Pastor Cristi of the UMC in Sibiu (center), his wife, Ligia (right), and Kiki,the social worker for the Super Kids Day School, (left) laugh with joy as they open the school supplies donated by MVUMC.
Pastor Joy washing the windows of the new day center in Sibiu.
Pastor Cristi of the UMC in Sibiu and his wife, Ligia, standing in front of the Super Kids Day Center
Pastor Joy talking with Kiki, the social worker at the Super Kids Day Center
There was joy in Sibiu today as Pastor Cristi of the UMC in Sibiu (center), his wife, Ligia (right), and Kiki,the social worker for the Super Kids Day School, (left) opened the suitcase you so generously filled with school supplies! They are very, very grateful! We will share a video when we return to church. It’s a bit too big to post to this site, but it will certainly make you smile when you have the chance to see it!
We have now visited Ana’s House (a small home-centered orphanage), an institution for mentally challenged adults, a state-run orphanage for disabled children, a school for disabled children with a transitional center for young adults, and a day center in Arad that the Super Kids Day Center in Sibiu will use as a template. According to many people we talked to the state institutions are over-crowded, understaffed and lack adequate resources. It is abundantly clear that home-centered orphanages and day centers are an innovative way to address some of the serious social issues present in Romania today. However, they are far too few in number to keep up with the need.
Pastor Cristi, Ligia and Kiki presented their vision to us today for the new day center in Sibiu. They also shared some disturbing statistics about orphaned and abandoned children in this country. Because of low wages and the high cost of living, nearly 80,000 Romanian children have just 1 parent in the home while the other has left the country to find a better job. There are 23,000 children with both parents working in another country, leaving the children behind. At least 3,000 of these children were completely abandoned and ended up in an orphanage last year. The official number of children in orphanages is 60,000, but the actual number likely much higher, according to our resident experts. In the last 2 months alone, 240 children have been abandoned in Romania.
Day centers have proven to be an effective way to reverse this trend. The centers are open after school and into the evening. They feed, clothe, educate and love the children, as well as work with parents on ways to nurture and provide for their children. Perhaps the most important function of the Super Kids Day Center will be to teach the Good News to children who have never heard it, offering hope and support to kids from very difficult situations.
Pastor Cristi asks for our heartfelt prayers as they undertake this venture. He closed our meeting today with the benediction from Hebrews 13: 20-21, “20 Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
We are so blessed to be here to learn of the hardships and to witness how God is working. We serve an amazing God!