Monday, March 31, 2008
Hello friends and family. Today was our first full day at the children's home. Our day started with the same sort of inconveniences we've grown accustomed to working in Moldova. When we arrived the director was away, no one knew when she would be back, and no one had the key to the room we would be using. Some people might get annoyed at such delays, but to those of us who have been here before, it was just another typical start to a typical day. We went to wait in the gymnasium and after a few minutes, a group of ten or so children came in for their gym time. We were told the children were between the ages of six and fourteen, but I can't believe any of those kids were fourteen. If they were, the were the smallest, most underdeveloped fourteen year olds I've ever seen. They followed their teacher around the room walking, skipping and running. It was great fun to watch the children playing and having fun.
Eventually, a key was located to our room and we set to work. We had six helpers today from a local church and they helped us with staining bed parts and cutting the foam mattresses, which had arrived from the factory ten centimeters too long. We weren't sure how to cut the a six inch thick foam block, but then someone, I'm not sure who, suggested using a wire. Hannah had an extra set of guitar strings she was willing to donate. The B string worked like a charm after we tied it to the handles of two rubber mallets and we got all the mattresses cut to size by the end of the day.
While we were finishing cutting mattresses and gluing Sweet Sleep logos to the bed frames, a few members of the team went off to the gym to spend some time with some of the boys. Apparently it was mostly older boys, and while they started out playing volleyball, it apparently the quickly devolved into some sort of dodgeball free for all that would scare Ben Stiller. The team returned to the work room one by one with dazed looks on their faces. It wasn't really a great start to our interaction with the boys, so we'll have to work on that in the days ahead. Pray that we can figure out some way to keep a bunch of mentally handicapped teenage boys calm and focused on some kind of activity that doesn't endanger anyone's life.
All in all, I'd say it was a good start. We got some good work done, and we made some new friends from the church who are willing to help us this week. Tomorrow we'll start assembling the beds. I know the boys are really excited about getting them, especially a guy named Martin that I met when I visited this place on a scouting trip last November, so it will be really great to see their reactions to them once they see completed beds.
We really could use your prayers this week as we continue to search for the best ways to interact with the boys and share some much needed love and friendship with them. Thanks again to all our friends and family who have made it possible to be here to love these kids. We love and miss you all.
P.S. Thanks to Hannah for the cool picture at the top of this post.