About Me

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We have lived in Romania for 16 years now. We have 6 kids.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

God Is Trustworthy

I am reading and doing the Bible study that goes along with the book, Trusting God by Jerry Bridges. The last assignment to do for the first day was to journal about God's hand in your life so you could look back during hard times and be encouraged when you see how God has worked in the past. So, I journaled about three things from our past.

Several years ago we were still paying off the new church building. We had received money for half of it and borrowed the other half. Just before the rate of the dollar drop, an annonymous donor paid off the $20,000 debt that we owed. Just a few short months after that the rate of the dollar dropped drastically and we lost about 30% of our income and would not have been able to keep up with the payments on the church property. God is trustworthy and looks after His children!

Last December our old white van burned up. We transported people to and from church with it and took kids to camp every summer. It was a very old van. Our family vehicle only had seats for 4 kids so we were always either taking the old van with no seat belts or the new van and putting two kids to a seat. Baron had been pondering lately which vehicle to get rid of but he really didn't want to get rid of the old van. We just kept discussing it but never made a decision. God made the decision for us! The white van burned up and was beyond repair. In just three months enough money was donated to buy a much newer van that also seats our whole family and has seat belts. The van is much better then what we imagined or dreamed. God always blesses His children even when they aren't looking for it!

When we were moving to Romania almost 9 years ago now, I asked God to give us a house. We had two boys at the time and I struggled with the thought of living in an apartment. Little did I know that just 8 years later we would have six kids! Baron's parents came to Romania to house hunt for us. They found a house near the center of town for $28,000 with a nice big courtyard and plenty of space for a growing family. Just a year after we bought the house, housing prices went through the roof and we could have not afforded to buy a house. Our house now could sell for many times more than we bought it for. We saw our house for the first time the day we moved in! I didn't get to pick out my dream house but God picked out a dream house for me...much better than I could have ever dreamed!! God is trustworthy and brings about things more wonderful then we could ever hope for!

The most recent story is this: We have known all along we wanted to work with abandoned children but our first priority was starting a church. Our partners that are coming to Romania (Lord willing this year) will be a big part in this ministry to children. We have sought out many different opportunities but it seemd doors always closed on us. It is much harder now to minister in state run homes, they do not seem to welcome foreigners in any more. Baron was out visiting this past Saturday and he ran into a family we have known for years. In fact, the dad used to come to our church and then quit coming. They are a friendly family and always enjoyed when we visited them. Well, the daughter is now working at a state run home in a village very near us and she said they would love for us to come and help them out. We met with the director of the place just last Monday and he welcomed any help we could give them. They are individual apartments that house about 14 kids each with educators who work shifts. There are a total of 72 kids that live here and a majority of them will never be adoptable but they will also never go back to their families. Then Tuesday we received 10 boxes of children's clothing from a ministry in the states. Saturday, we get to go out and personally hand out all the toys and clothes to these children. God always has a plan for His children and brings it about in His timing!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Another Police story...plus an adoption update!

Where to start...I guess at the beginning of the day. We started out for Timisoara. We were taking Gina to Timisoara for some special time together for her birthday which is next Thursday. We were on a two lane side road and in our lane cars are always parked...we are used to this, the no parking signs are ignored and the police never ticket so people continue to park in the street. We have always been able to still fit down the street though but today a car was parked several feet away from the curb so their wasn't a lot of room and Baron was zipping through (he thinks he is invinsible when he drives) and he is talking to me when ping...we crash mirrors with the passing car...not just any car but a jandarmeria car...what is that you ask, well that is what you would call the police better known as the "brute squad." So, Baron stops and goes back, our sideview mirrow is cracked but still attached and still works. The police guys are a bit ticked at first because Baron didn't stop right away and they thought he was driving off. Anyway, Baron asks them if they are going to write a ticket for the car parked in the no parking lane and he says that's not his department. Baron then asks well, lets file this and my insurance will pay for the damage to your car...the police man proceeds to say if we demand to call the traffic police and go to court that they will take Baron's liscence (this is the second time Baron has had an accident and the romanian police threaten to take his liscense if he files his insurance!). So, they finally agreed that it would cost around 100 Ron to fix the mirror (about $30) so Baron gives it to him and that is the end of that. This whole time I thought Baron was getting a steep ticket and who knows what else so I was very relieved to find out we were only put out $30! Baron just can't seem to stay away from the Romanian police :).
Well, we finally get to Timisoara and we decide to stop by the child protective services and see how the adoption was going and the social worker there looked very happy as she conveyed the news that our file was awaiting a final stamp from the judge to show the twins were ours and it is irrivocale and they are adoptable. Then we will take all our paper work to the court and they will be ours...just one court date!! Other Americans have experienced so many court dates and call backs we just assumed that would happen to us too but it looks as if in just a few short months we could be having our final court date and officially introduce you to two new Howertons!!! Isn't that exciting??

