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“Small Love” by volunteer Julia Asmus

Julia Asmus came to volunteer with Firm Foundations Romania for a few weeks this year. After her experience, she wrote a blog about her trip and she shared this blog with us. It’s a beautiful testament to the work that God is doing in Romania, and that we in FFR are blessed to be part of. Thank you Julia for coming to volunteer with us and for allowing us to share your writing:

      In the 20 hours after I finished my last final of freshman year, I packed up my dorm, headed home, and hopped on a plane to travel the 5,000 miles to Romania.   I made a point to spend time looking out the plane window and reflecting on all the things God has done in my life this past year of college, and man, there’s a lot, but that’s for another post.  For most of the flight it didn’t seem real, and then at some point it simply was: I’m going to Romania and I hope I don’t come back the same.
      I arrived Saturday evening and went to church the next morning with the girls I’m volunteering with.  The pastor preached a message on the early church in Romanian and one of the volunteers translated into English.  In that small room people from all around the world, coming to Romania for multitudes of different reasons, sat together and listened and talked. That evening I walked around the almost empty Brasov citadel in the gentle rain and visited the Black Church in the city center.  It was a beautiful, yet stoic building that survived a massive fire hundreds of years ago and took decades to restore.  It was built to hold 5,000 people when there were only 2,000 living in Brasov.  The makers must’ve had big plans for their cathedral.
       I worked my first volunteering shift at the hospital Monday morning.  Sarah and I changed into our scrubs and carried over toys to play with the children.  The children we visit in the hospital are all sick.  Most of them have parents, but their parents may rarely visit them, if ever. Firm Foundations, the organization I’m volunteering with, steps in by bringing them diapers and hosting volunteers who assist the nurses by playing with the children, holding them, feeding them, and changing them when they might otherwise not get the necessary attention they need.  I held little Adam* and played with him.  I put little shoes on his feet and held him so he could try standing up.  He’s nearing two years old and still can’t walk or stand on his own, but he knows how to giggle and loves to laugh.  I held Callie*, a little girl who was supposedly left abandoned in a park and another little boy whose name we didn’t know.  We handed  out at least 50 diapers and changed multiple babies.  When I came back Tuesday, little Daniel* sat up in his crib when he saw me and reached out his arms toward me.  He sat in my lap and played with the toys while princess Samantha*, a 2 year old recovering from heart surgery, blew bubbles at us.  
      I’ve wanted my life to be this great big grand adventure.  I’ve wanted to do big things in big ways.  I want to change lives and impact eternity…and yet this trip has shown me that I am so small and everything I’m doing is so small.  Feeding babies, changing diapers, blowing bubbles, holding children, playing with them, and I’m only here for two weeks, what can I do in two weeks?
      And then I look at the mountains and think of all the miles I’ve traveled to get here and the sunsets I’ve seen and the bird song I hear each morning and the wild flowers that grow along the road and it hits me that I know the God who created it all, and He holds me and says “I’ve got you covered, I am in control, I love you, I love these children, and I’ve got you in my hands.”  And I stare at Him with wonder, the same way the children open their eyes when they awake from their naps and stare at the room and everything in it.  “It’s a big world out there,” I tell them as I hold them up to the window so they can see the sky and the sun and the mountains right outside their door.  Their eyes grow wide and I smile at them and they smile back and perhaps life and love don’t have to be a grand adventure to be wonderful.  And perhaps I don’t need to change the world everyday, perhaps all I’ve ever needed was God and His love and this relationship where He pours out all His life for me on the cross and I respond by letting that love guide me everyday, in the big things, and especially in the little ones.

*Alternative names used

Julia’s blog site: wandering-heart.weebly.com

Clownin’ Around in the Hospital

In addition to providing love to the babies in the hospital, our volunteers also provide much needed laughter and smiles! How can you help by giggle when you see these two clowns. Thanks girls for providing entertainment to the kids in the hospital, the staff, and to all of us! You are both amazing!

    

Want to be updated with FFR? Check out this newly made video for 2017!

What a wonderful year FFR had in 2016. Over 70 volunteers from 10 countries came to provide love and care for the babies in the hospital. We increased our After School Program team to four Romanian teachers and now have 130 children being helped. The Kid’s Club continues to grow with up to 13 children coming. And we started a program in Budila for Teen Moms.`God continues to provide and we are so thankful. We look forward to seeing what is in store for 2017 and we thank you for your continued support!

