On Freedom

10 July 2012

Here we are halfway between the 4th of July and Bastille Day, the days the land of my birth and the country where I reside both celebrate freedom.

The American colonies were seeking freedom from taxation without representation at first and, by the time 4 July 1776 rolled around, separation from England.. The French sought freedom too, from an unjust civil system and a corrupt church which did nothing to stop or try to curb the excesses of the monarchy.

Unsurprisingly, I’ve been thinking a lot about freedom this past week. And as I was, I came across this quote by Martin Luther King, Jr., “Our world is a neighborhood… We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.” This is part of an incredibly erudite, yet accessible, letter written from a jail in Birmingham, Alabama. The whole piece is worth reading. You may find it here.

For me these were connected ideas because of our work here at OSAi. We’re in the business of hope, yes. But we’re also in the freedom business. Freedom from certain ills and freedom to enjoy life and hope, simply because these folks are not alone. Our goal is to offer this freedom and hope to those who seem to be forgotten by the rest of the world.

Lily, our first client, was looking at homelessness. She was told in January she’d need to move at the end of May as the apartment owners were selling the property. At the same time she was being sued for back payment of utilities. The only problem was she didn’t have a job and still hasn’t been able to find one! So there were no funds for the utilities and no way for her to rent an apartment.

With help from some new friends in Romania, we paid the deposit on her apartment, got her moved into her new place, paid the utilities (the suit was dropped!!), and covered her monthly expenses by current monthly contributions. That’s fabulous — and we’re so thankful.

Now Lily’s most pressing needs involve dental work. Just yesterday we learned that her lower bridge has fallen out. Her top bridge is expected to go any time as well. We knew dental work was going to be needed, but this is earlier than we expected. At 45 years old and willing to work, Lily still needs teeth in order to be able to talk, eat and interview successfully.

If you pray, would you please join us in seeking God’s answer to these needs? We’re happy to discuss other types of help you may wish to offer as well. Thanks so much.


Credits: Digital scrapbook page made with “World Beat” by ViVa Artistry. Fonts used are Fontastic, Eight Fifteen and Exmouth.



A Bit of the Back-Story

How’d we get here? That’s the question I’m hoping to answer, at least in part, in this post.


In June 2009 my folks celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. My sis and I decided a memory book was the way to go. She was already a practiced paper scrapbooker… I had no clue. I’d call myself “deadly” with paper and scissors :)

I started looking for scrapbooking supplies. I couldn’t find anything in the stores in Bucharest, so I went online. Our mail was unreliable so I realized internet sources weren’t going to help me either.

May 31st… June was literally just around the corner, and I still had exactly nothing to contribute. While searching for paper scrapbooking supplies I kept seeing “digital” this and “digital” that. I had no idea what they were talking about.

In desperation, I clicked some of those links and found a free digital scrapbooking program (www.scrapbookflair.com). They had free stuff to make your scrapbook pages with too (called “papers” and “elements”, but all digital).

I now know that the program was elementary, but maybe that’s what I needed at the time — ’cause I had no clue!!  Long story short, I got hooked. And the folks got some pages from me for their 50th album.

Each digital scrapbooker seems to have their own style. Many of them are identifiable, but not mine. LOL I’ve been told I’m really good at evoking or scrapping emotion. For me, it’s become a lifesaver and, by giving me a vehicle for self-expression, really helped me through some difficult times.

One thing digiscrap (digital scrapbooking) folks often do is participate in “challenges.” Someone will define a set of parameters, and digiscrappers (those who create digital scrapbook pages or layouts) will go to it.

In April 2011, The Digi Dares blog issued this challenge,

“Your dare today is doing a page telling us what you would do if you won not 1 MILLION Dollars but 10 MILLION, I want you to think BIG!!! Would you travel like me or would you save it for the future?? I want to know everything!

“Dare Flair: – you must use the colour green somewhere on your page – a photo is optional, but if you choose to use it, it has to be more than one. – use at least 2 patterned and 2 solid papers. – I want to see some round shapes somewhere on your page – use stitches, frames and buttons. The amount and where you going to place those things is up to you. – journaling is mandatory – finally, the most important : HAVE FUN!!”

Following is my response to that challenge or “digi dare”:

The journaling reads, “I once read that if a problem continues to bother you, then maybe you’re supposed to be part of the solution. So I hope that if I got 10 million, I’d build and endow a home for single elderly without families. It would be a happy, cheerful place at little or no expense as needed. Priority placements would be reserved for retired missionaries. My heart really goes out to single never-wed ladies who look to the future and see growing old all alone.”

This was not the first time I’d thought along these lines, obviously. But it is the first time I expressed it externally. So, for me at least, this was the beginning of the beginning of One Step Away International.

Blessings — and thanks for the visit 🙂


Credits–Font: Pea Susela @ Fonts for Peas. Papers, frame, stitches and heart buttons by Tracy King (Candied Dreams, Just Because and Melted Crayons). Sun and grass from Sunshine Flowers by Sekada Designs. All other elements from Country Garden by Studio Maya.