Journal for the week!
I’m sitting here in the hotel room looking out my window at the beautiful town of Busteni, Romania and the mountains … pondering the week. Why am I sitting in a hotel room? Weelllll …. seems not only have we worked along side the Romanian leaders and shared God’s love we are also sharing the stomach virus … (one of the most dreaded events to happen to you on a trip to a foreign country) I’m the nurse for the day L
It’s been running it’s course … The list of victims… Barret, Zach, Mr. Iverson, Moriah and now David!
We board the plane in the morning so praying it stops now! Can’t imagine the 10 hour flight from Paris to Houston – sick!
During debrief last night it is unanimous – it is hard to come home! I’ve already had a couple of people say, “tell me when you are coming back” That is amazing! The trip in April was that way and I wondered, will it have the same effect in July? Yes and more!
Since I was not able to post during the week … this is catch up time!
Monday – THE BELT OF TRUTH
The children arrived around 1pm and we lined the steep driveway with signs and flag decorations welcoming them to camp! Then it seems we hit the ground running. We introduced the theme of the week ‘The Armor of God’ . Many of the children were from poor villages and were un-churched. They would come to the Saturday Kids Club meetings. They LOVED their hats and matching sling backpacks and dog tags (which helped us learn their names quickly) The kids worship was amazing! They know the songs …. now they just need to truly KNOW Jesus! The team skit was hilarious – always ending with Castig Contra Pacat – WIN AGAINST SIN! Barret drew the giant Belt of Truth and then drew Daniel in the Lions Den as I (Mrs. G) explained the armor and shared how Daniel knew the truth about God and it saved his life! It’s a given usually that the girls get right in there and are playing and loving the children… however … To watch David, Zach, Barret and Larry Iverson play with the children, let them hug on them, show great patience – amazing! Who knew Barret is an artist, comedian AND actor? (Mrs. Novak … you missed it)…besides having boundless energy running and playing with the kids. The kids loved decorating their ‘belt of truth’ … thank you Home Depot! We ended each evening with them drawing themselves with next piece of armor on. The
Tuesday – THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS
It’s so fun to see God do new and different things in and through people. Saranee told the story of Zacchaeus and introduced the new piece of armor! She did a great job! It’s not easy concentrating on telling your story, waiting for the translator and keeping the story interesting! She rocked it! The team acted out the Bible story! The kids are learning Ephesians 6:11 (We had a Zacchaeus in the tree craft but somehow ‘forgot’ about it… you’ll see later … it was a God thing!) Singing I’m in the Lord’s Army in Romanian… nothing like it! Zach introduced the new game ‘Chicken in a Bucket’! It quickly became their favorite game! (7” rubber chickens you throw in the air to try to get into your team’s bucket) fuuuuuny! ! ! !
The blue team acted out the story of Daniel in the Lions Den and the Green team acted out the story of Zacchaeus! Darling
Wednesday – THE GOSPEL SHOES OF PEACE/SHIELD OF FAITH
One man down today… Barret has the monster stomach bug! L The team was extremely flexible jumping in and changing parts and covering for each other. It is Moriah’s day to bring the story and the new piece of armor – She did a great job sharing about Saul-Paul. Saul loved God but had the wrong pair of shoes on… then he encountered Jesus! I (Mrs. G) had to step in for Barret drawing the large piece of armor (I couldn’t figure out why they looked wrong until Friday I realized … I drew 2 left feet… LOL… repaired them) and drew the picture of when the light blinded Saul. Larry stepped in and covered for Barret in the skit. The kids traced around their feet for the craft and drew themselves with the next piece of armor!
Zach was a hit with Volleyball water balloons for the group game. We also took the kids down to the river to play! GREAT FUN!
David was up for the next lesson Wednesday night with the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and introducing the shield of Faith! Again… we have talented young people making up this team. David did awesome! We used 3 little boys to help act out the skit and Larry and I were the fiery furnace with yellow, orange, red and black tissues paper! (It was kind of funny if I do say so myself) the craft was the the fiery furnace – the kids loved making the fire out of tissue paper!
The Red team acted out the story of Saul-Paul and the black team acted out the story of the fiery furnace! CUTE!
Thursday – SHIELD OF FATH CONT. / HELMET OF SALVATION – (Another man down)
The Bug hit Zach today… Barret is still recuperating! We can’t get the Wi-Fi to work to get an email out to pray. (of course we were praying… for the virus to stop leaping from person to person and for our team to be complete again)
Jessica did a fantastic job bringing the next story on faith… Esther. I always like to have a story for the girls if it’s at all possible. Not that God’s word isn’t for all of us… but it’s nice to see that there are women in the Bible who were obedience…setting an example for all the girls.
The chicken game is still the number one hit! David and Larry are covering for Zach with the games. The bug hasn’t hit Zach as extreme as Barret for which we are all grateful (especially Zach) but it really zaps the energy…
Barret comes out of the cave and gets back in the game for the evening service drawing an amazing picture for how you get to heaven!
THE HELMET OF SALVATION -Moriah was the evening speaker and shared the way to salvation – the need for a sacrifice and how our precious Lord Jesus made that way for us… there were about 8 children holding up their little hands… Sweet… so sweet!
