Friday, March 29, 2013

The Journey part 3

   They say a picture paints a thousand words and how I wish I could show you pictures~ complete with sounds and scents of the early days in the hospital. However, because the hospital I work in is a State hospital and the children are in the State's care I cannot show pictures that would in any way identify them. I also have to be very discreet of what pictures I have of the hospital itself. Therefore, I will have to attempt to paint a word picture for you of my first weeks in the Pediatric Hospital in Oradea.

   My friend Abbey and I had met up with Michelle (our director) gone to the hospital and tentatively followed Michelle through the hospital to Dr. Enicho's office. We met the doctor we would be under, who seemed overjoyed that we would be helping. I remember feeling like I was in a daze, smiling and trying to follow the conversation going on around me. My mind was racing though as I looked at the dingy walls, the old furniture and the tired drapes at the office windows. "What kind of hospital is this?", I thought. The hallways had been worse~ tiles missing on the floors, only a few bulbs hanging from the ceiling by wires (clearly a violation of fire code!) and paint peeling off the walls. Surely, the babies' rooms were better...

   Dr. Enicho told us that we could begin work in one room with three of the abandoned babies. There were three rooms total for these "social babies" and we were welcome to hold the babies in the other rooms too if we wished. She led us from her office and across the hall to the first room and asked us to enter. The haze that surrounded me was shattered as every sense in my body was assaulted. The smell of urine,sweat and feces hung heavy in the hot, vent-less room. Babies' cries pierced through the fog and became a sound that has haunted many of my dreams since. Some of the babies lay motionless and without blinking; their clothes cast offs from someone else and so full of holes that most of us would not even dust with them! Their precious faces were gaunt~ no chubby smiles greeted us. The cribs were relics from the 1940's or '50's and the paint was chipping off the metal into piles around the room. Small cockroaches scuttled into corners; they seemed to be the only thing active in the room.

   The doctor was talking on as my mind grappled with everything I was seeing and experiencing. I felt like gagging, but the tears that were forming in my eyes threatened even more! I finally managed to ask the doctor what she would like us to do. Kindly, she stated that we could do whatever we wanted to do to help the babies, but she had no supplies to give us. In resignation, she went on to say that holding and touching them was probably the best thing- the only thing- we could do. She explained that the hospital did not have enough funding and there was no spare soap, shampoo, diapers, wipes or anything else we consider normal baby essentials. She thanked us again before she and Michelle left. Abbey and I stared at each other speechless then at those precious little ones that only knew this horrid existence that they called life.

  We now had a task but we were unsure of how to begin...

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

An Update from Ramona

Happy Easter!!! ( a little early)

   This time of year is always exciting for me as I remember what Christ did for us, as well as the anticipation of Spring! Also this year marks the tenth anniversary of me traveling to Romania and starting the ministry in the hospital!

   So many of you have been with me from the very beginning and I want to send a special thank you for your faithfulness and encouragement all these years. And of course, I am supremely grateful to all of you who support Project Hope for the Children now. I can see how PHFTC makes a difference in so many little lives and the many changes that have occurred in the hospital since 2003.

   Because this  year is so special to me, I have been yearning to take my entire family with me to Romania this year. There is something about where I was as a single woman in 2003 and how the Lord has worked and blessed in the past ten years that makes this special. I have been able to have my husband and my daughter accompany me on separate occasions; never my son and never the whole family together. Logistics emotionally and physically with leaving the kids here are also becoming increasingly difficult too.

  My request is that you would pray with me~ that is all; seeking God's will if it would be His will for us to go. I don't know how we would accomplish it financially or logistically. (As you know, the ministry pays for two people's tickets and travel expenses, but I am not going to take more money from the babies when the kids cannot actively contribute to the ministry:) If it is not meant to be then I will rest in that, but this is truly the desire of my heart and with no foster children in the home and Andrew adopted it is an optimal time to go.

   Thank-you so much and I look forward to seeing you all this summer when I  speak at your church or organization! There is a schedule of speaking engagements started at

                                                                             In Him,


Monday, March 25, 2013

The Journey part 2

                                                                                                                                           3 months later

   Spring turned to Summer and I was at home in Romania. God had blessed me with a decent landlord, a good apartment, great co-workers and many protective friends. I was learning the language and the culture enjoying city life.

