Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Words aren't adequate... here goes

How has it been a year already? I left September 28, 2009 for a country and I had an experience that would alter my life. God has used this opportunity to challenge me and draw me to Him so much more. It’s amazing how much grace God gives us and how loving and gracious He is!

This year Sept. 09- Sept. 10 has been by far the most blessed 365 days of my life so far. It has been filled with eye opening sights in Romania, loving orphans and building relationships with believers from so far from “home”, befriending strangers and most importantly completely relying on the Lord.
Here’s the most amazing part, when I got back in March from this life altering trip… it didn’t stop there. I was changed. It’s been nothing that I did to change me, it’s completely Christ.

“But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14
I hope if you are reading this you see that change in your life as well. It’s a burning passion. It’s an extreme desire to love the lost and to love your brothers and sisters in Christ. If you know me you know I’m far from perfect, but I hope also if you know me you see that change I write about. Christ’s love truly is amazing. I really don’t deserve it, but I am completely grateful for it!
I just can’t imagine what the next year holds but I know that God is the sovereign King of Kings and Lord of Lords! I’m so excited to watch it unfold.

Thank you again for your prayers during my time in Romania and for my time back here. Please continue to pray for the children of Casa de Copii and the lost all around the world.

Much Love- Elizabeth

Monday, April 12, 2010

Please excuse my lack of writing!

So I've been back in the United States for a little over a month now and endless opportunities awaited my arrival it seems. I've been able to volunteer and help friends, spend time with my family, see my brother play baseball and take a trip with my sister to watch her sing. It's been great being home but I do miss my friends in Romania. I think about the kids often... I miss them. I made this video to share with my church family... and I'd like to share it with you as well. I'm no video designer but it makes me smile.

Much Love!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Safely back in the USofA

So after a 4 hour drive to Timisoara, Romania starting at 11pm to catch my flight there at 6am to then fly to Vienna, Austria to catch another flight to Munich, Germany to then catch another flight to Charlotte, North Carolina to then sit and wait for my last flight to Tallahassee, FL I have finally made it home. It was a long day of anticipation and reflection. I was so grateful for the experience and opportunity that I have had these past 6 months and I was also thankful for the friends and family I was returning to.

I will write more later, honestly I have really enjoyed just writing my thoughts and experiences down. I am already trying to figure out my future plans and how Romania fits into them. There have already been multiple little things that have fallen into place which I will write about later. Also as I promised I will do my recap of the kids... I just need to get a few things in order like unpacking and laundry! :) Much Love

Monday, March 1, 2010

Chapter 23?

Well I suppose I should change the title of my blog to 'Chapter 23' since Thursday was my birthday and I am no longer in the 22nd chapter of my life... but I think I'm too lazy to change it! Haha. I had a wonderful birthday filled with lots of precious people, delicious food and a ridiculous amount of flowers. It actually began on the 24th (the day before my birthday) with my friends Andreea and Karina. We went to a restaurant and chatted... they gave me gifts and flowers. Those girls are so nice, I hope that they will continue to grow and learn and come to know Christ.

Robert's sweet family threw me a birthday party on my actual birthday with my favorite foods, gifts and birthday cake with candles! It was so much more that I would have hoped for. I truly felt loved. I am really going to miss Robert and his dear family. They have pretty much adopted me and I really feel like a part of their family! Oh PS. Robert decorated my birthday cake... I think he did an excellent job! :)

Then Saturday I was planning on meeting up with my sweet friend Dea because she lives in a different city and I want to make sure I got to say goodbye to her. Little did I know I was being set up for a surprise birthday party thrown by all the staff and kids of Casa de Copii! I was completely surprised. This party included more flowers, more cake, pictures drawn by the kids, balloons blown up by the kids and gifts. It was slightly overwhelming. I am so blessed! I wasn't prepared for a party so I didn't have my camera... I will hopefully get the pictures from a friend who had his camera!

