Pittsburgh Project 2010

Romania 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Okay, the video is up! I believe the team is safe in GR, and I'm about to head to bed here in Chicago.

I just wanted to say a quick thank you to all those who made this trip possible. I'm so grateful that God used me in the life of the team and that you parents trusted me enough to take your kids half way across the world. You will definitely be blessed by their stories and testimonies. Thank you!

Michael




Coming Home

It's almost 1am here in Munich. Everyone is headed off to bed. Our hotel is awesome. It's about 20 miles outside of Munich, so the taxi fares are a little steep, but we almost have the entire building to ourselves. We ventured into the city center tonight and ate at the famous Haufbrau House (sp?). By the time we got done, all of the shops were closed, so we walked around and looked at some of the most amazing buildings and churches for a couple of hours. We got back late, and everyone pretty much headed to bed immediately. We are going to finish our encouragement time in the morning before we head back to the airport. I finally got this video done for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy!


Update ... I'm sitting in the Munich airport about to board. I'm having trouble getting this video to load. It might be there in a few hours. Just click on one of the other YouTube videos and see if there is one called Romania Team Week 2 under our account.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Oh gosh. It's 2:15am here. I had hoped to blog a lot tonight, but time didn't allow. We got back from Bradatel (the camp) at about 6pm. The entire group headed to the mall for pizza, and then some last minute shopping for souvenirs. We didn't get home until after 10, and then the group spent three and a half hours in a time of encouragement. Rather than do encouragement books this year as we have in the past, we spent time encouraging each other as a group, and with someone in the proverbial hot seat, the group spent time and encouraged each individual about who they are, how they are gifted, and the impact they made on the trip. We only made it through about half of the team in that time. We started with two of our Romanian friends (Paul and Christi) and Dwight. We then continued by blessing one team member at a time. It was an incredibly rich time. Tomorrow morning, we will be going to "church" in Dwight's backyard. We'll spend some time in God's word, in worship, in prayer, and continue our time of encouragement with the team. Pray for safe travel. I'll try and post some more tomorrow.

Michael

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Back to reality for a moment ...

It’s been several days since we’ve been able to blog, so we’re going to give you a lot to read. We arrived at camp on Monday evening. It’s been a blur. We arrived and it became apparent that the camp directors didn’t really understand why we were there. They were excited to have us, but I think they thought were there just to be a part of the camp, not to serve. After several conversations with them, we were able to express to them our desire to be servants at the camp. We have had students share testimonies at all of the morning and evening services. Several of the students have played along with the Romanian worship team to lead worship. We have led games during the services and during the organized rec times. I don’t think they have ever experienced dodge ball, volleyball with a 5’ ball, or four way tug-o-war. It’s been fun to introduce them to new activities.


This camp is filled with high schoolers--peers to our group. God is stirring in a special way, both in the hearts of our team and in the hearts of the Romanians. It’s evident that not all of the Romanians have a personal relationship with Jesus, and we are praying for open doors for the Holy Spirit to do a miraculous work in their hearts. Last night was my night to preach. It was difficult to preach with passion through a translator, and I’m sure some of my humor was lost in translation, but the Romanians were the quietest last night that they have been all week.


Each day, we have filled our afternoons with service projects around the camp. They have such a deep set heart for hospitality, that it’s difficult for them to accept our desire to come along side of them and work. They expect that we would just come and relax. We have collected fire wood, cut carpet, cleaned rooms, cleaned the dining hall after each meal, made archery targets with potato sacks and hay (we got to color the targets on them, and got a little creative on some of the pictures), and we’ve finally convinced them that we can paint with some degree of competency. : )


It has been challenging at times to continually be in an attitude of service and mission, and we challenged each other to that end in a team meeting last night. The girls decided to have an impromptu worship time in their room last night that lasted over an hour. I fell asleep to their voices echoing through the building after 1am. It was a holy moment. This morning, our worship continued as the team got together with the back drop of the mountains and river. We worshipped, prayed, and read scripture together for over an hour. Most of us could have continued all day.


Now we are on our way to see the castle for a sight seeing experience. It should be a good afternoon to laugh and enjoy each other. I’m sure we’ll have some good pictures.


Please pray for health. We have had a stomach bug winding its way through our team. almost half of our team has gotten it so far, and we wake up each morning wondering who has been vomiting through the night. Luckily, it is short lived. Pray that we could be done with it, and that no one gets it during our travel (that would be awful). Thank you for your faithful prayers. We love and miss you all!


