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Tuesday, December 20, 2011

so many books, so little time

at the moment I am reading:

C.S.Lewis - The Last Battle
Madeleine L'Engle - Many Waters
Diarmaid MacCulloch -Christianity: The First Three thousand Years (I read the first 125 pages, but I am not convinsed it is worth finishing yet)
A Treasury of Modern Fantasy ( Edited by Terry Carr and Martin Harry Greenberg, 1981)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

de-abstractization=making things simpler

In order to understand each other, there are a few things we can consider. One of them, as it is presented by a few personality types studies, have to do with the way we use “tools”.
Some of us will use the “tools” starting with the tool, and using it for the purpose it had been created. This is shortened to being Cooperative.
Some of us will use the “tools” starting from the result, the goal of our action, and just then picking any tool that will lead to the intended result. This is to be Utilitarian.
Next is a more detail description of the difference,
In Wikipedia. Retrieved July 24, 2011, from
§  "The second ring: cooperative versus pragmatic (utilitarian)
Keirsey uses the words cooperative (complying) and pragmatic (adaptive) when comparing the differing temperaments. People who are cooperative pay more attention to other people's opinions and are more concerned with doing the right thing. People who are pragmatic (utilitarian) pay more attention to their own thoughts or feelings and are more concerned with doing what works. There is no comparable idea of Myers or Jung that corresponds to this dichotomy, so this is a significant difference between Keirsey's work and that of Myers and Jung.
This ring, in combination with the inner ring, determines a person's temperament. The pragmatic temperaments are Rationals (pragmatic and abstract) and Artisans (pragmatic and concrete). The cooperative temperaments are Idealists (cooperative and abstract), andGuardians (cooperative and concrete). Neither Myers nor Jung included the concept of temperament in their work."

If all this is too much information, here is a simpler way of showing the difference.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

the garden at Casa "La vale"


green onions


lily of the valley

" Everything in nature lifts up strong hands after perfection." Tagore

peach tree

peach tree


who knows the name of this flower?


cherry tree

Monday, April 4, 2011

april news

After a few months of planning and waiting, and most of all of hoping, we can start to make plans for our sabbatical. For the last three years, our international community had started to develop this practice, so that all staff members that serve for six years, to have the chance to spend the seventh year as a sabbatical time. The “year” is actually divided into two: a time away, and the transition out and in. The time away can be up to nine months, while the transition before departing and after arriving back takes between three and six weeks each.
For us, this is a good chance to visit our family and our friends from the US. Last week we got our visa for US approved. Thank you so much for praying for us, for supporting us. Only after we heard the words “you visa is approved” we became aware of the emotional tension we were under. We were nervous, for a lot of our plans were depending upon being able to visit US. Thank you for encouraging us, for the advice, and for praying for us.
Now, that we know that we can do this, we can plan more specific. We can spend up to six months in US, staying with Nelu and Olivia and visiting friends. Before this, we will visit our family in Europe, and some of our friends from Scotland and England. As a time line, we will be involved with our activities until the end of the school year (June 15th) and after that to have a time of transition out. After that we will like to visit, like we already said, friends and family from Europe (July and August), and at the beginning of September to go to US.
Our sabbatical includes at least two elements. As it is obvious from the lines written above, one component is traveling and visiting friends. Even if this occupies a lot of our time at the moment, we know that this year is not only about traveling. We have to make plans ahead, especially if we want to find some less expensive airline tickets, thus being able to save some and maybe to an extra visit somewhere. The other component of our sabbatical is about resting, reflecting and renewal. This time is set apart so that we can more intentionally look both back and ahead, and to see God. We want to see His presence, His promises, and His work. We want to slow down and pay attention to want He is doing. We want to look back, and see where He was at work in the last 10-12 years of service. By taking this time we want to say, just like we do every week, that God is in control, that what we do is His work, His plan, His call. We want to let go, to be aware that His work will continue, even if we are not present here, in Galati, for a while. As we will go through those steps, we want to look forward, to be aware of His promises and His plan for the community from Galati, both staff and children.
Shortly, we want just to be with God. This involves time for ourselves, time with others, time at home and time away. We are so grateful for this opportunity, for the plans we are starting to take shape, that I can see already how great this time will be. I also know that it is our part to make plans, and it is God’s part to make them happen. And I know that He will do more that we can think or imagine.
Please pray for us, for wisdom in planning, and to have in focus the purpose of this time.
Please pray that as we plan, we will receive the necessary resources to move ahead. Please pray that we will have the necessary money when we need it, in order to buy the airplane tickets and to make the proper arrangements.
While we do those plans, live goes on, for us and for the children. Please continue to pray for the teenagers that still struggle, for they do not know where they will be sleeping and leaving tomorrow. Even if they have something for tonight, the uncertainty of their situation is a great burden for them. Two of them still don’t know if their family will be able to continue living in their current house, while the other two leave in a shelter for minors, while waiting for their mother to come from Italy and sort the situation out. Their situation is a great burden for all of us, for that is no place for any children to live in. Pray for them, to hold on during this time, and that this will come to a stop as soon as possible.
Please pray for the 5th – 8th grade children, to be consistent with their lives. Because of their school schedule, they spend only 90 minute each day with us, and the influence from outside is greater. Please pray for them to continue to go to school, to continue to come to our center, and that when they are facing difficult choices, to make the right ones.
We appreciate that you are part with us in this work, that you continue to pray for our lives, for the children, that in all God may be glorified and His will be done.