The craft was of course the shield of Faith – oh my… do they love it! It’s made from the cardboard pizza rounds with long pipe cleaners to put their little arms through! They cannot wait to be able to play with them on Friday and take them home! They draw in their little booklets – putting on their next piece of armor!
Friday – THE SWORD OF THE SPIRIT
Today, I (mrs. g) talk about how do we now live our life if we have asked Jesus to be the Lord of our lives … what does that mean? How should it change us? How should we treat others? How can God’s word help us! It was a good morning. We used the picture Barret had drawn the night before to go over again how you get to heaven… and you needed to really think about your decision. Because it doesn’t end at the prayer!
I shared about one of my favorite heroes of the Faith – Richard Wurmbrand – from Romania! And how he used the armor of God to sustain him in prison during the days of communism control of Romania. It was really meaningful to be able to share with them that one of their own heroes was known around the world!
We made our craft – the sword of the spirit (thanks again Home Depot for all the paint stirrers) The kids loved them! And we played ‘Find the Bible Story’ (we made a version of Bingo) it was one last reminder of all they had learned … they all won at once … When they filled their card with the game markers they were to stand and say Castig Contra Pacat! ! ! – WIN AGAINST SIN ! ! !
That evening we focused on Psalm 139: 14 – How God knows each one of them – and they were made to worship him… Larry shared about how they had touched his heart and he loved them like a Father. It opened their little hearts to a Fathers love and I’m just telling you… it was an amazing evening. I gave the children another opportunity to become followers of Christ … about 15+ raised their hands. It was a real sweet time!
We ended the evening around campfire – the children breaking up into groups by their villages. Their church leaders prayed with them. One of the pastors told us… never have the children responded like this.. praying like adults… asking to pray… not wanting to leave because they knew it would be difficult to walk out their new faith.
For all the children that were able to come to camp.
For the adults that work with the children from the different villages/churches
For the families of the children to either come to come back to church again or come for the first time!
Then… Smores! Just sayin’!
Saturday – Another man down (Mr. Iverson) – Cleanup – Insulation – Muddy Volcanoes!
Breakfast… then it was hard to say goodbye! We walked down to the bus with the children and workers as they headed back home. What a sweet week it has been. We learned a lot! Gerald and Kirstin and their team of pastors/workers were so patient with us as we struggled through language/translation barriers, etc. and just got in to the swing of all day camp at Camp Eli!
After the children left – we girls helped clean-up, change bedding, sweep, mop… and the guys helped insulate the 2 new cabins that Gerald, John and their workers built in 6 days (amazing)!
Then we loaded up and headed to the muddy volcanoes! (okay… when we were there in April, there was no guard saying “don’t put your hands in the mud… it’s toxic”) HOWEVER, today, there was… hmmm… and poor Jessica was caught… not actually by the guard… but by a bystander!
Oh well… (tic, tic) as far as I know… I wasn’t affected… (tic, tic) LOL
SUNDAY – Church – To the Mountains (another one down – it hit the girls)(then another)
We divided up and went to different churches. Mr. Iverson, Barret and I went with David and Stefania to their church! The children sang their favorite songs from camp and then all three of us shared a brief testimony (Barret did the best I’ve ever heard a student give on the fly) Then the three of us joined Stephi with the children. I shared the story of Peter and Jesus walking on the water… Barret drew it in his infamous ‘Barret’ style! The children loved it and you should have seen them copy his picture! It really was awesome! Then we went outside and played until church was over! It was hard to say goodbye… (didn’t think we were going to get Mr. Iverson in the car) Lunch at the gyro diner (YUM) Then off to Florica to the next church service!
After we finished with all the amazing services – we headed to the mountains – the city of Busteni!
We had a picnic in the hall following up with worship! Then finally a team debrief! Moriah began to get sick L I couldn’t stand it, knowing if it was the same thing (stomach virus) it was going to ruin her next day of mountain trail exploring, etc. By 4:30a Monday morning – It hit David…. Augh!
MONDAY – Mountain climbing – camping in the hotel room!
After breakfast the team (all but 3) took a hike on the lower trail to the ‘noisy falls’ … then came back and loaded their things in the van and cars and headed to the higher mountain. The hotel manager was so gracious and allowed me and the 2 patients to stay in the room – free of charge! Nice!
The pictures the students took of their hike and experience makes me want to go back myself one day …! I couldn’t stand it for Moriah in particular – She had never had the opportunity to hike (David and I had in April with the senior class) But they both needed the rest!
We got back late Monday night- packed up– woke up at 3:30am to shower, finish packing and load up to head to the airport! It was hard to leave, hard to say goodbye, hard to get on the plane.
Moriah and David were looking better and requests had been sent home – please pray … no more sickness – and for the last 2 to be able to fly – and not be miserable but begin to heal. God answers prayers
It’s been another amazing time in Romania – our hearts are there! A big thank you to Larry Iverson, Debbie Guidry, Jessica Smith, David Hannah, Saranee Medina, Zach Grinovich, Barret Nabona, and Moriah Olson. You were/are an amazing team! Thank you for working hard to raise the money and work on your part of the week of camp… for memorizing, praying, planning and having fun drawing closer to God as you helped others draw closer to him… some even becoming Christ followers!