Praying for the families of Cheresig
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Friday, August 13, 2010
by Armani Trautman

Today, friends, was our last day in Cheresig.  We awoke with a faint sense of hopefullness that maybe, in some alternate reality, that we would mysteriously gain acouple days back to stay in this beloved village.  Not typically expected, but hey, we can dream.  So once again we hopped on the bus, once again making our stop at the Obi store parking lot, once again driving through the countryside, once again, startstruck at the honor that God has placed upon us.  We arrived with intentions on Dental in the gypsy section of the village, which quickly wa redirected into Maria’s home.  About ten people was our set goal for today. In the mean time, the rest o the team went into the village to pray over God’s people.  There were so many in need; whether sick or poor, these are all God’s people; and He walked with and spoke through us.  What a blessing.   The kids also walked with us, from home to home, many times telling us there were more houses for us to go pray in.  Not a problem.  Afterwards,  we said our goodbyes, not final, we will be back, and we left for the last time our great Cheresig.  God ha blessed us so much, and we know that although this was our last day of work in thi village, the mission itself is not over. Our lives are mission feild, and we are God’s ambassador wherever we walk, day by day, step by step.

An old widow hugs Lindsay in gratitude for the oil and sugar.

From Lindsay:

Our last day in Cheresig! While part of the team continued dental work or construction, we (Tom, Angie, Armani, Natalie, Tara and I) went into the village. First we handed out oil and sugar to each family and treats to the children. Then we were asked to come to visit a man dying of cancer and pray over him and his family. It was painful to see their suffering. Next was a family whose baby girl had 5 holes in her heart and couldn’t afford surgery for her. Most of us didn’t leave that house with dry eyes. Families contined to invite us in to pray and each story touched us. Poverty and suffering were no longer abstract nouns, they had names and faces. As I left each house I would give the women big hugs to show that I truly cared about their lives and that I wouldn’t forget yhem. We headed back and had another delicious meal made by Maria! As we left, she pointed upwards with a big smile, hugged us, and whispered “Shalom” in my ear.



H4KI Team Enjoys Cheresig
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Wednesday, August 11th, 2010
by Armani Trautman

Today was yet another exciting day for Hope 4 Kids as we were introduced to another village.  Unlike Lazăreni, this village, Cheresig, is composed of Hungarians, Romanians, and of course, Gypsys. :) And on another note, it was close enough to Oradea that there was not much of a scenery change, but still we drove ourselves back into Budapest time, loosing an hour.  We started out by meeting our spectacular hosts, husband and wife, two retired Physics and Biology professers, respectively.  They had chosen after retirement to come live, and make a difference in what was their home village.  Can you say amazing?

After enjoying a meal prepared by the couple, we slipped ourselves yet again into the prescence of He, the One who gave is the opportunity to be there in the first place.  Almost immediately afterwards, we all split into our groups:  Elizabeth, adding new children to the sponsorship program, Tom and his macho guy minnians went off to get supplies for the construction being done in the village,  the dentist and her assistants got swiftly to work, and the rest of us went to the kids, what a blessing.  It seemed as if we had all fallen into some sort of time tunnel, and before we knew it, the new children were in the system, the last person had been seen by the dentist, and the children had gone home.  Yes, the day went quick, but slowely and reluctantly went our hearts floated back onto our bus to go back home.  There were many permanent images installed in our heads today, especially the ones we saw in the dental room ;) . But one lasting event is one we will never forget: I was playing with one of the sweetest little girls I had ever seen in my entire life, spinning, spinning, spinning around, and falling to the ground, dizzier than ever.  As we layed there, I looked over and asked, “Are you a Gypsy?” … “No, Romanian” she replied quickly.  Almost takenaback, I turned my head back to the sky in wonder.  Then it hit me.  These children came here today, mixing their cultures and ideas and beliefs, playing, laughing, loving, all together, not caring that they were “Gypsy” or “Hungarian,” it didn’t matter.  These children, these launterns of pure light in the feild of darkness we see in the world today, these are the future.  This is the true meaning behind what we do, and stepping in the path of He the Lord who is guiding us, we are making a difference, unto which we owe Him all the glory.  Tommorow we travel back to the village for yet another day of indescribable beauty in Cheresig, Bihor, Romania.

This is Armani's second time to Romania with Hope 4 Kids



Colorful day in Lazareni
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Tuesday, August 10th, 2010
By Natalie & Tara

August 10, 2010. Today, in the life of a Hope 4 Kids team member, the day began with breakfast at 8:00 instead of the usual 7:00. We all ate buffet style at the hotel where we could choose from tons of cheeses, pastries, and espresso. We congregated for family time at around 9:00 in our usual spot made up of ex-soviet blue couches. Kristen shared an insightful piece of her heart in the form of a poem. It reached into the depths of our heart and brought forth vivid picturesque memories of the lotus flowers we recently encountered in Felix two days prior. Lazar (the bus driver) was prompt as usual, greeting us with his daily smile. We hit up The Romanian version of Home Depot (ODI) to pick up some last minute necessities to complete the new Gypsy roof. We are thankful for all the strong men we have on our team who are able to conqour the task of building a roof. You should have seen Dj and Bill up there on top of the roof nailing away. Kelly, Daniel, and Tara took dentistry to a whole new level. Teeth were a-flyin, blood was a- spillin, and prayers were a-soaring as the tooth aches of the Roma were relieved. The village youngins were even more excited than we ever thought possible!! Never-ending games and constant smiles were upon the faces of these absolutely gorgeous children. As the time came to depart, the smiles turned into tears as our new friends or as we call them sisters and brothers, said their final goodbyes. Armani and Natalie shared very intimate moments with the children they have grown close to over the past two days. As the bus rolled away, the salty tears slowly faded as we all reflected our two days loving on these children. We returned to our favorite restaurant where Natalie and Tara enjoyed their red hot, super spicy peppers on their delectible pizza. Little did Kelly know that her family planned for a surprise tiramisu to arrive to celebrate her belated birthday. It wasn’t long before Armani was told to lie to the girls about the “traditional Romanian soup” that is rude not to eat. Before long the bowl was being passed around tried by every person at the table. Yes even Claire tried it!!! After the soup was devoured my the group, Armani thought it would be a good time to tell us that the soup we just tried was tripe- aka cow stomach soup. Cringes filled the reaturant. The day was eventful and full of many emotions. Today was a day in which many memories were made.

