An update on Mary's work with NOROC in the month of October 2001:
* Mary continues to evaluate the ever-changing needs of the Big-Hearted Granny programs. In the month of October Mary hired new grannies at the baby orphanage to work a late afternoon shift. She learned that during this time of the day there are only 2 staff at the orphanage, who frequently turn off the lights for the babies so that they can sit in the office during their shift. With grannies now working in the afternoon, the babies have more time with a loving granny. Petru and Nina did all the interviewing and training for the new grannies.
* Mary found an ophthalmologist to examine the children in the toddler orphanage. About 1/3 to 1/2 of the toddlers are crossed-eyed. Now Mary is trying to convince people that this eye condition has nothing to do with retardation.
* The weather has been below freezing for over a month and the city of Tulcea has not turned-on the heat to homes, apartments, institutions or buildings. The word is that the heat will be turned on November 15th but coal has not yet been purchased to make the steam for the radiators. The rumor is that the heating company is bankrupt. With donations, Mary purchased portable heaters for the baby rooms.
* Another of Maryýs ongoing roles is as an advocate for the older youth. The past couple of months Mary has worked to make certain that all students from the orphanages were in some sort of school or trade school, and that all young people over 18 years old who exited the orphanages in the last couple of months have had a safe place to live.
* Mary took some older girls and boys to a movie in October. She goes with the kids to some of their sports games (sponsored by NOROC) and to some of the professional volleyball games.
* Mary used donations this month for purchases including eyeglasses for one boy, textbooks for the library at the boys home, room and board for 4 youth to attend boarding school, and shoes for the boys home because there was no money in the county budget for shoes this year.
Mary would like to stress that God is the real miracle worker in all things. The accomplishments of the past few weeks have been possible only through God, and the collective efforts of many individuals working together. NOROC's successes depend on the dedication of all the NOROC team members (Petru, Marilena, Nina, Christina, Nelu, etc) as well as the help of the grannies and the financial contributors of individuals and churches.
An update on Maryýs ongoing personal life : )
* Mary celebrated her birthday on October 30. She received cards and a banner from her friends at First Central Presbyterian Church in Abilene, as well as presents from her relatives throughout North America. Her friends in Romania joined her in celebrating her birthday, and she had a good time. She would like to express her thanks to everyone for making her feel special on that day.
* Mary is taking Romanian lessons and is learning the language. She has hired a young lady to be her translator and to attend meetings with her.
* For spiritual nurturing, Mary listens to and enjoys audio cassette tapes of First Central Presbyterian church's worship services which are sent to her. In addition, Mary attends a Romanian Orthodox church with her friends and leads a bible study with young mothers from All Godýs Children.
* Mary has been eating, giving away, cooking, making jelly and finally forced by friends to make wine (a national pastime in Romania like chili cookoffs in the U.S.) ... all from the amazing grapes that grow on her balcony. It generally takes about 2 weeks to make wine but her 2 bottles are a little slow.
* Mary has finally found a cable company with CNN in English. For the first 2 months, she got the news through a short-wave radio, or in French. All of the Romanians were sympathetic to the United States in the wake of our national tragedy, and the churches in Tulcea held a special service for Americans.
*Thanks to donations, Mary has purchased eye glasses and hearing aids for all the children who need them, as well as medicine for the nurse at the boys home, and new mattresses for some of the boys.
* NOROC has purchased a "youth center" for small group activities, for tutoring, and for teaching living skills. Now Mary can increase her activities with the youth! The new youth center is an apartment located across the street from the girls home in Tulcea. The apartment is a 2 bedroom with a living room, a kitchen and a bathroom, and was purchased for $6000 dollars. It is in perfect condition and very clean. Over the holidays, it will be lived in by the 18 year old girls whom NOROC has been sponsoring, who are are temporarily displaced from the hostel for the holidays, and who are too old to live in the girls orphanage.
*NOROC has hired a singing teacher for the girls, and for the boys a Bible study teacher who also sings.
* Mary is developing programs for the youth in all areas. She continues with her Bible study for young mothers. She has plans for the youth to begin visiting the home for the elderly. She has developed a strong Sunday-night program for the 18 year olds, in which they cook a meal together (learning kitchen skills), talk about issues of the day and of their future, and have a Bible study. These are special times that all eagerly anticipate.
