Posts filed under ‘Finding Direction Without Dan’

A Glimpse of My First Week Back in Transylvania Oct., 2011

Neighbors gave me a warm welcome home! From left to right - Adolf & Reka, Guszti, Anne, Aranka!

Alva is pointing to the stacks of boxes holding the latest shipment from EEM - 10,000 Hungarian Children's Bibles! God is good! Our deepest appreciation to God, and our friends on earth who are making this possible!

Marti and Vivi had brave faces April 27, '11, when they came to say, "goodbye," the day before Adolf and Alva took me to Bucharest, Romania, to take the plane to the U.S. I had cancer. No one knew if we'd ever meet again on this earth...hundreds around the world began praying for my healing. God choose to say, "Yes."

 

Now we are all smiling. Cured of cancer, I was strong enough to attend the Covasna County Red Cross Volunteers Reception honoring Alva and me because our volunteer work brings hope and light to the suffering people here.

While I don’t understand the mind of God, or why He makes the choices He does, I do know this — He is God, and I am not.  Why did He send His son to die for our sins?  He has a plan for our lives.   All I have to do is offer my life to Him to be a tool in His hands to glorify Him.   To do this, I have to know what He wants from me.  The only place to learn about that is in the Bible.  That’s why I love the Bible.  I have hope of life eternal with God because I am now more than a “fan of Jesus.”  I am an Intentional Follower of Jesus.   Who will come and go with me?   — Anne

October 14, 2011 at 6:57 pm Leave a comment

Urgent Need!

We gave them warm clothes. Will you help provide them with the most important book they will ever own?

Hungarian Children’s Bibles are ready to print.  I just learned that the printer is waiting to hear just how many we can pay for.  God’s Children needs $10,000, now to contribute towards the cost of printing!  Can you help?  Donate online at http://gods-children.org, or mail a check now made out to God’s Children.  Send your check to God’s Children, c/o 1409 Berne Lane, Lewisville, TX, 75067.

The Youth Group (fifteen teens) in Pacifica, CA, donated $1,000 tonight!  Will 9 others match their donation?  Can we raise $20,000?  50,000?  One Bible costs $10.  We need 5,000 Bibles this year alone.  Pray for God to rain down showers of blessings and give each Hungarian child in Transylvania their own Bible. — Anne

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them because the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”  Matthew 19:14

His body will be warmer because of the winter clothes we gave. Can you help warm his heart with God's Word?

70% live below the poverty level in Romania. Give them Hope. Give them a Children's Bible in their language for $10!

 

December 16, 2010 at 8:28 am Leave a comment

Whose Birthday Today?

Can you hear "sleigh bells ring, are you listening!" My rock garden is beautiful covered with snow!

Surprised by snow this morning! (This is the our excellent City Museum.)

Marti, Camelia, and Monica are enjoying the whipped cream and fresh fruit torte Maria uncovered after worship this morning. Seeing the cake, I asked, "WHOSE birthday is it???" (I thought I'd forgotten someone.) Laughing, they shouted, "YOURS! You won't be here on your birthday, so we're celebrating today!" New sheers on the windows made by Camelia and Mimi freshen up the place greatly!

Besides new sheers in this room & kitchen, they bought new colorful covers for the couches! (From left to right - Marioara, Camelia, Maria, Monica, Stefan, Anne and Marti.)

Unsuspecting, I joined Guszti, Aranka and family for lunch...another birthday party for me!

Are you ready for this??? Aranka made this delicious chocolate whipped cream and chopped walnuts cake!

Floating in whipped cream cake, I left the Tofalvi's to go have dinner with Adolf and Reka...oh, I was beginning to wonder...surely not another birthday party? But these people believe birthdays are important! A gourmet dinner followed by my third whipped cream cake was received with thankfulness! (They said they want to be sure I remember to come back!)

I was so absorbed in eating Reka's chicken with apple slices, and "melt in your mouth" homemade mashed potatoes, I forgot to take photos. But these lovely gifts grace my house tonight. How can I say, "Thank you," enough for such an outpouring of love today? God is good...all the time!