   My work at the "Baby House" was going well. Before leaving the States, the Foundation sent me a picture of the children at the orphanage. Three of those babies captured my heart instantly! I started praying for all the children, but those three little faces kept popping up in my mind's eye. Amazingly, upon starting work I had been given charge of those same three children! (Two of whom I still have contact today) They were precious and at ages 6 months, 2 and 4 years, I was busy! 

   However, by Summer the orphanage was being re-organized and my shifts became twelve-hour day shifts every other day. This left me with too much time on my hands and I questioned my director about her Arms of Mercy branch in the local Pediatric Hospital. Little did I know how that question would change and shape my life....

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Ten Years- The Journey part 1

Ten years ago I traveled to Romania to work at a small Christian orphanage for a six month term. It was during that time that my eyes were opened to the need of abandoned and needy children in that country and where my work in the hospital began as well. I was 23 years old and had never been away from home for a long period of time, never been on an airplane nor been out of the country. It was a growing and testing period for me. It was also a time where several of my goals in life were fulfilled and my passion to care for unwanted babies sparked into an obsession! It was a wonderful time of  maturing, working hard, making lifelong friends and finding out who I was and what I wanted to accomplish in this world. And because of that six month time Project Hope for the Children was eventually birthed.

A Journal Excerpt...                                                                                                         

   Things went very smoothly at the airport. I checked in. We met up with Tom, Crystle and Matt and waited together until close to boarding time. It seemed rather unreal to kiss my parents and (brothers) Paul and Cody goodbye and not see them again until a half a year had passed. I was not sad to leave, only disappointed to not be involved in their lives for six months. As I looked at their faces, I saw that they were excited and happy for me, yet missing me already. To have their support and blessing comforted me.

   The entire flight (my first) was as I had expected it to be. Maybe I have watched too many movies, but flying seemed almost natural to me. We flew from Syracuse to Detroit to Amsterdam to Budapest. I was unable to sleep the whole way there.(Little did I know that I would fly this route dozens of times in the years ahead)

  Upon arriving in Budapest we collected our luggage and none was missing- thank God. We were met by Pastor Alex and his daughter Rebi. Exhaustion had set in, but she and I struck up a friendship and the four-year old and I had an interesting time doing one another's hair while I practiced my scant Romanian. She made the four hour trip bearable! Alex had hired a van and driver, which was a culture shock in itself, and got us across the border without any effort on our part.

   We arrived at Michelle and Daniel's apartment ( the directors of the ministry) in early evening ~ close to 24 hours after leaving NY. I said goodbye to my friends and ate a quick dinner. Soon we were headed over to New Life House so Daniel could fix the front door. I was beyond exhausted, but  excited to to finally see the "Baby House". All the children were asleep except for one six-year old that acts autistic, among other things. After meeting my new co-worker, Marianna and the two American interns Caroline and Jenna, we returned to the apartment where I called my parents and finally slept. 

   That ended my first "two" days of my new life in Romania, but only the beginning of my journey to what the Lord had in store for me!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Coming Soon....

Just wanted to let you know that there will be a very special post coming up in honor of my ten years in Romania! This anniversary is so special to me and I thought I would share some of my first memories of the country and my experience there!  


Friday, March 15, 2013

One Person's Actions Always Make a Difference!

I just wanted to publicly thank Noah and his mom, Rochelle! Your actions did make a difference. Mom, you taught your son a valuable lesson in Compassion and Serving  others~ Noah, you took that lesson to Heart and Involved others in your Plan!
 I had the privilege of meeting Noah yesterday and he gave me $320 that he had collected from his birthday party. What an honor it was to meet him and his family~ thank you Guernsy family for helping the children of Romania!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Gifts of the Heart Always Multiply

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about a little boy who had decided that his birthday party this year would be different! In lieu of gifts, Noah asked for donations to this ministry and the children it serves. Well, he did it! Surrounded by his supportive family, Noah opened up $300 worth of donations to Project Hope for the Children. Tomorrow, I will meet with Noah to personally thank him and talk to him and I'm so excited! 

I am including the Cortland Standard link on the article they wrote concerning Noah and the ministry! I am hoping that this article helps bring the ministry into view of some people that have not heard about it as of yet! Thanks Noah and family!!