For this first blog post, we wanted to tell you about one of our newest programs that has us all very excited: Seara Fetelor, or Girls' Night at the gym!
This is a program that we (Janelle and Jenna) have been dreaming of for a while. The female attendance at the gym had dropped to an all-time low. There were only about two or three girls coming regularly to the gym, which meant that most of the time we had a room full of boys. Nothing intrinsically wrong with that of course, but we felt keenly that we were missing half of the population we were trying to serve. We thought that if we created a special night just for girls, we would be able to demonstrate that they were welcome and wanted at our gym, we could have a space to speak more personally and intentionally into their lives, and hopefully we would get more girls climbing during our normal gym hours throughout the week.
So about a month ago, I met with Janelle to brainstorm what exactly we wanted girls' night to be. We bought hot chocolate mix, made peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, and designed and printed flyers. On the last Wednesday in September, we opened the doors for our first Seara Fetelor, hoping to get a least a handful of girls. We had twelve show up!
We could tell that we had hit upon something golden. The girls were so happy and glowing the whole night. We filled our two hours by playing a name game, discussing the conversation topics that we want to talk about in the future, drinking hot chocolate (it's getting cold here!) and eating cookies, doing some yoga, practicing fun gymnastics tricks, dancing together, and of course climbing. We were all beaming when we left the gym at 8.
The next week more girls showed up. We started by going around the circle to share our "happy, crappy," meaning everyone shares something good and bad about the last week. The first several girls shared an activity that we had done together during our first seara fetelor as their happy. We emphasized that it didn't have to be about the girls' night, that they could share anything that happened in the past week. Even so, at least half of the girls told us that girls' night was the highlight of their week.
We have been so pleasantly surprised by the turn out, and also grateful for the presence of three American college students on the Romania semester, Hope, Bekah, and Michaela, who have decided to become involved in this program. The girls adore these women, and have asked several times if they can "steal them and take them home with us, pretty please?"
We have had four successful girls' nights so far, and this success has not been limited to Wednesdays. The female presence in our gym shot up almost immediately after that first meeting, and sometimes we have up to ten girls climbing at once during one of our normal hours!
We are all very excited for the future of this program. When Janelle and I met to talk about our hopes and visions, we both agreed we wanted to focus on health: healthy bodies, healthy minds, healthy hearts and healthy spirits. Every week, we want to spend part of our time together talking about a topic that will encourage health in one or more areas of our lives. We believe it is crucial for young girls and women to be able to talk and think about how they can be holistically healthy individuals.
Please join us in praying for these sweet, crazy, and spirited girls.
our girls would always feel loved and welcomed and seen when they are with us
we would be given wisdom in directing conversations about living healthy lives
the program would continue to attract girls, especially those that could most benefit from the positive, nurturing space we hope to create
the love of Christ would be shown through our words and actions
the girls would have open ears and open hearts to receive what we hope to teach them
we would have open ears and open hearts to receive what they can teach us
We are grateful for the Lord's guidance and provision in all of our lives, and we are thankful for your love, support, and prayers!