One of my favorite places near my home is the ancient 11th century Saas Luthern Church surrounded by a massive fortress that has apartments for all 50 families of the village of Prejmer. When the watchman announced that attackers were on the way, the bells rang out, and the villagers fled inside the well equipped fortress. It's worth a trip to Romania just to see this! Of course, following the tour of the fortress, you'll be invited to Attila and Zsuzsa's for coffee and cake...or maybe a meal! (She's another outstanding cook...and terrific Child Psychologist!)

Just so you remember that it's not always "party time," I'll close with a few photos of the children in Belin who received winter clothing because many of you care about what happens to the flood victims.

70% of the population of Romania lives below the poverty level.  You can see the effects of the strain on the faces of some of these precious children.  Their life is hard!  God bless you for helping them. — Anne

December 6, 2010 at 12:20 am Leave a comment

Sometimes the Hard Thing Is the Best Thing

Sziszi (standing) and Guszti made this look easy!

Sometimes, we do what we have to…especially when it comes to those we love.

The hardest thing I have ever done was to calmly encourage Dan when we knew he was not long for this earth. In our early marriage days, I cried, refused to talk about life insurance for Dan. In my young mind, if I talked about it, I had to face that one day I might be without him.

When the time came that we knew he was going Home soon, God gave us the strength to calmly say all the things we needed to say. Dan helped me look at, and make plans for my life without him.

Knowing that it is far better to be with the Lord than to stay in this body, I calmly spoke with Dan about the days ahead…for both of us. He now has the Perfect Life, the life he looked forward to most of his days on earth.

And my life? Except for a few things, I live the perfect earthly life. Yes, in Romania…the perfect life. I live on the side of a mountain, in a beautiful apple green house. Good, decent God-loving friends abound. The Lord gives me joyful work to do helping others.

Will I ever stop missing Dan? I don’t know the answer. But God gives me strength for the journey, all that I need each day. So, I say, “Do the hard thing that you fear! On with the Adventure!” — Anne

“God will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus…” Phil. 4:19

God's love gave us this sunrise to feed our soul.

November 10, 2010 at 7:03 am 1 comment

A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words?

It’s 10 p.m., temperature dropping to 34 F, but my house is snug, toasty warm.  WHAT is that loud thumping noise in the basement directly under me? Oh, Guszti is tossing birch logs through the basement window into the furnace room!  Sitting in my home office, looking at the lights sprinkled on the mountain across from mine, I feel very much at home.  Take a look at some of the scenes from my life in Transylvania…

In Belin, this young Gypsy mother and her family are grateful that God’s Children is providing cement and lumber to fill in the holes made by the floods.  (Most Gypsy families tell their 14 year old daughters to drop out of school, get married and begin a family.)

Speaking of my furnace, here is the 15 cubic meters of hardwood I bought to keep my house warm through the Winter. (No, the "automatic" wood pellet burning furnace never was automatic. A one year verbal battle finally got the "automatic" part accepted as defective, with a 90% refund from the Ferroli dealer in town. He said I had used it for 1 year. I explained over and over that it sat in my basement for one year, but the automatic part never worked right. Now, my house is warm when it's cold outside!

 

What do you think...will this Opel 9 seater, 5 yr old van carry 3 Red Cross workers, 990 pounds of children's winter clothing, and me to Belin? (See Adolf, Director of Covasna County Red Cross on the right at the rear of the van?) We THANK the DONORS who made this possible!

Children play on the swing set Joco helped build in my back yard. This is Step One in the Children's Bible Story, Song and Play Hour I hope to start next Spring. Mature Sr. High girls will help me.

Marti, her 3 cousins and Anne having a good time at LST party. You ask, "Why are you wearing coats & scarves inside?" I'll tell you - it was 23 F outside, and the building was too cold inside even with the stove going. Marti, from Belin, lives in the school dorm during the week so she can attend high school. On weekends, she takes an hour long bus ride home to Belin. She has been an LST Reader now for several years.

Dan's flowers...Oct. 18, 2010, Dan would have been 77 years old. It is a custom here to gather on the birthday of a deceased loved one to remember them. Friends brought flowers, candles. We read from Philipians, said prayers thanking God for Dan's influence in our lives, and ended by singing "Amazing Grace."

Peter and Rie (the lady in Lewisville who receives donations for God's Children) and their guests from Hungary drink coffee in my kitchen before they go to the beautiful outdoor Hungarian museum with houses, crafts, clothes, mill wheels, farm implements brought in from all over Transylvania to help us understand their history.

