Thursday, April 2, 2020

A Change of Plans

March 2020 Update
To say that March was nothing like I expected it to be would be something of an understatement. Things started out normally...birthday celebrations, a team, doing therapy sessions with kids...but quickly took a turn for the unexpected on the 9th. That was the last day that we were allowed to go and see the kids. That was the start of the COVID-19 quarantine and it only got progressively worse from there. By the 16th the government had declared a 30 day State of Emergency and within a week from that date we were under military orders to stay home (except for one of the 10 government approved reasons) and our borders were closed.

Top (L-R): Making marțișori with the Michigan team, me and Petruța
Middle: Nicu and Eric at the H2H birthday party, Heather and I helping the kids make their marțișori, Nicu and Jen at the H2H birthday party
Bottom: Me and Iuli singing at Youth Group, me and Petruța having a deep conversation, me and Jade checking out one of the H2H scrapbooks with Ruthie and Emi

Despite it all we are trying to keep things up and running. We were able to go down before very strict quarantine measures started to work on painting for summer camps (which we had begun already with the Michigan team). I have started making YouTube videos for my kids discussing different therapy concepts. Heather and I have started holding weekly Youth Groups via Facebook Live (Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m., Romanian time).
Top: Doing church online (this was the last weekend that Nicu and I got to be together before we went under super strict lockdown)
Middle (L-R): Heather and Wanetta working on painting for summer camps, our mural for camp (so far), an empty mall food court
Bottom: Heather's reminder for us all; a broadcast about the closing of hotels, coffee shops, and restaurants; the other mural that we are working on for summer camps

So, yes, there have been some good moments. I have some kids responding to the online videos who normally aren't as enthusiastic about coming to therapy sessions. We had a good turnout for our first online Youth Group. There are some projects getting done around the house.

But there has been a lot of frustration and sadness as well. We don't know when we will be allowed to go back to see the kids or even what that will look like when we do go. There are some kids who I haven't heard from in weeks because they don't have the technology to keep in touch, the data plans to keep their tablets up and running, or some other, unknown reason. We have had to cancel visits from friends and family. Nicu and I have postponed our wedding celebration.

And yet...we may not know what tomorrow holds but we follow a God who does so we can confidently face the unknown that each new day brings.

And that is what I plan to do.
Top: Alex
Bottom (L-R): Antonio, Sorina
Family Ministry Update

As I mentioned above, Nicu and I made the difficult decision to move our marriage celebration to the 23rd of August. We will still have our civil ceremony on the 25th of April like we had originally planned and will be having a short religious ceremony on that day as well. We will just be waiting to celebrate with friends and family until August.

Our plan right now is for Nicu to continue to work at the auto parts warehouse after we are married and to begin looking for our own apartment and car. We hope to have enough financial support raised to accomplish both finding an apartment and a car as well as have Nicu begin working full time with Heart to Heart by the end of June. We realize this is a huge task, especially since I am facing the prospect of taking a 40% pay cut for the next few months due to the recent economic downturn. We also believe that God is in the business of doing miracles and are choosing to trust in Him to provide.
Our goal remains the same: to raise at least an additional $3000 in monthly support. We also need one time gift donations. If you would like to support us financially, with whatever amount you are able, please click the link below. Be sure and indicate that you would like the funds to go to Melissa and Nicu Perghel.

Donate through Walking With Orphans (100% of donations go directly to Nicu and Melissa)

Prayer Requests and Praises
  • We are in good health for the time being.
  • We have found ways to connect with the kids online so that we can still talk to them regularly.
Prayer requests:
  • Financial support.
  • That the quarantine will be lifted and we can start to see the kids again.
  • Health and safety for us, our families, and the kids.
  • That Nicu and I can get married on the 25th of April so we can start our life together.