At our last wrap-up with the teens was the "take-away" from our mission trip, with Natalie sharing how trite it would be to "be more grateful", she challenged us to also BE different...
What would that look like?
for these teen girls?
How could they change their high school for the better?
Don't worry about being embarrassed
or perceptions of others
What would I do to BE different?
how can I let this not affect me to the point of inaction
to change the lives of these sweet, children?
was it an hour?
and just an hour alone?
for me, not just an hour
So, this quarterly board meeting served to solidify the bigger mission. To approve the new mission statement, set in motion the fundraiser for the "bigger picture", including a new website, video and more. I will share it next blog. It is nice short, succinct!
We pray, seek God's direction, will and blessing.
Love to cook for some of my favorite people
Sauteing the onions
Cooking the delicious tortilla soup
Yes I sautéed the carrots too, to brown them. So Yummy.
Above and below the fresh herbs in my new herb garden which I will share soon...it's dreamy and very french, complete with a lovely fountain in the middle of all the vegetable and herb beds. I think our June 23 Fundraiser might just be there!
The roasted potatoes with salt, rosemary and olive oil, learned from my mom, of course!
Yes, a Pinterest idea for minted fruit salad. I should have sliced the mint. (Pinterest-join me if you haven't already, button on side of blog) I used the leftovers in a pitcher of water, so today I am really drinking water because it is minty with a hint of berry!
The leeks that I used for the soup were so pretty that I used the ends for garnish. I love my cheese platter made of concrete.
Of course these potatoes look gorgeous on MacKenzie Childs pottery! They were so delicious.
So sometimes people think, too expensive...So just take 3 guesses at where I got this pitcher and how much it was? OK 1 2 3? Home Goods and $5.99! So there! I served the Olive Oil for the bread in this! The plate underneath was from anthropologie and $12.
Board of Directors, so far! Dr. Scott (my hubbie is Chairman, also on Church Elder Board, YMCA Board, and HOH Board), Marta B, Hollywood Producer (before kiddos) & Inspired Producer for all including upcoming video's, Tom L, god-father/mentor to hubbie and I, dear family friend and Chairman of Stamps Foundation, Elder and Kenny K, business pastor at our church! All are strong Christian people of character, who put God's revealing word as a daily requirement (although none of us are perfect-of course)! They have high standards, ethics and astout businessmen/women and are carrying out Inspired's mission "To inspired women and teenage girls to find, follow and celebrate God's will for their life"....
I have been thinking of what to say on this post since the day I posted the last post~2 weeks-ish.
We took my third trip to Romania (Scott's 17th doing dental work!! Hannah's 3rd, Justin's 2nd) for 2 weeks, accompanying a group of 10 from Oaks Christian High School.
We went through Heart of Hope Ministries Intl. where we have been involved for about 16 years. Dr. Scott (my husband) is on the Board! The book Hannah and I wrote, Inspired Design, gives all the proceeds to HOH Ministries. $15,000 total so far. Debbie Marshall, president of HOH said last summer the camp would have been 3 weeks shorter without those funds. "Summer Camp" is where the orphaned children go for one week of "peace" and "good food" as the kids described it to us, on our orphanage visits below.
I am going to use a different format, to describe my thoughts because I haven't entirely finished processing the experience yet. So phrases are more appropriate as I really wanted to get this entry out, while timely.
I would like all who have bought books to know how many lives have been changed from your donations. As well as enjoying the book (hopefully) you almost put one child through a week of summer camp (book is $40, camp for one is $50) and hearing about the only REAL HOPE they will ever hear about, perhaps in their whole lifetime.
So, here goes.
Heartwarming that we took this trip, no.
Heart breaking...looking into the eyes of precious children who have NO parents. Sweet, loving, beautiful children whose young lives are destined to be lived in an orphanage. No worldy hope.
Heart-molding...how could we not?
Our teens in Home of Hope (Residence that HOH owns and runs for girls after orphanage while in University or learning trade) putting together Easter bags for the orphanages, see in pictures below. Girls at Home of Hope are amazing examples of Triumph over circumstances, hard work and what food, shelter and the love of the house parents, Debbie and HOH supports do to show Christ's love pouring out on these girls. I loved their spirits and their tender hearts. I hope to do a blog entry of their fortitude. We had 3 university graduates last year. It was a proud moment for Debbie and Heart of Hope.
