Archive for January, 2013
We celebrated a really early Christmas when dozens of boxes arrived from HHI; they were stuffed with warm clothing, shoes, belts, cable knit hats, mittens, and books! There is so much, that it nearly fills an entire room in Anne’s house! This is truly a blessing for all of us. Used winter clothing (in good condition) from the U.S. goes to supplement already stretched budgets for many families. Even before the last box is unwrapped, God’s Children is beginning to distribute the much needed articles: we gave several completes outfits to the Children’s Psychiatric Hospital in Saint George, and some to individual families.
During our weekly visit to the Mother’s Center, Kaki and I were given the opportunity to play with two precious little boys! They are too young to be part of the Kindergarten, and still live with their mothers in the Center. We brought copy paper, coloring pencils, toys, and story books; and, oh my, did those boys go to town! While they were happily occupied, Kaki was able to speak with the caretakers. The Mother’s Center receives some government funding, but most of it is allocated specifically to the Kindergarten. The toddlers make do with hand-me-downs, donations, and left-overs. Which is usually enough, but it’s nice to have story books sometimes.
The first LST party of 2013 was a success! We brought finger-foods: cookies, chips, open faced sandwiches, and candy (all of which disappeared quickly.) After most of the food vanished, Kaki pulled out the cards and initiated an intense round of Uno (the players’ ages ranged from 11 to 78)Games, like Uno, are an engaging, interactive way to practice speaking English while getting to know the other players. Much to everyone’s surprise, the eleven-year-old beat the competition and went out first! This party served as an ice-breaker for past and present LST readers, friends, and members of the Agape Church. It’s amazing to watch the Lord bring people together! It’s also cool to win Uno…
Several of us from the Red Cross went up the mountain to Kommando yesterday. It was “warm” (about 32.5* F), so the roads were slushy, as well as steep and narrow. Many thanks to Joco, an awesome driver, for getting us to the top! But why risk skidding off a mountain in the first place, you ask? There were two reasons: to distribute food tickets in the village to those that qualify, and to coordinate future events with the Mayor of Kommando. So we split up and went our separate ways! Some of us distributed the tickets, some met with the Mayor, and some (those who don’t speak Hungarian) listened politely. After business, jokes, and some wonderfully warming drinks, we drove down the road to this lovely location before returning home. Mission accomplished!
This is Lauren Selensky writing to you. I have done so many new things this week; including, but not limited to, writing for this blog! This is also the first time I have left the Americas. Several of my friends have visited Europe before and returned with stories of how different and strange everything was. I came prepared for anything; however, it is not the differences that stand out to me, but the similarities.
When Kaki and I arrived at the LST apartments they were clean, there was food in the pantry, and there were flowers in every room. Ms. Anne and two of her friends, Camelia and Maria, had been busy preparing a home for us. These people are very kind and patient when we do not understand or try to cobble together a sentence in another language.
Maria, whom I had known for only two days, invited me to go with her to a symphony hosted by a local Catholic Church and by St. George’s Music Academy. I could not understand the words, but the voices and the music were enough. It was beautiful!
Already, my teammates and I are beginning to feel at home. Our brothers and sisters in Christ have the generosity and friendliness that in Texas, we call southern hospitality. It has been a real blessing to find familiarity here in Romania.