Once again we went through a time of many, intense activities, meeting old and new friends.
For two weeks, my brother from The States visited us, with two of his children. Last time when a saw him, and his older daughter, was four years ago. His second son I haven't met till now. The time we spent with them was very good and intense. With my brother came a team formed of five people form Berea United Methodist Church, who wanted to know more about Word Made Flesh and to help our community where needed. This team did a lot of things for one week. The larger project was starting a mural painting on our metal fence. The children and the workers participated on this activity, and we are still working on it, to finish it.
For the last couple of weeks, because of the abundant rain, the valley where most of the children that came to the center live had been flooded for more than two days. Some couldn't get out of their homes, some moved away to live with relatives for a while. Right now the police is still informing people from this area that the Danube may overflow, so it will be better if they move somewhere else, to relatives or to local shelters. The local administration is building sandbag dams, as the level of Danube is still rising.
Last week, when I was returning from Bucharest (after saying goodbye to my brother and my nice and nephew) near Galaţi (after Barboşi) the train went on really slow, as the tracks were under water (about 5 inches). From the train I could see how high another river was, Siret that flows into Danube. Some people from that village, whose houses had been flooded, were living on tents. Those who have saved some of their belongings, kept them near the tents, covered in nylon. Please pray for those whose houses had been affected by flood. (see http://www.ziare.com/stiri/inundatii/inundatii-in-galati-canalizarea-nu-a-facut-fata-ploilor-video-102247 or http://www.evz.ro/detalii/stiri/inundatiile-din-galati-prin-ochii-unui-cititor-899877.html or http://www.romanialibera.ro/actualitate/eveniment/sub-asediul-dunarii-improvizatia-a-inlocuit-tehnica-la-galati-192745.html)
For last two months we had discussions with the Child Protection Agency, to find a different foster family for F. and E., as C. family announced us that they can't take care of them anymore. Brother and sister, they are coming to the center since 2000. The C. family had them in foster care since 2005, after their father died, and their mother left them, and went to work in Italy. So for last two months we looked for something new for them. Recently their aunt open out her house for them, at least until they finish high school (another 4 years at least). Please pray so that those two children will accommodate well with the new family, the new living space, and that their wounds will be healed. Pray for this family, to truly accept them, and to know how to set healthy boundaries, with love and firmness.
The summer holiday is going on. As usually, we had planed and prepared many activities we don't have time for during the school, for the school schedule is different for each child. We planed bible study and worship, art class for every child, playing time, activities (sewing, chess, questions and answers for teenagers, working in the workshop, music, photography).
This summer, because many of us are going away, for about three weeks will be only four of us doing the activities with the children (myself, Lau, Anca and Fani). Please pray for this time, to be a good one, and for us to have energy and power to do those activities with the love of God.
The summer champ is planned for the end of August, for the children under 14. Many of the children over 14 are involved with the Agape Church, and the plan was for them to go in camp with the youth from this church. Recently the church decided that there will be no camp this summer, so we found some openings for the youth camp organized by Emanuel Church. Pray that the children from our Center and for the youth from church, to start and develop good, long term relationships, and that God will speak to them.
Please pray also for the children whose presence to the center hasn't been constant. For a few we expected that they will be missing during the summer, but they will be back when the school starts again. Still there are a few in high risk of abandoning school, even of abandoning their families. Bad influence of „friends” attracts them on the streets, and the neglect from parents doesn't attract them to be at home. Some already started to use some light drugs (besides smoking).
Thank you for your involvement in this work and for your support in prayer. When we don't know what to do, when we feel helpless (quite often) we need to know that God is still in control, and that He is still present in this broken world.
Lau and Vali Archip
O.P. 6, C.P. 256
Friday, July 2, 2010
My brother came with a team of 5 people (Sarah Welch, Maxine Snively, Skip (Harvey) Little, Charles Bertrand , Jon Howson). Their mission was to know more about WMF Romania and do some projects in our Community Center “La vale”. We had the opportunity to host this team too. It was a great team who we were honored to meet and know. In their only week which they spent it in our community, we had many, intense activities. Since the Soccer World Cup is going on, now and then we got a chance to watch together some games.
We visited Peles Castle in Sinaia, Bran (Dracula) Castle and Brasov city in one day. This is a lot to do for one day.
Jon developed a mural project on the fence in our courtyard and taught some art class to our kids. Unfortunately it was a rainy week and sometimes painting outside was not possible. So we still need to finish the mural project.
Clarles led our devotion time three days in a row. It was great to here his pastoral meditations. Also there were other little projects in which everybody from the team contributed. They weeded parts of our garden, attached a water hose on the fence in our garden so that will be easier for us to water some trees that are planted far back in the garden (up the hill), put a metal post in the middle of our playground so that we can hang a volley net. They also got to know all the staff members (that were present in Galati at the time) and the children who come to the center, playing with them.
In last two weeks I had all my family together. This did not happen in the last 4 or 5 years. My brother, Nelu who lives in USA came to visit in Galati. He only came with his older daughter, Evi and second son, Samuel. His wife, Olivia who is pregnant in 7 months stayed home with their third son, Daniel. My second brother and his entire family, Cami his wife and their sons, Oliver and Ianis came form Italy, too. My third brother, George was here only for a three days. I had a lovely time with all of them especially with Evi and Samuel which I did not have a chance to see them in the last 4 years. It was a great chance for our entire family to be together (mom and dad, me and my sister Viorica and my three brothers, Nelu, Danut and George.
Yesterday after I led them to the airport and said goodbye I was sad. I hope I will see them again soon and not to wait another four years.