Side note: just another example of God’s faithfulness. Our house is set to close on August 3! Mandy and I have been waiting to see how God would provide in this way, and it’s a little scary to wait and see. I have had a sense since the beginning that God’s timing would be perfect. We move on August 4. I don’t think God’s timing could be any more perfect. He is so faithful, so far beyond what we can expect or comprehend.


Michael



Hey friends, it’s Eric again,


A lot has happened in the past few days since I blogged. So to start, I had high hopes for what would happen Sunday after my last blog. Unfortunately for me, those hopes didn’t end up happening. I ended up spending all Sunday morning attempting to sleep on the bathroom floor because I kept throwing up. Not fun. So I spent the day throwing up and sleeping. Fortunately the real sickness only lasted a day and it was gone on Monday. Unfortunately I’ve still been feeling slightly sick these past few days, with an incredibly sore throat. Monday we traveled up to the camp in the mountains, and that was a fun experience. The Romanian countryside is absolutely amazing, I wish you could all see it. Tuesday was spent serving the camp by gathering wood for campfires. Then Wednesday came around. I was feeling disconnected from God the entire day, and I finally decided to do something about it. So I grabbed my Bible and headed down to the river to spend some quality time with God. I ended up spending a total of about 45 minutes just sitting in the Lord’s presence, and what an amazing time it was. I came out of my time feeling totally re-energized and ready to take on whatever was thrown at me. I have a feeling that God is starting to do something really big in this camp, and I’m extremely excited to see where He’s taking our group. Until next time,


In Christ,

Eric






Buna ziua!!(good day!!),


This is my first time blogging throughout the entire trip so please forgive me if it is a bit lengthy. I must say that God has been revealing himself to me more and more as the days have gone by. In the village of Nitchidorf, God taught me to really appreciate his creation. As we were playing with the kids in the local soccer field I just took a second to take in my surroundings. It was amazing, you could see for miles around in every direction. Now we are in a camp in the mountains and it is even more stunning. It’s just amazing to know that the same God that created the mountains and the plains created us! The other day some friends and I decided to climb up part of a mountain. We only stopped when it became too steep to climb any further. The team has been doing service projects in the camp throughout the week. Some of these have included gathering wood, cleaning the dining room after meals, painting, and moving supplies around the camp. During the service projects in the camp and in the village God has been teaching me patience and humility. We are being flexible with are schedule and open to whatever opportunities God sends our way. The language difference can be an issue sometimes but it is easy to overcome. We have all been very thankful for translators who have been a big help for getting us over the language barrier. We have been going through the book of 2 Timothy during our group sessions and we have been discussing it in our small groups. I am very excited to see where God will lead the team in the days to come!


A fellow believer in Christ,

Jordan Chamberlain


P.S. to my family,

Hope you are doing well and I just wanted to tell you that I’m excited to see you all again. Love you all!




heyyy it’s bri. basically this trip is amazing. i’m in the car and rather carsick sooo i’m not gonna elaborate too much...but i will say God is kind of really blowing me away.

mandy: i had planned on telling you to tell drew happy birthday for me two days ago, buuut we didn’t have internet access. so tell him if i had a time machine and a teleportation device, i would go back to two days ago and teleport myself to texas to say happy birthday and play king and watch star wars. oh and i know i nagged you about not coming but i decided you wouldn’t be surviving, seeing how half our team has been puking up the wazoo and you would probably never use the bathroom due to the layer of grime. lauren and i decided you would spend most of your time taking cover in the van. iiii miss you.

Momma (brooke): please call my blood mother and beg her to drag you along to the airport, because your children are lost without you.

blood mom: please say yes if brooke follows those intructions. oh and i’m trying to find a cool rock for you but it turns out romanian rocks look similar to american rocks...i’ll get one anyway though.

alyssa: i just took a picture of a gypsy house for you. on my super savvy disposable camera (in other words don’t expect high quality...we were driving by.)

love you allll.


Hi it’s Rachel.

Being at the camp this week has turned this trip into nothing i ever would’ve expected. We have been so challenged in ways that i’ve never been challenged and i’m closer with God than i’ve ever been, i guess worshiping him in the middle of the mountains with no other noise but the river helps. Theres been a huge spiritual battle going on, it’s been so important for our team to stay so focused which has been hard but the results are glorifying God and so that makes it easier. I have looooved meeting new people here at the camp, it’s cool to hang out with teens my own age who are from a completely different culture.

