MerryChristmas! We pray that you would be OVERWHELMED this holiday season... With PEACE as you fix your mind on Jesus and JOY as you receive His LOVE!
THE JOY OF EXPERIENCING GOD...
It's common here, especially among the Orthodox, to observe Advent. However, most children (and I suppose many adults too) don't benefit from the tradition because they have not been taught to expect ANYTHING from God.
In November we spent time with children from all of the orphanages and group homes we work with. Taking them one small group at a time, we shared about Advent and the message of real and personal relationship with God because of Jesus! Of course, there were plenty of crafts, treats, activities and singing carols too! And again this year, thanks to Pas cu Pas's supporters in Canada, each child was able to choose a pair of shoes and a coat!
Christmas ministry continued all this month as we've taken small groups from the Prichindel and Illisua orphanages on outings to see lights and serve them special meals with carols and games afterward.
We believe this small group approach is worth the extra time and effort to make sure each child feels valued. That experience (feeling valued) re-enforces the message of God's love and hopefully gives it a better opportunity to take root!
We also had a nice Christmas party with just our volunteers. Dinu showed his skills in the kitchen coming up with awesome barbecue ribs! It was a special time. Check out this video of a fun "animal signs" game from that night!
RISKY BUSINESS... Each year, an estimated two thousand young adults exit orphanages in Romania. Many end up homeless, with no money or shelter, and turn to drugs and crime. (source)
The boys you see here live in the children's home in Beclean (what used to be the largest institution for children in the country). We provide a monthly program for the children there, but obviously, these guys are way too old and way too cool to participate!
Watching them head toward everything the statistics say they are at risk for has been a painful frustration! BUT, thanks to some Holy-Spirit inspired brainstorming and recruiting by the rest of our team, all of that is changing...
Dinu now leads an eclectic group of godly men (from 7th year brain-surgery student to pastor to electronics salesman) in a once a month mentoring effort. They hang out, play soccer or go bowling, etc. and then the guys share advice and talk about important topics over dinner.
These boys are now at high risk of developing their own relationship with God and living lives that reflect His grace!
This is an important new ministry and we would really appreciate your prayers for these young men- that their hearts would be soft and their eyes opened to the truth of the Gospel!
Visit our photo blog to see a recent post of pictures from the first few outings with the boys
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