Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Christmas was Sensational!

With only a few days to bring things together, it was amazing to see how well things went for our Christmas Dinner with the street kids. God really blessed us with an amazing time with our friends from the street. We had 7 people serving and setting up and 12 people from the street come. It was much smaller than we had expected but with the amount of staff we had, it was perfect.

Our staff team was made up of two members of the YWAM street team: Therese from Norway and Dave from the U.S., Lorraine from England, who is a missionary serving her in Constanta through our local church “Good News Church”, Irina from Constanta, who used to translate for the street team, Cristi from Constanta, who helps out with the other street project in town and attends our church, and me and Leisl, my friend from home. Irina’s church opened their doors to us last minute, so in their small, but cozy church we had our dinner.

It was such a special time to share together, knowing that many of the kids would have sat all day on the street getting high had they not been invited to the dinner. We sang Christmas carols and ate Sarmale, the traditional Romanian Christmas meal. Dave shared about Jesus and his power to change our lives and talked for a long time afterwards with a teenage girl who we had never met before. She was really interested in what Dave was talking about and we hope to see her again to keep up the relationship and see her grow in knowing Jesus.

Thank you so much to those who donated money to make this dinner a reality! I hope this will become a new tradition here in Constanta and that it will grow! Thank you Lord for blessing our Christmas day!

Christmas Eve with Friends

Christmas Eve we spent the evening at my base leader’s home with his family, friends and some other YWAMers spending the holidays here in Constanta. It was so nice to be together with so many of us being so far from home and family. We ate the BEST traditional Norweigen Christmas food, as my base leader is Norweigen and so is another of our staff members. Such good food! I think next year I should go to Norway and get some more! J After dinner Andreas, their 8 year old son, read us the Christmas story from Luke in Romanian and we spent the rest of the evening enjoying each other’s company. A very nice Christmas Eve!

Visiting Families for Christmas

The Thursday before Christmas we had the opportunity to visit the poor families I had been visiting with the street team before DTS. Again it was wonderful to see the families after such a long time and to see the great job that, Dan, a Romanian YWAM staff member, is doing now leading this project to reach out to families in need (The project is actually now a church-planting effort, in cooperation with a local church here in Constanta- Good News Church). We took Christmas presents to the children and extra food to the parents, and sang a couple of Christmas carols, wishing them a Merry Christmas and inviting them to church on Christmas Eve. It was quite a marathon run, visiting nine families in one afternoon, but it was fun and hopefully we were a blessing!

Leisl's Visiting!!!

December 16th, my dear friend Leisl Wehmueller, my best friend from college, came to visit me for the holidays! It has been such a blessing spending time with her, catching up, sharing what God is doing in our lives and serving together through the different holiday events that have been going on. She has such an awesome heart to serve and it it sooo fun to be with her, even though she has been sick a lot! Thank you God for good friends! January 8th she will say “adios” and go back to Spain where she will be teaching English for the next year. Yeah Leisl!

Girls Home Close to Completion

Many of the guys at our base have been working very hard to finish up the renovations for our girls home. The construction is mostly complete and now we look forward to the addition of the kitchen furniture and appliances. Please keep praying for staff members as we are unable to make the home available until we have two more ladies who can stay with the girls a couple nights a week each. When we have a team of ladies together we will open the home with one of the girls who is now attending our Day Center. We will receive more girls into the home as our staff and facilities can accommodate them with the appropriate skills and services. Our desire is to provide emotional, spiritual, educational and vocational support for girls coming from abusive homes, helping them to succeed in life. My plan is to be one of the staff that will stay a couple of nights at the girls home every week. I will keep you posted on how things come along with this project!

Back on the Street!

My second week back in Constanta I had the chance to go out again with YWAM’s street team to visit my friends living on the streets. It was so great to see their reactions as they realized that I was actually back in Constanta, and also for me to realize how much they love and missed me while I was gone for DTS. It’s actually a pretty humbling realization. These people have so little, and yet they give so much love- to me- who in the grand scheme of things really doesn’t do much for them. It is my desire to give them value through loving them with God’s love, but at the same time they are giving so much value to my life by loving me. Yep, it’s pretty amazing.
"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)