God is stretching me in ways that are hard here. For instance, i shared my testimony during one of the worship services and i was freaked out. I hate talking in front of big groups and my knees were literally shaking and my voice probably sounded like i was on the verge of tears. But i did it, and i was happy when it was done. I’m going to stop now, i would say a lot more but i won’t now. I miss you mom, dad and Nate. Dad, we went to Roman ruins where they had gladiator fights and i thought of you. Love you all!!!!



Ceauuuuu!

So I guess I’ve been waiting for something super awesome to blog, but there’s really nothing I can pinpoint. This whole trip has been just simply amazing. I guess I’ll just have to fill you in when I get back home. Basically I miss you, Mom, Dad, and Maxie Poo. (Austin is reading this over my shoulder, and he wants to add that he misses you too, Max. Annddd Bri wants to know if you’ve gotten your tux for prom yet. ;) Momma, if you’re reading this, which of course you are unless for some reason you have no access to internet, I miss you somethin’ awful. Nash, too. I also miss Taco Bell. And YouTube. The end.


Love you all!

Reina


The past few days at camp have been interesting. When we first got here, a lot of us were questioning why we were brought here. Now we all know that God brought us here for a reason. All of us raised $2,500 to come to Romania, and a lot of that extra money went to the kids who couldn’t raise all of the money to come to camp. I feel that we have blessed a lot of them because they were able to come to camp. Last night, all of us girls had a worship time from about an hour or so. We all sat in the dark, and Lauren Campbell and Reina Wicklund played the guitars so that we were able to worship. It was AMAZING. I have never felt so close to God as I have in the past couple of days. We finished our worship session around 1:30 A.M. Today, we also had another worship session outside under the gazebo right next to the river. I think all of us can agree that we definantly felt the presence of God there with us. One HUGE moment for me, was when there was a fire going while we were worshiping, and Eric Thompson started talking to us about how he was just sitting there watching the smoke from the fire, and how he saw the smoke coming towards us, but when it got to us, it parted around our group. It reminded me of when Moses parted the Sea. Right now we are driving from camp, into another village to go and see the castle that Dracula was filmed in. I am starting to get sad, because we only have 3 days left in Romania, but I am very excited to see what God still has in store for us, and what AMAZING things he still needs to show us. Michael spoke last night to our group, and to all the Romanians, and He talked about how we need to be like King David in the Bible, and how David just went ALL OUT for God. He just ran out in the street and started dancing and rejoicing and praising God with EVERYTHING that he had in him. He gave to God whole-hearted. This is what we need to do ALL THE TIME as Christians! We need to worship him always and be different from the world! We need to stand out and say “we are NOT ashamed. We love Jesus our Lord, and we will praise him for ETERNITY!”

-Desiree DeVrou

Ciao,

So I’m blogging… finally. (You’re welcome Mamm!) We only have three days left in Romania and I’m not sure if I’m ready to come home. This trip has been so life changing and came at exactly the right time. When we went to Nitchidorf we did a service project every morning and the first day we were there the little kids came over to the church and would help us chop and stack wood and they just wanted to be held and played with. Although it was so nice for the kids to help with chopping wood it made me really sad that a kindergartener had to chop wood all the time, and was even better then some of the boys in our group.

It made me realize how much I really have and how much I take it for granted. A lot of the little kids had the same clothes on for all three of the day that we were there and hadn’t taken baths for maybe even longer, but they were all so happy to just play games and be loved. Lauren Kilmartin was telling me how a man told her that when we were there it was probably the first time anyone had shown them love, and not even their parents showed them love. It was just sad to know that we were only with them for three days and that the might not ever get that kind of affection again. I just wanted to take them all home with me. It was really hard to leave Nitchidorf, knowing that all of the kids that we had grown so close to had to stay there and there were a lot of teary eyes as we got in the vans and headed back to the house.

While we were doing the VBS there was a family in the village that made us lunch everyday and sometimes even dinner. The Food was absolutely amazing, and don’t think I have ever eaten so much in my life. It was so cool that they just opened up their homes for us with out knowing us and gave us the best of everything they had.

This week we are staying at a camp up in the mountains and it is gorgeous. There is a river right next to the dorms and it’s really cold. Either today or tomorrow I’m going to be getting baptized in the ice cold river and I can’t wait.

I miss you mom and dad and Luke and everyone else and Love you.

Loveee, Kiersten

Monday, July 12, 2010

Hey it's Peter. Michael tweeted this earlier today:

Fernihough: Just verified. No Internet at camp. I'll try and get to a town a few times while we are there. Love u all.

