This post is also available in: Romanian
In the last few years, we have served in some Gypsy communities through the Nehemiah Program. Working in these communities in not easy. Their needs are many, there are many cultural differences, and their lifestyle is different compared to ours. Many times, their needs and expectations can be fulfilled only partially.
In many Gypsy communities, children do not have the possibility of attending school. Their parents are too poor to send them to school or they show too little interest in them being educated. Efforts have been made to make sure that these children have access to education. Some make it to school, others do not. One activity that is fruitful in some places is the after school program for the Gypsy children. They come in the afternoon to a community center or a church and they spend there a few hours with the volunteers or workers that help them study. Also, this is a great opportunity for the children to hear the Gospel. But most of the times, children come to such a program also to eat.
I was invited to Batăr, a village 60 km away from Oradea, to support such a program in a local Gypsy community. It was wonderful experience. There were about 40 children waiting for us. We interacted with them and had some games with prizes and after that they sang and enjoyed the meal we cooked and brought for them. I watched some of the children eating: they would eat just a bit and take home the rest; probably they wanted to take it to the ones left at home that were probably too young to come or could not have come. Most of them have never eaten a hamburger before. You can see these children in a short video that you can access here:
Those who take care of these children would like to bring them to the center every day, but it is impossible; they are able to bring them only once or twice a week, only if someone supports the costs. We have decided to go there once a month, provided that we have the necessary resources. For all of those children and those working with them, we are a ray of hope. We confess that we would love to go to them more often if we had the resources to do so. Maybe if you watch the video, you will be encouraged to get involved together with us in this ministry. Do not forget the words of Victor Hugo: Every child we educate is a man we gain.
Charis Projects Updates
AGAPEO – Warm Meal for the Poor
Between January and March of this year we prepared and distributed food, once every two weeks (on Wednesdays) to 40 people. Some of them are homeless, others are part of really poor families which live in unimaginable bad conditions. You can see some images here: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1137180319627695.1073741848.126942870651450&type=3
EZRA – The Small Group Bible Study
We have recently launched a small group program. So far, we have only one group ran by Ema & Kevin Gates. They lead a group of young people who meet every week and study the Bible in the English language. You can also watch and listen to the study here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8PGtcxEOpsyEEML2M5RHrPw1mPgczwS_ . You can see the promotional video here:
One of our constant preoccupation in this period has been the creation of crafts. This is one way of promoting the Charis ministry. But it is also an activity through which we wish to raise financial resources to support the hopeless people.
A CHANCE FOR EVERYONE
As part of this program we had two projects.
The first one was OPEN HANDS – a project that aims at supporting some of the orphan boys that have been in Charis, giving them a chance to spend some time together with Daniel, in Charis. Sany (aka Pecsi), Aurel, and Gabi are the ones who have been a part of the project in the past few months. Moreover, we helped Gabi with building a part of the bathroom in the house he is living in.
DANIEL’S HOUSE – this was a project through which we helped Daniel to modernize his house in Charis. He changed his kitchen and living room and added a new stove.
AGAPEO – Dumbrava
During the first quarter of 2016, we have visited twice the elderly house in Dumbrava where the elderly and the homeless live. We brought staple foods for the 200 people who live there. Each visit is an encouragement for us and for them. The ministry of Viorel & Florica Paşca is really special. You can see images from our visits to Dumbrava here: https://www.facebook.com/viorelpasca82?fref=ts
- With God’s blessing, this year we celebrate our 25th year of ministry in Charis. On this occasion, we would like to organize the OPENED DOORS WEEK IN CHARIS; the week will end in a celebration. Pray that God may bless this ministry and give the Charis team strength and resources to organize the event.
- The orphan boys who spent some time with us this winter need our prayers. Pray that God may give them wisdom: to Gabi on how he relates to the family he has been living with for the past 10 years, to Aurel on how to manage his resources and the relationship with his co-workers, to Sany (Pecsi) in finding a stable job.
- WARM MEAL FOR THE POOR Project brought to our attention the homeless and poor families of Oradea; besides food, these people need our prayers. Pray for Dogo and his health issues. Pray for Călin that he may be able to raise up his five children. Pray for the Stoica family and their ten children. Pray for Csabi that he may stop drinking and calm his aggressivity.
For APRIL-JUNE 2016 timeframe we need 7750 Euros in order to:
- Run the day-to-day activities in Charis
- Organize the 25th anniversary of Charis
- Support the following programs:
- Agapeo – Warm Meal for the Poor
- Agapeo – Dumbrava
- Nehemiah – After School in Batăr