Here are a few pictures from my birthday celebrations!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Valentine's Day (I can't believe I forgot to blog about this!)

So I know it's a little late now but... in English Club on Feb. 13th we learned about Valentine's Day! We learned some vocabulary words associated with the day and made some awesome Valentines for our loved ones (in English of course!). I also had the memorize 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs."

Here are a few pictures:

He made his Valentine for me... I felt so bad having to correct his "I love my ticher"! He is a sweetheart!

Inu... he is a trip! He is also very smart...we like to have fun!

This is Emma. She is so smart, gorgeous, and super sweet. She is really going to an incredible woman when she grows up!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Seasons Change

As I walked "home" today... I looked around me and the realization of change hit me. Snow has started to melt and the hills have bare spots with exposed dead grass. Spring is nearing and so is my return. I leave here in less than 2 weeks. The things that seemed so foreign to me when I arrived are a distant thought now. The unfamiliar has become a comfort and a joy. I have fallen in love with this country and it's people. The landscape here is beautiful but you can see how the people who have inhabited it have stripped it and turned the beauty into a sad reminder of oppression.

As the next 12 days pass I'm not sure how I will spend my time. I love the children at Casa de Copii, I have my church friends from Petrosani, my English Club girls... my prayers for friends were definitely answered and now I have to leave them. I am grateful for the friendships I've made and am trying to understand that seasons come and go but the Lord is unchanging and sovereign!

"He changes times and seasons;
he removes kings and sets up kings;
he gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to those who have understanding" Daniel 2:21

As spring arrives I intend on preparing myself for the summer and fall. I want to become better equipped. I want to learn to teach English as a second language, I want to continue learning Romanian and I want to continue growing in the Lord.

I truly believe I will be coming back to Romania. I look forward to seeing how God works that out, as he most certainly has had control over this season. Thank you for your continued love and support. Much Love-

(PS. I am working on a post of a recap of the children and how they have grown since I've gotten here... stay tuned!)

Monday, February 15, 2010

Beauty from Ashes

Last week I made a little trip up to Oradea. It's a large city here in Romania near the Hungarian border. The idea was to meet up with my new friends Corey and Diana Burba to observe and learn about what they do here in Romania and also hop over to Hungary to update my visa.

Corey is an American who back in 2001 worked with Romanian orphans in the states... this sparked an interest and the Lord gave him a desire to help the orphans of Romania. He made his first trip here in 2002 and realized that this is where God was calling him to be. He began Romanian Orphan Ministries and has been helping orphans here ever since. I personally love his tough love mentality and fatherly approach to working with them. He and his wife Diana (who is Romanian) live in a house that they rent (the Beauty from Ashes Center) and currently have 3 girls living with them... and a multitude of kids coming over and being mentored and exposed to truth. If you'd like to read more about Corey and his story you can at www.romanianorphanministries.com... I was extremely impressed with the organization, the girls, the teamwork, real family environment and the time and effort Corey, Diana and the rest of the staff put forth with the girls.

In an effort to raise money to continue supporting the orphans they minister to they have begun a little business. The girls at the Beauty from Ashes Center in Oradea make the most beautiful greeting cards! They girls enjoy being creative and artistic. Also they have a certain amount of cards they are to make so they are learning time management and when they are done you can tell they are proud of the beautiful things they have made. I actually got to helped them and LOVED it (but anyone who knows me knows that kind of thing is my cup of tea!). Soon they will add a link onto their website so that you can buy them directly from there. If you are interested in purchasing some cards contact me and I can direct you to Corey. Here are just a few pictures I took during my visit... there are so many more to choose from!

Also if you are interested in reading more about daily life at the center and exactly what goes on there you can read Corey's blog here http://blog.romanianorphanministries.com and believe me life is never boring at the Beauty from Ashes Center! :)

I am very thankful for making new friends and seeing how other people run things here. It was an encouragement to me and I hope and feel that I will be able to see all the girls and staff at the center again. Much Love.