What a day!!!
Didn't hear 2 of our team members head to the airport at 6am but they got off just fine. Missed them in our adventures today but pray that they are traveling well on their return to the states.
Breakfast at 8am. Our sick gal was back on her feet and raring to go today so that was great. She shared an awesome devo with our team following breakfast. God has been close to her this week and she has shared his love with the kids and the team in very tangible and encouraging ways.
Several of our guys had made the needed purchases for our work project in a village today so we loaded ourselves, the supplies and lunch items and headed off about 9:30 am. We arrived at the home of 4 children ages 11-17 who live alone as their parents died about 4 years ago. They have an aunt and uncle who live next door but they are quite uninvolved in these children's lives.
CERI became aware of these children through a TV broadcast about them. A social worker in their community contacted CERI to see if some support could be given these children. There are some fairly recent changes in the strategy of CERI as they work with Moldovan children in need. Rather than work solely with children in orphanages, there are plans to add involvement in communities in order to bolster support of families and communities so that they will care for children in need in their area. Having our team work with this family is one of the ways this strategy is being implemented.
We did not tackle all the needs of this home and its yard but we made a big dent in what was needed and what will be very significant for them. We worked exclusively outside today. The children are able to care for things inside and that area is quite nice though I didn't get a "tour" of the home.
We again had a very hot day. We have decided not to even compute the farenheit temp when we hear the celcius temp as that makes us feel cooler. Today was probably 45 degrees celcius. It was hot and we worked in mostly direct sunlight. There were 20 of us. We were joined by our translators and several children who have aged out of the orphanage and are in transitional care. Everybody worked very hard from 10:30 am until 4:45pm with a 45 minute break for lunch at 1pm. We had purchased bread, meat, cheese, chips, cookies, drinks yesterday to take for a picnic lunch and we stopped roadside to buy a couple watermelon which were delicious.
We had 3 crews. Lonnie Rollins headed the paint crew which was the largest. They tackled the front, metal stave fence which was about 50 feet wide (my guess). At least 10 people painted diligently all that time and finished the job!!! It reguired some scrapping and brushing before painting. A huge job which was in full sunlight. I got in on part of that action before the day was over.
A second crew used 2 electric saws and cut donated pallettes and other wood into lengths to burn for winter heat. The pile which filled about 25% of the firewood enclosure was about 90% full by day's end!!! Another huge job tackled. Lots more wood is still there for future work crews.
The third team worked on yard clean-up. That included creating a compost enclosure, clearing debris, weeding, etc. etc. Lots was done but lots more could be done. The children have quite a large garden which includes a number of rows of corn. The corn is ready to pick so they cooked some ears and gave that to us for our lunch. I think it is field corn rather than sweet corn but most of us ate some of it with our sandwiches.
The children are beautiful - 3 girls and the youngest a boy. He helped us during the day as best he could. He has 2 cute rabbits and I got to hold the white one at one point. Very sweet children. We did not see the oldest as she has a summer job working in a fruit canning factory.
We were all soaked with perspiration, dirt, some paint and were quite fatigued by day's end. We had decided we'd tackle manageable amounts of the project and complete those rather than do part of many things. So with diligence and perseverence, we worked alongside our Moldovan brothers and sisters to serve the Lord and this sweet family and had some fun in the process. We have some "clowns" in our midst who keep us grinning. One is named Lonnie Rollins!!! I knew him before this trip but I didn't actually have any idea how cleverly wordy he is. He's a hoot!!! He's been a great servant to the team and the ministry this week and his wit is keeping us entertained.
We all were anxious to hit the showers as we got home so supper waited until we'd all had our turn!!! With long sleeved shirts and sunscreen, we're all in great shape except for some sore muscles.
Tomorrow will be another big day. The twins we help sponsor will be arriving at the team house at 10am so that they can attend church with us. We'll be going to a "new" church which is attended by a number of young people. The service is at 11am. We'll eat after that, shop at the outdoor market and figure out how to enjoy the rest of the day after that.
Tomorrow is the last day for another 6 of our team who will leave on Monday morning. Can't believe how fast the week has gone! Our first night was one week ago today. Amazing!!!
As you may imagine, sleep is beckoning. Thanks for your continued prayers and encouragement. We have been protected and are very grateful. Wish you could be here to experience the blessing of hearing God praised in Romanian. These are beautiful people and they have welcomed us warmly - no pun intended!