This weekend was filled with some R&R, a birthday party for one of the girls in Casa Rebecca, a Romanian wedding and a cookout. Friday was Jophia's 14th birthday. The Casa mom's baked a beautiful cake and we all gathered together to sing to her and she opened presents - much the same traditional we celebrate in America. On Saturday she was invited to come over and bring 4 friends from the group homes. So, with 2 guys and 2 gals from teh other homes they rode over to Kelly's home in a taxi and we watched Armageddon. Kelly baked homemade chocolate chip cookies and they toasted her birthday with a coca-cola with ice cubes - a big treat here! Jeff, Kelly and I got the privilege of being the chaperones.
Earlier that morning one of the graduate orphans from the Mentor Apt program married another Romanian girl he met after graduation. It is tradition here to go with your family to the Government office to have the civil ceremony. That is when you are officially married. Then, if the couple chooses, they many have a religious cereony to follow with a reception. The bride wears white and it is also tradition to walk from the local goverment office, located in the Center, to the fortress around the corner to take pictures. It is also a tradition to take pictures with all of the flowers friends and family have brought you for the ceremony. If you have a car or a longer way to walk, the families and friends of the bride and groom with drive in a caravan and honk there horns the entire way. All day Saturday and Sunday you can hear the multitude of the honking of horns! It was a special day for Livada to see one of their own commit to breaking the horrible cycle of abandonment and marry his love.
That evening we gathered together to hear the stories from the camp team from Northern Ireland and eat our traditional cookout food - hot dogs! We ended our evening with prayer, singing praises to our King in Heaven, and lots and lots of funny stories from the week. It is so incredible to see how the Lord works not only in his children's lives, but in the lives of those who come to minister, and most of all serve. Many of the team came to know a deeper faith in the Lord and were excited to go home and share this with their families, schools, and community. It reminds me of how Jesus reached so many different people with all levels of faith through the telling of His parables - he knew that the simplest way to communicate and to demonstrate His father's love was through the art of telling stories. Our father made it simple and clear, to love the Lord and to share His love - and when you trust in Him - you have the greatest treasure - to spend eternity with Him in heaven. So oftern we complicate the story. It is clear. It is simple. And prasie be to Him that it was so apparent to the team this week so that they could in turn share it with our kids.