Sherrie & Neil Perkins, Rodger Fulton - LST Team with the Belin Baptist minister in the background. We were invited to attend a special thanksgiving service there when the congregation celebrated that they had lived through the 2 terrible floods that destroyed so much of their possessions, and livelihood.

Some members of the congregation. Having lost their garden that was to feed them, and their farm crops that was to provide them with a living, they are facing a drastic Winter.

We who believe await the New Dawn. Meanwhile, God is with us. We will, by His grace, be okay. "The sands of time are sinking, The dawn of heaven breaks; The summer morn I’ve sighed for - The fair, sweet morn awakes: Dark, dark had been the midnight But dayspring is at hand, And glory, glory dwelleth In Emmanuel’s land." - "The Sands of Time" by Anne Cousins

Blessings, Anne

Sfantu Gheorghe, Transylvania, Romania

November 6, 2010 at 9:41 pm 2 comments

October 2010 Is Almost Over

Our last days together in Romania. Dan loved the Romanian coffee and whipped cream desserts!

Some of the flowers friends brought for Dan’s 77th birthday, Oct. 18, 2010.

Dan would have been 77 years old October 18, 2010. Wouldn’t you think that I’d have been content to let him go Home at almost age 76? Some people say, “Why can’t you just think about the happy things?” Well, when you lose your best friend of 58 years, and you put your loss behind you a few weeks after the funeral…and think only of happy things, you answer that question.

Here, in Romania, instead of Halloween, they have the Day of the Dead. They honor their loved ones who have gone on before them. Everyone I know, regardless of religious persuasion, visits the graveside of family members, to lay a lovely floral arrangement on the grave, say a prayer, and light a beautiful candle. As the sun goes down, the cemetery on the mountain side east of my mountain is ablaze with thousands of candles.

You ask, “And, you, Anne? What will you do?” Dan’s ashes lie in his grave in SW Oklahoma near the farm where he was born. While his remains are beside his parents, I have great peace in knowing that his soul is rejoicing in a place more wonderful than we can imagine. He is well, happy, in heaven with God.

Next Monday, friends will come to my apple green house, bring flowers to put next to the candle beside Dan’s photo, and say a prayer thanking God for the time we had with Dan. Maybe, just maybe, God will use that day to bring about deeper healing of our grief. Whatever happens, we accept that God is using our loss to shape us more into who He wants us to be.

October is almost gone. My mood is improving. It’s a long journey, but each day, God’s love and the blessed work He provides for me keeps me going…and growing. “The Lord IS my shepherd…” Psalm 23. — Anne

A happy day in the historic Saxon city of Brasov, Romania

October morning in Sfantu Gheorghe, Romania.

October 30, 2010 at 7:16 pm 1 comment

The Miracle

While taking this photo through the glass window in my office, the light fog on the mountain brought to mind, "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: Now. I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known." I Cor. 13:12

Dick van Geet, my Dutch neighbor for 5 years in Utrecht, and now good friend for over 50 years, said, “Some people come to Austria and say, ‘You speak of the beauty of the Alps?  I don’t see any beauty in them at all.’ ”  Dick went on to say, “They may come here 10 times, but they never discover any beauty in these mountains.”

(I can’t imagine how anyone can have scales over their eyes that keep them from seeing the magnificent beauty of mountains.  But, then, we are not all the same.  It might be a very boring world if we were identical in thoughts and feelings.)

Dick says, “It’s that way with the Word of God.  Some people read it and find nothing in it for them.”  As we discussed this, we spoke of how others study it, and a miracle happens. The Holy Spirit helps them discover God, grace, Jesus, the Holy Spirit, salvation…and peace.   I pray that you may be one of the latter who is now finding peace in your soul because you know…and follow…our Creator and his Son. — Anne

Storm clouds were gathering as I walked alongside the North Sea in Holland, Aug. 29. Gale force winds expressed my feelings as I worked through another phase of being Dan's widow.

Yet, God always reminds us that He is with us.

