Kid Corner: Lauren — “Least of These” Moldova

This is a blog post from our special guest author, Lauren.

We went with Svetlana to buy stuff for families in Moldova. Will you help us? We need your help to raise money for the families. We have a video on YouTube. It is called Least of these Moldova. You can see it on the razoo site. The razoo.com is where we can raise money for these families.

razoo.com/LeastOfTheseMoldova

Irina (our friend) was there to help translate for us and we are very blessed that we have her. We have no idea what people are saying. Irina is very friendly.

We went around to different stores to buy some things for the families. We bought them some soap for clothes and some diapers. Then we got a washing machine cause they had to hand wash their clothes.

Now I will tell about our first trip to the market without a translator. We went in and we were like “How are we going to do this”. I suspected we were just going to point. There is a lady there named Sasha. She is very nice and she knows enough English to help us. We know a little Romanian. Like unt is butter and lapte is milk and sugar is zahar and pine is bread.

Please help these families.
(Lauren)

Kid Corner: Daniel — Sledding in Moldova

I’ve invited each of my kids to write a blog post about their experiences here in Moldova. (Okay, I didn’t “invite” them, it was more of an assignment.)

This is Daniel’s post.

On Friday, January 27, Sarah, Lauren, Dad and I went sledding with the youth group. First we went to the church to meet and get ready to go sledding. After that Pastor Anatol hooked the sleds to the back of his car and the kids got on the sleds and we rode to the hill where we were going to go  sledding.

Pastor Anatol was swerving down the road with the kids on the back. When we got to the hill, Pastor Anatol did a half donut and flipped the kids on the sleds off. I was on the sled and I had the rope that was holding the sleds behind me wrapped around my foot so the people behind me wouldn’t fall off. Everyone was okay.

At the hill, we were standing around waiting when Slavic, the youth group leader, came up to us and told us that it was our turn to go. Dad went first and went into the reeds at the bottom of the hill. Sarah went second and kept going and going and going down until we left. I went down next and hit a bump and flew in the air and landed in the reeds. Lauren didn’t go and she was standing at the top of the hill crying and complaining about how cold it was. Lauren and Dad went home but Sarah and I went back to the church to have tea and cookies and fellowship.

Missions Tips: 5800 Mile Rule

This post is the first of a few on Missions Tips. I’m by no means some super missionary traveler, BUT the Lord has shown me a few things over the last few years, so I’ll share these things with you.

When in doubt, go for it. During my first trip to Moldova we had this pool at the camp. They got done filling the pool and it was a light yellowish, brownish color. I stood at the edge thinking like an American. I’m not jumping into this water, it’s yellow!

That’s when God woke me up to what I affectionately call the 5800 mile rule. The point is that I didn’t fly 5800 miles to watch these kids enjoy their only pool experience this year. I didn’t fly 5800 miles to watch the teen group from Emmanuel sled down the hill.

When you go on a missions trip, jump in and go for it! You didn’t travel 5800 or however many miles you’ve come to watch!

We Need Your Help: “Least of These” Moldova

We need the help of our family and friends in the United States to meet the needs of three families we’ve been introduced to here in Moldova. Moldova is a poor country compared to the United States and these families are the poorest of the poor.

We’ve setup a page on razoo.com to receive donations. All donations are tax deductible, and Razoo allows you to donate using a Credit Card. The web site is:

www.razoo.com/LeastOfTheseMoldova

 You can also Donate from our Facebook page (“Romeos in Moldova”) by clicking on Donate on the left side.

    For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:35-40 ESV)

The families we’ve met need our prayers. Please pray that God will bless them and provide the things they need for survival. We would appreciate your help to care for the material needs of these families. First, they need food for the next 4 to 6 months. Second, they need diapers for their young children. Third, they need detergent to wash their clothes. Finally, they have bigger needs such as beds, table / chairs, and a washing machine.

We will use all the money raised to purchase items for these families and deliver them. Along with these gifts we will share the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We look forward to being able to demonstrate the love of Jesus through your donations.

Please help us as we care for the “Least of These” here in Moldova.
The Romeo Family

———————–

Here are the details of the families we will help:

Family 1:

  • This family lives in a rented house with no heat. Since we’ve been here it’s been at the lowest 10 degrees Fahrenheit. The family has four children with a fifth on the way. 
  • The family was challenged to abort the fifth child because of their current conditions. Some members of Emmanuel are involved in their lives and counseled them to receive what God has provided for them. They have decided to keep the baby.
  • The father has a job and is trying to care for his family, but he is a general construction worker, and they are not paid well here in Moldova.
  • The two oldest children do not have enough to eat — they are malnourished and are starving slowly.
  • The children are unable to go to kindergarten because they do not have any money.
  • The 5 year old girl is helping her mother raise 3 smaller siblings.
  • This family needs:
    • A table to eat on and chairs (they don’t have a table or chairs)
    • A refrigerator
    • 3 Beds (they sleep on the floor now)
    • A washing machine
    • Food for 6-8 months to help the children to be stronger.

