Wednesday, June 22, 2005

This is a picture from Salzburg where I visited for a day before going to England to fly home. We went up to that big ol' caslte and got to see at least a couple of the sights from the Sound of Music. Salzburg is a really beautiful city. One of my favs I'd say. If I had to spend a day somewhere before I got to come home I was glad it was there.  Posted by Hello
These are some of the kids we worked with. They always enjoyed having their picture taken. I loved the Romanian kids a lot. Especially the orphans were so friendly and so willing to love. Posted by Hello
This is our whole team in a cave. It was a big cave. It was also a pretty big team. Unfortunatly if you didn't go to tauernhof you won't know any of them because I was the only Capernwray student who went. The girl on my right and the in the awesome shorts next to her were our interpreters. They are beautiful. Posted by Hello
This is the final program we did on the last day. All the kids are gathered around watching our skit of "the good samaritain." Posted by Hello

Romania Trip Journal

So I wrote in faily good detail everything we did on our trip to Romania and i'll just go ahead and write it in here so I don't have to e-mail about it to so many individual people. It was a good trip. there were some challenges for sure... mostly they involved orginizational problems with the trip and not the actual stuff we were doing. All in all Romanians are rad people. Although they're awesome drivers. We did a lot of different stuff so we were able to get kind of a feel for a variety of things going on in the country. It was cool. So here's what we did:
Sunday we did 2 church srivces, shopped at some outdoor markeds a little and went to the nice Christian orphanage down teh street. It's set up as a compound of 10 or so foster homes with 10-20 kids each. Romania is trying to mostly switch from Orphanages to foster care as much as they can, which I think is just awesome considering they used to have one of the worst, if not the very worst, orphan situations in the world.
The church serice was cool. Very different from what we're used to but cool still. The men and women sit on oppostie sides of the sanctuary. The mornign service started with about an hour of prayer. Frist the men pray, then the youg people, then the women. When the people pray one person prays right after another - no concept of waiting awkwardly for the first person to pray. And I'm pretty sure everyone in the congergation actually prayed at some point - which is amazing by our standards. In between each "people group" they read a hymn (I think that's what they were reading at least) and then all sing it. They don't have instruments or anything, just song books and an old guy who isn't the pastor, maybe the oldest church member or something, leading them.
We went to 2 schools and shopped a bit in Oradea, the nearest city to us. I was EXHUASTED by the evening so Hannah and I laid as low as possible. It was hard feeling pressued and pulling stuff together just barely (yeah, that's another story... like I said... organizational problems beyond my control....) plus teh strain of still having JUST left T-hof. Butr God was amzing in how he pulled it all together for the school programmes. They both went well. We played games, sang sons, did a skit, taught a verse, and I did teh evangecube. Manny raised their hands to accept Christ. You don't know, of course, if they undesrtand (It was really hard for me to even make the invitation because I didn't see how they possibly could) but I'm glad at least they heard teh message. I could also really see how God gave me teh words up there to share teh gospel when i had hardly prepared at all... since I didn't know ahead of time I'd be doing that...
This is teh day of OPrhanages. For most people on our team this day was difficult, but although I did think it was sad, I really loved it. We went to a state Orphanage first with mostly handicapped kids. It smelled really bad and was severely understaffed but those who were working did seem to actually care about the kids. We saw some toddlers coudl could hold them becuase they don't wnat to expose them to diseases. That was hard, they were doing "rocking baby syndrom" which is where Children rock hard back and forth when they've been neglected. Then we saw a few who really were genuinely handicapped. I played with this lovely little down syndrom girl. She was so sweet. I love to let her hug on me and tried to let her know she was loved. She had wet herself at some point, probably a while ago, and her legs were toally underdeveloped so she couldn't stand without me holding her up. the works did interact with the children but not very intently.
Then we went to another floor to a crowded room full of kids who were handicapped because of neglect. They jumped and crawled all over us. Looking back the images are pretty disturbing, but I'm sure becoud of God's grace and love, I actually really loved playing with them at the time.
We then drove a ways to a more foster-home style place for handicapped kids. Again, these were probably mostly only handicapped because of neglect in their developmental years. This was hardest because the kids were older - in their teens - but thought and acted like small thildren. These 16 year old girls wanted us to pick them up and hold them and could get rather violent when playing. Again there were only 2 workers - who work in 12 hours shiftsd - for all 20 or so of those kids. We were amaed at their ability to even handle having a job like that but they couldn't pay must real attention to the kids becuase they mostly could only clean and cook and keep them from getting hurt. We had a break and then went to teh hospital where all teh abandoned babies were kept. From this one city alone there were probably 30-40 abandoned babies, and they can't be adopeted until the parents are found to sing the papers that allow them to be.
It was great to hold the babies and i was encouraged to find that orginazations like "Remember the Children" are radically chaing the way tehse places are run. 7 organizations are involved in this one hopsital and are making sure these babies are actually getting attention - although some were definetly under developed from lack of it.
At night we drove our into thes country to deliver food to a poor single father family. He's very sick and can't work so they're really poor, but he and his 2 kids were incridible Christians! They don't have much but are wonderful careful stewards of what they do have. They are so full of joy and we stood around and sang songs and the daughter read from teh bibel for us. We all prayed togehter at the end. It was very Rich experience.
On Wednesday we went to this huge amnazing cave full of statlagmites and stalagtites. I've never seen anyting like it. It was remarkable. WE ahd a cookout by the river which was very nice and restful. Grrrrreat food too. Then we drove back and did a program for an AWANAs clob in teh nearby village. WE did teh same program we'd been doing at all the other schools and stuff. It went well.
We drove a ways away again and walked around some crazy outdoor markets - unlike anything you'd find in teh states - then had another nice lunch from a resturant. Then we drove out to the gypsies camp. It was an amazing experience. teh whole camp came and were all out waiting for us when we arrived. 70 of the wildest little kdis you've ever seen. Full out brawls broke out on several occactions. They all just hit and push each other regularly and the parents just stadby and laugh. When after a whiloe, a kid gets hurt and starts to cry, no one tries to help him/her. But they were also adorable. It's almost cool that they're so hard and tough becuase it's easier to show them love I think. You just can't expect them to settle down like normal kids do or to act differently just because you're there. It's good to be able to just accept them as they are and work from there.
We got back intime for dinner at teh htel and at night we all went to the movies. that waws really nice becuase I was feeling really burnt out and ready to be home - as I had been often feeling in the week - so Star WArs was a great escape for 2 or 3 hours. the boys loved that you could buy beer at the concessions stand.
The next day we left the hotel just after breakfast and dcrove 2 hours to another small town where we put on one last outreach. I was soooo tired but lots of kids came and they were real cute. I took lots of pictures of them. Then the missionary family fed us this amazing HUGE meal. So we ate up and then loded into the vans and drove 13 hours back to T-hof. We arrived back there at about 2 AM.

