Monday, September 29, 2008

June 13-21-2008-FBC Cabot, AR Container Team

FBC Cabot shipped another container of humanitarian aid this spring. Besides items for a hospital in Sofia, the shipment included 45 water-proof mattresses from Dreamline Manufacturing, new clothing, educational items, and furniture. The shipment arrived in Sofia the night before the team arrived!

They were a tremendous help in sorting, labeling, and delivering the items. Then they even helped organize our warehouse space.
This team brought many familiar faces from FBC Cabot, Arkansas. Dennis and Lea Hyland, Bonne Jensen, and Sean Stevens have all been to Bulgaria many times before and are always very well received. The kids and personnel at Berk 4 were very happy to see these folks back. Dennis has lead them in many woodworking projects and Bonne and Lea were instrumental in getting the sewing/doll making projects underway. Sean is known for basketball and soccer events. All four have true celebrity status at this home.

We had some new faces on the team: Jerry Garland, Jared Taylor, and Margaret Eyring. These folks didn't act green, they immediately pitched in to work or to engage the children.
After a very late arrival on Friday, 13th of June, the team made the trip to Berkovitsa. On Saturday morning we were treated to a Sports Spectacular presented by the handicapped children and youth of Berk. 4. It was indeed spectacular. What a challenge for children and teachers alike to put together such a program. We applauded and yelled our praise for every little accomplishment. The team from Johnson Ferry Baptist Church had left many gold medals here and we had the joy of putting them around the necks of the children. They were all first place winners that day.After the program we treated them to pizza, soft drinks and ice cream at a local pizza parlor. The kids were absolutely thrilled.

The afternoon found us working with the children at Berk 4 and later Berk 3 telling Bible stories, doing related activities and playing outside.. At Berk 4, Bonne demonstrated how to make sheep/shepherds for a supplementary set to our original sock doll Nativity set of Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus.

Sunday morning we were at the gypsy church in Rakovitsa. There the team had a Sunday School hour for about 100 children. Then they sang 4 hymns in Bulgarian during the worship service. People were amazed. The team had learned the songs from a tape made a few years ago. Dennis did a great job with his sermon on Sunday morning, and the congregation was happy to see so many familiar faces in the group.Sunday pm we were back to work in both orphanages.
Monday morning chairs and desks were delivered to the public school in Rakovitsa. The team worked with the kids at Berk 4 again, and the children presented a musical based on an old Bulgarian folktale. It was delightful. Again, the audience showed great appreciation and the children's faces beamed with pleasure. After the program, the team members were presented with gifts that were specially made for them by the children. With great emotion we said goodbye to the dear people at Berk 4.

After a couple of hours at Berk 3 we headed back to Sofia to reload the truck for the delivery part of the team program. On Tuesday we traveled east to the home for children without parental care in Bratsigovo. There we put new tennis shoes on the kids, gave them underwear and tee shirts, and delivered lots of furniture and 14 computers! Then it was on to Kazanluk and to the baby home in the nearby village of Buzovgrad. Again, we put shoes on the little ones who could walk, delivered diapers and other container items.

On Wednesday morning we traveled to Stara Zagora delivering diapers, bed pads, and putting shoes on the little ones. They were delightful. Then we made our way back to Sofia and reloaded the truck!

On Thursday we drove to the home for handicapped children and youth in Vidrare. We delivered lots of items from the Cabot container including some wonderful special needs chairs and standing frames donated by Buckner International. These were assembled on site by the team members. We enjoyed blowing bubbles with these kids and even organizing some activities with the parachute.

The afternoon was spent in Roman, a home for about 120 kids. These kids had received shoes in April. We delivered furniture from the containers, told Bible stories, took Polaroid pix of each child and then gave them all underwear and tee shirts. After that, we tossed frisbees with them for a couple of hours!

After an overnight in Pleven, we went to the home for more than 240 babies there. We put shoes on those who could walk, delivered diapers and other items and visited about 50 of the handicapped, bed-ridden children.
Arriving back in Sofia on Friday afternoon we went back to the warehouse, reorganized it, and then loaded the truck again for Saturday morning trip to Dren. There we put 45 new mattresses on their beds. Thank you, Dreamline Mattress Company!!!!

All in all, it was a wonderful week. We put shoes on a total of 211 children, mostly babies. We delivered most of the container items and make hundreds of children very happy!
Thank you, FBC Cabot, for sending such a great bunch of folks our way!


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