Monday, March 7, 2011

march news

Even if according to the calendar the spring should be here, the good weather is still to come. We are waiting for the warm weather to replace the cold one, and we join our friends in this waiting, for many of them lack the wood to burn to keep their houses warm. Also many are having a cold; the seemingly never ending winter makes it worse. I am also tiered of wearing lots of cloths, for often I feel and walk like a robot.

We are continuing with the activities that define our life rhythm, especially when it comes to the schedule for school children. The rhythm is set once the school begins, in September, and goes one thisl a new school year begins, when we make any necessary adjustments.

During this time of the year, in the winter, the activities include celebrating Christmas – winter holyday, caroling, activities for other children from schools, Christmas celebration for the children’s families, the Christmas party for the children that come to our center, staff evaluations, family visits and school visits

Those activities, the rhythm of life for this period brings some stability, some consistency in our community, as we settle again after last year’s changes: more people leaving, new people arriving. While experiencing both goodbyes and welcomes, it still hurts when someone leaves, and we have to learn not to let our hearts closed toward the new people that come to our community.

The children started the second term in school, and many of them (us along them) struggle to find the motivation to study, for it is difficult to see a different future, and it is difficult to find consistence at home, with their families. We struggle together to see that our identity is not based on the education we receive or chose, but on the fact that we are beloved children of our Father.

Please pray for all the children that lack motivation to study and who’s identity is falsely based on the context they see among their dysfunctional families (violence, alcoholism, manipulation, in consistency regarding their responsibilities) and the one from school, where often the teachers label and discriminate them.

In the fall we started a bible study with the teenagers (they are in high school now, and they volunteer helping with homework the younger children) and we studied The return of the prodigal son by Henri Nouwen. This study lead us we be aware of the difficulties we, as humans face when we let ourselves be truly loved by our Father, either by identifying with the younger son, who left his father’s house, either by identifying whit the older son, who remained at home with his father, but closed his heart and wasn’t able to receive father’s love. All of us (younger or older sons) have been challenged to let ourselves be found, known and loved by our Father and to answer to His call to become like Him - ready to forgive and to embrace others without expecting something in return. This is our prayer, and we invite you to join us in it.

Just recently two of them, brother and sister (we know each other for a long time now) are struggling as they risk to be left without their house, as a result of unpaid rent, and as a result of a trial, the final verdict was that their family has to leave the house they are living in. Another two of them face a similar situation, having to move out from where they are staying know. They will try to manage on their own, renting a place. It is difficult to know how to answer and how to interact with them, for they carry with them the wounds from their past (their mother left them a few years ago). Please pray for these teenagers, and for us to know how to act in these situations.

We (Vali and Lau) are thinking and planning a lot our Sabbatical time that we will take this year. We are going to ask for a visa for USA, wanting to spend some of our time with my brother’s family, and visiting other friends, also. Our plans include also visiting our families from Austria and Italy, and friends from Scotland and England. When I am thinking about this time a feel exited and also anxious, for I am afraid to change the rhythm I had in my life for last eleven years, while answering God’s call for me. We want this time of Sabbath to be a time of rest, refreshing and renewing hope. Please pray for us, to prepare our hearts and to embrace this time as a gift from God.