Finally, little fun encouragements...Today as we were grocery shopping, my little eye spotted:



That's right, Oreos have arrived in Romania!!!

The Many Faces of Nate!

Nate is always talking about the fact that he is "cute and chubby" then he proceeds to show us his happy face, his mad face, his brat face, his sad face, his sleepy face, his baby face and whatever else kind of face he can make...so here I have posted the many faces of Nate, enjoy!


















Saturday, April 10, 2010

Neighbors

I haven't been keeping up with blogging like I used to. Maybe it's because I don't think that many people read this blog or maybe it's because we are winding down on the first year of having two more children and having two more children that you didn't raise from infancy is a HUGE challenge, let me say that again a HUGE challenge! We have spent this last year trying to teach a set of 5 year olds, the basics of being in a family, listening skills, taking responsibility for your actions, not "forgetting" all the time, table manners, and we still spend a lot of time teaching that just because a new person enters our home doesn't mean you start using your manipulation skills all over again! We have also had to remind them that you don't just walk up and start hugging people you never met and sit in their laps and act as though you have known them forever. We have seen many improvements and the kids English skills have grown by leaps and bounds but we still have our struggles.

I actually started this entry to tell you what I think is an interesting story. It is typical of our life here in Romania. If someone here thinks you are doing something wrong or need to change the way you are doing something, they don't hesitate to tell you and then they keep telling you if you don't do what they "strongly suggested" that you should do. For instance, we have a dog, Buster. He likes to go back in the yard and sit at our neighbor's fence. Our neighbor who keeps his dogs chained all day has taking a liking to Buster and puts his hand through the fence to pet Buster and he feels that the collar we have on Buster is too tight. So, a while ago he let us know it was too tight and we being good neighbors loosened the collar. Well, that didn't satisfy him, once again the other day he sent Zach in to tell us that Buster was getting fatter and the collar we have on him is just too tight. We felt his collar and could slip two fingers between the collar and Buster so we left it as it was. He noticed that we left the collar on so he came by and rang the bell and told me personally..."Now I have told you this before but I am telling you again because I feel sorry for your dog, please take off that collar it is too tight, if you don't have another collar I'll give you one but please take it off." I wanted to tell him to go home and mind his own business but I didn't, I just said thank you. (this is the same man who keeps his dogs chained up all day long) So, I told Baron what he said and again we checked and there is plenty of room between the collar and Buster but my husband being the good man that he is decided instead of making a mountain out of a mole hill and loosing a chance to be a good testimony and witness to our neighbor that we should just take the collar off...at first I didn't agree and thought why in the world should we give in and take it off. Baron lovingly told me it is just as easy to take the collar off as it is to leave it on. So, he won and the collar is off. We live in an intrusive society. Everyone is always telling us to put more clothes on our kids, give them more food, don't let them walk around the house bare foot in the winter... and so on. People don't hesitate to ask us how much we paid for our house or our car. We could get defensive and get offended and tell them off but then part of being a missionary is integrating into their society. We didn't come here to make them into mini Americans, we came here to share Jesus love with them and what good would it do to tell them that Jesus loves them if we are always yelling at them to mind their own business? Don't get me wrong, I still get annoyed at times having people think I can't take care of my own family but I don't give in to the desire to tell them off. It is very tempting to do but our purpose for being here is to live like Christ and keep the peace as much as it is in our power to do so. It is interesting living in a different country with a different culture and a set of different rules. There are days when I wish I could just live an easy life in a country that is comfortable to me but most days I realize that I prefer the life in Romania to the rat race life of America.