Family 2:

Two sisters, one with 2 girls, 6 years old and 1.6 year old, the other with two boys. They are living in a rented flat  with no heat and not enough food for the children. They try to warm the rooms with electrical heating systems but these are a danger.

  • They need:
    • Food to last 6 – 8 months for 4 children 
    • Detergent to clean clothes and Pampers Diapers
    • Gas Stove

Family 3:

This mother is raising 3 children with no father. One of the boy is 7 years old. He has health problems and requires diapers to keep him dry during school. They live in bad conditions in 2 poor rooms.

  • They need:
    • Pampers ( to keep the boy dry )
    • Detergent – abluent
    • 2 beds
    • Others thing for kitchen: plates, cups, table

Youth Club

We’re assisting at Emmanuel by teaching the Youth Club for the next few weeks. Youth Club is an outreach ministry of the church and brings young people from the local neighborhoods into the church. The ages of the kids are from 8-11 years old.

We start each club time with an experience activity aimed to get the children thinking about the lesson. Today one of our verses was Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” I asked the children to draw a picture of what they consider a peacemaker to be. Some of the pictures were of men or women that the kids called peacemaker. One little girl drew a nice picture of a fire fighter. Most of the pictures were Jesus, as He is the true peacemaker.

Two of the girls that minister within these classes grew up in the program. It’s powerful to see how God has worked in their lives.

One of the young ladies led the class in the actual lessons and the Bible memory verse portion.  We were studying Genesis 26 today.
 

We concluded this club time by playing the game “4 Corners” (Thank you Sarah for the idea!). We had Irina explain the game to the kids and away we went. After each game, the kids asked to play “just one more time?”

Our whole family is involved in this ministry. It’s exciting to see how the Lord operates….

God Bless,
Chris

We’ve Been Here for a Month???

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been on the ground in Moldova for one month! This has been a busy month, and was the best time of year for us to arrive. The Christmas and New Years holidays provided plenty of opportunities for ministry, worship, and outreach with the local church.

Deb is enjoying her time here. She loves the cold weather and all of the walking we are doing. (We don’t have a car, so we walk to the store, church, or any place else we need to go). We are living in the center of Cahul, so everything we need is within two miles of our apartment. The people at Emmanuel Church have made us feel at home; home for Deb is where her family is serving God together, whether in North Carolina or here.

If someone could quickly invent a way to transfer Starbucks Grande, Decaf, Peppermint Mocha’s with Whip over the Internet, Deb would appreciate it.

We have many fun and interesting ministry opportunities planned for the next few weeks:

  • The whole family is working with the Kids Club at the church. This is a group of 9 to 11 year old children, mostly from the local neighborhood. We meet with them on Saturday afternoons for a lesson. We studied the birth of Jacob and Esau this past week.
  • We’ll be substitute teachers for the English program, filling in for a teacher this week who is still away and also filling in for the main teacher when he has some other business to attend to.
  • The kids will be attending the different youth groups that go on at the church.
  • Chris will be visiting other local churches with Pastor Anatol, and will have an opportunity to preach.
  • The family will be going to English Week at the school in Crihana. English week takes place in February, and we’ve been invited to come one day that week and participate in the English program that will be going on.
  • Chris has been invited to teach a lesson for the young adult age youth group at Emmanuel. This group consists of kids that are from 16 – 25 years old.
  • Chris will be teaching a Bible lesson to Nicolae’s older TKD students this Friday.
  • The whole family starts our Romanian lessons this week. We will meet with a teacher for one hour per week to increase our understanding. (Lauren is beating everyone in the family at language acquisition. She can count to 100 thanks to Irina’s mom and can sing many different Christmas carols in Romanian.)
  • The whole family will make a trek to the village of Badicul to visit the youth group at the village church.

Please pray that we will have an impact on all the people we meet with with the gospel of Jesus Christ!

John from Gotesti

I met this guy during our visit to Gotesti. His name is John. He is a part of the church, along with some of his children and grandchildren. We had a chance to chat for a bit, with David Dunas translating for us. John asked me some questions about the things I shared during my sermon and we talked about family.

I’ll be praying for John and his family. John’s prayer is that his son will be a part of the church and be a missionary like the Apostle Paul. John will be praying for us also.

Sunday Morning in Gotesti

This past Sunday, Lauren and I (Chris) made a visit to a church in a neighboring village to Cahul (Gotesti). Pastor Anatol took us there, accompanied by his son’s Paul and David. Pastor Anatol visits   different churches around Cahul on a regular basis to encourage them and worship with them.

