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str. Donitei 15, sector 6 / 77528 Bucharest / Romania
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Rescuing Children in Romania and bringing them to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ

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December 1998

Casa Shalom Children's Home
Bucharest, Romania

Christmas Greetings from Our Home to Yours

Casa Shalom children with Becky and Joseph
We are so thankful for how the Lord has worked in our midst this year. There was the joy of meeting new friends and renewing old friendships we cherish so much. Our prayer is that all of you will have a blessed Christmas holiday with your family and friends.

This year we have seen some tremendous breakthroughs both spiritually and financially. Seeing God move like this helps us to continue pressing on despite all our difficulties. We want to see only God's will fulfilled through the ministry here.

We thank God for each one of you that are holding up our hands through your prayer and support on a regular basis. If you could see what your contribution has done for the 14 children in Casa Shalom, you would be so excited. Since all of you can not come to us we will try to paint the picture of what God is doing in the lives of children he has placed in Casa Shalom.

For example there is Mariana. Tonight she was helping me bake some croissants in the kitchen. She looked at me and said, "Becky you know when I grow up, I want to have an orphanage." Her little face was shining. She found something here at Casa Shalom that she wants to give to others.

I told her if she wants she can help me when she grows up, but right now she needs to learn to read and write. I believe God will help her to do just that. She was one of our girls that came from a terrible home situation. She was truly a little orphan who lost both of her parents, wounded and hurting, but God has done such a work of restoration in her life. He's not finished yet, but then again He's not finished in us either. He's still working on all of us, molding and making us into His image.

Two New Faces at Casa Shalom

Sorin (3) Mirela (7)

Sorin (3) and Mirela (7) have now been with us three and a half months, a brother and sister we found over 500 miles from here on the Romanian-Ukrainian border. They along with their older brother and sister were abandoned by their mother to care for the sheep on a remote hillside in northern Romania. The older sister and brother were gone with the sheep during the day and the little children were left alone.

A Christian brother found them but there was no room for them in a nearby Christian orphanage. I felt led to go and visit several orphanages and the director of one of the orphanages told me their story. Something in my heart compelled me to drive a few more hours to see their situation for myself. God made room for them, and a few weeks later they were with us.

When Sorin first came, he couldn't talk and he even cried like a little lamb. Now he's chattering about and asking, Fa-ce tu fa- ce? (How are you doing?) Ce asta? (What's this?) What's that, and do you have a bomba (candy)? He and his sister have changed so much.

I asked Sorin if he wanted to go back to the sheep for a visit but he said no, stai aici. (Stay here.) He and Mirela love being here and learning so many new things.

Every Sunday they look forward to dressing up with their best clothes and going to church with us. When we sing, Sorin sings out with all his might Al-le-lu-ia. Right now they're sound asleep in their bed with not a care in the world. God is good and now they too have hope and a good future awaiting them.

I do not have the space to tell about all the children. Some of them are the best students in their class. Others when they come home can't wait to tell us the good grade they made that day. Some of them love to cook and clean or work in the garden and we are so thankful for that.

Our winter garden - Fresh spinach in
December Yum, yum!!

Our Little Garden,
a Real Blessing

In May, we planted our garden. It was a family project as all the girls helped to prepare the ground, plant, weed and harvest the vegetables. We had 70% of all the vegetables we needed from our own garden. Then we canned and filled up our freezer with corn, beans and spinach. We had over 100 cabbages we have preserved in some big barrels for winter. They make fine cabbage rolls. Even this week we have shoveled away the snow and under a piece of plastic we have even more spinach. It's like bringing it out of the freezer.

How many people have fresh salad from their garden in December? We may even have fresh spinach for Christmas. God has been good and blessed even our little garden and multiplied it.

Update on Land purchase

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Finally after waiting for five months, we were able to purchase the land beside our garden for constructing a new house for abandoned babies and toddlers. There were all the legal papers that were needed, besides taking the parcel of land out of the agriculture zoning and putting it into residential. It was neither an easy nor short process.

We thank God Casa Shalom finally has the deed for the land. Yes, we had thought we would be ready to start building in the spring but now we have to get all the permits for the building from the governmentt. We have a wonderful lawyer that gives us wise counsel and will assist us in finding the right company to build this house. We do realize it will cost us more than we first anticipated but we know God will make a way. Now we know the house will be built in God's time and not ours.

