Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Our trip to Cluj was three-faceted. We visited the boarding school that received a shipment of quilts and other items from Salt Lake City in October.

We visited a respected NGO representing the disabled who we will work with to bring 350 wheelchairs here in July.
We visited the largest and oldest School For The Blind in Romania where we had done a project in 2009 giving them sound equipment for their programs. They invited us to be their guests at a special celebration they put on just for us!
If you asked us to name our favorite moment or experience, it would be impossible to identify. We loved our visit with all three groups and we will never be the same.

Our visit to the Blind School was amazing. Again, it is a boarding school from kindergarten through 12th grade. Some children are totally blind and some are so sight-deficient that they cannot go to a regular school or function in society. We took along 4 missionaries who they had invited to come with us in hopes the missionaries could volunteer to teach piano and guitar one day a week. The missionaries were excited for the opportunity.

We toured the school and met the students and then were given seats of honor at their little performance. The video follows this post. Keep in mind, most of these performers are totally blind yet they can dance and smile (sometimes). After the day, the missionaries were sobered and thankful for the experience.

On the tour, we were shown fourth-graders using Braillers. The Church bought these Braillers for them in 2008 and the kids wanted to demonstrate their skills. They typed out beautiful thank-you notes and then read them to us. If you touched them on the hand they would grab you and hug you. It brought tears to our eyes they would never see.

We will endure any weather Romania throws at us for moments like these!

A kindergartner

Reading Braille

Each Brailler costs about $650 and each child is assigned their own. They value them and take care of them. Their skills are amazing.

There are 6 dots that make up a letter and their fingers fly over the paper as they talk.

This was our thank-you note!

The little boy near the wall was the fastest "typist" in the class.

Reading Braille

Speaking as she's typing

Sora Smith speaking Romanian with a student.

Elene Bucur is the head teacher at the school and she arranged for our visit. Here, she is showing us where the children sleep--about 20 of them in this room! (Disregard Elder Linerud's "attitude" expression!)

Our missionaries got an education this day as they sat through some "business talk". We will write another project for this school. Hopefully it will be accepted by our Area Welfare in Germany so we can bring in more Braillers. The missionaries are scheduled to teach piano.
It doesn't get much better than this!


  1. That is amazing and heart rending all at the same time. I am in awe of all the good that you're doing. Love you, JB

  2. Those kids are sweet enough to eat! In the nicest way, of course. It's really something to think that this is their life. They seem to handle it well, though. You must feel so blessed to get to be involved in such rewarding work. We'll pray that your proposals are accepted. It certainly is a worthy project. You are still THE BEST!! Te Iubesc.