Simple Acts of Love are the Greatest Works.

Thank you Sarah Wascom Dagley from Crosby, Texas for this touching look at what it’s like to volunteer at the children’s hospital. You and so many others, have become the hands, shoulders and soft voices that these children will remember. They may not remember faces, or names, they will never remember where you came from or why you were there, but they will remember how you loved them, how you were a shoulder to cry on and a warm hug to hold them when they were scared and lonely. 

And Just Like That, It’s Back To Salt Dough and Bible Stories.

Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it. Proverbs 22:6

The Romanian school year has officially begun this week, so we are super excited to kick off another year of our Budila projects. Kids Club began this week and it was so exciting to welcome new children to the group! 
Those who are still of age from last year remained and after speaking with families we have welcomed many little ones to start this preschool journey that will, Lord willing, continue through to finishing high school. What a long term commitment, but with the most life changing rewards.
What an amazing opportunity we have, to take these children out of their world for two days a week and begin to teach them, love them and show them how special and valued they are in our eyes, but more importantly in Gods eyes. The week began with the story of creation. For a craft the children made salt dough mountains and then painted their own little creation. 
On thursday the children learned the story of Abraham and Lot separating to settle a quarrel between the shepherds. They made pudding with crackers in it to show the rocky place where Abraham had to live, (we love using food as an illustration!). After such a successful year last year with this program we are thrilled to meet with these kids every week and watch them grow and learn. This project has been completely transforming for these little ones, through your support and your prayers. Words cannot expresses the gratitude we have to God for his faithful provision to make this all possible!

Project Coordinator Lidia Shade shares the lesson for the day with the help of a friend. 
Snack Time!                                                                                        Play Time!
Nothing more fun than getting your hands dirty.

One Volunteer’s Inspiring Journal Entry: From China With Love

This is a direct quote from my very own travel journal
written on the 5th April, 2014.
The last time I was on the train with my giant backpack, I
was about to begin my little adventure in Eastern Europe and my first stop was
FFR Romania; not knowing what to expect, who I would meet, how I would
feel  about it all, I felt
uncertain with a tint of excitement. Just over 3 weeks now, I carry the same
backpack on a different train heading to Sighisoara leaving FFR. 
Where should I
begin?

Sorting donations for the Baby Closet.

I remember when I was still in Hong Kong, way back when I
have decided to leave home and take on this challenge/adventure of mine I felt
a bit lost and was opened to wherever my adventure takes me or lead me to.
Funny enough I think I might have found something already in the past 3 weeks!!
I don’t know what it is but I loved what I did and everything that happened!! I
have learnt so much! The power of LOVE! The people I have crossed paths are
incredible; the babies at the hospital, the kids at Budila, they have taught me
to love and beloved unconditionally, to believe in your beliefs, to chase after
your dreams, to be brave, to be thankful for what you have. The list is
endless.

Eliz teaching out teenagers how to make Chinese dumplings.

I really admire and love the FFR team! I still don’t get my
head round it, how did they come to Romania and have lived here for 10 years
purely from the desire of wanting to make a difference in these children’s
lives? But they did it! They believe in their passion and faith and worked
towards their goals. I love how passionate they are, I love how closely they
work with the local people and be part of the community and culture. It’s super
amazing and inspiring.

When I first shared the idea with my family and friends of
wanting to volunteer abroad I have had responses such as “Well you could
volunteer at home too!”,  “You
can’t help everyone in need there are so many people in the world and the ones
you are helping are only the tip of an ice-berg!”

I once cast doubts on the
difference I am actually making too but then I remembered the ‘star fish

story’
and it reminded me the power of making a little difference. However after being
with all these wonderful people in the past 3 weeks I have discovered something
even more incredible, I realized that 
the people whom I have met have made much greater difference in my life
than me to them!
I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for
everything  as it was a truly
life-changing experience and it made me believe that maybe the so-called
impossibilities are possible after all and that I shall not be afraid to
believe in what I believed in and sometimes thoughts may seem foolish to others
but it’s not foolish at all! Missing you guys already.  Xxxxxx       
-Eliz Leung

Lights, Camera…Budila!

Nowadays, snapping photos is an everyday thing. Most people have a camera on their phone that allows them to capture every part of their day: get togethers with friends, road trips, even what they’re eating. Now think way back, if you’re old enough, to the time when taking pictures meant owning a camera, having batteries for it, and buying rolls of film at the 7/11. Now try to imagine even farther back to a time when it was a rare and precious thing to have your photograph taken, a picture of your family that would hang on a wall of the house, slowly getting faded over time from the constant exposure to sun light.
Most, if not all, children in Budila have never had a picture of themselves, or pictures hanging in the home of their family. Well, we were thrilled this past week when a team from Alisha Sidebottom’s home church, The Freedom Center in Fenton Michigan, came to freeze in time the lovely and happy faces of our After School Program children. Each child was able to have their photo taken and then framed and given to them. The team was also able to take group pictures of the different grades.

It’s time to go back to school all over the globe and for kids in most western countries that means back to school photos! What a precious and memorable gift to give these children and their families. If any of you ever look back fondly on your awkward or unfortunate elementary school photos, complete with starry or neon lazer backgroud, then just think how much more these photos will be prized and appreciated.
These children have a bright future and it is so important to build them up and show them they are valued.

Thank you once again Michigan for upping the bar, for being an amazing example of team work and for giving your love to the children of Romania! You guys were a a blast to have, and we can’t wait to see you back again in Romania. And an extra special thank you to former long term volunteer Erin Deale, for being an awesome team leader!