Friday, August 19, 2016

Summer Fun

Well, it has certainly been a busy summer here in Romania! I have barely had time to sit down and think since June started. I just released an e-newsletter talking about all that went on but I have so many pictures and experiences to talk about that a blog post was in order.

We started the summer with "pre-school" camp at Voluntari. I say "pre-school" but really these are our kids between pre-K and 1st grade age. Shelley and Natalie, two of our team members, prepared a great camp that played off our larger theme for the summer of "The Circus".
Remus running a clown relay race.
We wanted the kids to see that the world can use magic and allusions to try and distract us from the truth about God.
Sometimes you just need a helping hand!
Making crafts about Noah and the ark.
Our central Bible verse was 1 Corinthians 13:13: "Now these three remain: faith, hope and love; but the greatest of these is love." Each day we would have skits, object lessons, crafts, and games with the kids.

After "pre-school" camps came day camps. Each day we brought in groups of kids from either Voluntari or Peris to the team house where we continued with the circus theme. We had some special stations for the kids during game time: a trampoline, huge body bumpers for human bumper cars, and a slack line!
Dani trying the slack line.
Making clown cupcakes for snack time.
We had skits from the strong man and the bearded lady that taught about how faith, hope, and love helped characters from the Bible and how to apply these principles in daily life.
Tim on the trampoline.
Daniel getting ready to can never be too prepared!
Andreea taking a dive. This was her first time being at our pool for the summer. Our kids are fearless!
They love to swim but they can still get a little cold as Remus demonstrates.

Following day camps we had teen camps. First, we brought all the girls in from Rosiori, Voluntari, and Peris for a girls camp. Then we had the Voluntari and Rosiori boys together and ended with a camp for the Peris boys. As a special treat we took each camp group to a trampoline park. Everyone had a lot of fun jumping off obstacles, playing dodge ball, and tumbling into the foam pit.
Alina at the trampoline park.
Taking a run on the tumbling mat towards the ball pit. Even the most reluctant kids all got involved by the end of the day!
We also had daily panels where we discussed some serious issues with the kids such as running away, dating and sexual relationships, and developing a personal relationship with Christ. The kids were able to take each discussion seriously and we hope and pray that they were touched by the messages presented.
Human bumper cars during teen camp.
One morning was spent with the boys at the park where we played a human version of foosball!

This summer we had an amazing number of volunteers come out to help. At one point there were 37 people from around North America all living and serving under one roof together! And that's not including all of the regular, full time staff members who are here. Because we had so many helping hands we were able to have play days with the kids at the orphanage who were not involved in camp. Heather and I lead small groups of team members several times each week to share a story, make a craft, and play games with the kids.
"Elephant Golf" during our animal week themed play time.
Making trees out of our hands and discussing how each of us is unique.
It was a good way for the kids to get to spend time with the team members and for everyone to have fun and develop some special relationships.

With the conclusion of camps everyone has had a little bit of time to catch their breath and relax. We had a Canadian intern, Alex, with us until mid-August so we took the time to go sightseeing in Bran at Dracula's Castle.
Bran Castle

We didn't actually go inside the castle since the line was so long but we still did some shopping and sightseeing while we were there!
I was also able to go to the baby hospital for the first time in a long while. It was great to see the little ones there!

In just a few short days I will be leaving for a week of vacation in Greece on the island of Crete. Jen, Jenny, Talitha, Heather, and I have planned a little get away to rest and reset before school starts on the 14th of September. We have already started fall ministry planning and I'm excited to see what God has in store for the coming months!