The Pastor of the church in Gotesti was on holiday in England, so he had invited Anatol to preach and lead worship. Anatol in turn invited me to offer a short sermon prior to his time of teaching.

I chose to speak on John 3:1-8, the conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus. Whenever I get up to speak, I have only one mission: that the Gospel of Jesus Christ be shared.

    Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
   
(John 3:1-8 ESV)

This is the portion of John’s Gospel that I often come back to for review and study. Nicodemus comes to Jesus to learn from Him, and Jesus tells him he must be born again. Nicodemus offers the human response when he says he doesn’t understand how an old man could be born again. Nicodemus considers the physical angle of the question and not the spiritual side Jesus intends.

Luckily for Nicodemus and for us, Jesus makes it very clear as He continues to teach. To be a part of the Kingdom of Heaven, a person must experience two births. The first birth is physical, and is part of the human experience. The second is spiritual, a spiritual rebirth as God claims us as the redeemed, those for whom He died to take take away sins. This second birth is for those who call on Jesus in repentance and belief, and live out the transforming power of God through salvation.

 If you don’t know Jesus and you’re reading this, consider this verse:

    “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
   
(John 3:16 ESV)

Believe in him, so that you should not perish, but instead have eternal life. Let Him transform you.

School in Crihana

We have a special guest author for this post, Sarah Romeo.

Lauren, Dad (Chris) and I (Sarah) went to a village called Crihana. It is south of Cahul.  We got to visit with the English classes while we were there. We also visited a French class.  Dad took French in high school for two years.  But he claims he doesn’t remember any of it. 

Dad was talking about where we live in America and just talked about different things in America. Then they were asking questions about America and our family. 

One of the boys asked how old Dad is, and Dad told him to guess how old he is. So the boy said forty five. Then the rest of the class started guessing. He was playing hot and cold with them. That was a highlight of the day.  So he said it is lower than forty five and higher than thirty five. Then a boy in the back says forty nine. {Editors Note: The Editor didn’t find this joke funny. 🙂 }

Lauren peed in a hole for the first time. YAY!!!!!!!  {Editors Note: Outside of the city, many places in Moldova do not have indoor plumbing. This was a bit of a challenge for the girls, and we’ve passed over some bathrooms over the past few weeks while traveling. The good news is that Lauren got over her fear of these type of bathrooms, and that is what Sarah is celebrating.}

We rode on a bus that was really big and smelled like fish. They called it the Big Fish. We had a great day over all.

{Editors Note: The next village from Crihana (Matan) is famous for it’s salted fish.}

Colindat (Caroling) in Rosu

Sarah and I (Chris) made the final Christmas caroling journey for the 2011 season on Friday evening. I’m glad it was just Sarah and I that made this journey. It’s important for each kid to get some ministry experience with me separate from the rest of the family. These experiences cause the individual child to take the lead when people ask questions and prevent them from hiding behind siblings.

This was our most challenging trek yet. The village of Rosu is about 10 minutes from Cahul and is the next village over. Most of the roads in the villages are not paved, and it had been raining for two days. The puddles and mud were quite messy. We started on the main road at the house of some members from Emmanuel. We visited a few of their direct neighbors before we ventured deeper into the housing portion of the village.

We made our way to many doors in the village and got a real picture of what village life is like. The streets alone made foot travel difficult. At one point we made our way up a 45 degree incline hill in the mud. One of the ladies from the church grabbed Sarah’s arm and led her up the hill at twice the speed I was going. I’m just glad I didn’t end up face down in the mud at any point during the evening.

Once again we were able to share the birth of Jesus with people who won’t be seeing the inside of a church this season. We were joined by some new friends from YWAM (Youth With a Mission). YWAM is a ministry organization that trains groups of people using a Discipleship Training program and then sends them out to various remote mission locations to minister. We met this group when they worshiped with us on Christmas Eve at Emmanuel. Their group is made up of a married couple from Denmark, two girls from Germany, two girls from Canada, a girl from Russia, and a nice lady from England who is running the group.  I’m going to keep track of YWAM over the next few years. I’d love to see kids from our church participate in a program like this, including my own children, after they graduate from high school.

I was invited to share a message on a a few of our stops. I shared Christmas greetings from our international collection of folks: Denmark, Canada, England, United States, and Moldova. I explained that even though we are from many different countries, we share one thing. We all celebrate the birth of our Savior this holiday season. Jesus came to earth and dwelt among us, and He came here on a mission. He lived a perfect life, without sin. His death is the atonement for the sins of those who believe, repent, and trust in Him.

My prayer this night is that God will call these folks we caroled to Himself. Only God can save. We are just messengers.