Hey Everyone! It's Lannette! I want to share with you about our AWESOME day today! We were able to return to the orphanage in Ivancea this morning. It was SO exciting to drive up and see a few of the children (who happened to be standing on the front steps) jumping up and down with joy! The news spread quickly of our arrival because we looked up at the two-story white stone building as we got out of the van and discovered many little faces peeping through the windows of the orphanage and waving!!!! It was so sweet!!!:)
I don't know how I can EVER share all of the great things that we have ALL experienced since we began this journey...too many wonderful things to report...but I will try!!!!!:) We completed ALL of the beds today! It was hard work but it is one of THE MOST rewarding experiences I've EVER been a part of!!!!! The pure joy in those beautiful faces was absolutely contagious!!!! As each room was completed, we gathered the team and the children who lived in the room for a special time of sharing and prayer. It was a fabulous opportunity to get to tell the children why we were there and how VERY MUCH GOD LOVES EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM!!!!!! I found myself getting emotional as I realized how attached I've become to these children in only 2 days at this orphanage!!!!!! Several of us have already discussed how we could take these babies home with us!!!!! Yes, Mike and Jeff...you should prepare yourself!!!:)
Anyway...there were soooo many highlights today...craft time was absolutely unreal!!!!! We were told that in past trips only about half of the kids were even interested in participating in crafts and that they would wander in and out of their craft room as they saw things that they were interesting to them. Well, I am here to tell you that Ivancea was a whole new ballgame!!!!! THE ENTIRE ORPHANAGE SHOWED UP IN THE CAFETERIA AT THE SAME TIME!!!!! I can only describe it as AMAZING CHAOS!!!!!! The kids absolutely loved getting to participate in all of our activities and swept through that cafeteria like a tornado! They were amazingly well behaved and so grateful for the things they were able to create!!!! It was touching to see their craft items hanging in their bedrooms so soon after making them!!! They were so proud and their creations brought color to their drab surroundings! One fourteen year old boy even told us that he had lived in this orphanage for three years and that they had NEVER been able to have a day full of special activities like this...NEVER!!!!! No group craft activities in three years...that is so difficult to wrap my American brain around...we take soooo much for granted!!!!!!
The Bible story was also a highlight! Arlene and "The Sweet Sleep Crew" put on a great dramatization of Jesus walking on water! Several of the kids were able to participate... They pretended to be disciples while others pretended to be the wind and the waves...complete with spray bottles!!!!! The kids really got a kick out of spraying "Petra" (Peter...otherwise know as Jon) in his fatsa (face)!!!! It was just an amazing day!!!!!! I wish that you all could be here to experience it with us!!!! Please pray for us as we finish our work at Ivancea tomorrow. We are ending our time there with a huge birthday party celebration!!!! As I write this blog, our team is feverishly working to assemble over 200 goodie bags for tomorrow's party. The children will eat, receive an awesome goodie bag, and receive a Bible in their own language!!! We can hardly contain our excitement as we predict how the children will react to this party! We love these children soooo much and we are so grateful that God has blessed each of us by allowing us to be a part of this fabulous experience!!!! We are also looking forward to our trip to Orhei. Please pray for us as we prepare ourselves for the work God has for us there. Until next time...God Bless...Lannette Burlingame:)