Monday, September 29, 2008


I said I would post more about our time in Romania.I have some time tonight to write down the things that have come to mind since being home. Trying to put into words the experience, at times seems pointless.How could I ever convey what we experienced in mere words. I shall try...the best I know how.

Tonight I want to relate what we did,felt,and saw.With what we do,feel and see here in the states.

Driving down the road today,to go to the doctors office,there were no starving children on the side of the road begging for food.Everywhere we went in Romania there were children begging...everywhere.

There were many people talking on their cell phones,that we saw in Romania too,but there was no public transportation like there was in Romania.
There were no stray dogs roaming the streets, no mule carts,with little gypsy children in the backs driving to town to beg.

At the doctors office there was nice chairs to sit in,carpeted floors,and people royally ticked that they had to wait a whole fifteen minutes to be seen by a doctor. In Romania,there are no chairs in waiting rooms with nice carpet.Rather,concrete floors,with a few tiles scattered here and there,iron beds, anything metal has rust and looks at least fifty years old.People walk,sometimes for days,to get to the doctor,and then wait hours,and hours,to be seen by a doctor.Once seen,sometimes they can afford treatment,sometimes not. The doctor decides who is worthy of operation,not if you need it.

After the doctors office,I went to the grocery store.I went to Aldis ,they have those in Romania. But we buy a whole lot more food than Romanians do.Most Romanians have their own gardens,I think all of them do,some have a goat (for milk) and chickens in their yards too (a yard that would be comparable to what a condo in the states would have IE:tiny).I picked what I needed,and a few things I did not "need" and got in line to pay for my items.Again,people were ticked that there was only one lane open,and that they had to wait. I never saw a Romanian complain about having to wait to buy food.It's considered a blessing to be able to buy it in the first place,who cares if you have to wait.

Then,I drove to my parents home. Key word drove...I passed many gas stations, most averaged 4.00 a gallon. That's cheap compared to how much gas is in Romania,I think Europeans in general are sick of hearing us Americans complain about gas costs going up. Gas in Romania,while we were there,was eight to ten U.S. dollars a gallon.

I came home,to our house that sits on two acres,and is four bedrooms,and unloaded my van. All things that most Romanians do not have. Fed the dog,watered the grass....oh and grass.

There is not much of it in Romania,and watering it rarely happens,gas is too expensive to waste it in a lawn mower.Hence,no one mows the grass,and the city does not have money to keep public grounds everything is over grown....something my husband could not get over.Him being the lawn care taker that he is :).

I did some laundry today,most Romanians, do not have driers.They hang everything to dry.I on the other hand,love having a drier,and now when I use it,I praise the Lord we have it (even if it does shrink clothes,fades,and pills them,having four kids, I don't know what I would do with out it!)

I am getting ready for bed now,ah,to have a nice bed to sleep in,what a blessing that is.Many gypsy children sleep on the floor on mats,I even saw blankets outside,as though perhaps in the summers they just sleep outside under the stars.Though that's fun for one night,every night not so much.

But before bed,I think I am going to take a nice hot guessed it.Gypsy's take baths....maybe....once a month....maybe.Certainly they don't have running water,that's hot.Most take baths in the stream,and it is freezing cold.In a nutshell,though our day to day lives are similar to some Romanians, most of our lives are drastically different. Hope this gives you an idea of what Romania was like,and how going,has changed my daily perspective on life!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Family Broshure and Sick Babies...

We are so excited...our broshure about our family is almost done! Once it is printed,we will address them and get them mailed out to all of you! We are so thankful for Karen Bucurs help with the brochures, they look so nice! We also just put together a slide show of pictures set to music that we plan on using while we are on deputation.Once I (Bethany) figure out how to load it up on here,I will!
That may be a while, as of right now I am very busy taking care of three sick children.Two (E and R) just have colds. "C" on the other hand,has a double ear infection and upper respritory infection.My time has been totally consumed in taking care of her, today she seems to be rounding a corner,I think the medications have really helped her to feel a little bit better! It seems as though since we have been home from Romania,someone has been sick! Oh well,small price to pay,for the blessings we recieved while we were there!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Big box....

(Picture above is Clara pretending the box is a swimming pool,hence the swimsuit!)
A few days ago we recieved a box full of literature from Pathway to Joy.We are SO excited to have these on hand now! Brandon inlisted the kids to help him,they are at the age where the love to be our little helpers! Better take advantage of it while we can! Of course they loved playing in the box,that was full of little peanuts! Needless to say there were little white peanuts everywhere!But, oh well, the kids were entertained for hours!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Pathway to Joy Ministries

"Protection, Provision, and Permanent Solutions"
Today, the pathway to joy winds through places in Romania such as Oradea, Tinca, Sabolciu and Lugas de Jos where a large population of poor families, street children, and abandoned orphans live lives often cut short by hunger, illness, neglect and exploitation.