That's the latest news from the team. Thank you to everyone who has faithfully been praying and reading the blog.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Hey!
This one will be short. It's after 1am and this is the first chance I've had to blog. We have had a very full day. After worship this morning, we were able to eat lunch at the church with the pastors, translators, and their families. Lunch was soup, chicken and mashed potatoes. Good stuff! After lunch, we took some time to share as a team back at the house. Some good stuff was shared, and it was very obvious that God is moving in our midst. I finally had a chance to read all of your comments from the blog, and the team got to see the videos from the past few days. This evening, we were involved in the Sunday night service. Taylor, Reina, and Dani shared testimonies. The entire team sang Here I am to Worship in American (as Emily would say). Emily and Dez sang Lord I Lift Your Name on High in Romanian, and Mandy sang How Great is Our God as a solo. The service was over 2 hours long. I'm beginning to think that Pastor Larry doesn't really preach all that long. LOL! We still aren't sure if we will have internet access at the camp, so this may be my last post until next Saturday.

Oh! Kiersten talked to her parents about being baptized while she is here! We're having a baptism service in the river at camp. Woohoo!

We miss everybody out there!

Michael



The trip so far,
has been fun.
Whether sleeping on the plane,
or snoring in a car.
Someone is always laughing,
or smiling,
and lately,
lots of crying.

Good byes have been very sad,
but in the future,
the memories will make us glad.
Whenever they cross our mind,
a smile will come.
Probably a tear or two,
and we'll remember the love that grew.
In those three days,
a love was made true,
a love they never knew.
A love made by hugs and relentless prayer,
for all they needed,
was someone to care.

Before we know it,
we'll be heading home.
And some will never come back.
Most of us will end up in Michigan,
all but Michael :(,
but at least we now can speak a little Romanian.

Now,
another week awaits.
Full of friendships to make,
and new memories to create.
Please pray for us all,
to hear God's voice,
spread his love,
and answer when He calls.

Love you Mom, Dad, and Nate. Hope all is well in Battle Creek and in Osage. Been praying for you. Also, I miss you Rachel Bergland, my future sister-in-law.

Taylor

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hey Everybody!
Thanks so much for your prayers. We had a super busy day. We basically followed the schedule posted yesterday with a few detours. We ended up planting roses, shrubs and a tree at the elementary school in Nitchidorf. We also cleaned up the yard surrounding the school and picked weeds. We only had a little bit of time to build our blessing bags for the kids (bags filled with small toys and candy--meant to be a blessing), and then off to lunch. Lunch today was chicken noodle soup (sort of) and spaghetti. Dessert was fresh apples and plums off the trees, and some kind of baked cakey thing. Very good! Our VBS was shorter today, but we still packed a ton in. This was followed by a complete slaughtering of our team by the Nitchidorf team in futbol (soccer, for those who didn't know). : )

Austin got one goal. I was doing pretty good as keeper, but something about playing on a sprained ankle isn't a good idea. We had fun, and they were good sports (read- they really enjoyed kicking our butts). The evangelistic service was fun, and we were able to bless the children at the end with the blessing bags and a picture of themselves presented in a frame that they made on day one. We had a lot of teary goodbyes, and then left the village of Nitchidorf.

One more stop ... we took the team on a 10PM run to McDonalds--a little taste of home. This McDonalds had a slightly different menu, and the furnishings were a bit of a step up from our Richland Mickey D's.

Well that was the summary of today. Please keep praying. Tomorrow we will worship at Biserica Baptista Betel, and then we are spending time as a team preparing for the next week at camp. Thanks for all of your comments. They are encouraging!

Enjoy today's video!

Michael



hi mommy daddy and sissy :]
i miss you guys so much. i didnt think i would be homesick but i am. we went to Nichidorf and its so sad but amazing there. we had so much fun with the little kids and have kept very busy. the kids are so adorable. i want to take them all home
well just to let you know...i have been sick this whole week.......they have a lot of gluten here...i have thrown up a lot or dry heaved. its not fun...but its in God's hands and i feel a little better now. well i have to go because other people want to blog, but i love you guys so much and cant wait to see you guys!!!
love, Lauren Campbell



Heyyyy it's briii againnn. Sooo today was the last vbs day...and anyone who knows me even a tiny bit knows i generally can't stand children (unless their names are drew, noah, isaac, or default). But these ones weren't bad... i mean granted, for all i know they could have been the most annoying kids on the planet, but i would never know because i can't understand anything they say anyway. but it's amazing how much you can communicate without words. and i was actually really sad to leave them, a few in particular. anyway i'm not a fan of emotions sooo i'm going to stop talking about it before i feel too many of them.
Bri



