December 23, 2008
Dear Friends and Family,
I hope you are doing well and staying warm! Winter is definitely here. I came home for the Christmas holidays and a couple of days after I arrived we got a snow storm where I live. I wanted a white Christmas and we definitely got it!
The school term finished well
The fall school term was great. I enjoyed teaching all of my classes and getting to know each of my students throughout the school term. It’s amazing how fast the term just seemed to fly by! Every term we have social outreach events which provide us more opportunities to get to know our students outside of the classroom. Two of the events we had in November were karaoke night and Thanksgiving dinner. Both of those events were a huge success! The students and the staff had a blast at karaoke night and we all enjoyed eating a great American traditional Thanksgiving dinner!
On Thursday December 4, we had a short graduation for all of the adult classes. At the graduation we sang some Christmas carols and handed out the certificates to the students. The following week we gave the children Christmas parties for their classes and also handed out the certificates as well. It is always such a privilege to see my students do well and succeed in their English!
Life and Light Christmas party
Every Friday afternoon I go to Life and Light group home for a couple of hours to spend time with the children there. The children are so precious to me and I really wanted to give them a great Christmas party but I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it but God worked out everything and the party was a huge success! I asked all of the people who I knew have been volunteering with the kids since the summer if they wanted to help with the party. I wasn’t sure who would help because lately there hasn’t been a consistently in the volunteers but six people ended up expressing interest to help with the party. What a blessing it was for everyone who helped with the Christmas party because I couldn’t have done it myself.
The Christmas party was held on Saturday December 13th from 2:00 – 4:00pm. The party was fully packed with lots of activity. We sang Christmas carols, read the Christmas story, played games and made Christmas cards. At the end of the party we gave all the children gift bags and we also ate the snack food we brought. I was so glad to see the children smile and laugh and enjoy themselves during the party! Overall the party went very well! I give God praise that everything went so well and for the blessing that He has given us to reach out to these precious kids!
Reaching out to the Gypsy Children
I have been volunteering at Rozmarin School which is another ministry outreach I do outside of the English school where I reach out to the gypsy children. In September I began the school year with two classes at the school but then as the term went on I decided to drop one class because it ended up being too much on my schedule. The director of the school promised the grade 1 class that they will get English class this school year so I decided to drop the kindergarten class. I miss teaching the kindergarten children but I’m glad I can still continue to teach the grade 1 class there.
When I started teaching the grade 1 class in September I went through a month of struggle with teaching these kids because their behavior was terrible at times, they struggled with picking up of what I taught them and they had a bit of distance towards me. It was a bit discouraging at the beginning of the school year but God helped me not to give up and to continue to go there and love them. Then in November things started to change. The children still had bad behavior at times and they still struggled with picking up on what I taught them but they didn’t seem distance to me anymore. The children started to become affectionate with me and they showed in their faces that they enjoyed getting hugs and praises when they did well. I also noticed they became very interested in the stories when I read it to them. Only God can do this. With gypsy children it takes time to build their trust and love. Many of these kids come from broken homes and they don’t know what true love is so I just praise God for opening up their hearts to be able to receive His love! The day before I flew home for Christmas I gave them each a small Christmas gift. They loved their gift and it was a blessing to see their smile when they got it! What a blessing it is to reach out to those precious children that God has given me!
· I’m thankful that the first term of the school year went well.
· I give God praise for the success of the Christmas party at the Life and Light group home.
· I’m so grateful of the changes that I have seen from the children at Rozmarin.
· In November my church had a conference with Pete who spoke at our summer camp. The conference was a real time of blessing and refreshment for us.
· I’m also very grateful of God’s healing touch. In November I went through a difficultly with my health. I had a sciatic nerve problem with my left leg. It was very painful and I even had to go on bed rest for 5 days and I also had physical therapy as well. I praise God I haven’t had any pain or even any soreness in 2 weeks!
· I am currently home in Canada now for the Christmas holidays until January 8th; I need to get some things taken care while I’m home before I return. Please pray that my time at home will be productive but yet it will be a good refreshing time with my family and friends.
· My housemate Iulia lost her job in November. (She worked for a non-profit organization and they lost one of their sponsors so they decided to let her go because she is one of the newest workers). Right now she is with her family and she is will be looking for a new job in January. Please pray that she will find another job and if God wants us to live together again He will open up that door.
· I would appreciate your continual prayers for my Romanian language learning. I need more daily practice in speaking and writing which is sometimes hard to do when you’re an English teacher.
· Please keep the children at Life and Light group home and the children at Rozmarin in your prayers that they will experience more of God’s love, especially during this Christmas season.
Thank-you for all of your prayers, encouragement and support you have given me this past year as I serve in Romania. I really appreciate it! Have a blessed time as you celebrate the holiday with your family!
Crăciun Fericit si Un An Nou Fericit!! (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!)
My Contact info:
Address: Fundatia APT, Str. Horea nr 2, Targu Mures, 540020, Romania
Landline phone # 011. 40. 0265. 040 (from Canada)
Cell phone #. 011. 40. 0728. 711. 554 (from Canada)
Financial support can be sent to: (please have my name written on the memo line)
In Canada: Christian Life Centre. 1030 Ravenscroft Rd, Ajax. ON L1T 4R9
In the States: Global Outreach. P.O. Box 98, Bramwell, WV 24715l