So that was Romania. Pretty jam packed. Pretty difficlut. Definetly worthwhile and great learning experience though. God was very faithful the whole way though. GO GOD!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Back in the USA

Hey! This is going to be quick because according to my body clock it's like 6:45am or something... athough around here it's like 9:45 pm, which is good because it is now a normal and good time for me to go to bed... so I'm going to do that. but that's boring. Change of subject. So here I am back in the USA. Home sweet home... kind of... yeah, it's weird. I almost freaked on a plane a little but God gave me some actually quite amazing reminders and words just for me in just my normal bible reading which I popped open just before landing. So good. But yeah you can pray for me of course and know - especially as a toarchbearers students but many others as well - I actually have been praying for you too (probably... unless you're some random person searching people's blogs then... well there I just prayed for you as well) and um that's about all I can say for now or I might die because I'm just THAT tired. Much love!

Monday, June 06, 2005

Beautiful Shladming. This is the down where I live at dusk. This is what you see when walking out the front door and you turn left... given it happens to be a gorgeous night with a beautiful pink sky. I took this picture while going on a "date" with my dear friend Jimmy Haring. I love being a girl - it means that boys pay for your ice cream even if they're just taking you out to ask advice about what to do about another girl they like. Heck yeah. Free ice cream. I'll tell you just about anything you want for that! Posted by Hello
We had the ever amazing Tauernhof talent show last friday night. It ranged from the awesome to the hilarious to the slightly disturbing. This skit was hillarious it was called "people with shirts on their heads" which involved this group of people jumping around making shrill noises and acting out different things like bacon frying, raindrops falling, or the destruction of the rain forest. My own personal contribution to the talent show I don't have a picture of to post on here because we recorded it on my camera - basically I learned the entire dance from Napoleon Dynamite and preformed it fully costumed and fully serious. Personal pat on the back for not cracking a smile the whole dance and for remembering all the moves - other than that all the credit goes to John Heder for making up by far the funniest dance I personally have ever preformed. You know he was actually just freestyling all of that in the movie? Amazing. It was quite complicated to learn! So yeah - that was fun. Good times were had by all... or at least most... I hope all... but I guess I can't say for sure cuz I didn't actually ask every single person if they had a good time or not... Posted by Hello
On Saturday we took a trip into Munich, Germany but first stopped at Dochau - the first NAZI concentration camp built during the 2nd World War. It was a sobering experience to say the least. To really see the barracks that they slept in - these buildings built for 200 people housed up to 2,000 people. The camp as a whole was built to house 6,000 but housed over 30,000 prisoners at a time by the end of the war. To walk where they walked, see the living conditions first hand, and see more graphic pictures than they would ever dare show us in school taught me more about the NAZI regime than any amount of books or movies or classes ever did. It was difficult but was also an increidibly valuable experience. If we really soak in the horror of that event as a society I don't think it ever could happen again. If we ignor it we make a big mistake. Posted by Hello