To the intentional followers of Jesus, He makes this promise, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20b

September 16, 2010 at 11:29 am Leave a comment

And God Multiplied It 10 Times

July 7, 2010, the first donation to help the flood victims here in Covasna County, Transylvania, Romania, was sent to God’s Children by a 12 year old Christian boy who has stepped out in faith to form Mission Ice Cream.  Maybe one day I can tell you that story.  But the important thing here is that Mission Ice Cream sent God’s Children $354.42, to help the flood victims.  (That was the amount his friends and relatives donated instead of spending it on ice cream the previous month.)

I have to admit that when the floods hit, I felt so helpless.  All that happened to my house was rain damage that took just 5 days to repair, and then my life was back to “normal.”  (Did I hear someone say, “Anne, your life is anything BUT normal for a woman almost 76 years old!”)

Well, anyway…That $354.42, sent by Mission Ice Cream lifted me out of the doldrums inspiring me to let you know about the needs here.  God is multiplying that donation almost 10 fold.  It has grown to $3,150. A BIG Thank You to those of you who answered the call. Adolf Papp, Pres. of Covasna Red Cross, is working through the Mayor of Belin now to meet specific needs there – food, concrete and lumber to repair houses still standing, etc.  But refrigerators are desperately needed to keep food from spoiling in the summer heat.  The Red Cross can buy refrigerators for $100 each.

We still need your help!  Tax deductible donations can be made online at gods-children.org by clicking on “How You Can Help” in the blue line near the top, or you can mail your check made out to God’s Children to:

God’s Children, c/o Mrs. R.Vali, 1409 Berne Ln., Lewisville, TX 75067

OK, I can’t get the underline to stop.  So, I’ll close before this line gets much longer by saying, “It is more blessed to give than receive.” Acts 20:35   Be Blessed!  — Anne

A typical village street before the floods came

The force of the raging water was so powerful...tearing up bridges, roads, houses, crops.

At Red Cross Meeting - bottom row - Magda Bedo, Reka and Adolf Papp, top row - Joco Bedo (husband of Magda) and Istvan Szekely. They ALL give tirelessly to help their people.

Red Cross Volunteers and Adolf, President of Covasna County Red Cross, planning the "next step."

August 17, 2010 at 8:54 pm Leave a comment

Special Times with Special Friends

God continues to provide special opportunities to “be there” for people while receiving a blessing myself.  Here are a few photos that explain this.

Bea, LST Reader for 2 years, and Zsombi exchanged wedding vows last Saturday in ancient Hungarian church (I see it from my east windows).

Beautiful music by the flutist and a keyboard musician accompanied the reception dinner.

The "first meal" was served at 8 p.m. The "second meal" followed around 11 p.m. It is a fine tradition that guests attending the wedding reception dinner give a gift of money to help pay for the dinner!

Bea and Zsombi dance their first dance as man and wife.

Boti, LST Reader, and National Triathlon Champ of Romania, said, "I hope Eva catches the bridal bouquet!

There are many special sunsets to bless our lives in the midst of challenging, changing times. Sunsets and love go on and on. God is still with us!

Blessings, Anne

July 16, 2010 at 8:48 pm Leave a comment

Shock Waves

Being so high up in the Carpathian Mountains, Sfantu Gheorghe escaped flooding until early this morning.  Though my house was not damaged…just a little water in the basement, the little creek down the mountain from me, turned into a wall of water rushing from the Sugash Mountains…flooding 110 homes across the city that were on the banks of the creek, washing two cars clear across town, tearing up streets that cross over the creek, and causing the death a 36 year old man with heart problems  – the son of Jutka, one of my co-workers at Pro Nobis Counseling Center.  They were trying to rescue their animals when his heart gave out.  So sad….

Words fail me…I’m still missing my Dan.  I have been told by many that a mother never gets over losing a child.  My heart goes out to Jutka, in her great loss.  May the God of all comfort be with those who are suffering because of the widespread flooding here in Europe, or because of the loss of loved ones.   — Anne

Our Father owns cattle on 1,000 hills. He can provide for us. Cast your cares upon Him.

Beautiful sunset over Sugash Mountains...little did we know those clouds held disaster for Sfantu Gheorge before morning.

Sunset made a nice backdrop for my green house.

Every few seconds, new colors displayed God's creativity!

Fading quickly, the changing colors held us there, fascinated by the beauty.

Turning, turning, the earth took us farther away from the sun until there was nothing but the black of night.

July 4, 2010 at 8:15 pm Leave a comment

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