I can't believe that our last e-newsletter was sent almost two months ago! So many, many things have changed since then...
If you follow me (Melissa) on Facebook then you know that the first big change is that baby Oliver decided to make his appearance six weeks early! Thomas Nicolas Oliver Perghel (Oliver) was born 9 March 2021 at 10:50 p.m. by emergency c-section after my water spontaneously broke at 34 weeks and 1 day. Oliver spent 30 days in the NICU before coming home. I stayed in the hospital as well so that I could visit him twice a day. Because of COVID-19 restrictions if I had left the hospital I would not have been able to come back in. Once we left the hospital there were several doctors visits for various issues: to check for fluid in his chest, to monitor his pulmonary hypertension, and to monitor and treat anemia. We are so thankful to God that all the reports have come back good: there has been no fluid accumulation in his chest, his pulmonary hypertension is very minimal, and he has almost completely recovered from the anemia! Because he was premature, Oly will still get more check-ups and be monitored more closely than most babies but we thank God each day that Oliver is healthy, happy, and on the path to stay that way!
Thomas Nicolas Oliver Perghel
Born 9 March 2021
We have also gone through changes with our ministry as well. Of course we are still planning on running the transition program but are in need of funds for the kids before we can begin. Until then we have been able to go to both Voluntari and Periș orphanages to have programs. On Friday we go with Heather and Corni and help with an English class. Then I (Melissa) have a social skills group. Usually Nicu ends up hanging out and mentoring some of the older kids and playing soccer once the kids have finished their classes. On Saturday we go with Heather to Periș where we help with Youth Group and then have free time with the kids. And yes, Oliver goes with us to all locations. He is very much loved and looked after by both the kids and the orphanage staff. And we want him to be immersed in ministry life. This is, after all, why we are here!
Top (L-R): Marshmallow relay game at Voluntari. Nicu hanging out with Denisa, Denisa, and Costica.
Bottom (L-R): Oliver at church for the first time to celebrate Easter. Helping Heather during English class.
Top (L-R): Denisa and Nicu during English class. George, Armando, and Nicu during Youth Group at Periș.
Bottom (L-R): English class at Voluntari. Youth Group at Periș.
Top (L-R): Social skills class at Voluntari. Denisa and Darius during social skills class.
Bottom (L-R): Nicu helping Lucica with Oliver. Social skills class at Voluntari.
As we start looking ahead to summer ministry we expect to see changes there as well. With the drop in COVID cases we have found it easier to see the kids and work with them. However, we have heard that one of the orphanages may be closing down and the kids will be moved to other foundations or orphanages. We are hoping that we can do a VBS style day camp with the kids in the Bucharest area on site at one of the orphanages.
Top (L-R): George and Iuli helping with Oliver. Heather leading Youth Group at Periș.
Bottom (L-R): Nicu, Andrei, and Iuli helping clean the pool at Pipera. Doru and Oliver.
Top (L-R): Oliver with his big brother, Iuli. Angi and Oliver.
Bottom (L-R): English class at Voluntari. Bianca and Oliver.
How You Can Support Us
We continue to need lots of prayers for our family and our ministry:
We have an appointment at the US embassy to register Oliver's birth abroad and to get his US passport. We are still waiting for the embassy to open up for visa applications so that Nicu can get a visa to visit the US later this year.
AlfaOmega church would like to stay at our home while they do VBS in Alexandria this summer. We still have many repairs and renovations to make. One thing that would help us greatly is if we were able to bring boys from the orphanage to Nenciulești for several days to help us. Pray that we will be given permission to do this.
Funds are needed for the kids who we would like to take into the transition program. We need to try and raise $300/month per child. We have five very strong candidates for the program and 2-3 additional kids who could possibly join us.
Our family continues to need an additional $200-$300 a month in support. God blessed us with a supporter who donated enough for Oliver's health insurance to be covered for the remainder of the year, a nearly $1700 cost! God has been abundantly faithful to us and we know he will continue to provide for us as our family grows.
Our summer programming schedule and the ability to take the kids out of the orphanage for trips to the pool/museums/the park/etc.
A smooth transition if/when one of the orphanage closes.
If you would like to partner with us financially through Heart to Heart International please use the button below. As I mentioned, we are trying to raise support to begin the transition program. If you choose to support us financially be sure and indicate in the memo section that you would like the funds to go to Nicu and Melissa Perghel or to the Boys Transition Program. You can check out our Facebook group to receive updates on how close we are to reaching our goal as well as see how God is moving and working through us.
You can also make a donation through Walking With Orphans using the PayPal Giving link below. The transaction will appear as "Eastern European and Russian Orphanages Project" (the registered name for Walking With Orphans). By using PayPal Giving we will receive 100% of your donation!