It’s amazing when life comes full circle!

richard and jarek_together!!!!!!

This beautiful soul with my husband is one of my favorite people in the entire world.  And I know a lot of people all over the world.

This man, let’s call him the English name Jared, hugging Richard is one of the FIRST men that ever walked into our soup kitchen in Poznan, well over a decade ago.  LONG before I even had my first child (and she is a decade plus 2).

In fact, after we returned with Adelyne to Poznan/Poland, at around 5 weeks old, bringing her to our soup kitchen around 6-10 weeks old, HE was actually one of the first to hold our baby.  At our soup kitchen.  In Poland. It was the Holy Start soup kitchen (HS closed a couple years ago).

This beautiful soul that ALWAYS brightened my every day that I saw him…He is now the AMAZING volunteer at an unbelievable SOUP BUS located in Poznan, Poland, with the charity christianer.org … (find them on Facebook—it will BRIGHTEN your life)

Isn’t it AWESOME how you can watch one man go from served to SERVING!

Life — in full circle — makes my heart burst with joy.  Tears. Happiness.  And just an overwhelming sense of #itiswell .

It truly is.

It is well, with my soul.

Jared reminds me of that!

May Jared be your reminder to always invest in the beauty and hearts of others.  Your full circle will come.  And it IS worth it!

God bless.

“Everyone has a need to serve others…”

“Everyone has this need to serve others.  And, to me, Bread of Life gives me opportunity to accomplish this desire.”

Monika Bacik, project coordinator, Betlejem z Bread of Life 

When I write for And 2 Makes Crazy, I write, for the large majority of the time, about my personal family life or issues that deal with my family personally.

I usually leave the church my husband has been pastoring for the last 17 years out of the blog posts (Poznan International Church).

I hardly speak of our work to help Rescue the Forgotten around the world…

But I want to share with you this.

Why now?

Well, part of what makes the 2 of us actually crazy is the fact that as newlyweds, at 25 years of age, we started a foundation in a foreign country that began to rescue the forgotten individuals left and alone on the streets and in the train stations of Poland after decades of communism and extreme unemployment, suffering from horrible drinking problems that also left them in states of complete hopelessness.

This foundation was started with the mere fact that we could feed them bread for a day, but we wanted to give them love for a lifetime.  And we believe with our entire core that love comes from Jesus.

But we were not fools.  In a post-communist country where weather falls below freezing for months upon end, we knew that love was good for the heart and soul—and food for the body.  So we incorporated both.  On top of loving them with all of our hearts because Jesus loves us, we also fed and clothed and opened a home for individuals on the street—hoping to meet their very physical needs so that they would be safe and warm and fed and realize that their precious lives were worth fighting for.

Years later, our foundation serves consistently in 3 countries (Poland, Moldova, and Ivory Coast) and has been built up to more than just serving the homeless and forgotten.

Today we also focus on education and medical.  We focus on counseling and families—for the children and mothers or fathers lives.

We focus on people.

How can we best help people?

By doing all we can in their times of greatest needs!

This video shows a program in the city of Poznan that does just that.  We fight alongside of 3 precious warrior heroes: Ania, Artur, and Klaudyna.  We fight alongside of their families, and we let them know that their battles are Everest, but we are there to walk beside them to provide the oxygen they need to conquer their mountains!

And that is what we do.  365 days a year.  For the past 17 years.

We walk.  We climb.  We keep going.

Humanity without Barriers…to help the smallest to the oldest.  The most frail to the most lost.  To know that they are not forgotten.

Their lives are worth fighting for … And we will walk next to them in their battles!

Enjoy the Poznan Betlejem z Bread of Life video of one amazing day where we fought for 3 children by collectively coming together as a city to raise funding for 3 precious warrior heroes!

And find us on Facebook to like and follow to keep up with what is going on in the world around us and how you can get involved and help out:  https://www.facebook.com/boflministries

Thank you!

Brooke HJ Nungesser, Co-Founder Bread of Life International

 

 

The Pumpkin With The Light of Jesus…

12183699_10153865953029050_7084570383543567357_o

Every year when it’s time to carve pumpkins, we do this awesome thing at church.  We carve pumpkins with the children.  And we share the story how God scoops sin out of your life and carves a smile on your face and puts his light in you for all the world to see.

It’s really great and the kids love it.

So, yesterday when I went to pick up Maxwell (age 3) from Sunday school and hear all about his pumpkin, I asked him whose light should shine in our lives.  You know…typical Sunday school review stuff.

“The pumpkin’s light!” He shouted.

There you have it, Friends…

Sometimes the best of intentions still get lost to the cutest responses.

What can I say?

#kids #pumpkins #carving #thelightofjesus

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness. 

