Today was another lovely and adventurous day here in Momaia. We started off the day with a solid breakfast and solo devos. We then got our ‘wifi devices’ confiscated, thus we are not able to connect with our friends and families, which we can handle but are disappointed from the actions. Then Megan, Bree and Jesse led us with probably the best VBS in history and the pig food was rank. Today there was a decrease in children but an increase in listening skills. We played an exciting game called capture the pig, and no, we didn’t play with real pigs. But overall, VBS went really well. Later on after supper, we had separate men’s and woman’s ministry where the girls stayed at the compound and the guys rode horse carriages to salla de sport and played soccer with some of the older boys from Momaia. The rain was coming down so hard, that it actually came inside the building from the small cracks on the roof. As they were on their way home, a car drove past and drenched them with dirty water from a MASSIVE puddle. They all laughed it off because theywere having such a good time.
The girls tidied up the house, we actually washed the floor on our hands and knees, but then it started pouring rain, so some of us went out for a good long shower! The girls who didn’t go outside stayed and make cookie dough, and yes, just the dough, we ate most of the dough, only a few cookies were made. After that we played catch phrase and watched an incredible sunset.
There has been the closest thing I have ever seen to a flash flood during the storm.
Fun Fact Moment!!
We are expected to get 30 litres per square yard of rain tonight, we’re still not sure how much water that really is but it sounds like a lot. When it rains here it pours.
At 10:00 we started this and it now bedtime so we have to go.
Jesse and Kira
Jordan Sinnamon and Chloe reporting for duty!
Today was the second day of our VBS and Lucien, Nathan and Chloe led. We performed a skit to entertain the kids with our story of the 10 plagues of Egypt. Nate was dressed in a beautiful red satin shawl, while Lucien had Moses’s staff and PJ standing on a ladder being God throwing makeshift flies and ping pong balls (hail) at our sinful Pharaoh; aka Nate.
To our pleasant surprise, the kids sat with listening ears allowing us to entertain them while teaching in a playful manner. We played many relay games with the older kids attempting to teach them leap frog which failed miserably… We thought they knew of the game, but apparently not! Back to the drawing board we go! Improvising, we got the kids to bear crawl, balance bean bags on their head and challengingly make their way to the other side with 3 legs. It occasionally got frustrating and chaotic, but don’t worry, as usual we got everything back under control.
On a side note, Jordan White challenged the team today with watching our tongues. Not only did we have to watch negative things that might possibly be said, but we also had to encourage someone on the team. To keep in mind that we should say things to lift one another up and not tear each other down; even though it’s usually not intentional. We’re all beginning to get comfortable with one another and sarcasm seems to be becoming a part of our daily language. So thank you Whitey for helping us be more aware and delicate with our tongues.
Back to VBS, the craft went well and was fun! Nate’s creativity was shown through a paper plate frog which had the children’s hands for feet. However it was slightly complicated as there were many steps that the younger kids didn’t understand. It ended up being the leaders of the group doing 45 different crafts. The older kids thoroughly enjoyed themselves and for the most part participated very well. (The boys also really liked Jordan… Sinnamon.) Through his beatboxing and hairy legs, he captivated the attention of the older boys.
During the 2nd round of the craft, I got pulled over to witness to a mother in the village. She was curious as to how I became a Christian due to all of the brokenness in my family. (For all of you that do not know, I grew up in a non Christian home and became the first Christian in my family… My parents have been separated since I was born and it gets complicated from there.) Getting the opportunity to testify to her was such a privilege and it was slightly nerve wracking as well. She shared with me of her struggles and shared that she believes that God listens to our prayers and he also answers them. If we have great faith in God, he will answer with grace and will give us what we need. What a blessing it was to exchange stories with one another.
The togetherness and participation of the group has created so much laughter and joy. I’m not ready to go home which is really odd since at the beginning of the week I was very homesick. We’ve created so many memories with everyone here, including our Romanian helpers, as well as John and Cheryl. I just want to bring all of them back home with us and give them the Canadian experience (even our everlasting winters). I’m sure we could find homes for the 5 of them to stay, couldn’t we?