Sweet teen listening to instruction... Especially touched by the orphans, as she has 2 adopted brothers
Optomotrist who fits hundreds of orphans with glasses, so they can see My optometrist! All with donations from our community Astounding how many villages and orphanages have children with these glasses, as we went around perhaps never to see another optometrist in their childhood
My 15 year old son playing with a boy who came up to the van and needed meaningful touch starved for attention for love for a simple smile tender, sweet, young, no parents
Sweet Madeline, with another sweet child in need of touch smile warm hug just someone
My precious daughter with 2 sweet girls running up to the van in need of touch simple touch
Just a hand to hold feel love
The crafts we brought into the orphanage for an hour an hour only an hour
More crafts talking, more talking in a language we don't understand but they smile and talk and talk we smile
Precious compassion from Hannah whose heart gets it she can do this just smile and touch and love for an hour an hour only an hour
Sweet Galina, who at age 10 was adopted from Russia this trip astounding and profound seeing what her life could have looked like she who lived on the streets of Russia for 3 years adopted by a lovely couple here had tremendous insight grateful heart sad heart doing crafts showing love for an hour
Our cute teens painting the cabins for camp The orphaned children described camp for us as "A place of peace" so they cleaned, painted, and put beds together I sewed new curtains
In an older girls home, for orphans
Standing in the background me hard to absorb process an hour here, an hour there sweet, precious, tender hearts in need of love, touch and a simple smile
In a pilot program, where instead of to an orphanage kids in poverty come after school for the day very encouraging caring teachers who give loving touch hopeful loving encouraging things in this program are looking up from 18 years ago on my first trip here
Sweet Maddie loving on the little ones touch smile for an hour
My hero: My hubbie! Doing his 17th (ish) year of dentistry on the orphans for the entire week. These children might never see a dentist if it wasn't for Heart of Hope, or perhaps another organization. Perhaps not. Hope: a lovely girl from Home of Hope is studying dentistry and now volunteers. A hopeful sign. She is a ray of Hope.
I had to leave some details out because these sweet children and young adults are real details are their life story making a difference? little at a time consistancy 18 years of service helping? what choice do we have? it is why funds from Inspired Design go here, how could it not? our gifts from God meant to aid others how could we not? time hug human touch smile love what is love, if not in action love is not a feeling or a belief love is a verb not a noun
I John 3:15
Dear children, let's not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.
We are in Romania! In the next entry we will show you photographs of where the money has gone, if you have bought a book. For today wețll show you the journey up to arriving at ȚcampȚ (ok this is on a Romanian keyboard so it is doing some wacky things)
First picture is in Bran Castle, named after Vlad Dracule (Better known as Dracula or Vlad the Impaler). My daughter and her lifelong friend Maddie (whose mom is my dear playgroup friend, Camille) at the castle. OK, these girls love photographs!
The castle was small-sh, rustic and lovely, quite a constrast from the first palce we saw in Bucharest, the capital, which was called Țhe Peoplețs Palace (Rom.keyboard-ugh). You can see the photographs below esp. the chandalier. Built by dictator Ceuascscu in 7 years it is the second largest building in the world. The Pentagon is the biggest. Twenty Two floors underground alone. The dictator tore down entire cityblocks to build this palace. He was executed before he ever inhabited it. 40,000 homes were torn down to build it.
The chandlier had 7,000 light bulbs and is still the biggest in the world.
I will show you more photograps of the palace when I return to the states, the facts will fascinate you especially when you put it into context with the extreme poverty facing the country then.
Todaz we are at home of hope )not spelling its this computer), where we are putting together Easter bags for the villages. The teenagers are packing the bags up while I am going to speak to the graduates and current residents of Home of Hope girls home about valuing who God created them to be and not comparing zourselves to others. Apparentlz, according to Debbie, the director of Heart of Hope a universal issue with women!
I will be teaching them to make rolz pancakes, breakfast bread dish etc...
I hope to get to this computer again, while we were here. The teenage girls we have taken from Oaks Christian are amaying and working hard. Thez are cheerful and lovelz!
I am so excited to show you pictures of today and where your funds have gone if you have bought a book, as it is astounding!