Before our journey began, Tom told us about the old Russian proverb that says, “The reed that doesn’t bend in the wind will break.”
We are really learning that to be true as we’ve had a number of experiences that have challenged us to bend in the past couple of days. Last night, at the hotel in Beclean, they shut off the water at 11 PM and it didn’t come back on until almost 6 this morning. Tonight, the hotel we’re staying at in Bistrita (aka Transylvania….Dracula country!) suddenly lost their electricity, which also meant that the water pumps couldn’t pump the water. So we had no electricity and no water! The good news is that today is the longest day of the year, so we still have hours of daylight left before we won’t be able to see anything in our rooms. There are no internet facilities near our hotel, so we took a taxi into town to send out this update, and thankfully, their electricity is working. I’m typing to the “untz, untz, untz” of the American-style music that’s throbbing through the internet cafe.
We were at the orphanage in Beclean today. This morning, we went for a tour of the facility that has changed drastically since Tom was here three years ago. It used to be a very large “institution,” with dorm-style sleeping and large eating halls. Now, it has all been renovated into apartment-style units, with approximately 8 kids per apartment, which includes a living-room area, a kitchen, and double bedrooms. It was very impressive listening to Rebecca as she explained that even though they now have more funds for making things more pleasant, the people who work with the children here still have the same love for these children and passion for their work that they did when funding was extraordinarily tight. We could see that people like Rebecca have made an impact in the lives of these children who have been abandoned. We know that the university students come back to the orphanage on the weekends, because this truly is their home and they still feel like this is their family.
We walked down the street from the orphanage to buy cold cuts and bread and cheese for lunch, and then walked to the park for a lovely picnic before heading back to the orphanage. We spent the afternoon playing with the kids while Tom and Margaret interviewed the potential university students for the Uni-Fund. The soccer games, volleyball games and basketball games were great fun, and the kids loved blowing bubbles with the bubble gum we brought. Polaroid pictures were a great delight to the kids, and our photographer, Ben, had a lot of fun taking those photos. We sang together, laughed together, and in a few short hours, grew to love these children at the orphanage in Beclean.
We feel your prayers, and are so privileged to be here on your behalf, sharing God’s love with these children (and adults) who are so special to Him.