Sunday December 14th


Today has been another good day, spent at Cefa at the little church which is the centre of all the work at Cefa done by Mustard Seed Romania under the supervision of Alex Stroie and only happening because of his vision. We began with the kindergarten's nativity play presentation which took the place of the normal morning service- it was very full and warm! It happened in the kindergarten room which is next to the church (actually an extension from the sanctuary) and much larger. We sang a few carols, we prayed, we watched the nativity play then gave out shoeboxes.

For me personally it is so very rewarding to see the progress and (as a teacher by profession) I can very much see it in the way the education projects at Cefa have developed. We began in 2001 with just a homework club for seven or eight children at Cefa, now we have 2 homework clubs, one at Cefa and the other at Berechiu. Also we have a kindergarten in Cefa again for the disadvantaged gypsy children in both Cefa and Berechiu to prepare them for school - a sign of our success is that non gypsies come also. And as a result of the homework club we have 7 young people who passed with good enough grades to go to high school or vocational school in Oradea first time ever for a gypsy in Cefa.

The kindergarten nativity presentation was followed by lunch prepared by Rody Stroie and various helpers. The girls from both apartments were there and helping. Lunch was really good but it always is when Rody cooks! We spent a while sorting out the pensioner shoeboxes for Alex- most had Christmas shoeboxes packed by their sponsors, but not all, so it took some sorting out as for those without a sponsor's box we needed a general box. That done we went out for a walk in the village and got rather muddy, before the pensioners' presentation.

There must have been 40+ pensioners who came to the church/kindergarten and there were a number that were unable to come because of health. Again we sang carols, prayed, drank tea and finally we gave them out their shoeboxes and food parcels.

The day ended at the girls hostel (originally the boys hostel) in Cefa where some of us waited while Alex and some went to visit the house-bound and give them their boxes. I used the internet there to send the previous diary instalment for uploading on the website. Before leaving we gave out shoeboxes to those girls in the hostel.

And now we are back at the hotel for a quiet meal and evening and an early night I think we are all tired and we have another busy day tomorrow with an early start.



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