Thursday, September 26, 2013

Going Strong

I am carving out some time today to write an update for you all of our time in Romania. I say carve, because life has been insane since returning to the States a few weeks ago. I am so grateful for all of you that have asked about the trip and continued to ask me for more updates~ it means so much to me! I will write today's post from my point of view and soon I will post one from Jack so you can hear and see all that he did during our time there!

This year when we flew, we had $12,000 in our account! For those who have followed this ministry from the beginning you understand how amazing that is! Ten years ago, I would fly with $1,000 for six month's worth of supplies. Project Hope for the Children has grown so much over the past decade and I am pleased! It is like watching one of your children growing, maturing and making wise decisions:)
Shampoo, Oil, Lice Treatment, Cereal, Rash Cream
Detergent and Fabric Softner
Diapers, Wipes and Cereal

After the rough travel and the first initial days of settling in and visiting two new foundations, life took on a routine. I was able to visit with "my children". I have a 14 year old and an 11 year old over there in foster care. These were two of the three children I cared for in the orphanage when I lived there. I have been able to keep contact with them and care for them in small ways throughout the year. My cup was running over to be with them and to share my family with them!

Friday was a work day at the hospital for me. I was allowed "my usual privileges" there and especially enjoyed holding the small ones close and noticing how one particularly fussy child relaxed in my arms and slept peacefully despite her chronic pain. I met some of the new women that work for the foundations that I collaborate with and reacquainted myself with the old ones.

I met with a contractor friend of Alina's and put into action the remodeling of our supply room. For the past ten years, the Plugar Family has basically turned over one of their cellar rooms for the storage of our supplies. As the supplies grew, they removed more and more of their things. In the past, I purchased a new window and new door to keep our items safe and dry, but it had become apparent that we needed to renovate the entire room now. Must has been creeping in and the towers of diapers are increasingly unsteady. Alina and I came up with a design of floor to ceiling shelves for the diapers and baby gear and more cupboards to house all of our smaller supplies plus new walls, flooring, ceiling and electric. I cannot wait to see the finished result! (I'll keep you posted)

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday's hours were filled completely as I struggled to do everything before we left. Worked in the hospital in the mornings and visited with the different foundation women and their children. I saw many children that were still there from last year and some from many years back. Second on the agenda was to order supplies for Forget Me Not Ministries and Romanian Relief. (Mine being ordered the week before) We ordered $1,000 worth of diapers for FMNM and $1,000 worth of vitamins and Ibuprofen for RR. All were safely delivered!
I was able to have dinner with several dear friends and our new friend, Florian, who opened his home to us and was extremely gracious! I was even able to go to the hospital one night and see my favorite nurse, "Greeny", who was doing light duty. This woman was the one I feared and disliked the most when I first started there and one that I have come to respect and love the most over the years:) And yes, she has purple hair, obviously not why I named her "Greeny" years ago!

At the end of my time there, I can say that I was able to accomplish all that needed to be done with the help of several friends! Alina and her family gave up nine days to cater to us in whatever way we needed. Paula drove me around to shop for supplies, Sarah and crew and Rachel and crew gave up their day to show Jack and I their ministries, Mia and Magda let me love on their children, my church family was welcoming, the hospital staff gracious and grateful and Florian super accommodating. Though the time was too short for me and I left unwillingly, I knew that God had blessed the trip and I am thankful for all that was accomplished in such a short time!

                         Can't wait till next year!


left: the Plugar Family

below: our landlord, Florian

(If you have any questions or comments about PHFTC please leave a comment below)

* For confidentiality reasons few pictures of the hospital are used and only ones that children cannot be identified. NO pictures with hospital babies may be removed from this site or published in any other media, please. Disregard of this could result in my ministry being banned from the hospital

Sunday, September 15, 2013


He lay in the corner crib, propped up, eyes open and staring. All was quiet until choking and gurgles filled the room. Frightened, my mama instincts heightened, I looked over quickly to see his eyes bulging; struggling to breathe as dark phlegm was expelled from his mouth. Alina hurried to him; helping him upright and wiping the phlegm from his mouth. I watched her tenderness with him, but knew her heart because my own was going through the same struggle.

You see little Benjamin has a lung disorder and a brain disorder. Neither look good long term. Days before when I had entered the room, I had greeted all the babies. Benjamin caught me though. Each breathe was a struggle for him, eating an arduous ordeal and yet he would try to smile and every once in a while emit a little sound as he tried to communicate; tried to thank the loving hands that cared for him.

I did not want to get attached. I have been down that road before and it always means pain. Because you know that one day this little one will go and join the Maker that created him and you will be left with a hole in your heart. And yet, this child has value... Alina knows that too. Benjamin did not ask to be born this way or to live sometimes with his Roma parents and sometimes at the hospital, yet he still finds it in him to smile, to gurgle. If he can be that resilient then so can I.

 So I dried my tears and went over to thank him for the lesson learned once again...

*I am so thankful that this Ministry (that the Lord has given me) focuses on the value of people. It doesn't matter their age, health, culture or sex; it feeds them and loves them and shows Jesus to them!
Thank-you for being a part of that!