Our guests Caryl and Terris Cates

Trip to the States with Rodica

In October, I was in the U.S. traveling and sharing about our work. My accountant was with me. It was her first trip to America. I asked Rodica to share a word with you in this letter.

Rodica says: "It was a wonderful experience for me to go to America. I was so impressed with everything I saw and the people I met. I especially enjoyed the churches with the power of God at work. I want to thank all of you for supporting Casa Shalom. Now I know how hard Becky works to get new support for our house."

Problems and Prayer Requests

  1. Our vehicles - My van doesn't want to start with the cold weather. We have had this problem the past three winters.
  2. We need to build a building which can be used for a garage for our vehicles and storage area for building materials and our vegetables.
  3. We need all the permits for both the house and the garage.
  4. We are asking God for new supporters so we can cover all the building costs.
  5. We pray all the people desiring to support one of our girls on a monthly basis will be blessed and able to fulfill their commitment this coming year.
  6. Pray for our computers and printers. We have had them break down many times this summer and were not able to correspond with our supporters like we would have liked to.
  7. Our cook (Magdalena, age 38) just lost her father very unexpectedly last week. Pray that God will comfort and strengthen her.
The children's Christmas drama

Loved Ones Called Home

This year several of our good friends that we have known for many years have gone on to their reward.

Several years ago Bro. Charles Shaffer and his wife, whom I've known for 20 years, told me they had no children and were adding Casa Shalom to their will. Bro Shaffer passed away last year and now this year his wife.

The bank told me a little monthly check would be coming to us. The Bible tells us, we may die but our works will follow us. This is so true. They may not be here, but they are continuing to work.

Then contributions came this year also from the families of two other friends. Pearl Bigler and our dear friend Doris Dorau in Texas. These have all touched my life and now the lives of our children. Thank you for remembering us.

Make it plain upon tables,
that he may run that readeth it."
Habakkuk 2:2

It was on May 23, 1996 that the Lord spoke to me as I was sharing with my first co-worker about the vision God gave me. As I looked out over the field in front of our house, God spoke to me and said, "And even this field will belong to Casa Shalom."

At that time we were just managing the house for another organization. I had so many problems with the house there was little time to think about the vision God showed me that spring morning. Now, two and a half years later our house problems are solved and once again God is reminding me of the vision.

I already saw the house which we are getting ready to build this coming year. The vision had several big three-story dorms in it for younger and older children. There was even a home for some handicapped children. Then there was a little kindergarten and a Christian school for the children.

In one of the buildings, the children were learning to play instruments, sing and participate in Bible theater.

There were beautiful gardens and fruit trees everywhere. The older girls were being taught life skills. There was a building where the girls were learning to cook and sew. I saw things being sold out of this building. Then the same for the boys. They were learning construction and working with wood. There were also things being sold from this building. There was even a staff house where the workers could relax a bit. I thought that's quite amusing. Then for me, the most beautiful thing was the church right in the middle of all the other buildings. Everything seemed to lead to the church, even the little streets circled the church. The children were putting on performances at the church and the public was coming to see and hear from the little ones at the Casa Shalom Village.

It seemed so real, but at that time, in reality, we owned only 400 square meters of land. Since Nov. 1997, we have bought three little parcels of the land I saw in the vision. Now we have over 9,000 square meters of land. Right now we have almost one third of the land I saw in the Vision. This year we will begin construction on the first house which will be for the abandoned babies.

This brings so much joy to my heart to see God moving and using people that I have never met before to help fulfill the vision He put within my heart. This vision is so much bigger than me. Sometimes I feel so inadequate for such a task. Then I think about all the children here in Romania that have no future and have no hope. I believe God has been preparing me for such a time as this. My husband Joseph has been such a tremendous help this past year.

Our Casa Shalom girls are starting to play the Mandolin quite well. In a few years, if the Lord, tarries they'll be playing in that new church in the middle of the field. There are times I think, can God trust me? Then there are times I ask, can I trust God? Well, every day we are learning to trust Him for the 14 children, and we will trust Him the same for the 50, and the 100, and 200, and build as big as God wants us to.

I realize more and more that money is something we can only use on earth. It doesn't have any value in heaven. How we need to invest it wisely! How beautiful it will be to take a stroll on the streets of gold, hand in hand with some children you helped to reach for eternity. Let's build where neither moth nor rust can destroy. Help us invest in the life of a child.

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