Sunday, January 15, 2017

Shoeboxes in Cahul, Moldova

To me Christmas means hope and joy brought by God through Jesus to the world. It is the celebration that changed my life 15 years ago, when I decided to receive Him in my heart.
This Christmas, with the help of ELS Cluj team, we shared the message of Hope with 37 children and teenagers from Branza village and we broth joy giving them Christmas gifts. Most of them are coming from poor families with many needs and difficult situations. I was encouraged by a teenage mom when she told me that what we are doing is good and to not stop and then she asked me from where does this desire come,  to continue to serve and show love to these children and teens. I answered that it is the result of constant relationship with Jesus and als0 the teamwork.

We also visited the Single Mother Center from Cahul. There is a place where hardly you can see a smile and is a big need of Jesus and hope. Togeter with Ionela, my colleague, we broght a smile and wanted to reminf them that they are not forgotten by God, but he loves them and He is taking care of them.  Besides the gifts, we have given them and the love of Jesus that we could share, we have listened and encouraged them.

This is our mission every day to go and show love, bring hope and joy of Jesus in such places where there is great need.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

YWAM Bosnia | Christmas package distribution

In Banja Luka, in December, after weeks of practicing, running around getting everything organised, it was time to do "Cika Jovan i najbolji poklon" (Uncle John and the Greatest Gift) for our shoebox package distribution.

I wrote the story (with the help of some friends!) and it is about how Uncle John invites all the (naughty) children to come to his place and then tells them the story of Christmas (and that the greatest gift is actually Jesus!) through pictures... there is a bit of "magic" involved and it is pretty cute. You can watch it  on youtube (push the CC button for English subtitles).
Here you can also see the narrator, who tells a lot of the story...
After the plays, we sang a couple of Christmas carols (translated)...
And the most important part of the program is at the end... the Samaritan's Purse shoebox packages!!!
Then it is rinse and repeat... we can fit about 60-70 children in the church I work with and so to do the over 400 packages, we need to do quite a few plays and distributions. Also because we have such a lot of distributions, we have two groups of kid actors... here are the second group, and both groups did a FANTASTIC job... They are all kids we have worked with for years and it is so fun to see how God is using them now to reach other kids. We were so proud of them!!
And both groups loved singing carols with me :)
Some happy customers...

As you can see, we had a lot of fun with our Christmas play and handing out of shoebox packages... Seeing the smiles on the children's faces makes it all worthwhile!!

Belinda Chaplin
YWAM Banja Luka
Bosnia Herzegovina

Friday, January 6, 2017

Wonderful Christmas Event in Krakow, Poland

It all started with one homeless man, Franciszek, which I met at the shopping center Lidl. He collected the shopping carts to get some money. After a while I realized God has put that man into my path. We talked, I visited him at the shelter where he lived, I got to know the director, the psychologist and other staff. I met an amazing openness to serve there.

A year ago, we did our first outreach with Kings Kids and our local church in this shelter. We had families, kids, teenagers with us, a great mix of people. We were totally free to share the gospel with these men. Some of them gave their lives to Jesus. From this time on Franciszek regularly comes to our church, to all the other meetings and he also came to our Kings Kids family camp last summer. Last Sunday I saw him reaching out his hands and praying for healing for a sick man. God is wonderful.

Now to the Christmas event. We (my husband, me and our pastor) attended a year ago, their Christmas "wigilia" (in polish Christmas eve celebration). It was so empty, dull with no life. So, we prayed and asked if we could organize it this year and so we did. God blessed this evening in an amazing way. We had over 100 homeless man there, 40 people from our church who served them a meal and a senior gospel choir who sang with them carols.

Franciszek was in it all so happy and excited. Many of the man were deeply touched by the Love of Jesus, many cried.  We had families with kids there and the children went afterwards to the rooms of the very sick men. These men could not come, they have no legs, are blind etc. We went from bed to bed and gave these men presents.

Our thoughts and prayers for the future is to create a gospel choir with these men. They love to sing and move around. But again, it all started with one man and an obedient step to reach out to him.

By Helen Hess
YWAM Poland

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Christmas in Craiova, Romania

The last Christmas (2016) was a busy one for us. God has blessed us with open doors to serve here in Craiova.

As a base we have a DTS running in our base. We have 5 students, 4 of them are involved in all the DTS. 

As a base beginning with 15th of December we entered fully in serving the area we are in. We received shoe boxes from a church from Spain and from a church from Germany and from ELS ministries (YWAM Cluj ministry ). 

ELS ministry from YWAM Cluj, besides the packages they sent a team of young people (3 girls and 3 guys). Together with them we went to a children group in Oboga ( a nearby village ) and we had a children program, then on Sunday we went to a hospital for children with brain damage and blessed them as well. 

Another 2 points of serving were the gypsy children from Romanescu neighborhood and 30 children and 10 families from Valeni ( a village from this region). God helped us to reach with the Gospel approximately 100 children. 

Another event that we organized in this time was a Christmas concert at Filarmonica Craiova.   
The purpose was unity among churches and evangelism. God showed His grace and we 80 young people coming together from Brethren church, Baptist church, Pentecostal church and Orthodox Church. In the concert hall there were at least 200 people that didn't know Christ. They had the opportunity to hear a clear message of the Gospel. 

As a base it was a time of victory and challenge as well. Flory's grandpa died, Ema's mom also died and a church where the brother in law of Willy is serving went through a fire. God was with us every step of the way through the prayers of our ywam friends as well from the churches. God kept us united and He helped us walk in faithfulness.