Hello all,

So I finally got the opportunity to blog. I've been staying with one of our translator's families and haven't had blog access. What a trip it's been so far! We just finished up our 3 day VBS in Nitchidorf, and what an experience that was. As I'm sure all of you are aware, I taught the first day. That was a very exciting opportunity, but at the same time I was pretty nervous for it. Looking back on it though, I'm really glad I chose to do it. It helped me grow by leaps and bounds. The rest of the VBS was fun, just being able to play with all the kids. Then tonight came, and it was finally time to say goodbye. I didn't realize just how much I had become attached to a few of the kids, and it was really sad to see them go. Before I knew it, I found I was trying to hold back tears when I was saying goodbye. Awesome, I'm getting emotional just writing about this. Well then, I'll gather myself and try again. Okay. Looking back, I think it was the final straw that just broke open all of the stress and frustrations that I'd been holding back. A little kid named Alin, and another named Sebe. It was easily one of the hardest goodbyes that I've ever had to experience. All that I can hope for is that I'll see them again in Heaven, and maybe it'll be because of the love that I showed them these past few days. Wow, I don't know even what else to say that could make this blog and on a positive note. Well, I'll make an attempt. This week's been crazy. So much to do, everybody's tired and a little stressed out. We're going to a church service tomorrow, so that might be the reenergizing that everyone needs. After that, we're heading up to the camp in the mountains. I'm sure that will be an amazing time. Well, I'll end this blog and go to bed before I start getting really emotional again. Thanks for all your prayers. I love you mom, dad, Nick, and Meg.

In Christ,
Eric

Oooops!!

Hey All!!

RBC/Ignite has so many blogs that we accidentally posted a few to the wrong one. Here are some of the blogs from yesterday and today:


FRIDAY, JULY 9, 2010

Friday!
Well,
We're ending another day. It was a good one. We finished up cutting wood this morning and did a ton of gardening work for the church. Lunch was goulash, and was delicious-- topped off with homemade donuts. Yummm. Our VBS was awesome. We brought out the Earth ball, 60 inches of awesomeness, which you'll see in the video. The kids were all about it. As I'm typing this, individual portraits of the kids are printing so we can give them to them tomorrow. John did a great job teaching, and everyone did an awesome job jumping in where there was a need. Dinner was mamaliga, which wasn't a group favorite, although I was hungry enough to finish off a nice helping.

Things are always changing here, and I thought you'd be interested to see what we will be doing tomorrow. It will look something like this:
8:30 Breakfast (we're letting them sleep in ... finally)
9:00 Devotions
9:30 Leave for Betel
10:00 Meet at Betel, then leave for Nitchidorf
11:00 Arrive in Nitchidorf, plant trees and flowers, prepare for the days VBS and put together blessing bags
12:30 Lunch
2:00 VBS
4:00 Playing the Nitchidorf Futball team (God, please help us!)
5:00 The mayor has invited us to a barbeque at the mayor's office
7:00 Helping with an evangelistic service involving the kids and their parents.

As you can see, some incredible doors have opened up for us. Please pray for these various opportunities.

So ... I'll leave you with a video. Click it to watch it on Youtube. It works right on their site. Enjoy!



Dear friends and family,
It is about midnight right now as I write to you and I just had a bowl of cereal. Today was great. We chopped a ton of wood, had great Romanian food, and were lucky enough to love on a ton of little kids. When looking back so far on the trip, I've tried to recall the "God Moments" as Michael likes to call them. And I couldn't come up with merely one moment; there have been too many. The moments however, weren't a booming voice from the sky or a burning bush, they were simple acts of love and kindness. Too often, I and many of us, forget to appreciate the little things/moments in life. I've learned quickly on this trip that the little moments go a long way. Seeing kids doing motions of Every Move I Make, watching kids laugh during our dramas, watching 4 little ones attack a leader, or just receiving a much needed hug, are just a few of the "little moments" that touched my heart. Every time something like this happened, I knew they were acts of love powered by His spirit. So far, the so called language barrier hasn't been a barrier at all, it's been an open door to spread His love. My biggest worry before the trip was not being able to speak their language. Which shows me how good God is because my biggest worry has been our biggest opportunity. No bridge of language, culture, or situation is too different or too big for God's love to cross. It's time to go to bed. Good night and I love you Mom, Dad, Nate, Daisy, and Sammy.
Taylor