* Sadly, there was a setback in NOROC's work with the babies this month. An outbreak of a virus in the baby orphanage sent several babies to the hospital. In response, the orphanage was quarantined and closed to the public for 3 weeks. During that time not one granny was allowed in to hold the babies. Thankfully, the grannies are now allowed back in to hold the babies, but new rules have been placed upon them and they are no longer allowed to remove the babies from their cribs. Can you imagine what is happening to these babies who have not been out of their cribs in over a month? Please keep these babies in your daily prayers.
*Christmas came to all the children with the help of NOROC this month. Mary spent several weeks gathering gifts for nearly 300 children, such as socks, underwear, winter gloves, little toys, watches, etc. Then the gifts were wrapped and the name of each child was placed upon their gift. Not a single child was left off the list. The gifts were delivered on Christmas Eve, and the children were delighted!
An update on Mary's personal life:
*Mary has been very cold and after several months, an independent heating unit was installed in her apartment. The rest of Tulcea relies on the city's heat, which is generated by burning coal and was not turned on until after Christmas. When the heat is on for the entire city, the apartments are warmed to about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Mary is thrilled with her new heater but we all worry about all the other people and children who can not afford to purchase such a heater.
* Mary has made many friends in the few months she has been in Romania. She was invited over by some friends for dinner on Christmas day, and was touched that they had gone out of their way to make a Turkey for her. Her circle of friends enlarges every day to include taxi drivers, merchants, police, social workers, nurses, the senior priest at the seminary, the priest at the church where her friends attends, the tour guide for the city museums, etc. If you personally know Mary, then you know that she will get to know all the people and that everyone loves her.
*Mary left the day after Christmas for a 5 day sabbatical in the mountains. She will be using the time for rest and relaxation, as well as spiritual renewal. Please keep her in your prayers.
This following an excerpt of a letter from Carolyn detailing her annual trip to Romania. This year Carolyn and her husband Dr. Fred White were accompanied by their daughter, Natalie, Rev. Mike Lane (of First Central Presbyterian Church in Abilene Texas) and Rev. Richard Shemp ( the Executive Presbyter of Palo-Duro Presbytery.)
"NOW about our trip... This could take pages and pages. We stared our trip at the sea port of Constanta (ancient Toomis) and traveled to a remote area to visit the cave of the apostle Andrew. This is where the Andrew lived when Christianity was brought to this region. This reminded us that this area has been Christian since 60 AD.
Then the rest of the week was in Tulcea. On Saturday and Sunday Fred saw medical patients and on Sunday Carolyn "Martha" started unpacking 17 boxes, 70 pounds each. If you know my husband, you will understand that he does not pack in categories but has perfected the art of getting each box full with 70 pounds each. So each box had to be reorganized after we get there. Huge job!
On Sunday the rest of our group, Mary, Carol and Rev.Richard Schempp from Palo Duro Presbytery and Rev. Mike Lane took a group of kids from the boys and girls homes to the monastery about 40 miles outside the city. It was a wonderful experience for all.
During the week, we visited as many institutions that we could possibly see. As I said, the youth group cooked our meal for 2 different evening. The first evening was amazing... as soon as the meal was over, the kids asked Rich to explain about Presbyterians and theology, and there was a rich discussion (pun intended). There was also a banquet for 100 people from grannies, to teachers, to directors of orphanages, and to friends of NOROC. The best part was the entertainment organized by the director of the boys home using the kids from Mary's youth group and the younger children from the boys and girls home. It turned out that one of the children raised in the orphanage system had her own mother in the audience. Mary is working on reconciliation between this abandoned child and mother.
LASTLY for the best part. Mary organized an ecumenical worship service in the cafeteria of the boy's home. This was the first ecumenical worship service ever. All parts were in two languages. The head priest of the Orthodox seminary, the pastor from the Romanian Baptist Church, Rev Mary (female minister is new concept), Rev Mike from our church, and Rev. Rich from our presbytery. Since Executive Presbyter does not translate into Romanian or into their paradigms, we had to call him our bishop. Rich and his wife sang Amazing Grace and then everyone sang this song in their own language. The choir from the seminary sang Amazing Grace in English and several other songs during the worship. Rich presented the message with Petru translating. Workers in different areas and institutions were dedicated to the job of nurturing the children in the institutions. The gypsy children choir sang and the group of young boys from the orphanage sang. It was too amazing to describe.
The last night was spent in the home of our friends the Dutas in Bucuresti. Here as a small group Mary lead us in the service of communion. A Romanian bread on a Romanian plate with Mary's wine in a Romanian cup on a Romanian doily in a Romanian home - all reminded us that we are in community with all Christians. A visiting lady doctor of Orthodox background and the Dutas, Church of Christ, joined in this special service. This must have been how it was during the early church as Paul or others had to leave a certain Christian community.