John 12:46

When your Littles go to the Big City! #Poznan

poznan city hall#poznanbyand2makescrazy

A month ago, my husband and daughter were on a different continent—Asia—more about that later! While they were there, my Littles and I (Max and Jo) visited the BIG CITY — #Poznan.

Needless to say, Rich and I lived in this big city for 9 years—Ada for 5—but Max and Jo never.  And so I cherished every.shot.i.took of my precious Littles as they ran and chased and smiled and played in the beautiful old square (Stary Rynek).

Here are some fun photos.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them.

prettiest gal in town

Let’s just say—THAT DRESS!  That dress in this square and you have cuteness meets cobblestone and rocks the shot! #myjosephine

i will get you birdie!

Those birds never knew he was coming!  And he loved every bird-chasing moment!  #mymaxwell

birds

Here, Birdie Birdie Birdie!  Come and hop into my hands!  #myjosephine

where'd my max go?

That girl!  Waiting patiently for her favorite person in the world.  Her Max!  Max!  Max!  Where are you?  #myjosephine

the littles love one another

Here I am, My Josephine!  Your Max!  #mymaxwell

the littles blow bubbles

Shall we now play together in harmony?  I say YES!  #mymaxwell #myjosephine

blowing those bubbles!

Bubbles!  What fun!  #myjosephine #mymaxwell #mylittles

stary rynek

The fountain of the Littles recreation!  #mymaxwell #myjosephine #poznan

cutest cafe around town

Shall we now find the perfect cafe for lunch?  #poznan

bridal shoot

Our cafe has a wedding shoot taking place!  #italiancafe #beautifulbride #handsomegroom #poznancafe

watching out the cafe

My precious littlest watched the entire shoot!  #myjosephine

the old market church

Fara Church next to our cafe!  #farachurch #italiancafe #lunchinpoznan

Alas—our day ended and we headed home.

Eventually my Adelyne and my Richard rejoined our side of the world, once again making our family complete!

when you're eldest goes to taiwan

But we’ll share all about Richard’s and Adelyne’s trip to Taiwan another time!  #myadelyne #myrichard

For now, we will wish you a wonderful day and pray God’s protection upon you.

xo from here to there,

b

Babies Don’t Keep. It’s so true. So sit down and rock your sleeping one.

babies don't keep

After my daughter’s end-of-the-year ceremony at school, I held my youngest as she slept.  I initially felt HORRIBLE sitting and holding her.  I had a mountain of dishes and laundry to do.  When you have two toddlers at home, every precious moment they sleep is a small miracle that needs to be used and abused by doing what you CAN’T === absolutely CAN’T do when they are awake.  Because, if you have lived with toddlers, you know that when they are awake they take over the world.  Serious world dominion takes place.  Especially when they are only a year apart, can’t breathe without the other, have no boundaries on climbing walls, and LOVE to take everything out of the trash.  And the mystery of it all is that they seem to do it all in one breath!

But I sat anyway.  And within moments, I felt so completely at peace with my decision that I held my daughter for an entire hour while she slept.  I literally did nothing but hold her and enjoy the peace of her being.  Her breathing.  Her cherub face.  Her small fingers.  Her chubby legs.

And I took in the warm breaths against my chest and I savored the feeling of completeness that my children bring me.

I loved it.

And I am so glad that I don’t look back at that moment with regret.  Regret about not using my time to do the dishes.  Regret about the time to do the laundry.  Regret about the time I had to sip a coffee and have a few mommy-alone moments (because right now I don’t even get those in the bathroom.  haha!).

Most of us have probably heard the story of the nurse from Australia that worked with hospice patients at the end of their lives—and the one thing she learned from them was that their lives were full of only 1 regret:  Not spending enough time with their families.

Therefore, I sat.  I smelled.  I held.  I cherished.  Through my baby’s sleep, I lived.  And through my quiet moments with her, I learned.   I learned that time spent with my children is the most valuable time I will ever spend.

I encourage you today—choose your children because Babies Don’t Keep.

“Babies Don’t Keep”
Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

Author Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Ada Girl Blogs at Kid World Citizen! Yea!!! Read on!

savethehand

So, my Ada girl has begun her own blogging journey at Kid World Citizen!  It’s so much fun for her.  She is responsible for picking the topics and writing on them.  I help her a bit with the grammar (as she is only 9) and a few spelling corrections.  I also ask her to add a few more details if she skims a topic.  These are, however, her words, her ideas for photos, and her writing.

She is so excited!

This one she wrote about Gniezno, Jankowo Dolne, and Poznan.  The one she is working on now is about Torun (I still have to download the photos she took).  And then I believe she’ll interview friends for a following article asking about their likes and dislikes.

In any case, she is writing as a kid FOR kids===so make sure your kids have a click and a read and travel with Ada through Poland!

So much fun!

xo for now from here to there!