Dear friends and family
Today has been the best day of our short trip so far but then again each day is much better than the last. We finished stacking and chopping wood today. I even got a chance to split some wood and for my first time, I would say that I did pretty well. The day continued to get better as it went on. As we went to lunch with the family who works at the church I realized how much we've been blessed here. For us, it seems that families here don't have much, yet they give us the very best they have. I can't thank God enough for these amazing people. Later, at VBS I really felt God with me as I connected with a few girls after all of the games and worship. I felt how much they appreciated us coming here and being with them even if we can't understand each other. Its almost like the difference of languages has brought us even closer together, like we share a deeper bond since we can't understand each other through talking. I am so thankful that we can rely on God's strength and his gift of prayer. I love you Mom, Dad, Nick, and Grandma and Grandpa.
Katie.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

This isn't a long video, but I experimented with making a video on my iphone today, and wah-lah!

A few things you'll see on the video ... Austin jumped up and offered to lead singing for our team worship time. I thought that was awesome. Bri made a new friend, and our time with the kids started with a series of parachute games. Now that I have a clue, I'll try and make a longer one tomorrow.

video

Our team did awesome today as we spent our first day in Nichidorf. The time with the mayor in the morning was awesome. He was very kind to our team. We gave him a gift of Taste of Heaven, a team t-shirt, and some Romanian coffee and chocolate. We also sang Hosanna in English, which he seemed to appreciate. Our service project for the day was splitting wood for the Nichidorf church plant (they heat in the winter with a wood burning stove). For lunch, we had something with sausage and rice wrapped up in cabbage like an egg roll, but I have no idea what it was called. Yummy. Oh ... and crepes with chocolate. Also yummy. Alexa attacked me at lunch like a crazy woman. I would not want to be Jenna when those two go at each other. Ahhhhhh! The VBS went well. Everyone did a great job with their parts, and Eric brought it. He was super confident working with a translator for the first time, and his lesson to the kids about God creating them and wanting a relationship with them was solid.

Allergies hit me like a brick wall this afternoon, so I'm about ready to call it a day. Thanks for all your comments. Keep em up.

Pray for Reina. She's got some kind of a cold. We buried her out back. Sorry, Faith.

JK she says hi. Not jk about the cold thing.

Peace. Out.

Michael

Hey it's John again. First student to blog today. So today was probly one of the most interesting days for me. We went to the town Nitchidorf to meet the mayor and chop some wood for their local church (... seems like we do a lot of that on our mission trips.), and i sorta kinda maybe broke 2 hatchets... But they were fixed. So no worries. We also had our first day of VBS where we met some of the most awesome kids ever. The first was Sebastian who was this little spontaneous little rugrat who kept attacking us all constantly with a foam sword. Needless to say when he quickly warmed right into my heart. I also met another kid named Sebby who was probly one of the few kids there that could speak a little english. He reminds me of the kid brother that I never had. ( Love you Scooott). The bonding time i've had with my friends and the translators has been awesome! God has truly blessed me in an amazing way through this.

I have a prayer request for you. I teach today and frankly I'm a little nervous, but I'm confidant that God is challenging me to do this and stretch me in this way for a purpose. And I thank Him for that. Just pray that it all goes well.

Ceau!

John



Hi, it's Rachel. Today was our first day in the VBS at Nitchidorf. We have been in Timisoara for a couple days now and because of the culture, we shouldn't be as smiley or as direct as we are in the US. That was probably the hardest thing for me as far as getting used to the culture. I don't like not smiling at people on the street or asking a stranger, 'how are you'. And i also don't like getting used to people not saying hi to me on the street. So anyways, with being at Nitchidorf we were working with kids. This was sooo great because we can smile and laugh as much as we want. The kids are so affectionate and it's crazy how quickly they make connections with us, especially considering we don't speak the same language. One particular little girl and i walked together for a while. She knows maybe 20 English words and i know maybe 5 Romanian words or phrases. But we walked for so long together, pointing at things and learning how to say them in Romania. I don't know how many times she's bury her head in her hands and laugh or moan at me for my pronunciation :) The translators are so cool! theres a girl my age who i am friends with now and also a lady who is so fun to talk to.
I think it's cool that God is changing my heart in ways that i never even thought about, and that is one of the best parts about being in Romania.
Rachel



Why hello! Its Alexa, and I would first like to start out with I did not "attack michael like a crazy woman" at lunch. He punched me or something and I defended myself, maybe he needs to toughen up a little. Anyways, like everyone knows today was our first day in the village and working with the kids. It was awesome and God is working in incredible ways in Nitchidorf. While the "men" were chopping wood I was playing with some of the kids that came over and hung out with us. We played duck duck goose for a while and then I became bffs with a little girl named Roxanna. She was on my back the whole time until lunch and helped me carry wood. Even though we couldn't have a conversation she had the most beautiful smile and it was so cool to me how we could communicate by just smiling, laughing and being joyful. God has some pretty great ways of getting us over the "language barrier". It is such a blessing to be here and hanging out with our whole team including the translators is so encouraging. God is good :)
lex
oh and thanks for all the novels mom. haha love you tons!




