Paul Coles, Youthworkerish type guy. Present location: Targu Mures, Romania. Married to an amazing girl named Fiona. I'm on a JOURNEY and have no idea where I'll end up other than in the hands of God.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Very cute but very sad.

Every other Saturday morning we do a programme called Club Fuel for about 60 orphan kids, under 14 yrs old, that live near Targu Mures. We use a big room in a facility that used to be a special needs orphanage. It's a great programme and we have a lot of fun with the kids and we usually play outside with them afterwards before the bus collects them.

Well this facility is now being used as a kind of emergency placement centre for kids who have either just been abandoned or have been taken from their homes, before new housing is found for them. There are usually about 20 or 30 kids there at a time. Some of them are old enough and join us in our program but some are still too young.

The picture above is of a few kids that are too young for the program. It was a beautiful day and they were playing outside with us afterwards so we gave them some of the snack that we had left over. You should have seen there eyes light up when they realised that they were all going to get a bag of chips to themselves!

Such a cute picture of these beautiful kids but so sad to think of the life that they will probably have ahead of them. I just pray for good foster parents to be raised up all over Romania so that kids like these can have a good, loving home.

Or maybe I could sell this picture to Lays and get them to sponsor a home!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Pray for grass!!!!!!

I was out at our camp property at 7 this morning to check out our grass situation and possibly to fire our "grounds keeper." As some of you possibly know we flattened and reseeded our land last fall so that we won't have any broken ankles at camp this summer and now we are waiting for the grass to grow.

But as we see the grass come up it looks like large portions of it were never seeded even though we bought more than enough seed and paid our man well to spread it. We now think that he might have stolen it and sold it on... but he obviously has no idea what could possibly have happened!!!

So now we are praying to our God, that is much bigger than grass or water, to help us. And we will praise Him for it!

Here is a picture of the property right now from the hill. It looks pretty green from a distance...

But when you take a closer look you will see there are areas that look like this...

As you can imagine, this will not be a good situation if it rains, especially because most of the kids only come with one set of clothes.

Can anyone say GLASTONBURY!

Please pray.

To be continued...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

If some EU politicians have their way our children will all grow up in bubble wrap...

I just read an article in Newsweek today about new regulations that are having a profound impact on the EU's music and entertainment industry. Apparently no employee can work in an environment with a daily noise average above 85 decibels.

Since orchestras can easily go into the 130 decibel range and even bagpipers up to around 120 then these musicians, that depend on a keen ear to produce something of enjoyment to us all, may now have to plug their ears on the job. That could be interesting. How will this possibly help preserve our arts and culture?

But this is just one example out of thousands of the enjoyment in life being legislated out of existence. We are not aloud to do anything anymore that could possibly put us in harms way, lest we should do something awful like scrape a knee, sprain an ankle or get an earache. Because of course, if one of these things were to happen then, I would have to sue somebody. And if it happened at work then... JACKPOT!!!!!

This is a total joke to me and obviously says just as much about us as it does about the people that are making these laws to protect themselves.

Pain, mistakes and even injury are a fact of life. They are even an integral part of learning and growth but we will soon live in a world that does not accept the risks involved in any activity that could lead to these outcomes.

Is there any way back from this future of bubble wrap and oxygen tents?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Money as Debt...

I came accross this video the other day on Youtube and it was seriously eye opening even though some of it completely went over my head.

And on the money topic, how about food as currency?

We were doing an Easter scavenger hunt with the kids the other day and my role was to sit at McDonalds, let each team buy me something for about 60p off the delicious MC D's menue and them give them an easter egg with a code piece in it. So in this process I got an espresso(McDonalds coffee is definitly not on anyones top 1000 list), small french fries, a hamburger, a straberry sunday and somehow I also got a Crunchy bar, which I'm pretty sure you can't get at Mc D's.

Any way, not being a huge fan of the big clown and his deep fried food, I only drank the coffee (well about half of it, which isn't a lot for an espresso) and ate the fries. The rest I thought I could give to one of the homeless kids that usually hang around in front of the golden arches. But on this day, for some reason, none of the usuals were anywhere to be seen.

So my next thought was the lady that sits about 100m down the street and lets you stand on her scales for 10p. Thats right floks, for just 10p you can find out how much you weigh every day on the streets of Targu Mures.

Sure enough as I walked down the street there she was. She has been there every day for years and I have weighed myself several times with her (Her scales are very accurate and she even reads your weight out to you just incase you can't see it past your big belly). But this time all I wanted to do was give her the food I had left over. So I walked up to her and asked her if she wanted some food and if she like McDonalds. She replied, "Of course!" but would not take the food without having me stand on her scales.

I figured that was a pretty fair deal: food in exchange for a service provided. So we were both happy.

So after watching the movie on Youtube I began to think, maybe we don't even need paper money and if this current crazy system collapses one day I wonder what the next form of common currency will be?

Just a thought...