and Seth Clarke. They set out for a country basiclly unknown to them, in search of finding street kids that were in need of the Love of God. So they rounded up some people off the streets and started a soup kitchen, giving out a free meal and lots of hugs and love, along with a message that God loved them so much and had a special plan for their lives. That was about four years ago and since then the simple soup kitchen outreach has grown to having a Day Center for children up to 18 years old, a group home for teenage girls, and providing contacts and opportunities for getting into rehabilitation and treatment programs. PRAISE GOD! It has been amazing to witness the growth through the years and get to know the people who have been a part of making it all happen. In September I hope to join in this effort to see the Street Kids of Romania be transformed by the LOVE OF JESUS... It is God who first loved us and has given us any ability to give out that love to others. What an honor.

My departure is drawing near... I really need to get my newsletter out! Should have been doing that instead of messing around on the internet! :) Please go to this link to see pictures of that first year of the soup kitchen outreach. A friend, Pierre-Luc, that we met in Turkey took them while he came to visit the guys in Constanta. They are beautiful!

This is Felicia, one of the girls I will be spending time with in Romania. This was about three years ago when I first met her in Constanta. Please pray that she will be able to be part of the girls home that will be openning up in September Posted by Picasa

Friday, July 29, 2005

just a month to go...

How funny! My theme song from my last trip to Romania just came on the radio, "Blessed Be Your Name." Yes, our Lord is soveriegn and so good. I was supposed to leave for Romania this month but because my cousin is getting married i decided to stay for the summer and leave after her wedding. This has had its share of trials but i am really seeing how God has used this time to teach me. To reconnect me to him. I want to be like Jesus, i want to love like he loves and really know him. To not preach this Christian culture that i have grown up in but rather teach people about how much God loves them, and that he proved it by coming to earth Himself, being a human just like us but who lived radically and died in OUR PLACE so we could have peace with God and be with Him. This simple Gospel is beautiful.

So, as always, I am learning. Need to learn more about living with grace for others and myself. And i must learn how to share this love of God with those who have never heard. May it overflow from my love relationship with Him.

I'm learning more Romanian finally, practicing with CDs and books. And trying to start getting stuff together to take. I can't wait to be there and see what the Lord has for my time there. Its scary, its exciting, its stretching. Thank you God for this wonderful opportunity and dream come true...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

technologically challenged

well i have spent about the past hour and a half trying to figure out this blogging business. I hope it all works out and this helps everyone keep in contact with me. As of now i leave for Romania in 60 days. I will be arriving in Bucharest, the captial city of Romania, just in time for the National Romanian YWAM conference. i can't wait! i have most of my support raised and am currently working on being able to receive donations through a non-profit organization so that they can be tax-deductable. I am working at a local coffeeshop in Ashland and also a couple of nights a week I serve concessions for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. I am helping out with the high school youth group at church and will be leading a girls Bible study with another young woman from my church. I've also been doing a lot of traveling and now it is time to buckle down and learn some Romanian! i will share more later! Blessings to you!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Getting Started

My name is Leah and I am going to be moving to Romania in September to work as a volunteer with YWAM serving street kids. Right now I am in Oregon raising support and looking for a job for the summer. I have been to Romania twice before and can't wait to be back there! I miss the kids that I will be working with and the staff as well. This bolg will help me keep my friends and family updated on all that I will be doing over there. For now I will be writing about my preparations and things leading up to the trip. YEAH for Romania! May the Lord use my life to bring HIS life to Romania.
"All that is not the love of God has no meaning for me. I can truthfully say that I have no interest in anything but the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. If God wants it to, my life will be useful through my word and witness. If He wants it to, my life will bear fruit through my prayers and sacrifices. But the usefulness of my life is His concern, not mine. It would be indecent of me to worry about that."
- Dominique Voillaume
(From "The Signature of Jesus" by Brennan Manning)