Thank you for prayers, thank you for support, thank you for gifts of great variety, thank you for financial support, thank you for encouraging NOROC to grow to meet the ever changing needs of our children in Tulcea County.
Noroc (Romanian for God Bless or Good Luck),
July 25, 2002
I went to the Centru today, unexpectedly, and was overwhelmed by the great things I saw. ALL the children were with their grannies. I saw one granny having gymnastics with her little ones, then time for music. Another granny was playing with play dough. All this I am certain is from Cristina's (NOROC's psychologist) and Adriana's (a Romanian pre-school teacher who is now helping NOROC) influence, and Carol Schempp's schedule. They follow it very carefully as far as I can tell. All the children have made tremendous progress. The twins are walking.
It has cooled off here now. I took a small fan I bought in Cluj and put it up on a high shelf in one of the rooms. It workes so well that everyone wants one, but I can't find them in Tulcea. I'll look around.
THIS IS PROGRESS. The new rooms are so well used and the children are all talking . . . This is the biggest of miracles . . . AND ALL the children look well nourished. To see everyone of the children out of their cribs, except for the smallest babies, was a wonderful feeling.
July 9, 2002
Carolyn returned this week from a 3.5 week trip to Tulcea, Romania with her daughter Natalie. While in Romania she visited Mary, the NOROC staff, and all of the children whom NOROC serves. She had this good news to report:
* Babies now have grannies two times per day. This double does of stimulation is very healthy because now they do not have to lay in their cribs in the dark after 4 p.m.
* ALL the first graders passed the first grade this year! This difference is thanks to the Big-hearted Teachers, who have dedicated themselves to the success of each child.
* No children were transferred to the mentally and physcially handicapped area for the last 2 years!
* Many of the youth have recent achievements to celebrate: Four 8th grade girls passed the entrance exam and hav the opportunity to continue in an academic high school. One boy was accepted into the high school for performing arts in singing. This is the first time that someone from the orphanage system was accepted! His older brother won first place in a national contest in traditional folk dance, sponsored by the European Union. He is transferring to a performing arts school in Bucuresti. A girl from the orphanage won first place in the same contest for martial arts and she has transferred to Bucuresti also!
* Mary has organized five small groups each with an adult lader and a youth leader. The groups meet for Bible study, or for fun outings like trips to a nearby forest or a monastary. The leaders help the children with any problems, such as taking them to the doctor.
* During her visit, Carolyn was able to attend one of NOROC's monthly birthday parties for seven girls and one boy. The group sang the traditional Romanian celebration song for each child using their name. One 16 year-old girl started crying because no one had ever sang to her on her birthday.
* NOROC has paid the fee for all kids to attend their 8th grade graduation banquets. They have never been able to attend before this year. These banguets are very important to the kids, since high school graduation is not traditionally celebrated.
* Using NOROC's money, Mary has been very diligent in getting eye glasses, hearing aids, and dental care for all the children who need it.
* The living skills group at the Casa NOROC Youth Center is doing great. When Carolyn visited unexpectedly, she found about 10 girls cooking and sewing. They were so excited to see her, and she was thrilled to see all that they were doing.
* NOROC has recently purchased a 9 passenger mini-van. The van was purchased as a response to so many children moving to remote village orphanages, and the need to take children and social workers to other cities for their medical attention.
* To handle the complex "rules" of Romanian roadways, NOROC hired a van-driver, Gica. (Those of you who have been to Romania understand that driving is very, very difficult. There are often sheep, horses, & carts in the road as well as drivers on either side!) Gica is a wonderful man for the job. He is the father-figure that the children need. He reminds them of their manners but gives them love also. Gica also is Mary's protector in all situations. He takes immaculate care of the minibus and will save NOROC so much money in future maintenance and repairs.
* Mary arranged for three kids from the orphanage to have major orthopedic surgery to correct problems that should have been done years an years ago. They are now recovering from their surgery. "Family" members have to change the sheets and wash the patients in the hostpital. Prayers are needed for these three.
* Carolyn took 8 trunks of supplies on the airplane with her. Thank you to all the generous people who sent NOROC so many gifts to take. Some of these gifts were given to the children in the orphanages during Carolyn's visit: the 8th graders who were successful, to the other students who won academic honors in their classes, and to the birthday kids. It is so exciting to watch the joy in the children of all ages when they receive a gift and affirmation!
