Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Augutst 31

Hey everyone, It's Karen! Moldova is beautiful. It's my turn to blog and I'm excited to get to share with all my friends and family and all of those following alongside of us through the blogspot as we experience the way God works through us while we are here. Today went very quickly. The day began with a wonderful breakfast by our cook Lilia. She's an amazing cook and it's a fact none of us will be losing any weight on this mission trip. I only mention this because I know my previous trips I've been on, it's often quite the opposite- you come back much lighter then you left. So, thank you Lord for such a wonderful cook and food you have provided while we are here. We are definitely blessed!

After breakfast we headed to church. We were able to experience a Romanian wedding. It is tradition to have the wedding as part of the church service, so the church service begins normally with the wedding party entry. The church service begins with worship and a sermon and then the wedding service follows. I think we were there for 3 hr. It was neat! However, I would have loved to know what they were saying:)

We ate lunch today at Andy's Pizza. Yes, they have pizza here. It was good. We decided to dine outside and unfortunately were attacked by bees the whole lunch. This proved to be quite entertaining since many of us are afraid of bees. One of the translators was stung too!

We went to the market today which was another neat experience- today in Moldova it is Language Day. It is their celebration of the Romanian language- which is a very big deal here because there is a small split between the Russian and Romanian language and who speaks what. There is a lot of pride with the language and their independence as well. There were lots of vendors, a concert, and many people gathering downtown today. We were able to do some shopping at the market and some other stores in the middle of this celebration.

We visited the orphanage today and prepared the beds for tomorrow. We were able to glue the wooden nickels on the base boards of the beds. Sweet Sleep has made these really neat nickels to glue on the beds for the kids. They are done in Romanian so it's a neat reminder for the kids when they go to bed to be reminded of Sweet Sleep, but more importantly of God's love for them. This actually went very quickly even though we have about 180 beds to make over the week. There were a few kids around, but most of them don't come until tomorrow when school begins. It has been explained to me, because I didn't know - but orphans here are not necessarily without family, but come from families with a variety of problems such as drugs, poverty, prostitution, etc. But since the government shuts the orphanages down over the summer these kids are put into homes by the government with families that are paid to house them for the summer. And there are some kids who are put with family members that they do have.

The rest of the night was spent putting activities, crafts, and other things together for the week. We are all excited about the things we are planning to do with the kids.

Isaiah 55:9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

As we go into the week I pray that we all remember that the Lord has brought us here with a great purpose- he has prepared us with the skills we need and has hand picked each of us to do what we're doing here. I pray that we go in confidence before these kids to pronounce Him. I pray that we remember God is above any of us- his ways are above our ways and He can accomplish anything through us. I pray that the children will see Him through us and that they will experience His love and come to accept him and know him as Savior.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

We've Arrived!

This is Marilyn writing to let you know that our 11-member team has safely arrived in Moldova, along with every piece of luggage. Thank you for your prayers!

After a long but a calm and uneventful series of flights, we are already settled into the mission house, have had our first delicious Moldovan home-cooked meal, and are preparing for our first day of activity. The weather is very cool so it should be perfect for bed-building! Sunday we will attend church in the village where we will work, and we'll try to take a look at the orphanage layout so we will be well prepared for our start on Monday morning. We are all excited about the plans we've made but more excited about the plans that God will be revealing to us each day of our week here. We covet your continuing prayers and look forward to sharing our experiences with you!

In Him,

Friday, August 29, 2008

Our Sweet Sleep Mission Journey Team is on their way to Ialoveni! Please pray for safe travel as they make their way to the other side of the world these next 24 hours. We'll let you know when the team arrives safely in Chisinau. Thank you for walking alongside these volunteers as they share Christ and replace old, broken beds with beautiful new Sweet Sleep beds for 180 physically handicapped boys and girls in Moldova! Check back often for updates and posts from the team.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Team Cookout

Tonight we had our team cookout! It was nice to hang out with team members as we were able to talk more and get to know each other. Our meeting was prior to the cookout and it reminded all of us how quickly the departure date is approaching. Just 3 weeks and we'll be on a plane headed there! We all discussed some fears we had in going to Moldova tonight and it was neat to find scripture to pray over those fears. Mission trips always seem to remind us the mighty works God is capable of doing, and how unknown they are to us- what will God do with us as we go, as we work, as we play with the children? We fear the way he is going to change us through this trip- what will he do to my heart, my life, my plans? It's even quite amazing to fathom how limitless God really is- He can do anything! There is nothing He can't do! I pray that as we go we are open to letting him do whatever it is he wants to do in us, through us, for us. I pray that we will be changed, moved, and possibly gloriously wrecked (as Stuart mentions). If we can be open to allowing him to do that- I believe He will and he wants to do so much!
I look forward to going, to seeing what He is going to do, and I pray that He is preparing us for his incredible works!

Team picture of cookout!