Pathway to Joy Ministries (PTJM) reaches out to these suffering children and communities by providing them with food, clothing, shelter, medical care and other critically needed assistance, all in Christ’s name … God is using our efforts to transform the lives of children and families as they receive Christ’s amazing offer of forgiveness and hope.

Children's Hospital The local children's hospital currently has an average of 70-90 abandoned infants and children ages birth to six, who suffer from inadequate nutrition, abnormal development and proper identification documents. Unfortunately, lack of sufficient government funding prevents many of these children from being integrated into the state foster care system. God has called us to provide loving care and protection for several of these forgotten infants and children.

Foster CareThe needs of abandoned children are not only physical, therefore providing emergency care and protection is only part of fulfilling their dreams for security and love. Their needs are also social, emotional and spiritual. That’s why PTJM is committed to making a difference in our community’s foster care system by building a network of Christian foster homes that provide for these needs in a safe and loving environment.

Orphan Mentoring Project

Our Mentoring project is a relational ministry geared toward getting the orphans out of their hostile environment and pairing them with a Godly mentor who is going to invest spiritually in their lives. These young people aged 4-22 face the daily challenge of growing up alone without a family.Many lack hope,and are searching for meaning and significance in all the wrong places.Loss in one area of a child's life often leads to losses in other areas Many of these kids struggle with low self esteem,lack of confidence,focus and motivation.Although loss is sometimes inevitable, many times with intervention further loss can be preventable.

Church Planting

Recognizing that the root of the social problems in Romania today are due in part to the presence of sin, we see our focus upon the spiritual needs of the people as our best preventive measure against future child neglect and abandonment and the scriptural means for a brighter future for all Romanians! Since 2004 PTJM has planted three churches in three gypsy villiages in Romania that reach out to over 3,000 families.

Q & A

We have been asked many questions so today I would like to answer some of those questions (to the best of my ability) And, if you have a question for us, let us know! We would love to hear from you!

1.) "What are you going to be doing with Pathway to Joy ministries?".
We will be living and serving stateside,for now,raising awareness about Pathway to Joy,and the different areas of ministry.We will be traveling to churches, conferences, and conventions. Sharing about Pathway's ministries,and how others can get involved.

2.)" How can we book you to come to our church or conference?"
Just send us an email,or simply leave a comment on our blog with your contact information!

3.) "What mission organization are you going through,and who do we send money to if we want to support you?"
We are going through Pathway to Joy,If you would like to support us,please make your checks out to Pathway to Joy Ministries ,and in the memo line,
put our names (Brandon and Bethany Hartman).
Mail to: Pathway to Joy Ministries 1415 Wiley Street Hollywood,Florida 33020

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It's time to vote America!

Nobody is leaving the island, but we do need to select a family picture for our support brochure. Tell us which is your favorite.

Picture 1

Picture 2

Picture 3

Picture 4

Picture 5

Monday, September 8, 2008

Family Pictures....

Oh What Fun!

The idea was simple,the task at hand not so much. Trying to get a family picture with six people,four of whom are under the age of five, is difficult.It takes loads of patience, a good sense of humor, and a "go with the flow" attitude. And we know the perfect photographer for the Dad . So off we went on a beautiful Sunday afternoon to a local park for a picnic with my parents, and then pictures. We have not had a family picture taken since "R" was born. And we needed one for our prayer cards, and brochure that we have been working on for Romania. The kids did fairly well. My favorite quote from the day was "J's" "Ah, my teeth are going to break from smiling too much." After the pictures were taken, we went back to our picnic blanket, we were watching the Amish play volley ball when the chaos broke out. First "R" fell over bonking his head on the ground. Then my Dad got attacked by hornets while attempting a cute picture of "J". While we were helping my Dad, the hornets went after "C". Poor thing got stung on the arm a few times, and was screaming.We rushed everyone to the car. Thinking the kids would be protected. "C" kept screaming. Then we realized the hornets were up her pants legs.Then,"R" Started screaming.He had been stung. "J" was crying because he was worried about his siblings, "E" was crying. By this time, mommy wanted to start crying. It's the worst feeling in the world when your children are in pain, and you can't do anything about it. What a way to end a fun day of picnicking and photos! We did get quite a few nice pictures before the chaos!