March 23, 2003
1. I am totally pleased and amazed at how much responsibility two of our boys have taken about the new rented apartment. For those of you who do not know, we found a large two bedroom apartment for rent for 50 dollars a month. It is large enough for 4 or 5 boys. It is almost completely furnished now, most of which is from giveaways the boy have managed to scrounge. They found an hotel going out of business and they got a great deal on some odds and ends. We found out why the apartment is so cheap. The pipes in the basement all leak and form pools of stagnant water which really stinks in the summer. I am told this has been this way for 20 years. (Petru used to live in this building.)Many buildings in Tulcea have this problem and most apartments this size are at least 150 dollars a month. The guys have cleaned it and Gica, the plumber is making necessary repairs. The money given by the group will pay for all the furniture and plumbing repairs. In Tulcea, the renter makes the repairs--go figure! If we have to ever move we will have all the furniture. We now have a permanent place for two boys, plus emergency, short-term housing for three others.
2. This is the really terrible news. You know all the kids who have just been brutally moved to all the new centers? Well, these new centers were designed as daycare centers for poor children from these various little villages. They are all funded by the EU (European Union) under a program called PHARE. Well, PHARE just found out that at Baia none of the kids living there have any family at all from the area, so they have said that these kids are there illegally and must be returned to Tulcea. The same is true of the centers in Somova, Niculitel, Salina and probably all the others. If they have family in the area, they will go immediately to their family --like it or not. If not, they come back to Tulcea. BUT, WAIT A MINUTE -- Tulcea county has already accepted grant money to turn the boys home into a home for the old folks. This project on paper has already begun. All the boys from the boys home were supposed to be out in March so work on the reconstruction will begin. The boys home and the girls home are supposed to be combined. Now all these kids are being returned. Where will they put them? My guess, some will go back to Horia, some will go to Babadag, some probably to Laguna, Issacea and Zybil -- This is only my guess. Some of the children were just getting used to the new centers and making friends, etc. Now they will come back. On paper, the department now receives funding for 40 boys and about 25-30 girls in Tulcea. They thought they could send the kids to these centers and say they had reduced the number of kids in the large centers in Tulcea. They thought no one would check up on where these kids came from. I think, if they could, they would put these kids on movable buses and just drive them around and around. I cannot predict anymore what will happen. I'll keep you posted.
May God forgive humanity or what we do to one another. I pray for all of you as I know everyone in Palo Duro has loved ones involved in this war. I have many friends and family already over in Kuwait. There are planes leaving from here in Romania to go to Iraq. A number of boys (3) in my youth group have gotten their draft notice and there are Romanian troops being sent soon to Iraq.... I pray for the PEACE only God can give us. The peace of Christ. The peace that passes all understanding. The kind of peace where we can truly love our enemies and turn away from war as a solution. Peace where we do not have evil dictators holding their own citizens down with tyranny. I know that God can make all things work together for good...and I pray that God can make a miracle happen from this mess we are in .. ONLY GOD CAN.
I also pray for those who fight for peace by their protests in cities all around the world. I also have loved ones involved in these protests, and these are as legitimate as the battle going on in Iraq... Both groups are sincerely working for a better world. God can work through these protests,as well as through this war and we need to keep our hearts and minds and souls open for the lessons we can really learn so maybe we never have to go through this again. After each war, people say, this is the war to end all wars...but we seem to be on a vicious cycle. JESUS IS THE WAY. It seems so clear to me that I cannot phathom why humanity has not embraced Christ as the way to true PEACE. Until we do, we will keep having these wars .... Enough preaching!!
PEACE, the Peace of Christ, Mary
August 22, 2003
Carolyn White Writes:
I am so proud that I must share with you the good news. Hopefully I have summarized these facts accurately. Most of the students have been moved from Tulcea into the county-homes in the village and then moved again and again. It has been a very disruptive school year and very hard emotionally.
School is over in mid-June. Then there are "final" exams after 8th and 12 grade. NOROC's Big-hearted Friends is coordinated by Mrs. Marilena Solca, a French professor in high school. Marilena is our dear friend. She has found a wonderful group of retired teachers and professors who lovingly work with the students with their assignments. NOROC's tutors work with 1st graders, 8th graders, 12 graders and at-risk students. If the student does not pass the "final" exam in June, then he/she is given a second chance after studying during the summer. This is a very good system.
All of the first graders passed! Isn't this amazing and wonderful! A few years ago, children from the county-homes failed one to three times before being promoted to the 2nd grade.
