MISSION WITHOUT BORDERS
"Reaching people for Christ: helping thousands of people out of poverty into a sustainable future"

Meet Alexandru

2017 Update and Hopes for 2018

ROMANIA

Web Romania Alexandru

As it was for the whole of Romania, so it was for the Mission Without Borders (MWB) team in Romania, that 2017 was a year of new expectations and new hope. Although Romania has been part of the European Union for ten years, from the beginning it has struggled to move forward. From year to year, more and more people are losing hope that the day will come when their social and spiritual conditions will improve. This is particularly true of rural communities, where often most of the inhabitants are unemployed and just waiting for the first opportunity to leave the country to find a job, and from the moment they reach the desired country, they don't even think of coming back. Paradoxically, even though the wages that Romanian people are paid are some of the lowest wages in Europe, prices for necessary products are growing every year. Now they have become even more expensive than in many developed countries. 

Corruption remains the number one political issue in Romania. There are plenty of reasons to think that Romania's criminal justice system is not functioning according to accepted democratic standards and a simple look at many high-profile cases reveals why it is so. Reforms are needed to improve transparency, safeguard human rights, strengthen juridical independence and remove the covert influence of intelligence officers. The key step for Romania's political parties would be to accept the integrity of a reformed anti-corruption process and stop trying to shield their members from prosecution. Many people in Romania went out on strikes repeatedly as they were furious about the self-serving nature of the government's plans. On one particular day, more than six hundred thousand people from across the country came out to protest against corrupted governance and their placards mostly said: "We want a hope and a better future for our children".  

Even in such hopeless conditions, our MWB team in Romania believe that God is with us, and together with all people that support MWB International, we can bring light and hope to the minds and hearts of discouraged people in our country. During the past year, through our programs we had the opportunity to help thousands of children and hundreds of families that struggle with diverse needs. A considerable number of families, before leaving the support program, had the opportunity to take on a Self-Sufficiency Project, that offers them the possibility of standing up financially and having a stable income. Many families from our programs have received firewood for heating their houses during cold Romanian winters. As well, glasses were bought for children and adults who have sight problems, after consolations with specialists.    

We continue to offer a daily warm meal to children from four different communities through our soup kitchen projects. Afterwards they are helped by volunteers with their homework.

In partnership with a local organization, MWB Romania are supporting two shelters for senior citizens.

 At the beginning of last year, we began a project of prison ministry. In one of the prisons for women, we opened a tailoring workshop. Our organization equipped one room with sewing machines, textiles and other necessary items. A group of women guided by a specialist had the opportunity to learn new skills or even a new profession, which will be of significant help to them when they are released from prison. Also, during sewing practice we share the gospel with these women, and through accepting Jesus as their personal Savior, they can come to know freedom despite remaining in prison.

For the second year, in three different communities we continue to run Community Projects. A laundry facility offers many families that are not connected to an aqueduct the opportunity to wash their clothes. A greenhouse provides needy people with new opportunities to grow various crops and then to enjoy the result of their labor through a harvest that they bring home. A bakery allows local inhabitants the opportunity to take home a big loaf of bread three times a week, that they have prepared and baked themselves, the facilities provided by us.

We continue to support almost two hundred students through our scholarship project. Through this support, we believe that in the future, when these young people have finished their studying and started work, through their knowledge and dedication they could become history-makers. 

As for many years already, this past summer we organized summer camps for about one thousand children, and for many of them this was their first summer camp.  Leaders and volunteers tried to ensure that every day at the camp was different and therefore very interesting for the children. The most important thing besides various competitions and games were those times when children were presented with Bible stories which showed how much Jesus loves them.        
       
The most exciting period of the year for MWB Romania was the month of December. As usual, this was the busiest time with many different activities. The whole MWB Romanian team worked at their maximum level, often doing over-time, just to achieve established goals on time. Not a single person complained about this because we know that our efforts will bring much joy and new hope to the needy children and families that we care about. Through all the things we did, offering to almost every family and child a personal Christmas present or distributing seven thousand food parcels through the Operation Christmas Love project, we can really show to our neighbors the love of Jesus in a tangible way. So, full of expectations and hope we have entered the new blessed year.

From all our team and from all the people we care for, please receive words of gratitude to those who support us materially and prayerfully. 

With big respect

Alexandru, Country Manager in Romania.