“Now that’s a first!” First time anyone ever celebrated your birthday in 17 years of life. First time, to go to school 5 days in a row, first time to ever go to a large supermarket, first time to hang your head out the window of a car, first time to ride in a car, first time to ever leave your small village, first time to have lunch in the community center. First time to use our new dishwasher, first time to carve pumpkins, first time someone cared enough to help you with your homework. First time you ever received a good mark in school, first time anyone celebrated that you received a good mark in school…These are just some of the “Now that’s a first” moments we have experienced in the last month! I wish you could experience some of these Now that’s a first” moments!
I laugh to myself as I look in the outside mirror of the car of 2 boys fighting to hang their heads out the window as the wind blows their hair and the smiles and laughs so big! After a minute or so I call off the fun and they close the window and ask if they can do it again tomorrow! How can I say, no!? They clap with the excitement and anticipate what it will be like tomorrow! As we sing to Laura, you can feel the inner joy as she receives her first birthday cake and gifts in 17 years of life. Four kids from a village outside of Medgidia, walk with big eyes gazing at all the options in the supermarket and then thank me at the end for taking them for a walk in the store. After we go to the program, they can’t contain to hurry and share their experience with others! Daniela, running for the car from her house screaming with delight and telling me about the best grade she ever received in school! Filip, casually stating that he can’t believe he was in school 5 days in a row. Cindy, sitting at the table, in disbelief, with her team for the first real cooked lunch in the Community Center kitchen! Now, that’s a first!
Last week, Dale, a gypsy, came to the program so sick. Her parents left her and 6 siblings’ home alone while they went to work in Spain. They live in deplorable conditions and they scavenge the streets and dumpsters all day for food. We feed and provide clothes and food for them but there are 24 hours in a day and only a few hours are spent in our programs. I gave her some medicine and changed her clothes and held her in my arms for one hour as she just looked lifeless up at me. I could not contain my emotions as I felt so sad for her. How can a mom just leave her home alone with siblings not much older than her to fend for their selves? How can God be okay with this situation and many, many just like it everywhere around us here? As I prayed and questioned God about this situation and all the why’s and how could they scenario’s, I was overcome with gratitude. I began to thank God for all of you who stand alongside of us here, who help support in prayer and finances. You are the ones who bought the medicine, donated the clothes, the car, the gas and the food for the programs. You are the ones who help all these “Now that’s a first” become reality! You are the spiritual parents of many here, I would not be here to hold and take care of Dale, if it wasn’t for you help, love and support. The Community Center would not be a reality if it wasn’t for you who give so generously! As I began to thank God for all of you and who He is, Dale regained her strength and was sent home with all the rest of the kids feeling much better than when she came!
Did you know that in one week you help buy 15 loaves of bread, 6 kilos of salami, 6 bags of cereal, 12 liters of milk and special snacks and treats for over 150 kids who attend the 3 programs, basically 4 times a week. In addition, you provide 150 liters of gas to transport 12 kids from 2 villages, to and from the programs…And much, much more! Thank you for sharing all our Now that’s a first” moments! Thank you for giving us all our “Now that’s a first” moments! Thank you for helping us be the ones who can take care of Dale and so many others! We will never forget the investments you sowed into our lives!
Together we are changing lives with the love of Christ…One step at a time!
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Changing lives with the love of Christ one step at a time.