B

Click here for the link and make sure to share it with your friends:  http://kidworldcitizen.org/2015/05/24/poland-for-kids-series-poznan-gniezno/

(The lake pictured is in Jankowo Dolne.  We never made it to Malta Lake the day we were taking photos due to horribly cold weather and wind)

The day my big dog saved me from robbers in Poland!

This is my dog, Sierra…

Image

And this is the story…

We had been living in an unbelievable kaminica in Poznan, 100 years old and a huge neighborhood for history regarding the 1956 uprisings in Poznan (I’ll write about that another time).  Our flat was smack in the center of the city.  We were just a 1-minute walk from the trams and a 5-minute walk from the Opera House, fountain, and Adelyne’s Castle.  Well, techinically it’s the Imperial Castle, but Adelyne grew up calling it her castle—we haven’t changed the name ;).  We were also only a 15-20 minute walk from the old square (Stary Rynek).  Needless to say, we loved where we lived.

Enjoy a few shots of Poznan here:

Image

AboveCity Hall located in the Old Square

Image

Above:  Tram living—Adelyne hardly rode in a car until about 3 years of age.

Image

Above:  Opera house

Image

Above:  Playing in the fountain

Image

Above:  The Imperial Castle, aka, Adelyne’s Castle

Ooooh.  And totally rocking, we also lived just a 10-minute walk from the BEST outdoor market in the city!  Fresh veggies and fruit to die for.  Heavenly.

Image

But, alas, our fairytale neighborhood had to come to an end.  Our landlords wanted to move back into their flat-that meant we had to move out.  Totally bummed.  But what could we do?

So, as prices for rent in Poznan were soaring, we looked just outside the city for a place.

And we found a great place.  It was actually a duplex, and much of the interior was wooden.  Very beautiful and the neighborhood peaceful.

Here was a winter walk in our new neighborhood:

Image

The thing is, we were the only foreigners.  You could be 20 blocks from our home and stop and ask someone passing, “Do you know where the foreigners are?” and you would be directed straight to our house.

Funny stories…Once my husband was walking back from the nearby sklep (market) and tipped his head and said, “Dzien dobry,” to a passing elderly lady.  She stopped him and said, “Who are you?  Do I know you?  Why are you saying hi to me?!”

Richard, amused, answered, “Well, ma’am, my name is Richard.  Now you know me.  Have a good day.”  And he walked on—she was left staring after him in his wake.

Another funny story—Adelyne, our blue-eyed angel, was riding her bike through the neighborhood and saying “Dzien dobry” to all that we passed.  No one smiled or even acknowledged her, so she started to say, “Hi!” instead.  When no one continued to respond, she finally stopped, looked at us, and said, “I don’t think that they speak ANY language in this country!”

Let me just say…it’s very different living in a foreign country at times.

But let me get back to how my dog saved me…Again, remember that we are in a neighborhood outside of the city and EVERYONE under the sun knows that we are the only foreigners around.

And this is what happened…

I was home alone with Adelyne (my husband travels a lot) and I was taking out my key to get into my gate (you had to use your key to even get through the gate).    And that’s when a van of men stopped right next to me.  I tried to nonchalantly get inside of the gate as fast as I could and shut it behind me.  Now, mind you, the gate is only 4 feet high.  So it’s not as if they couldn’t jump it.  But at least there was a barrier there.

This van of men started to talk to me.  They did something very suspicious.  They pulled out car documents and told me that they had found them and asked were they mine.  (Car documents are a VERY big deal in Poland.  You must have them to drive your vehicle.  So to lose them is a very big deal)

I kindly but curtly informed them that they were not mine.  But thank you for asking.

I knew that these men knew they were not my documents. 

I turned around and walked quickly to my front door, in my house, and locked it.

They did not follow.  But I was not fooled.

At 4am, in the pitch darkness of the very next morning, a car slammed to a stop in front of our house and I heard men and footsteps.  I knew what was coming—they were coming.  To our house.  Probably to rob us.  And hopefully not more.

And I did the only thing I knew to do (besides pray).  I let my pitch-black dog out the front door, and locked the door behind her.

You see…I have a VERY big black dog.  She is a giant schnauzer.  Now, to be honest, she stands as high as a horse but is usually as gentle as a lamb.  The people outside of our gate at 4am that morning, however, did not expect her.  Nor did her gentleness come out.

As I heard approaching noises, I also heard my dog.  Her shackles were up and her growl was just the right amount of “Get out of here” menacing.

She barked wildly and began running.  And before I knew it, feet were stomping in the direction opposite of my door, back towards the gate, and a car was roaring off.

Yep.  Jesus used my giant dog to save us that night.  And, boy, am I ever glad!

Oh…and a van full of suspicious men never approached our house again.

Well done, Sierra…Well done.

Needless to say, we’ll keep this horse around, eh?

Future robbers:  Beware!