Or, something like that! I know, I’m sorry. Apparently I am not the most consistent blog updater-er. Could I blame it on my computer which is really slow and despises uploading pictures from my camera? When I post, I like to put up a few pictures. So, using the computer’s age as an excuse I postpone the blog posting. Yeah, don’t think I can get away with that until July. July is when I’ll get a new lap top from my brother…yay! His friend worked at Best Buy and grabbed an awesome deal for me on an open box return. All of this was done behind my back so when my brother told me one day that my computer woes were solved….I was pretty much speechless! God is very good at providing!
May has been pretty manic actually. My Dad arrived with a team of 6 other people from his church in Adrian, Michigan. He’s the Pastor of Next Steps there and this is the first time that he’s come with anyone from the church. Definitely looks like God is using his next step : ) position to challenge the church on their role in overseas missions. Those on the team were an amazing asset to the programs here and I am so thankful they came. They were like plants – growing, growing into serving in a very new and foreign environment. You know when you finally can see the fruit of your garden? I get so excited to see the hard work produce something that’s so good to enjoy! These team members were the same – their growth during their 10 day trip was phenomenal as individuals, and the fruit of that equaled the journey! We went hard for those 10 days. By the end both they and I/Caleb about collapsed in exhaustion. Endless pulling and climbing on from Casa Alba orphanage children can do that to you….yup…. In addition, God led us in ministry of worship with the teenage orphans and missionary team here, vital bonding with Casa Alba children and their weekly “church time” that I lead on Saturdays, uplifting and encouraging gypies through prayer by meeting with them in their homes, providing lunch for 40 people, hip hop concerts on the fly, delivering meals to all of the orphan children and youth each day and making food packages in the donation warehouse for our orphan young adults. A lot happened!
Towards the end of their trip we somehow were able to celebrate Caleb’s 5th birthday. An absolutely fantastic day! Caleb got the “wheels” that he has so been hoping for. (For about 6 months now he has been questioning why he is the only one without “wheels.”) My parents found a scooter (Caleb’s “wheel of choice”) on massive discount – only $15 – and my Dad brought it with him, along with a matching helmet. In the afternoon, after church, we had such a fun party with a few of Caleb’s friends. I asked most of them to not bring presents and Caleb didn’t even ask why he didn’t get them. He had so much fun, instead, playing the small games I had set up and receiving the small prizes I have been collecting over the past year. So simple. So fun. Having a crazy cake. Enjoying friends. That’s what a 5th birthday should be, I think. Definitely double thumbs up!
The last two nights my Dad was here he put in major hours getting Caleb’s play room ready to paint so it could become Caleb’s bedroom. Yup, after 5 years (and 6 months of major preparation for Caleb on this) it is time for Caleb to move into his own room. It’s totally normal here for kids to sleep in the same room as Mom and Dad. I loved being able to do that with Caleb but felt that age 5 was the right age for him to move next door to the play room. I snagged a bunk bed set from a teammate who didn’t need it anymore. I had our carpenter cut the legs shorter and remove the bottem bed to create a loft deal. Just yesterday, with a lot of help, the room is finally almost done. It’s been a bit of a tricky deal getting him to stay in the room but no crying or fits…he just keeps telling me to move his bed back into my room : )
The day after they left I was on morning shift at Casa Alba…working with the Green Room kids! Most of them actually go to kindergarten in the morning so it was just a bit chaotic getting them out the door but after that was pretty quiet. I grabbed some of the older kids and we headed around town together. (The older kids don’t leave for school until 12pm.) When Green Room kids came back I only had Renata left. All of the other Green Room kids were visiting their future foster families. Renata was so sad. I went and laid in her bed next to her at nap time. We whispered together and talked about the plans God has for her…that God has the most amazing family for her, that He hasn’t forgotten about her. Then, out of the blue she says “Kelsey, can I please pray for you?” I was blown away. Renata is 6 years old and she just asked if she could pray for me? I about lost it in tears. She put her little nail polished hand on my arm and began praying – that God would bring me a husband and her a family. God is such a relational God – I am so humbled by His ways.
The next day my younger sister and her husband arrived for a visit. Literally 2 hours before they arrived up until 2 minutes before they arrived (no, I’m not joking) I was cleaning the apt. It was a bit of a mess. My friend Helena came over to help me and without her it would have still been a mess. On her way out of my building she met Arwen and Derek getting out of their taxi. Perfect timing! Caleb loved getting to know his Uncle Derek and Aunt Arwen. He had met Arwen before but it was 3 years ago and I’m not sure he remembered. No problem, he quickly made up for that. Derek gave Caleb more shoulder rides than I think he even knew was possible to give in one lifetime during the 4 days they were here. A quick highlight of their trip was taking Caleb bowling for the first time. We drove to the city of Oradea, where the bowling alley is, and paid per half hour per lane. No shoe changing required. It was $5 total for all of us for a 1/2 hr. Not bad, eh? Caleb liked it until he realized what a gutter ball was. After that he just got frustrated and headed to the few arcade games next to the lane, begging for his Uncle Derek to come and play them with him. What an awesome time we had together. I’ve never had the chance to really get to know Arwen and Derek as a couple so I was so thankful for their sacrifice to come here…
They left yesterday and again this morning I was on morning shift at Casa Alba. I was a little frustrated that eventhough we are getting better food now there still is no veggies or fruit. Arrrghghgh! The staff on duty was frustrated as well. They said they’ve spoken to everyone and don’t know who else to speak to. I asked God to bless my wallet and, after the younger kids headed to kindergarten, took the older kids and we bargained for a great deal on strawberries. 7 Kilos just for the CA kids. Oh my goodness they were happy and kept saying “more? more? more? more?” Wish you could’ve been there! The kids were thanking me for the berries and I said “We need to thank Jesus for giving me the money to buy them!” Then one of the staff said “Kelsey, let me know the next time God is handing out money because I still don’t know how I’m going to pay the next installment in a week on my son’s furniture that we bought.” Huh. Her son is in his late 20’s. Why is his Mom paying for his furniture? Hmmmm. Regardless we started laughing about it. Fun, fun.
God really does do that, bless my wallet I mean. The money I get in each month should barely – barely cover the bare necessitites. Yet, I’m able to buy fruit and veggies for the CA kids on top of that. Maybe you think that’s the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever heard. It’s true though. He makes miracles in my wallet every month I kid you not.
Just before buying strawberries the older kids and I were able to get a lot more work done on my 2 garden areas. I can’t wait to start pulling CA kids in there during the summer to pick the peppers, tomatoes and cucumbers that are growing so well already!
Oh, and Renata asked today if she could “please, please pray” while I kept her company in her very empty Green Room (all of the other kids went to visit their future foster families again.) Please pray for her…that a family would come soon!
Enjoy the few pictures from Caleb’s 5th birthday!