Sunday, April 14, 2013

Giving is better than receiving

Alan's birthday was Sat. April 13th and it's difficult to have a birthday in another country but we had a great day.  Daniel arranged to have many good friends hold a Happy Birthday sign and then sent the pictures showing the greetings.  It touched Alan so much to see good friends share in his birthday.  He received many Emails and facebook greetings as well and it makes you realize that good friends and family are the greatest gifts of all.

We went over and worked in the church cleaning for a while.  Then later in the day we took a wheelchair up to a man in the nearby village of Sesinci.  This family is very poor, I mean poorer than you can ever imagine.  They get about $50.00 a month on which to live.  Even here, that is nothing.  The roof of their home on one side has caved in and they had to just shut the door and move out of that room.  The man has had one leg cut off and had a wheelchair that was very narrow.  He had to remove the arms and then his thighs sat on the wheels which didn't allow him to move the wheels to roll around.  When we gave him the wheelchair, he was like a little boy with a new toy and so excited.  It makes us wish that the church could repair their house, but the humanitarian funds only pay for projects that benefit a group.  We may try to figure out a way to do something as a district to help fix the roof.
New wheelchair..the man by Alan is our branch President.
He's a teacher and a very good man

My crazy husband got in the man's old chair and had a race with him.
It was comical because the sidewalk was half mud

The caved in roof.

This is a village where you often see carts being pulled by a horse as a means of transportation.  Even in Sremska in the middle of cars and bikes there will be a cart and horse.  Usually it is the very poor or the Roma (gypsy) people who use carts.  To help ends meet, the Pres. wife works in a small Sesinci grocery store six days a week under very difficult management.  But because the unemployment rate is so high, she has to just take what ever the bosses hand out because if she complains, she would lose her job because the bosses know there are many others waiting to take her place.  Sesinci is the watermelon capital of Eastern Europe, so we look forward to summer.  It, as well as Sremska, are very old towns.

After the wheelchair presentation another man wanted us to come to his home for cake and it is disrespectful is you refuse, so we sat on his porch and ate cake.  His wife is mentally ill.  They say that she has three college degrees and was a beautiful woman but during the war they shot captives just over her backyard fence and her husband said that the trauma has left her not the same woman. (We just can't imagine) The husband was a physics professor, but the way they live is very substandard.  After their house we had to stop by the president's home and visit and have juice.  Remember, don't be disrespectful. Then that night we were invited by another family for dinner.  They all have soup here before every meal, the meal, and then an offering of two desserts.  Remember, don't be disrespectful!  So, we are not only growing spiritually, but we are also growing physically...all in an effort to be respectful.

So, all in all, Alan had a very fulfilling ;o) birthday.  Of course the best part was the giving of the wheelchair and seeing the happiness of the husband and wife.  It's truly these type of moments  that make this journey so worthwhile.

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