Aug
2008

12
Finishing up in Lazareni
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Tuesday, August, 12, 2008
by Angie Simon

Today, we returned to Lazareni for our final day in the village. We gave the classrooms a second coat of paint and then started on the church. It was such a joy to watch Robyn and Heather finally meet their sponsored child Daliana. The travel was a bit overwhelming for Heather and she was feeling a little under the weather but Dan was happy to take her back to the hotel. (He loves to practice his driving any chance he gets.) It was a special treat to have one of Tom’s old friends named Dawn join us for the day. Dawn is a physical therapist that found Hope 4 Kids through a divine connection. Tom and a pastor of a gypsy village prayed for a physical therapist and several days later Dawn called looking for an opening! After living in Bucharest for six months, Dawn had a great insight to gypsies, Romanians and their relationship to one another.

During the morning, we got the kids together and made personalized t-shirts for all the kids in the village. Some wrote their name and drew different photos. By the end of the day, all the kids were running around with their new artistically designed t-shirt! We fed them lunch again today and by mid-afternoon the kids were escorting us on a walk throughout their village.

Bonnie, Dewayne, Pat, Robyn, Heather, Sharon, Vicki & Scott & Ramona all got to spend time with their sponsored children today!

Tomorrow we travel to Beclean to visit with our Unifund kids. We may or may not have interenet so we will write when we can!

 


Hope 4 Kids Returns to Lazareni Village
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Monday, August 11, 2008
by Angie Simon

We returned to Lazareni for our first workday today! All the children greeted us at the gate with filthy clothes and great big smiles on their faces! Team members split their time between painting and playing with the Gypsy children. Mishu, the pastor of Lazareni and translators, Dan and Luci were there with us throughout the day offering support with the Gypsy children. Although many of the kids looked dirty, they all were full of life and happy to see us. The kids LOVED having their photo taken. All afternoon, “Pose’, Pose’!” It was so neat to see how much the kids have grown!

Ramona, Scott, Dewayne, Bonnie and Pat spent most of the day painting the two classrooms while Mani, Sharon, Sandie & Vicki loved on the kids all day. The kids loved playing with the parachute, bubbles and plastic rings.
Elizabeth worked with Gabby and Alina to get the latest updates on the kids in our Sponsorship Program.

For lunch, Gabby and Mishu made all the children sit down and behave for lunch. They all prayed and Mani and Sharon served all of the kids sandwiches.

After lunch, Scott, Sandi and several teachers helped the kids create journals with their name on it. The kids were delighted to have their photo taken with their new journal with their name on it. Scot had to move onto journals after he bonked his head five times on the low ceilings while he was painting.

We finished up the evening at a beautiful restaurant outside along with George, Alina and baby Naomi. When we returned we greeted Heather & Robin at the hotel. After a exhausting day of travel they finally made it, but without their luggage. They were in great spirits and just so happy to finally join our team. Welcome Heather & Robyn! Our team is finally complete!

 

Aug
2008

10
Getting to Know the Romanians
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Sunday, August 10th, 2008
by Angie Simon

This morning we started out the day with Family Time led by Tom. Tom shared about the days leading up to the fall of Ceausescu in Romania. Second to Russia, Tom has visited Romania more than any other country in the world in thirty-five years. He shared about his love of Romania and gave us a little history about our project here. Our main Romanian parters were once youth leaders and translators for Tom. He has watched them grow up and even start their own non-denominational church led by Adi. We visited Adi’s church today and became reacquainted with all of our old Romanian friends, Adi, Cornell, Alina & George, Gabby, Luci & Dan and many others. It was great to worship all together again. Tom gave the message at church today about for filling your call from God. How do you know if God calls you to do something? He shared that you know that its always about your abilities, always above your faith and always above your resources. It was a very moving message and we hope some of the Romanians will travel with us to Africa this November.

After church, we all went to Baile Felix for the afternoon. Baile Felix is located in the countryside where top government officials would come for vacation during the Communist Days. The town is thriving and there are brightly painted buildings and homes that line the countryside. Baile Felix is known for their unique water lilly pond. Team members got an opportunity to explore the town, do a little tourist shopping and get an opportunity to play with some precious gypsy kids selling blackberries.

Late afternoon we migrated back to the hotel, decompressed for awhile and ate again at Piccolo across the street from the hotel. Elizabeth and I skipped dinner and saved it for ice cream! We all walked down the street and enjoyed various flavors of ice cream at a place down the street.

Tomorrow we are all looking forward to working in the gypsy villages of Lazareni. Many of us will do some painting in the classrooms and work with the kids doing some crafts.

 

Aug
2008

09
Gorgeous Day Throughout Eastern Europe
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Saturday, August 09, 2008
by Angie Simon

What a gorgeous day! The team woke up today with the perfect weather for traveling; cloudy skies, breezy and 75 degrees. We hit the road around 10AM and drove 5 hours to Oradea, Romania where we will be for most of our outreach. Along the way, the skies cleared up, the sun came out and we all enjoyed the breezy afternoon. We took advantage of the weather for lunch as we sat outside on the patio of one of our favorite Hungarian restaurants called Istavan. This is that great little restaurant with the thick thatched roof and various animal pelts hanging on the wall like bear & fox. After lunch we continued to enjoy the Hungarian/Romanian countryside until we reached our hotel in Oradea. We checked-in, regrouped and gathered upstairs on the terrace of the hotel restaurant for dinner. The terrace had gorgeous views of the city while overlooking the river below. The weather got really chilly and most of us had to run upstairs and grab a jacket. The cold weather felt amazing especially for those coming from Phoenix. We watched as thousands of birds flew overhead as the night began to fall.

After dinner, we took another stroll down Oradea’s walking street. Its very clean and many of the buildings were under renovation. Tom pointed out old Soviet buildings and told us stories about what it was like for people to live during Communism times.

 

Aug
2008

08
Team Arrives in Budapest Today
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Friday, August 08, 2008
by Angie Simon

Hey! We made it! Everyone arrived in Budapest safe and sound today with everyone’s luggage except for Dwayne’s H4KI bag. We had a very long travel day but besides feeling tired, everyone is in great spirit’s and ready for another amazing trip! 14 yr. old Armani (Mani) joined us from Chambersberg, Pennsylvania. We met him in the Memphis airport, but the flight attendants that were in charge on Mani officially guided him to all of his gates. They kept up with his tickets and passport for safe keeping. We were all so impressed. They would not release him to us until Tom showed his passport to them! Mani was ready to join our team and have some fun!

After we checked into our rooms, we took a breather and gathered down stairs for dinner. We met David Ballantyne and his wife Susan at the famous Fatal restaurant for some great Hungarian goulas. It was wonderful to meet them and hear about the history between them and Tom. Tom reminded us that they were the ones that adopted little Katya from Russia years ago. After dinner, David gave us a wonderful tour through the “walking street” up to the Danube River. It gave the team some time to take some amazing photos and grab some ice cream while learning about the great history of Hungary. After the men took 35 minutes to get several bottles of water from a local shop, we headed home for a great night’s sleep! Rachel, Ramona sounds just like you! If I keep my eyes closed, its like you are on the trip! =)

Tomorrow the team will make our 5 hour journey to Oradea, Romania where we will make our new home base.

 
 
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Hope 4 Kids International is 501c3 faith-based non-profit committed to help children around the world that are suffering from extreme poverty through Dignity, Health, Joy & Love.

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