In the primary school 15 boys passed, most with good and very good grades. One student failed in French but he will take the exam again in September.
All boys (total 11) passed the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade except one who failed his exam in June but passed his exam in August. Exams were given in mathematics, Romanian and history.
All girls (total of 16) passed the 7th and 8th grade in the same three subjects, except 2 who will retake the Romanian exam in September. One girl passed with an amazing average of 9.63 out of 10.
Both high school boys passed the 12th grade. One passed the difficult baccalaureate exam and the other will retake the exam in August. The only 12th grade girl passed on the second try.
Several of the older boys are getting into a college or university. We are so proud of them. Unfortunately the girls have never been counseled into higher education. It seems they are "only suited for the sewing factory," but we are changing this attitude.
The teachers and professors continue to work during the summer. There are also NOROC teachers for music, handicraft, tailoring, and "Sunday" school. I am so proud all of these teachers who love and motivate the students to be so successful and very proud of Marilena Solca's outstanding program.
Best wishes to all readers and Noroc! Carolyn
November 27, 2003
As this is Thanksgiving week, I want to begin by saying Thank you to God for this past wonderful year. Everyting we do, every breath we take God is infused into the fabric of every action. I know what Paul meant by praying without ceasing. Since I live in a crisis mode a lot, God is my partner minute by minute, second by second.
With God's direction and help, NOROC has truly harvested a bumber crop of young adults who are amazing in every way. I want to thank all of you for your diligent prayers, your faithful financial support and your unflagging friendship and emotional backing. You have all remained beside me throughout every ordeal we face. I will highlight a few examples of the good year we have had, and close with asking for prayers.
At Cocorri, the baby orphanage, we just completed a wonderful two day training with our grannies by Dr. Jones, who helped the staff institute a regime of using a nasal wash which will help prevent resperitory problems. Some of you remember year before last when four babies died from respritory ailments. Dr. Jones' simple teatment will be highly effective, if they use it. Also, the heating system seems to be working fully for the first year that I remember. Jerry Bozeman did a wonderful training session with the grannies on play therapy. This was a follow-up with a session done last year.
The work of our grannies is so vital here at Cocorri. We now have two shifts working with the newborns- more needs to be done in this area- but we are making progress.
The older toddlers are starting pre-school in the community and are doing very well. We want to thank our speech therapist and our kindergarden teacher, both of whom come faithfully every week to work on speech development and readiness for school. The staff has undergone an amazing transformation here as well. There does not seem to be the us - versus - them philosophy, but more of a team effort. NOROC's part-time psychologist, Cristina, does a lot to make this happen, as well as the faithfullness of Florintina, the director of the center.
NOROC is no longer the only group coming to Tulcea from outside of Romania to help in Cocorri. The Danish, the French and the English have all come this year. I think the readiness of the Department of Protection of Children to allow other groups to have hands-on experience is directly related to the goodwill created by the work NOROC has done. All in all things are the best at Cocorri than I have ever seen them. This is a great cause for rejoicing.
Our program in Babadag with our club NOROC has remained faithful and steady and very deep relationships are developing between the older children we serve and the grannies who work there. As some of you may not know, a year and a half ago they moved all the toddlers from Babadag to Cocorrii and moved in 35 older children with families in the Babadag area to the redeveloped center there. This meant NOROC and our grannies had to shift our facilities to accomodate the older children. We established a club for the children that offers a huge range of activities. Currently we were cut off of the heating system at this center and we now have to provide our own heat to the club. This is difficult because of the inadequate wiring. I am confident this problem will be overcome -but it will mean an additional expense for NOROC monthly. It is a good trade-off, once the heat is working properly, as we will not be considered a financial drain on this center.
This summer they combined the boys home and the girls home in Tulcea. They accomplished this by drastically reducing the number of students in each center. Many of these children have been sent back to their families and in most cases this is very good. Even if they are poor, being with your family is very important. In many of the villages they have opened centers to feed the children in the day time and offer them places to come for doing their homework. They call these centers daycare centers, but they are not for the working parents -but for parents who are destitute. It is a different concept than we have in America. Some children have been moved several times from center to center and this is creating a problem with some of them. However, I pray that most of the moving around is over. The new refurbshed center for boys and girls in Tulcea who remain institutionalized, called Speranza, is very nice and warm. The staff seem to be working very hard and they have a good, tough director with whom we have an excellent relationship. We managed to maintian our Big Hearted Teachers throughout all this turmoil, so we can be very glad of this. There are increasing needs for more advanced tutoring as more girls especially move into highschool. At the other end of the spectrum, more children have had their education disrupted and are in need of special catch-up help.