Today during my personal devotions I was reminded in 1 John 3:18 – Dear children, let us not love with words or speech, but with actions and in truth. – it kind of explains that even though there is a language barrier between us and the kids we can still show them love through our actions. I got to share this reminder with the team in group devos, in hopes to encourage them with the words of truth; that through our frustrating times to press through and continue to show them God’s love. This was also a good reminder for myself of the reason of why I’m here… for the kids. The kids of Mamaia are loud and chaotic, but are just wanting to have fun. They love physical affection from us, any kind of attention actually, and knowing that this is what they desire and seek, I can do my best to give that to them.
It’s 10:20pm and curfew happens to be in 10 minutes. In this past half hour the team has gotten together to help prep tomorrow’s VBS group’s craft as it got changed when we arrived in Romania. Not a problem though! Rounding all the members up we’ve managed to get their craft all ready to go for tomorrow. Stations with tracing, cutting, breaking popsicle sticks and wrapping pipe cleaners into curly tails to create cartoonish pigs, to illustrate Pastor Jordan’s rap.
Before signing off a couple things to bring to attention:
1) Jordan Sinnamon is beginning to develop a sore throat
2) Jesse Sinnamon caught himself on the barbwire fence while jumping over it resulting in many minor scrapes and cuts.
3) Tiredness continues to linger over us in our long days in the sun and exertion of energy
Other than that, we think our team is doing very well. 🙂
Jordan & Chloe, over n’ out!
Hi friends and fam!
Today started bright and early with mushroom picking.. well for the rest of the team.. We (Lucci and Mck) stayed back with PJ and had some nice devotion time together. We even had to wake up at 5:30 for team support, sadly we weren’t allowed to have a coffee because we had to wait until the team came back.. which was three hours later. 😉 We had a fantastic pancake breakfast ready for the team as they came back from their mushroom picking journey! From what we hear, they had a great time and were quite successful in finding mushrooms. We had a winner for who picked the most, Megan.. with 72 mushrooms picked! We have a new record! 🙂
Today was our first VBS in Momaia. Luke and Gabby led again today, and did a super job! We were excited about the number of kids who showed up today ready to participate in the lesson, crafts, and activities! We were impressed by their focus and perseverance throughout! The kids are so adorable and are melting our hearts! The kids are soaking up the love and attention they’re getting and we are loving their smiles and hugs 🙂
Shortly after VBS ended it started pouring rain, a few team members took advantage of the storm and brought their shampoo outside and showered in the rain (they were clothed.. thank goodness..) thats the longest shower they’ve had in a few days!
We had an amazing dinner this evening, the chicken was absolutely marvellous as was the vegetarian rice. We enjoyed our evening together preparing for VBS and getting some solo time to reflect as individuals. Courtney has been giving us lots of time to spend with Jesus to think through how this experience has impacted our lives. We then finished the evening with a game of 4 on a couch and are now headed for bed. We miss everyone and look forward to seeing you in a week.
Mck & Lucci
Everyone arose early this morning at 5:30am to head up the mountain for a cultural experience. You will hear more about it tonight. I (PJ) stayed back in Momaia with our cripples and we enjoyed getting some intentional time together.
John and Cheryl have been such gracious hosts and have spoiled the team rotten. Fresh baked cookies, pop, chocolate bars, gluten free meals, vegan meals and everything else under the sun. The great food, hospitality and good company has helped the transition into gypsy culture be fairly smooth. Some of the students are struggling a little bit with being homesick, but for the most part we are transitioning well.
I am so proud of the team and how they are engaging in the culture and with each other. Courtney is doing a fantastic job leading everyone and it is a real joy to partner with these students and leaders in ministry.
One of my highlights so far has been watching a couple of the kids come alive while we have been here. Lucien has blown me completely out of the water. I have never seen him so engaged, gregarious and full of life. He appears more comfortable oversees than back in Canada and it has been a real gift to the team to watch his love for culture, people and life here. Also, has blessed to watch Chloe, Josh and Jordin give spontaneous testimony about their love for Jesus yesterday at church and how wonderfully they all did.
