Well...we had hoped that a new year would bring new activities with the kids but, as life would have it, we're back to waiting again...
After a setback at Voluntari we were asked to not come to the orphanage for a few days. When all the dust had settled the director let us know that we could come but we would need a negative COVID test no more than 48 hours old. Since this would require multiple tests each week (and each test costing about $100 for each person) we had to table the idea of seeing the kids face to face. We are looking to see if we can get instant tests and use these to begin seeing the kids again.
Can't wait to go back! (Pics from our beginning of the school year celebration in the fall.)
Periș continues to be on lockdown as well. We are still taking some of the older kids to church each week and love being able to have conversations with them about salvation, their current struggles, and their hopes for the future. We have seen these kids starting to make better choices and growing in their faith in God. We pray that soon we will be able to begin ministry face to face each week with more kids.
Petruța finally learned how to use Facebook Messenger to call me! I can't wait until she and I can start meeting again one on one.
One big disappointment from this month is that we haven't been able to start the transition program. We had hoped to have 2-3 boys begin the program by the end of January but the funds simply aren't there. One of the prospective boys ended up leaving to live with his brother, a move that we, and the orphanage social worker, do not feel is in his best interest. We have hope that he will be able to join us once the program is up and running. In the meantime we are trying to raise $300/month for each boy (total of $900/month for all three boys).
Constantly praying about what the future holds for these kids.
You can also make a donation through Walking With Orphans using one of the two links below. The transaction will appear as "Eastern European and Russian Orphanages Project" (the registered name for Walking With Orphans).
As for our family, we received some good news this month that baby Oliver is growing well and continues to have no fluid build up in his chest! Some of my recent bloodwork came back a little off so I now have an endocrinologist monitoring my thyroid levels and a diabetes specialist working with me (I failed one part of my gestational diabetes test). My ob/gyn isn't overly worried about any of those things...she is most focused on making sure that Oliver's lungs develop enough and developing a plan for delivery. We are counting down the days until our little man is here!
Another blessing that we received this month is that Nicu was asked to join a training program for up and coming leaders in the church. He and several other young guys will be meeting with the church leadership board and training twice a month. Our church is looking to expand their home groups and to start a second, satellite church and these guys will be filling some of those positions. Nicu has already led prayer time in front of the church and during a night of prayer over Zoom.
Nicu praying in church.