Hi it's bri again and reina has strep throat sooo if i come home with strep throat which i probably will then it's her fault for putting her sucker stick in my water and not telling me before i drank her nasty infectious germs.
also, today was sweeeeet.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Another great day! Today we started at the Areopogus Center to learn about the Romanian culture. It was very enlightening to understand some major differences between the value sets, beliefs, and thought processes of the Romanians and us. Then we were off to the Orthodox Cathedral-- a beautiful place of worship with lessons about reverence and piety towards a holy God. Afterwards, we went to a Romanian Revolution Museum and learned about how Romania won its freedom. It's so different to in a country that is only 20 years old, and truly appreciates their freedom and celebrates their revolution. For lunch, most of us were introduced to the swaorma, a burrito like meal that is a Romanian favorite. All of the team spent some time at the mall (Andrew and I got our Starbucks fix). We met the rest of our team (our translators) tonight and had dinner and a time of worship and prayer with them. Tomorrow morning we will meet with the mayor in Nitchidorf. Please pray that the meeting goes well, and our time meeting with the people provides an open door for Kingdom activity. Drew, if someone is reading this to you, then give your mom a gigantic hug and tell her it's from me. Peace!

Michael




Hi it's Bri again. Today I found out that in Romania, smiling and waving at guys in the cars behind you will make them think you're a hooker. It's not a fun experience...especially with an over-dramatic friend sitting next to you probably peeing her pants (not that it would be the first time) who seems to think they will at any moment jump out of their car, break into our van, and kidnap us under the noses of the twelve other people riding with us. But anyway. Romania is sweet. That is all.
oh ps...apparently Wayfm is not only serving the greater kalamazoo area, but Timisoara as well. just ask reina.

Heeelllooo. this is John. So this is my first blog... Uuuummm... well I guess I'll start with yesterday. Yesterday the flight from Chicago to Munic was probly the longest 9 hours of my life. Sitting on a plane for that long doesn't do anyone any good. Luckily, the plane had these nifty little computer panels with movies and all that good stuff to keep me occupied... And of course the fellowship of my team mates helped as well... More or less. ;P
When we arrived in Timisoara we already confronted our first team problem. We lost some bags... Which you may know already. BUT! We got them back today so it was all good. Luckily the jet lag hadn't kicked in too bad despite the possible 4 hours of sleep i got that night.
When we arrived in front of the Dwight's house we were greeted to the sight of a rather large man in his underwear, starring with a stern face, at us... I guess he thought that we were weird foreigners or something... Who knows.
Dwight and his family have shown us great hospitality the last 2 days. His kids Luke and David are a riot. His wife is great too... her name escapes me... Yeah I know. I'm a terrible person.
But today we had an awesome time sight seeing and all that good stuff. We learned about the Romanian Revolution and tried some Romanian cuisine. But yeah that's pretty much what we did today. So the reason this is so long is because this is for you mom... You're welcome.

John

God is Good!

Hi everybody, :]
Today was such an amazing experience. God has taught me so many things today. At first, flying on a plane, and going to a foreign country was such a surreal experience. Taking off on the plane and watching everything on earth get smaller and smaller was so amazing. Seeing the clouds just floating and casting shadows on the ground was an awe-inspiring sight that I’m so blessed to have in my memory.
The flight took FOREVER, but I knew it was a part of the experience that I’m blessed to be a part of (by the way, this was my first time on a plane). Our flight from Grand Rapids to Chicago was only 30 minutes but it gave me time to get used to a plane. From Chicago to Munich, Germany was 8 ½ hours. This has been the longest day of my life. We watched countless movies and attempted to sleep in the crowded plane. Our last flight, Munich to Timisoara, Romania was only 1 ½ hours. Thank goodness because we were all a little sick of being on a plane. From there was we went to Dwight and Melissa Poggemiller’s house and they served us dinner and we conversed with them and other translators.
Hi Mom, Dad and sissy :] I miss you guys and it already seems like forever since I have seen you. Thank you for the letter Sarah and I love you guys so much! :] God is doing great things already and I'll try and blog again!

