Sunday, March 12, 2006

Hard things...

Such hard things were witnessed today. We went to the house of Simona, Ramona and Superman (that’s really his name). Outside of the house was their father, raving mad or raving drunk, I am not sure what. He was upset because he couldn’t walk and none of his kids had come home with any money. He was throwing food at them and swinging this stick at them violently. They laughed at him for the most part but Ramona started crying after being there for a while. It was too much for her and I guess from what Therese said, she has been abused the most. We went inside their house—I mean, their room where the family lives and it was so dirty. Mud on the floor, two beds up against dirt-stained, corroded and molding walls. No insulation, water or electricity. The mom was screaming at her youngest son, a five year old, who was outside, walking by himself, completely soaked from the rain when we arrived. I can imagine the nightmare that it must have been and still is to grow up there.

The parents themselves seem to have endured an extremely hard life. They are desperate and therefore have become almost like animals in their fight for survival, taking out their frustrations on their children. It was so hard to see. It is so hard to know that this is happening in so many families and there is so little that I can physically do to change the situations. I am so thankful to have met the parents of the girls and to understand more where they are coming from. I was SO happy to see them all in church today. Even Felicia who stole my money was there. We had some talks about it and she apologized. I just hope she really learned something out of the situation.

Oti, from the Alpha group was also in church and that was great to see. He is connecting today with some guys from the Christian group home where he stayed for a few years. They are mostly guys from our church and just the kind of people he needs to be around right now. Praise God for that. And he is also meeting with someone about a possible job today. God is good and answering our prayers. Please continue to fight in prayer for these dear ones-- for Simona, Ramona, Felicia and Oti. May evil no longer rule in their life, but may they find new life in knowing Jesus.

You can also pray for Ionut, the five year old brother of Ramona and Simona. I’m not sure why the child protection services have not taken him away from his parents. Pray that we will have wisdom in looking into the situation further and that this little boy will be protected and cared for as long as he is at home. Thank you for joining with me, in praying for the healing of Constanta.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Our First Street Kids Bible Study!!!

YEAH! Man God is so cool! And so GOOD! We had about nine boys from the street come to our first meeting for the Alpha Bible Course that we are going to be holding for the next 11 weeks. It is mostly for the older street kids (in their 20's ) and those that have been coming to church or have expressed interest in wanting to know God better. The night was just an introduction night, but from some of the things that were said by the guys there, it really meant a lot that we were having something like this for them.

There were two guys there that I really want to ask you to pray for: Oti and Gelu. I think they are the most serious about knowing God and wanting to get out of the street as well. I was thinking last night that kids from the street are sort of on a "ladder" on their way out of the street. Some are at the bottom and have a long way to go and others are farther up the ladder and are almost out, but need help to get the rest of the way. I think these guys are near the top and now that they want to know God, I know that Satan is going to try REALLY hard to knock them down again.

So PLEASE pray for Oti and Gelu. They are great boys and I know that God can really do miracles in their lives, but it won't happen without a fight. Pray for their protection, for them to find jobs, for the different people who could possibly take them into a half-way house, and for them to know Jesus as never before. That they would know him as their very best friend, as the LOVING father they never had, as their Savior, as their HEALER from the hurts in their lives, and their DELIVERER from the darkness of street life. Thanks so much for all your prayers. You guys are the best!!!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Girls

Felicia (13 years) Alexandria, Marcela (14), Simona
Sisters: Simona (14 years), Ramona (15 years)

If you remember me telling you before, I came to Romania with a specific heart for some of the young girls here who had been coming to our Day Center. I think I also mentioned that three of them are no longer coming to the Day Center and our attempts to have a home for them to keep them off the street have been coming along very slowly. Simona, Ramona and Felicia are the names of these girls and I am writing this update to ask you to begin interceeding for these girls if you have not already. The longer I am here the more I learn about these girls and how hard they are becoming the more time they spend living in the street.

The other day I met Ramona on the street with a young man wearing a whole lot of make-up. I had heard that her and Simona were living with a transvestite, so I suspect that this is the guy. It was good to actually have met him but it was upsetting for me to see more of the reality of where these girls are at. They are experiencing SOOO much in the street. They have been abused by their families and have run to the streets for "protection" but we know that there is no protection there.

Yesterday I heard that Simona and Ramona came to the Day Center, but weren't allowed to stay. I am not sure what the situation is exactly with them and the Day Center but I do know that it is a difficult one as the girls have had many chances to be in the Day Center, but for some reason have done something to lose their place there. I can't say that I agree with the decisions that the Day Center has made concerning them, but since I don't know the situation fully I can't really judge things. I just want to ask for prayer for these girls because we are losing them to the darkness of street life more and more every day.

I had another wake up call Sunday in church, when I had all of my money stolen from Felicia while she was putting her head in my lap while she was tired and "not feeling well." I had prayed that morning specifically for her and hoped that she would be at church, and she was! I sat with her most of the service, loving on her, hugging her and praying that God would let her know his love for her. But everything she said to me was a lie and all she could do in response to my care for her was to steal from me, feeling no remorse for it at all. I wasn't mad at her, but rather so sad because I was so naive to think that some hugs and kind words are enough to change Felicia's life. Its not enough. These girls are hard. They have been hurt and have learned how to survive no matter the cost, even if it means hurting the people who show them love. Its tough to realize for me.

Maybe you are thinking I am pretty foolish and I think you are correct. I have a lot to learn about reaching these girls. Pray for me please and for all of these things. I know that God can reach the hardest heart and he LOVES these girls. He won't give up on them and I don't want to either, but sometimes I am discouraged and start thinking that there is nothing I can do. Pray for wisdom, pray for staff to come, pray for the girls. Mostly pray for the girls. They need it sooo much.

Thank you friends for joining me in this...blessings to you.
"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)