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posted by Kris Martens August 15, 2010
Bulgaria update III

Hello friends and family,

This is our second update from inside Bulgaria, and I seriously don't  know what to say! I think my brain may be fried from the extreme humidity and heat!
We have had about 5 days in Obzor, Bulgaria now. It has been a crazy time, as it always is with these kids in Bulgaria. It turns out that there are two other orphanages staying in close proximity to us here at the Black Sea. We are staying at the old communist youth camp that we stayed at last year. It's just as charming as ever; squatties and bed bugs are normal here!
The kids don't mind the conditions though, they are just thrilled to be here at the beach. Every morning when we leave the building we enter outside and are immediately swarmed with children wanting attention, or a hand to hold. If only we each had five hands, then maybe we could give attention to all the kids who need it!

So far we have been doing art every day, after they wake up from their naps, and we are going to the beach in the mornings because it is too hot for them during the day. Last night we had our first "Girls Night" with the older girls in the orphanage. I currently have my nails painted at least three different colors, in a design I never would have thought of. It was mostly a hangout night, with a little bit of sharing, because we want to build a friendship with them.

As usual, it is heartbreaking to be here and witness the conditions that these kids live in. The stories are starting to come out, as the children get used to us being here.

Personally, I have had a few highlights from the trip, but the one at the front of my brain right now is yesterday we brought out some sidewalk chalk for the special needs children to play with. I don't think they had ever seen this stuff before and they went crazy! Instead of drawing pictures, they colored all of the stairs leading up their rooms in solid colors. One big blue step, one orange one, one yellow and one all mixed. I think the chalk ran out within ten minutes! haha.

I do have some prayer requests for those of you who are praying for us. 1) We are recieving some opposition from the homes that are staying next to the camp for having Bible studies in the open, and have had to change locations twice now. Their kids keep sneeking over to join us, because they really like the music we are singing. Please pray for favor with our neighbours and the director of the home.
Also, 2)please pray for trust with the kids. The older ones are very reserved this year, and we would really like to talk with them, and hear their hearts before we leave again.
3) Pray for STRENGTH. Yikes it's hot here. We are very tired already. Being with these children is a huge blessing and privelage, but requires much energy too. That's all for now, but you can pray for other stuff too as you think of it!

Thank you for helping to send us and for your prayers, the children are really happy to have us here; I can tell it means a lot to them we have come.

May God encourage you today with his love.

Love from
Joelle ( and Bre and John)