This post is also available in: Romanian
I got in touch with the Gypsy community from Telechiu a few years ago. At that time, this community was placed at the outskirts of the village, on either side of a street. It seemed back then like it had been brought out of the village, as though someone wanted to isolate it, so nobody can see it. However, they had a church where a group of men and women would come to worship God.
It’s been a couple of good years since I last visited the area. Last year though, I came back and was surprised to see a positive change in the life of the community and of the church. I then asked myself: ”What had happened there in the past few years that was so intense?” Looking at the beautiful houses, at the new houses, at the children and young people dressed in beautiful and decent clothes, at the people who come to church with so much joy, I realized that something must have happened. Speaking to those who serve in that Gypsy church, I got to understand what is behind this transformation: people changed by Christ!
One of the church leaders told me that their generation did not benefit from a good education in the family, but once they became new creations in Christ, they started to focus on educating and training their children. And this habit began to be evident. He also told me that seeing how their homes became increasingly beautiful, it went without saying that their church had to be more spacious and more welcoming.
They came together and raised a few thousand Euros; they started to extend the church, added flooring and floor tiles and built a restroom. When they were short on money, they borrowed. When they had to change the windows and the doors, they came to us and we helped them. They still have a debt of 700 Euros, they still have work to do, but they are full of faith that God will provide for them.
Looking carefully at the evolution of this small Gypsy community and the positive impact that this church has had, I remember a Gypsy saying: “When people see that you have potential, they trust you, and when you stop thinking only about yourself, and you begin to fight for some people, you become stronger! Go beyond your limits, and most importantly, do not disappoint those who trust you. “
These people who have met Christ have been transformed and have become agents of constant change in this Gypsy community.
General Manager of Charis Foundation
Charis Project Updates
1. CHARIS FARM
Lately we have focused on some main activities in the farm. Firstly, we managed to repair two sections of the green house: we painted the wooden structure, we changed the decayed structure, and we replaced the broken windows. Secondly, we picked, sorted, and stored the walnuts. Thirdly, we cleaned and dug the soil from the green houses preparing it for the 2018 spring production.
We were very happy that we managed to raise money to make parcels for 140 people that live in the elderly home from Tinca, Dumbrava. We were thus able to buy the items and make the parcels. Afterwards, with a part of the Charis Team, we visited them, talked to them, and gave them the parcels. In the link below you can see some pictures:
3. A CHANCE FOR EVERYONE
In the past 2 months, we provided accommodation for Sany, one of the orphan boys involved in Charis program. After returning from work in England, he virtually had no place to live or what to eat. We helped him get through this difficulty and prepare for the job in Slovakia. What is more, on New Year’s Eve, we organized a special celebration in Charis for Daniel, Sany, Gabi and Aurel. They spent a few days together.
4. CHARIS SOUVENIRS
Mona and Ema made over 400 Christmas cards. We offered most of them to the people of Gastonia, North Carolina (USA), who in turn have donated to the 220 Christmas parcels for the Gypsy children. We also gave 140 Christmas cards to the people from the elderly home in Tinca, Dumbrava.
5. GIVE AND YOU WILL RECEIVE
We were very happy to be able to make 220 Christmas presents for children. We offered 215 present to the children from the Gypsy community from Telechiu and the rest to some homeless children. The parcels brought a lot of joy to these children. In the link below you can see some pictures:
- Managing Charis ministry requires vision, wisdom, continuous and practical action. Pray that God will help the Charis team to manage the ministry efficiently and wisely.
- We cannot run Charis ministry by ourselves, we can only do it together with others, who bear the same burden. Pray that God will motivate people and churches to offer Charis ministry spiritual, material, and financial support in 2018.
- For almost 20 years we have been running the program 2 Cultures 1 God. Through this program, groups from abroad come and get involved with us in different charitable, community, cultural, and Christian projects and programs. Pray that God will give us this year the joy to have such groups that would get involved in this mission.
2018 is a new challenge for us. We prepare projects, programs, and activities throughout which we can bring hope to the hopeless. This means work, constant effort, and resources. To be able to fulfill our mission, we need a minimum of 2000 Euros/month.