Check out our new video (an update on FFR projects):

Baby Closet – How to Donate for Romanian Babies and Moms in Need

Thanks to all the wonderful donations that we receive, we are able to bless not only the children in our programs and the babies in the hospital, but also the mothers who are staying in the hospital with their sick children.

Sofia’s back in town!

p1020503-2Thank you to everyone who prayed for dear little Sofia. After a temporary delay due to Sofia having the measles, she was admitted into the hospital and had a successful heart surgery. She is now back at the Brasov Children’s Hospital where she will spend the next month getting blood transfusions as needed. Due to her condition she will need to be on medication for life, but she is currently healthy and happy and remains the adorable little girl that all our volunteers love and cherish. Please continue to pray for Sofia as her body continues to heal and praise God for the work that has been done so far!

Summer 2016 Newsletter!

The year started off with a new logo and website and has just continued getting better and better! We’re so thankful for the volunteers who have given their time to love the children of Romania, for donors who have given financially to help keep our projects running, and for the many people praying for FFR on a daily basis! We know the second half of the year will be just as great as the first half and we look forward to you being on this journey with us!

Please click HERE to read our most recent newsletter and update.

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Update on Sofia

0530161059aA few weeks ago we sent a prayer request for Sofia, a baby in the hospital who has a life threatening heart condition. The past weeks have been rough for Sofia as she wasn’t feeling very well and there were rumors that she might just be sent home as nothing else could be done. However, on Tuesday new news was delivered… Read more

Celebrating the Children

In Romania, June 1st is Children’s Day! Celebrations take place all over the country to make the day special for the children. The play therapists in the hospital organize games and events, such as face painting, magic shows, and balloons. This year we helped by providing 200 bananas for the kids to have a healthy snack for the day. In the After School Program, we let the kids have some extra play time, including using the parachute and playing kickball. But the best part of the day was the surprise ice cream that each class was able to enjoy! The Kid’s Club kids each received some special gifts for the day, like stuffed animals and umbrellas.

Our teachers and volunteers know how special the children are that we have the privilege to work with daily, but it’s still fun for everyone to have a special celebration and for the kids to be reminded just how loved they are!

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Baby in Need of Prayer

IMG_8668S is a baby who first came to us in February. She has spent some time in ICU and some time at home since then, but has spent the majority of the past 4 months with us. We have watched her learn to walk and learn to talk, been a part of her giggles and comforting her tears. She is an adorable bundle of joy, who enjoys company and always blows us a sweet kiss when we leave. We think she is around 18 months old.

Her parents have 4 other children at home, but visit as often as they can. They both have a strong bond with their daughter, but they have been unable to care for her at home because she has a condition called tetralogy of fallot. This is a very rare condition affecting 4 areas of her heart.  People with this condition, however, with the Sofia 3right treatment in early life, live relatively normally and into adulthood. S has already had one heart surgery, but needs another. At the moment her heart struggles to get enough oxygen around her body, and her hands and feet often have a bluish tint. Up to now, she has been too unwell for the surgery, and is limited on the antibiotics she can be given due to her heart condition. This past week, however, she has been recovering well, and it is possible that after one more check up her parents can book an appointment for her surgery in Targu Mures,  approximately a 3 hour drive from Brasov. Her mother will go with her.

Please join us in prayer for S and her family. For wisdom for the doctors and surgeons treating her, for God’s timing for the surgery and for Gods love and faithfulness to be displayed to her and her family throughout this difficult time.

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We Need You!

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  • We are looking for someone to volunteer 3 to 4 hours a week to assist Firm Foundations Romania with social media needs such as website modifications, blog posts, newsletter editing, and fund raising marketing.
  • We are looking for individuals to come and help renovate our Support Center, located on the hospital grounds, where we have meetings, store donations and diapers, and plan to make an office space. Projects include plastering, painting, plumbing, etc.
  • We are also looking to employ Romanian-speaking individuals for our After School Program, our High School Mentorship Program, and as a Den Mother. These is a full time paid positions which include Carta de Munca.

If you are interested, please contact us at mail@firmfoundationsromania.com. We ask that you pass this message to anyone who might be able to assist in one of these areas, and we look forward to hearing from you!