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“They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When he had spit on the man’s eyes and put his hands on him, Jesus asked, «Do you see anything? » He looked up and said, «I see people; they look like trees walking around. » Once more Jesus put his hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.ˮ
There were two important events related to visually impaired people that caught my sight.
The first one was the visit of a group of children and teenagers from a high school from Cluj-Napoca to Charis Centre. Most of them had severe vision problems. I saw one of the boys walking so freely around Charis that a healthy boy would not have walked. And I wondered: how is that possible? If I close my eyes and try to take a few steps, I feel horrified. One day, while the children were singing to the Lord like a heavenly choir, I got their secret. These children are loved by Jesus and I am sure that He is the One that gives them strength to walk with so much freedom in unknown places, places where we, those who can see, are afraid to walk.
The second event had to do with Laura. She is a young lady, married in the Gypsy community and who lost her sight while giving birth to her only child. Though she knew the risks before, she decided to have the baby, a beautiful baby. God rewarded her love for this child and a few months ago she was saved. At her baptism, the pastor said the following words: “Laura, there will come a day when the first face you will see will be the face of Christ!ˮ You should have seen the joy upon her face and her testimony full of love for her Saviour.
Looking at these visually impaired children and at Laura, I realised that there are plenty of things we can to learn from them, but the most important one is TO TRUST IN THE LORD!
There have been two major events in Nehemiah Programme lately: 1). The opening of the Nehemiah Church building in Tileagd with a capacity of 30 seats – this was possible with the involvement of Charis Foundation and the deacon’s family.
The building is a former garage, next to the deacon’s house. (see the pictures below) 2). The first baptism in Nehemiah Church – there were 7 people who got baptized; over 75 people from Tileagd and from the nearby villages attended the event.
This was a 3-day project celebrating the International Child’s Day. 18 children from the visually impaired high school in Cluj-Napoca together with four volunteers spent some time in Charis. This project was developed in collaboration with Pontes Association from Cluj-Napoca.
The children had fun playing football, basketball, sjoelen (a Dutch game), jumping on the trampoline (which the children liked very much) or just playing in the sand. They also enjoyed the animals from the farm, especially the goats and the cats. They played theme games, did handicrafts, performed a skit, drew and sang.
A group of students from Emanuel Baptist High School from Oradea together with a group of students from a Reformed High School from the Nederland spent a day in Charis Centre. They played together table tennis, beach volley, sjoelen and ate together. We were happy to provide these students a place to spend time together.
We focused on two important aspect:
1). The daily work in the farm – working in the greenhouse, maintaining the vegetable farm and the fruit trees and taking care of the animals (goats and chickens).
2). Repairing and transforming Charis Centre: finishing the basketball court, finishing the staircase s to the basement, finishing the outdoor showers.
Day Camp with BBSO
For two days we had the children from Hope Baptist Church from Oradea together with us as part of the children’s summer camp. Each day there were approximately 50 children and 15 -20 volunteers.
The children did Bible lessons, handicrafts, played volleyball, football, themed games and ate together. It was a blessed time and we are happy for having had the opportunity to serve these children.
Pray for Florica, Marius & Laura, Ramona & David, Claudia & Sany – the people who recently got baptised in Nehemiah Church from Tileagd. Pray that God may give them strength to live their lives by faith day by day.
Pray for Laura, the young woman who recently got baptised. She lost her sight three years ago while giving birth to her son; despite the risks, she had the baby. Pray that God may touch her eyes and give her sight again.
Pray for our partners from St. Stephen Church. In August, a group from their church will visit Charis and serve together with us in different places and communities.
The Charis Centre building was insulated and plastered two years ago (except for the 30 cm from the ground). It is vital to finish that part of the building and the pavement next to it as to prevent water from penetrating into the building. Also, we need to paint the building as soon as possible. In order to do this we need 4000 €.