Our Big Hearted Friends program is still a roaring success. In a way it is easier now that there are fewer children, and now that they are all together. However, the boys have lost their place to play soccer and their out door sports area which was at the boys home and this is not good. We have cooking and sewing classes every Saturday, recreational activities every week, monthly birthday parties and small group activities every two weeks. These activities we provide also provide the children an incentive for behaving, as we do not allow children who have skipped school or who have misbehaved to participate.
Many of you have been following faithfully the fate of the private orphanage for the handicapped children/young adults - CRISP. Their beloved director had a stroke and probably will never return to full-time involvement. The staff has struggled, successfully so far, to keep everything going. The Department of Protection for children has decided that the center will no longer be allowed to house children under 18. These children will all have to be involved in one of the state run centers. This is not good news for these children. However, it does mean that now the center is solely under the Department of the Handicapped. The same man is still the overall director from the city council, but The Department of Protection of the Handicapped is under a very very nice man, who is very good to work with. This will be a blessing, we hope. Thanks to the extrememly generous contributions of many of you out there, CRISP has managed to pay regularly on their bills and hopefully in January, the bills will be assumed by the Department of the Handicapped. This will be a true blessing. Many of our favorite young adults are finding a refuge in this wonderful center with their open door policy -so this is a place to continue supporting and praying for. In fact, today, one young man will go and take a small apartment they have for rent at CRISP. He is a wonderful young man who is crippled in his leg from polio. He graduated from the boy's home and has a bad job, with very little money at the worse sewing factories in town. It was the only place that would hire him with his disability. Even with financial assistance from NOROC, he has been unable to find a place to live. No one wants to rent to people from the boys home, much less some one who is crippled. He has had four places to live in two months. The new director at CRISP, Daniela, has agreed to rent him this small efficiency apartment until we can find a permanent place for him.
The area which occupies most of my time is in working with the youth when they leave the system. We have a wonderful "youth group" of these young adults and this is a growing positive force. They are helping one another, and me, a lot. All four of these kids are doing fine at the moment. More and more of them are wanting to continue their education. They are serving as positive role models for the kids still in the system as they see that hard work and honest behavior pays off.
Not everyone of these kids is perfect, but there is marked improvement in most of them. As a whole, the group is doing great. We now have five young men in university. NOROC is not paying for all of these young men, as each one is a different case, but we are emotionally supporting them and they were all in our groups before they graduated. Without a doubt, except for one who would ahve gone to University anyway, the other four would not be there except for the help given them by NOROC. There are now five girls in highschool from the girs home. This is a tremendous achievement. We also are supporting another two girls in boarding school who have been terminated by the department and are in highschool. One of them was our first girl to graduate from grade twelve. She passed all her classes and now is working to pass her bacculaureate exam.
Of particular prayer concern today:
1. One very troubled young women with a history of terrible abuse who is now on highschoool and making very good grades. However, she continues to act up in the bording school and is sometimes defient of their rules and of all authority. We need to pray for her continued progress and that she will behave so she is not terminated from school.
2.CRISP - They are in limbo as to their status at the moment and selfishly I do not want them to close as we would not have a place for Aurel, Marius, Georgita, Dana.
3.Carolyn White and all the board of directors of NOROC- Give constant prayers of thanksgiving and support for these wonderful, wise people. Carolyn especially carries the burden of the financial side of our mission. This she does without compensation, except for stars in her crown in heaven. She taught me -The Lord is the Lord of all the Gold and Silver so I pray enough of this Gold and Silver passes through NOROC's mission to keep us going and to allow us to expand.
4. All the children -so many of them have passed out of the system without any notice to us and I know God knows where they are. Many of the children I have grown to love very much are gone when I go- they have been moved for one reason or another. PLEASE pray that this shuffling around stops.
5. We have a real medical crisis we need to plan and deal with. 13 out of the 19 boys at Speranza are now smoking, Most of the older girls are smoking also. Some of these children are as young as ten years old. This is a mushrooming crisis. It has never been this bad. I do not have a formal plan yet- but be assured we will do something. Suggestions are welcome.
6. Continued health for all of us involved in NOROC.
This letter is too long already - so Thank God for Jesus, my best friend and confidant and without whom we would not live or move or have our being.
Peace and to God be the Glory,
Rev. Mary Ferris