Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 6 - VBS begins

Day 6 – No I didn’t skip Day 5

No I did not skip Day 5 – yesterday’s should have been Day 5 and so we are now back on schedule.
Last night we moved into the new hotel which was a huge blessing. We have sheets and blankets, the pillows do actually support, no rooster to wake me up, no train and no dying dog and the shower is fully functioning. We did get the dog battle outside but that brought back good memories of last year. The only issue we had was not really with what the room didn’t have but what it did have. All night I would be buzzed by a mosquito and it just never seemed to leave me alone. When I got up there was a mosquito on the wall by the door. So grabbing a paper pad I whacked that mosquito. The only two problems were that when I hit the mosquito it left a rather large blood spot on the newly painted bright yellow walls. Second, when I looked up I realized that it was not a mosquito that was buzzing me but about 30 or so spread out across the ceiling and walls. In the bathroom they had installed a small window to allow for the moisture to escape and they had left it open. That was the entrance way for all of the mosquitos. Re-arming myself with the note pad I systematically killed each of the mosquitos. Now as I sit in my room it looks as though we had slaughtered something in here because blood spots are all over the walls and ceiling.
One of the most important logistical aspects of the trip is the food and Chrissie and Daniella, Niku’s wife, along with Tiffany have been sweating over hot stoves to feed us. The food has always been delicious. Okay I hope that is enough praise because Chrissie said she wasn’t going to cook anymore until the cooks got a mention in the blog.
We are now over half way through our missions trip and today marked the first day of VBS. Both Puciosa and Fieni started at 10 a.m. and had about 40 kids come along. As usual there were the few kids who were there first thing in the morning but both got under way on time. The roving team otherwise known as the Brittoners, finalized preparations for the first half of their VBS program. Because we did not begin until 3 p.m. and this was the only day in which we could be at the two main VBS locations, I did a trick/object lesson for Puciosa and then headed off to Fieni to eat fire. Romanian gas still tastes disgusting.
The roving team’s VBS really had to be created from scratch and so the changes in locations and time create changes to the program. Sometimes when you get familiar with something and you are trying to think ahead of what is to come you can get your words all mixed up. I had Hunter and Savannah asking the kids who created the first “God” instead of “man” and Barbara told them to really get into the role they were playing i.e. when they entered the stage as monkeys they needed to make monkey noises “Oink, oink.” I think we laughed for about 5 minutes flat with these mistakes.
The VBS in Magura only had 4 kids but when the village only has 20 kids in total itvwasn’t too bad. The main observation about these kids was their appreciation. They sat and listened and when we did a craft they just sat down and did it. One of the crafts was to color in a piece of card which folded into a pyramid. Each kid sat down and did their best effort and after each marker pen they used they put the top back on and put it away. And this was without a single word from us. In most Sunday School classes the boys would have scribbled across the card so they could get up and play. And all of the kids would have just left the markers out mostly without the caps on. As my family debriefed we discussed this and felt as though there were two main reasons: 1. There is a high level of discipline sometimes instilled by the parents and always enforced by the Church; 2. These kids have very little and so when they get to use a marker pen, which kids in America take for granted, it is a special occasion for them. Also the responsibilities on these kids are so much greater than American kids. Emma, who is 16 and whom we had lunch with on Sunday, has to look after a sick grandmother during the summer while her Mum works. Cassandra, who was the girl we bumped into outside the grocery store, had been so excited about going to VBS but she did not turn up today. We later found out a little more about her life. She is not homeless but both parents sit at home and do not work but have their two kids beg for money so they can survive. Apparently Casandra had not “earned” enough begging money and had to make more. My heart breaks for these kids especially when I consider the blessings that youth in America have been given.
Big Alex invited us to his house for dinner this evening. For Hunter and I, it was great to see everything again and for Barbara and Savannah it was amazing for them to see how they grow all their own vegetables and fruit and also raise their own meat. Unfortunately Breakfast, the rabbit, lived up to his name not too long ago but lunch and dinner were still alive. The pig which Alex had last year has grown huge and he has only a few months left before he becomes the meat supply. At the end of the meal Alex’s , Mum came out to say goodbye having spent our whole visit there cooking food for us. She said a lot of things in Romania which I couldn’t understand, until she came to Hunter and then the only 2 English words came out “Bushy Bear”. We all died laughing.
Philippians 2: 14-15 - Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world
Our goal over here is to shine as light and bring the gospel to villages and people who would not hear otherwise. But when it says to “Do all things without grumbling or questioning” it is so convicting because I do not always do all things with a happy disposition. Tomorrow we get back on the VBS trail.

1 comment:

  1. Gretchen BertucciniJune 28, 2010 at 8:32 PM

    I too am sorely convicted about that verse--I love when the "all things" in Scripture are for me, and not when they reflect what I am not to do. I think a great way to deal with those difficult things is with humor and a good laugh.

    I am excited to hear how the VBS program is going---I too was always blown away by how foreign children were so much more appreciative and diligent to do their best effort. Our children are at a disadvantage with all they have---it affects their character.

    Praying for you guys---try to get a group picture tomorrow:)