Yesterday was probably the most exhausting day and yet the student rallied at an opportunity to continue further ministry to the congregation in Momaia through more testimony and sharing. They were exhausted and yet half a dozen students volunteered to share their “God Stories” with the people. Although our time together fell through it was incredible to see the willingness of the students to push themselves.
I could go on and on, but I won’t we miss you all back home and deeply value your prayers.
ps. Thank you for all the blog comments, the student deeply value hearing for you guys, so please keep them rolling.
Good evening, my oh my today was quite the day. We had a great morning, some of us got to sleep in, some of us were up bright and early.
Today we went to church here in Momaia, which was an incredible experience. We sang a song we learned in Romanian, and a song in english that the church was supposed to know but didn’t really. (Janine, Jordan S, Lucien, Brittany, Luke M, MacKayla from Washington, Anna and Loys some of our translators). Pastor Jordan spoke on Galatians 1, and church unity, meanwhile two men began to argue and took it outside. But also, the Holy Spirit moved on hearts and we could see people responding well. John gave a message, and following this the pastor requested on the spot if some of our team could give personal testimony about God’s power in their life. Chloe, Josh & Jordin G. each gave profound witness to Jesus’ power in their lives.
After church we went into a town to eat some Shawarma for lunch! We all enjoyed it very much! We continued on to see a Romanian Orthodox Monestary (now a museum) and church. From there, we ventured on to a market to do some shopping and then made our way back to Momaia.
Shortly after arriving back, we were presented with an unexpected request from some members of the church. They requested to come by the house and have us share more testimony’s and God stories. This is a request that John and Cheryl have never been asked before, so we prepared as a team for an intentional night of witnessing. The team was nervous but definitely eager to have been given this opportunity to pour out into the lives of these church members. Our first major culture shock moment came when three hours after their expected arrival, they still had not arrived. They did not end up coming, but we will see if this opportunity reoccurs for a future night.
We are doing well, there are a few struggles with missing home, some minor injuries, dealing with the culture differences, and the dogs barking at night is driving a few of us batty! Spirits are high, and we are excited to see what God has in store for us for the next week. Plans seem to change each day under His prompting and we are learning to react to it with vigor.
As I said we have a couple injuries, please pray for McKayla and her sore hip, Lucien and his sore ankle, Kira and her back pain, and Bree and her allergies. In fact please continue to pray for all of us as we deal with the heat, the high energy consuming days, and the ever changing experiences we have each day.
It was nice to have a day filled with a bit more rest, but we are looking forward to tomorrow to beginning our vbs in Momaia. Goodnight from us all (even though it is just after lunch time back home)!
Today was great. We ran vbs in a small gypsy village 30km from Momaia. Luke and Gabby led us and did a great job teaching the children about Gods power through the story of Joshua and the Israelites. The children were very receptive and enjoyed the day with us.
One of the highlights for me has been watching the team grow together and care about each other. Everyone has really enjoyed being together and nobody has been on the outside. Our translators have been incredible and have really helped us in ministry.
We enjoyed some free time with one another after getting back from Salatru. We also, after supper, got to go play games as a team at a soccer field near by. And by soccer field I mean a soccer field of shin high grass 🙂 it was good to have an evening of team time!
At this very moment, 11:30 pm, some of us are watching the Costa Rica vs. Netherlands soccer game 😉 We are sure enjoying one another’s company!
Thank you for following and and for your prayers! Sending you our love!
So… Everyone slept a little better last night. We are looking forward to day two of VBS in a village called Salatru about 30min away. Yesterday and today are the only days we will be traveling for VBS. We have been traveling to these villages for the last 4 years and it is so incredible to see how God has worked in these villages. 4 years ago there was no church and little understanding of a personal relationship with Jesus. This year the villages have new church buildings and growing congregations. One of the highlights from yesterday was watching these children respond to a couple of our memory verses by shouting them back to us because they already knew them! Thank you Jesus for the growth we have been able to see.
Pray today for tiredness and for the team to persevere. Day 4 is often around the time where the novelty of being in a new place begins to wear off and things become a little harder. Pray that Jesus uses this tension to grow our students.
Thanks for all the Love and Support. We have been reading your comments to the students.