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Aristotle used to say that without friends, no one would want to live, even if he had all other goods. There is so much truth in these words. However, friendship is not to be taken for granted, friendship is something one builds and maintains in time. Time is one of the parameters that measure friendship. A friendship that stands the test of time can turn into a partnership, a beneficial collaboration between the two parties.When we talk about friendship as partnership, we need to take into consideration the question from Amos 3:3: Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so? No! Partnership requires the mutual consent of the parties. They (the parties) have to agree together on the parameters, the principles and projects of their collaboration. When you have a mutual consent, a common goal, your friend becomes your partner and together you can do wonderful things.
Along the time, we have also experienced in Charis ministry this path from friendship to partnership. In 2002 and 2003, two groups from ST. STEPHEN CHURCH TONBRIDGE UK, led by Jim and Vicky, introduced us to the context of their community. This is how we met with Edith and Denis, then Mark and Miriam, some wonderful people and believers. We soon became friends and afterwards partners with this special church.
For more than 15 years, God has blessed abundantly our partnership. What I can say regarding our friends and partners from Tonbridge is what Paul used to say about the Corinthians: For we are co-workers in God’s service (1 Corinthians 3:9) and this is the greatest thing regarding our collaboration. All these years we have experienced in this partnership what Mother Teresa said: You can do things I cannot; I can do things you cannot; Together we can do great things.
This spring, we spent a week in Tonbridge with our friends and partners, experiencing the words of the psalmist: How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity! (Psalm 133:1). We enjoyed to serve in church on Mothering Day. We were glad that we could meet with the people who visited us along the years and those who are interested in visiting us. We enjoyed the time spend with the church mission board.
We enjoy sharing with Mark and Miriam a special moment for their family and spend together a day of relaxation and fellowship. We enjoyed the friendship and serving of Edith and Denis. We enjoyed spending time with our two wonderful hosts: Jil and Martin. You have our respect, dear friends and partners!
For additional pictures, click here:
When I think about the friendship and partnership of the people from Tonbridge, I remember the words of Henry Ford: Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working
together is success.
General Manager of Charis Foundation
Charis Project Updates
1. CHARIS RETREAT CENTER SANTION
Although the weather was hostile, we managed to do some practical things. We took care of the goat farm. This was the period of the year when kids (baby goats) are born and this required from us to pay extra attention to the feeding, the habitat, and the necessary medication.
We also prepared the greenhouse for the second stage of reparation and modernization. We cleared the places that need to be fixed; we took out and stored the glass and a part of the remaining wood. What is more, we prepared the soil for the vegetable harvest. More precisely, we prepared the tools, a part of the ground, and we have already planted the onions and the garlic.
It’s important to mention that our small farm with goats, vegetables, and fruit offers us material resources for our projects and programs. Moreover, we took care of the green spaces. We planted 150 hedge plants and took care of the ivy curtain stretched over 30 meters.
We serve in the church from Telechiu every two weeks. We attended two important events of the Church: two New Testament baptisms. We supported the church in the process of association with the Baptist Community and their integration in the Baptist Union.
We launched an invitation for the members of this Gypsy community to attend Charis School of Discipleship. We discussed and identified with the leaders of this community actions and activities that could support the community.
For pictures from this program, click here:
We enjoyed the visit to the elderly home from Tinca. Charis Team prepared 130 parcels with cake and distributed them to the people from the elderly home. It was a real joy to meet again with them.
4. CHARIS MEDIA PRODUCTION
Firstly, we created, edited, and printed a series of promotional materials in English: a Charis presentation brochure, a flyer presenting our program 2 Cultures 1 God, and 3 bookmarks promoting the same program. Secondly, we created a photo album with highlights from our program 2 Cultures 1 God. Thirdly, we reorganized Charis Facebook groups, presented the current materials, and the history of the foundation.
5. A CHANCE FOR EVERYONE
We got involved in the lives of the orphan boys that were part of Charis program, in various ways. First of all, we kept in touch with 2 boys that had serious health problems. Secondly, we helped one of the boys by offering him a piece of furniture — a donation from a Christian family. Thirdly, we encouraged and counseled one of the boys when he wanted to change workplaces.
- In the AGAPEO program, we are going to start a new project: Volunteer in Dumbrava. Vincent from Great Britain will come to get involved daily, for two weeks, in the lives of the people who live in the elderly house from Dumbrava. Pray that God would bless his serving.
- OPEN DOORS is a program in which we want to put the facilities of Charis Retreat Center at the disposal of different types of groups from churches, schools, organizations, and communities of friends during the weekends. This program has a great contribution to our ministry because it helps us self-sustain our projects. People who come here to relax pay a small fee for the facilities, buy crafts & farm products, and this provides for the foundation’s charity projects. Pray that we would have a large number of groups from May to September.
- Besides our dedication, this ministry also requires financial resources. Each month we need a minimum of 2000 Euros, just to cover basic operating expenses: salaries, taxes, utilities. Without these resources, our mission and ministry would be extremely difficult. Pray that God would encourage more people, churches, and companies to support financially our activity.
From May to September, we need to invest in God’s Garden. We are going to verify, repair, replace, and modernize the following: water installation, irrigation system, fire protection system, toilets, storage spaces, guest rooms, and offices.
Some are more than 25 years old and it’s mandatory to replace or repair them . In order to do this we need a minimum of 3000 Euro for this year’s investment.