Lauren Campbell

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

It's 11:15pm here in Romania. Everyone is exhausted, and after a flight that included very little sleep, most of the group is already well on their way to counting z's. We got into Timisoara right on time. Only four of our bags were missing, but the airline knew exactly where they were ... still in Munich. That's just how they roll, so we'll get them back tomorrow. So in the mean time, Wil is going to flip his underwear inside out.

Dwight and Melissa cooked us up a great Taco Salad dinner tonight and we were joined by part of Pastor Daniel's family. He is the pastor of Nitchidorf, the village we will be working with this week. Part of our group is staying with Daniel and his family: Lauren K., Desiree, Emily, Dani, Lauren C., Eric, and Wil. Afterwards, part of the group walked down to the local mega-mall (the biggest mall in this part of Europe) and got ice cream. We're looking forward to a busy day of orientation and planning tomorrow.

Thanks for your continued prayers. This is going to be so good!

Romania Happenings

Hey parents, families, friends, and prayer partners!

It's Peter Jenkins here at the Mothership(RBC Youth Offices). Here are some updates from the Romania Team. Please leave comments to encourage the team with. From experience I know that those comments are a huge boost to morale when the days are long and the nights are short. We will hopefully have a new post each day and you can follow my twitter(almost_peter)to know when the blog has been updated. You can probably subscribe to this blog and be alerted of the same but twitter is way cooler. Here's the latest from the team:


So far today... we have been on a plane!! We left Grand Rapids airport and flew to Chicago airport.. then we flew from Chicago to Munich, Germany (which is where we are now). that flight took 9 hours! A lot of us watched movies, or slept! we were served dinner AND breakfast! it was really yummy :D We also had our team bag which was full of medications to take with us (like sun screen, aloe, aspirin, rubbing alcohol)
the bag had to be first checked in Grand Rapids, and they took some things out.. and then it had to be RE-CHECKED in Munich, Germany. It was a hassle.. but oh well! we were all really excited to land in Germany! Now we are sitting in the airport.. waiting for our flight to leave for ROMANIA!! :) please keep our team in your prayers! pray that we will have a safe trip and that we will have life-changing experiences and that God will open our eyes while we are there.. and that we would just show our love for Christ to EVERYONE!

-Desiree DeVrou

Well, here we are in Munich! All of our flights have run smoothly, though I apparently slept through some turbulence on the way into Germany :).

Families, you will be happy to know that everyone is doing well! Dani and Lauren Campbell did amazing as first-time flyers, and most of us managed to grab a little sleep on the 9-hour flight over here. Prayers for energy would be greatly appreciated, though, as the time difference is sure to catch up with us soon.

I can't tell you how excited I am to arrive in Timisoara and get our work underway, but it has been awesome to see our team already portraying the attitude of Christ during our travels. Baggage needs to be searched twice? No big deal. A Romanian man drops his luggage on one of our students? No worries, nice to meet you! Someone is hungry? Someone else shares their snacks. From little stuff to big stuff, our students have already begun to bond and prepare their hearts for the work we will be doing.

We will be heading out on the last leg of our journey in about an hour, and then we will be hanging out with the Poggemiller's and relaxing this evening.

Your thoughts and prayers are SO appreciated--keep them coming!! :)

In Him,

Lauren Kilmartin


Hey everybody! Its moderately weird when I think about the fact that I am typing to you from the other side of the world! My first few flights went really well. I didn't sleep much, but that gave me time to watch How To Train Your Dragon(which I highly recommend) and drink 2 gallons of apple juice. I will hurry up and finish because Bri is currently looking over my shoulder and breathing heavily in my ear. But one last thing.... It is amazing looking down at all of God's creation from above the clouds. Truly beautiful.
"I am in the father and the father is in me." John 14:11
~Dani


Hi it's Bri. I have to be speedy because Dani took forrreeeevvveerrrrrrr. but anyway we're in Munich and the plane ride was long and hot but okayyy because i stayed up all night watching movies on these wonderful little personal televisions.
okay now down to business.
Mandy: today i drank a mcdonalds coke and (accidentally) chewed a piece of ice and (almost) didn't share a drink with someone, all in your honor. i also spent a good hour in the night watching the children's cartoons thinking of Drew and Noah, since there wasn't star wars. anyway your husband is yelling at me to be done now so bye.
Brooke: hiiiiii!


Matthew 28:18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations,[b] baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”