Romania Go Relief Team 2007

20 Aug

I hope this doesn’t sound like something written for the Messenger..

The 2007 Team consisted of 62 members, around 40 of whom flew out on Wednesday, with the rest joining on Friday. I went with the majority on the Wednesday morning, although I actually left home at about 11.45pm on Tuesday. The flights and all that went smoothly and we arrived at Casa Shalom at about 5.30pm local time after a journey on our lovely bus, Bessy. Now I’ve been on some ropey buses in my time, but this just took the biscuit.

We then had an interesting meal which nobody was really sure how to eat, or what went with what. I should have taken a picture of it. Among other things it consisted of honey, gherkins, corn bread, strong cheesy stuff and sugar. Still, it was nicer than the rubber breakfast we had on one of the flights.

We were staying in what I must say was very nice accommodation. The building has been just finished in time for our arrival, so I think we were the first people to sleep in the rooms. So after little no sleep for a very long time we went to our rooms and hit the sack.

Thursday was a pretty normal day, up at 7.15 for Team Devotions, Breakfast at 8.00 and starting work at 8.45. I spent the morning scraping a tin roof with Michael (as in Michael was also scraping, not that I was using Michael to scrape the roof) which wasn’t all that bad. After lunch we were painting the underside of a canopy and although it was quite tedious some of the kids were running about so it was a chance to get acquainted with them. Of all the children, Maria was probably the most active and talkative, so it was very sad to hear that she had broken her leg that night, and as a result spent the week in plaster. Still, she was always smiling and was generally great.

On Friday there was a bit of a rush to finish off the building that we were staying in, as the remainder of the team were arriving that night, and their rooms not quite ready, so a lot of us went inside to help finish off the rooms. Painting inside is not half as much fun as outside as I soon learned. That evening, the children sung for us, both in Romanian and English. It was mostly hymns, but like whatever, it was a great evening, you could see how much the children were enjoying it, especially Vali, and that they actually understood the words they were singing.

At the end, Marius got up and played us a tune on his Mandolin, which was class. Another day over.

Saturday was much the same, but in the evening we went into Bucharest for the first time and a walk round Cismigiu Gardens.

Despite being around 10pm it was probably hotter than it would be here at midday, which was a bit of a strange sensation. In the park, Calvin, Matt, Sarah and Marius rented out boats to go on the lake. That was quite fun, especially jumping up and scaring all the people in the posh looking hotel. Yeah.

After that we had time for quick, but much needed dash to McD’s. And that was lovely.

Sabbath was a slow relaxing day, as it should be. In the morning John Hawthorne took worship, and it was translated into Romanian by Nelu (who is quite simply the man). Lunch was a bit dodgy, so I had a sleep in the afternoon. Evening worship wasn’t the usual, various people spoke about their experiences and stuff including a few of the older children, and that was really encouraging.

The rest of the week consisted mostly of painting, messing about and a couple of bonfires. On Monday evening we had worship around the bonfire. Ian took it because Captain Ronnie who was supposed to be taking it was out shopping (seriously). After that we were talking about what we could do with the bonfire. Eventually, Phil ran over and threw in a can of lynx, and you can watch the results below.

Wednesday was our free day and we were to go to the Black Sea for some big European Naval display but because of Maria being immobile and the thought of spending 7 hours on Bessy it was generally agreed to scrap that. Instead we spent the day in Bucharest. We visited the big palace that Ceauşescu was building for himself.

Easily the biggest thing I’ve ever seen, it was a very impressive building. We had a tour of it, but it was a pretty rubbish tour to be honest, all we got told about were the floors, the ceilings and carpets. I don’t have any photos from inside as you had to pay about £6 for that privilege.

After that some people returned to Casa Shalom to continue with the ground work while the rest of us ventured into the centre of Bucharest. Sadly the places where we were were very Westernised. The shops and prices were much the same as here, which I found a bit surprising. Still it was fun..

After that we went down to a lake, hired out boats and a had a waterfight. It was class.

Thursday was results day for the A/AS-level people so that was the main talk of the morning. Yeah..we all got on alright. Later that day Calvin decided to paint me. Well it wasn’t quite that simple, but that was the end result.

On Friday evening all of the children were given gift boxes, and 4 new mountain bikes we given to the home. After that, all of us were given a small present. After sitting in the same seats for almost 4 hours we went outside for another bonfire.

And with that done, we stayed about talking with the kids for a while, and then slowly drifted off to bed, although there was not a great deal of working going on.

On Saturday morning there was a still a bit of work to be done, so it was an early start at 7.30am. The rest of the day was spent taking photos, hugging and saying bye. It was quite sad because chances are we’re not going to ever see any of these people ever, in this life anyway.

Overall, I would say that this was easily one of the best weeks of my life, I learnt a lot from the children. For example when Becky asked for someone to come up to the front and pray about something, there was always 5 or 6 children crowding round her. I think the project that was chosen at Casa Shalom was very good in that you were able to talk and interact with the people who were benefitting from what you were doing all the time, and you could see that they were really appreciating what you were doing.

Definetely a case of getting far more out of it than you could ever put in. I’ve left out a lot things that went on during the 10 days, but it would be impossible to cover everything that went on. To understand the full scale of what went on, you really had to be there.

I’ll end with a few prayer points that I took from the week.

  • The little girl, Maria, who has a broken leg at the moment
  • This week the children who have someone to go home to went home, pray that as they leave Casa Shalom they will be kept safe
  • The older children, especially Marius, as they leave the home and go out into the world
  • Becky, who is the president of the home, as she carries out her work and teaches the children, that she would be kept healthy and strong
I’m sure there are lots more, but that will do for now.

Click here for lots more photos..

The End

Andy Morrison


3 Responses to “Romania Go Relief Team 2007”

  1. Peter L August 23, 2007 at 1:44 pm #

    Good write-up Andy.

    Why does nobody want their report to sound like something out of the Messenger?!! I’m sure staunch Messenger Committee member Steelo is offended!!!


  1. Web Watch and Writers’ Strike « Another King - July 18, 2008

    […] We aren’t really on strike though posting may still be sparse next week. Ali is jetting off to the sun with his family, Andy’s away to Romania as part of the Go Relief Team and I leave for the Go Team in Milford after making my debut in the RP Five-a-side Football Tournament . I’ll leave a post scheduled for next week but I just thought you’d appreciate knowing what we are up to. Please pray for safety for the large (in number not weight!) group travelling to Romania. You could also check out a report of last year’s Romania team written by Andy here. […]

  2. Romania Go Relief Team 2008 « Another King - July 29, 2008

    […] Report on the 2007 team […]

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