Finally, after many months, it seems like we are taking baby steps towards "normal" ministry. While we still have not been able to start the transition program, Nicu and I have been able to start going to Voluntari to spend time with the kids. When we go, we spend some time playing games with whoever is around but it's really a chance to catch up and provide mentorship. Nicu is especially good at being able to connect with the kids and give them advice in a way that they are willing to receive. We're praying that we can continue to have access to this ministry site and that the kids will come and participate in the activities that we have planned for them.
No new pictures yet...but here's a cute one of Darius from our school year kickoff in August!
Periș has, unfortunately, continued to be hard to get access to. We can no longer pick up the kids for church so they have to come in on public transportation and their day passes expire much sooner, even for the older kids. This means that we have less time with them and that some of them have started to wane in their commitment to come to church...which is somewhat understandable, they have to leave at 9:00 in the morning to make sure they are at church by 11:30! We're praying that the kids will find a renewed interest in coming and that Periș will become more accessible to us in the next few weeks.
Iuli came to church last Sunday and got to help celebrate Karla's birthday with us. Here he is hanging out with Emi. He truly has a big heart.
As I mentioned above, we still have not been able to start the transition program as we had hoped. Thankfully, two of the boys who we would like to enter the program are still in school and have not left the orphanage. However, it is clear that the system is trying to move the older kids out and condense or close some of the orphanages so we're not sure how much more time we will have before these boys must make a decision about their future. Nicu and I very much wish that the boys could be here with us, there is so much they could be learning and, honestly, we need the help. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, financial support for the program is down. Nicu and I are extremely fortunate that we have faithful givers who have never missed a month. God has provided for us in ways that are amazing over the past year and we are looking for ways to continue to honor Him through our finances. We are praying that we can find at least $300/month in support for each of the boys who would like to enter the program.
Hard to believe that this was just a year ago at Periș! Keep praying for these kids and their futures, so much has changed for them!
Next month, one of our staff members, Wanetta will be leaving to return to Canada. She has worked in Roșiori de Vede for the past three years and has been an amazing addition to our team. She will be greatly missed and leaves some very big shoes to fill! I had hoped to be able to pick up ministry where she had left off: going to visit the kids several days a week in the apartments. However, I was recently told that I'm at an elevated risk for early labor and my doctor told me I need to take it easy. I'm praying that I will still be able to go to Roșiori with another staff member, Sanda, at least once or twice before Oliver comes!
I miss working with these kids from Roșiori!