Spread the Love, Pass the Spätzle!

We love to share family traditions with each other and with our volunteers. Being away from home, for us long term volunteers can be difficult sometimes, so why not spread the love with our Brasov family! Steffi is an expert Spätzle maker, with a recipe passed down from her Oma. What a great night sharing laughs, good food and good friends.

The Most Powerful Weapon for Change

Nelson Mandela famously quoted, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. There is so much reward in seeing this truth manifest itself every day in the gypsy community of Budila.
Since merging our Teenage Mentorship Program with the After School Program, the focus has increased on school work for our teens in Budila. Project Manager Juliana writes, “I personally am very blessed because their enthusiasm hasn’t changed at all. We do a lot of math but they don’t complain at all, they keep on coming and give their best; especially the 8th graders who are preparing for their exams to be accepted into high school.” Each teen attends the After School Program and receives tutoring, Bible lessons and participates in games and activities. Now that the program has expanded to include all school ages, there is even more of a sense of community and purpose among the children. It was once a strange concept to this community to want to attend school after eighth grade; but we’re changing that! Since the After School Program began there has been even more opportunity for volunteers to come and interact with the teens, share about their cultures and help with their school work. Juliana shares, “every visitor that has come to Budila to meet the teens and all the children in the program has been amazed at their attention and interest in hearing about God. I am honored to be part of this ministry.”

Juliana is also the den mother and mentor to our teens who live in Brasov. “The three high school girls that I share the apartment with in Brasov are doing great. Of course there are obstacles and conflicts but these are just details that bring us to Jesus and help us grow. The high school boys said to me many times that they would love to live in Brasov as well.” Currently we do not have an apartment for boys in the city, but would like to expand to be able to offer this to all our teens. Not having to commute to school everyday allows more time for studying and gives these young people an opportunity to expand their view of the world. We are praying for this opportunity to open up this year and to find someone who would like to mentor these boys and live with them in the Brasov.

English: Its as Easy as “One Two, How are You?”

At our After School Program its always fun to teach the children some English! Basic English is taught in all Romanian schools but with this additional tutoring we hope that the children will become more comfortable and confident with their language skills. In Prejmer this past week we had a great English lesson. The teens were really excited to learn more and are not shy about trying out what they’ve learned. As you can see below, our fourth graders aren’t shy either!

Good things come from DOWN UNDER

We really do get volunteers from all over the world, but to have someone travel almost 10,000 miles to spend seven precious days loving the babies at the children’s hospital is something special! So we asked Nyree to tell us a little bit about her experience, and this is what she said!

Our Rendition of “Cups”…hardly Pitch Perfect.

Summer nights in Brasov are often spent with volunteers around a campfire, sharing a meal or playing games. This is one of our favorite memories from last summer, requiring a bit more co-ordination than some might naturally have…but be tried! Thank you to Sonia and Freddy Javornik, your lovely children and nanny Simone Vogt for coming to volunteer, and for trying to pass on your talents to us!

The Thankful Hearts of the Poor

If you lived in a place like this, would you be thankful?
It is a humbling and touching thing to see those with very little, express their gratitude for what they do have. So many of us are guilty of losing perspective and focusing on what we don’t have. The truth is, we all have a multitude of reasons to be thankful.

Our After School Program made a thankful tree this week and filled it with things they are thankful for: school, family, apples, flowers, it’s beautiful outside and much more.

What an awesome reminder to look at the blessings God has bestowed on us and be thankful!

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat
or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than
food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in
barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more
valuable than they? Matthew 6:25-26

Horses Loose in Brasov!

Each year on the first Sunday after Easter, Brasov celebrates Junii Festival – “The Feast of Youth.” The parade consists of seven groups of men riding from the mountains through Brasov in celebration of spring, the renewing of nature and the beginning of new life. The oldest document recorded in which this procession is mentioned is from March 26, 1728 but it is assumed that the celebration already existed in antiquity. The parade is a fantastic display of costume and tradition, and most uniquely the riders will shout to the crowd ‘Hristos a inviat’ (Christ is risen), and the crowd will respond ‘Adevarat a inviat’ (He is risen indeed). To learn more about this unique festival click here, and enjoy this little snippet below!