Please enjoy more from my blog from a recent trip to some of our partners in Romania.
Thank you for journeying with me as my family and I visit Romania.
The next project we visited was in the countryside outside of Cluj where our first impressions of Romania were challenged. As we drove up a muddy track past houses that didn’t look like any houses I had ever seen before we realised that the need in the country was extreme. The façade of the city proved to mask the reality of what life is like for many Romanians. A huge building sat on the brow of a hill overlooking a tiny village called ‘Ozd’ – this was our ‘Bonus Pastor’ Project which is a centre for recovering addicts. My children were apprehensive as we entered the building and were taken to the dining room to have lunch with the men. Part of the recovery programme includes making meals and so we sat down to a lunch of Romanian meatballs in soup followed by chicken and potatoes.
Addiction is a huge problem in Romania but the government do little to address it. 85% of the men who come through the recovery programme don’t have father figures and this lack of a positive parental influence can increase the chances of men becoming addicts. At Bonus Pastor they have 1-2-1 counselling alongside other activities. For some men this is the first time they begin to address the root problems of their addictions. A man called Cotas who graduated from the programme in March 2017 was able to look at those issues which brought on his alcoholism and his subsequent involvement with an underground mob which left him depressed and suicidal. He became a Christian 3 months into the programme, was able to kick the addiction with support and although his wife left him with their 2 children, after his miraculous turnaround and recovery he is reunited with his wife, is working and volunteers at a support group for. Another amazing story of a life transformed because of someone like you.
BASIS Project provides struggling families with basic food such as oil, pasta, beans and flour. Project worker Alexander fills his van with food and delivers them to families living in the countryside who would otherwise struggle. We met 2 of these families – an older man who had lost his wife to cancer and now lives with his daughter and granddaughter in just 2 small rooms. Also a family of 4 generations of women living together without the support of any men. Both families rely on the BASIS project to survive. This was a humbling visit to see first-hand the stark reality for these families but also the difference that this project makes.
On our last day in Romania we visited The Elpis Foundation set up by Vasille Pop around an area called Dej. We spent time at a kindergarten that was a real hub in the community, a new community centre that was being built in a deprived area with many needs and also we met with a lovely lady who the workers at Elpis visit regularly. She has no family in Romania, her only daughter lives in Italy. She regarded the workers at Elpis with such love as she relies on them for company and support. Another amazing example of how you are transforming lives.
Our time in Romania is coming to an end. I found a bible that one of the Daniel Centre boys had left. Down the side they had written ‘God for me’! This sums up so well for me what we try and do here at Blythswood Care by Christian care for body and soul …….serving and enabling others to know God’s love and provision in their lives.
This trip has helped me as a Fundraiser and as a Christian to understand better the realities of life for the people we help and also how you are transforming lives in the name of Jesus.
Look out for my final blog on my return to the U.K.
Photo at top: lady drawing water from her local well.