Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Pet Mouse!

Following is an email we received from Marta this morning:

Hi! I am at ARK passing out candy today! Ihar & Liza (oldest little girl who helps me translate some) are here with me. The family is sweet but I have no private time with Ihar. He is very quiet and bored today! He loves his MP4 player, but isn’t talking much to me. I think it is because there are too many people around. I'm not eating much…but trying to drink bottled water. I slept about 7 hours last night. My family has 7 children. The oldest is David, he is sick and has a 103 temp. And Liza slept with me last night; she coughed all night. Today they celebrate New Years Eve…I don’t know how? We’ll see. Am trying to be flexible….only 1 shower, no hair washing yet. Hey, when in Belarus I go with the flow! Tomorrow I hope to see Tatiana and she wants to take Ihar & me sightseeing. I still need to find out needs of Ihar’s orphanage and have not been in a single shop yet. I hope to get someone to take me. I really want Ihar to open up to me….I think he’s happy. Oh, my family has a house mouse for a pet! Yes, you heard correctly. Only my favorite animal..not!
They have 7 children, David, Liza, Hanna, Angelina, Masha, Dasha, and Lupe.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Arriving in Belarus

The trip to DC on Sunday was uneventful. The pictures we've posted are of Marta and Cheri after our arrival at Dulles. All the flights were on schedule and they did not have problems making any of their connections in Frankfurt and Minsk. They were able to get everything through customs in Belarus without any questions or added fees.

Marta was exhausted after the long flights and the bus ride from Minsk to Mogilev where she is staying. It was after 8:00 Monday evening (Belarus time) when she finally arrived at the home of her host family. (Almost 38 hours without sleep). She found out that the family lives about a 5 minute walk from Ihar's orphanage. Their apartment is right next to the movie theatre that's in the square with the huge Christmas tree in the photograph that Ihar sent.

Marta called at about 12:20pm Tuesday afternoon (our time), 7:20pm Belarus time. Though she had only got about 5 hours of sleep the night before, she sounded great and was having a blast! They had gone to the ABRO headquarters Tuesday afternoon to sort out all of the gifts the group had brought for the orphans. They were amazed at the variety and abundance that had been provided.

Tatiana, the interpreter that came with the group of children that came to Charlotte this summer, was at the ABRO headquarters to help sort the gifts. Marta was excited to be reunited with her. After they had sorted the gifts, Tatiana took Marta to Ihar's orhpanage. They spent about two hours there talking with the director, seeing the school, and, of course, seeing Ihar!!! Ihar was able to go back with her to her host family's home and spend the rest of the afternoon. Tatiana also invited Marta and Ihar to have dinner at her house tomorrow night.

We will post more later,

Rommy and Zack

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Host Family

I have posted 2 new pictures Ihar just sent me. You gotta love the picture of him at the "tree lot"!...notice they are artificial trees!

I Have a Family!

My host family is Anzhelika and Sergei Atroshkin. They live in Mogilev near Ihar's orphanage. They have 6 small children. The oldest girl has been to America with the ABRO program and speaks some English. Who knows how much? I will find out! It should be interesting!

Don't forget to check the web site by clicking on the link. You will see current weather conditions and time. It is about 31 degrees and snowing as I write this.

We depart for Washington DC on Sunday around 6:00 am. I appreciate your prayers. May we be the hands and feet of Jesus. And may I have a chance to share Christ with Ihar. Pray for understanding (with the language barriers) and a soft heart.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Packing and Ready to Go

"...He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."" Mark 10:14

Many many thanks to all the people who gave items to take to the orphans. Without you, it would not be possible for Cheri & I to take so many wonderful gifts to these precious children. Scarves, gloves, hats, jewelry, stuffed animals, legos, k'nex, games, balls, purses, wallets, dolls, jackets, sweatshirts, socks, chapstick, lip gloss, tooth paste, tooth brushes, sports bags, etc....I really didn't think it was possible to get everything packed but God knew exactly what it would take to fill our bags and it fit perfectly! We serve a totally amazing God who oversees the smallest details of our lives.

We are almost packed and ready to go. I thought you might like to see some pictures of Cheri and I as we are trying to decide how to pack so many gifts!
I received my schedule. We will begin visiting orphanages as early as December 31. I will be taking an international cell phone (I am renting) so I can call and give Rommy updates. He will be responsible for updating my blog while I am away! My treat so that Ihar can talk with Rommy, Miranda and Zack!
Please keep praying for open doors to share the Gospel, our protection, all the little details of our trip (no lost luggage, flight connections, etc.), and most of all for us to be a light for Jesus. Many thanks to each of you, your reward is in Heaven.
A quick comparison! Miranda and I served at Samaritan's Purse on Monday processing shoeboxes. They said they were shipping out a record number 8 million shoeboxes this year. I started thinking what it would look like to see 8 million shoeboxes and thought about the fact there are 143 million orphans. Approximately 18 times more children than shoeboxes. But our God knows each child's name and knows the number of hairs on their heads....they are precious in his sight.