This epic blog was brought to you by Tara and Natalie

Tara with one of the leaders in Lazareni Natalie with her sweet friend.



Lazareni, Romania
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Monday, August 9th, 2010

By Hannah

Today we woke up with many expectations.  Breakfast was interesting but delicious.  Then family time started at eight.  We could all feel the anxiety and excitement as we listened to Elizabeth talk and explain what was going to happen.  After we closed in prayer everyone went off to get their final belongings including forgotten name tags and duffel bags filled with supplies.  We boarded the bus and enjoyed the scenery along the way as well as the expert driving skills of our bus driver.  As we approached the village everyone stared at the village, but not for long because our driver needed to turn around.  Finally arriving we all hurried into the school to drop off our bags and waited for the opening prayer led by John.  After prayer we exited the school to start our structured games.  We started with rață rață gâscă also known as duck duck goose.  The best part of the game was when Natalie biffed it and all the kids thought it was the funniest thing.  During that time Sharon and Kristen went about sorting the pillow case dresses and Kelly and Daniel did a great job of working on the villagers teeth.  After the games the kids received sandwiches and we started our lunch and then returned to play some more.  The kids were so loveable and I know we never wanted to leave. When it came time to the leave, the men returned with the roof halfway finished and everyone was exhausted, but excited to come back for more.

The gypsy kids at Lazareni, Romania


The Pond
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The Pond –

By Kristen

Looking out over the sea,

A sea of water lilies…

Head-high stalks, huge leaves,

Enormous pink flowers reach for the sky,

Wave in the breeze…

Fish swim the waters.

Delicate small ones,

Orange goldfish.

Turtles raise their head to the air,

To the sun,

Smooth bodies, clean and fresh…




Reuniting with Old Friends
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Sunday, August 8th, 2010

By Angie Simon

We started off our day with Tom sharing about the history of our involvement with Romania and about how many people in this part of the world were persecuted for their faith.  Many Christians during the Soviet times would pray secretly asking God where to lead them to worship and have secret meetings. Afterwards, we left for Adi, Cornel and George’s church. The worship was wonderful. The team enjoyed listening to the songs because all of them were songs we sing in America. After lunch we went to Baile Felix, a quaint charming town that’s between Oradea and Lazareni. One of the highlights of the day was our fabulous lunch on the veranda of one of the restaurants. John and Mani are our adventurous guys on the team. They ordered wild hog and bear for lunch! George and Alina met us for pizza later along the river. It was so great to visit with them. Alina just gave birth to their second child last week – a son for George, Eric Lucas!

Lotus flowers at Baile Felix


Team enjoys free wi-fi at Hungarian/Romanian border
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Saturday, August 7th, 2010

By Angie Simon

Our Team left Hungary bright and early for Romania! We loved all of the rolling hills, fields of sunflowers and farmhouses. Many people commented that it reminded them of the Midwest, of Min-ne-sota! At the border while we waited for them to clear our passports, we enjoyed the free wi-fi! What a luxury! We were able to send all of the emails we wrote along the way. We had a nice opportunity to relax in the hotel after we checked in. At dinner, we walked down to Cafeneaux – the church’s new coffee shop. It was so impressive! The food was fabulous and the décor was chic. On the way home, we finished off the night with some delicious Romanian gelato!

Team walking for gelato



Team arrives safely in Budapest today.
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Friday, August 06, 2010
by Angie Simon

Our team arrived safely in Budapest today! Our flights, today seemed so much shorter than flying to Africa – it was great! What a wonderful group of people. We are blessed for another wonderful team! We have 19 team members traveling with us including some that traveled with us to Romania in 2008 – DJ, Mani and Sharon. It is so great to see Mani’s smiling face again and this time he brought his whole entire family – Danielle, Kelly, Jasmine and Danielle Jr. DJ brought his wife Kathy and Sharon brought two girls from her community in Windom, MN – Hannah and Claire. So, this trip will be a bit of a reunion for some – but, we are excited to get to know the new team members traveling with us!

We relaxed at the hotel this afternoon and headed for Fatale this evening for dinner to meet old dear Hope 4 Kids friends/missionaries, David and Susan Ballantyne. Old friends and beef gulash- doesn’t get much better than that, well, unless you had ice cream after dinner!

Off for a beautiful drive to Oradea, Romania tomorrow morning in what appears to be a tour bus. (It would be nice to have this in Africa! But, we’ll enjoy it for the time being here in Romania/Hungary.  Good night!

Looking at Buda from Pest


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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