In 2012 I moved to Romania to work with the LOC Foundation in a Roma community in the Prevention of Abandonment Department in Ogra. I originally planned to stay 5 years – 5 years in which I wanted to invest in these people; families, children, adolescents.
At first we had different programs with children, where we talked
about the Bible, played a lot and created close relationships. Over time, we
have introduced more and more things that seemed normal to us, but for many of
these children these were new things (washing hands and face, apologizing, the
way to behave with children their age and also adults.)
The work with teenage girls was on my heart, so I started a girls club, where we met once a week. Being only 10 girls, conversations have become more personal and intense. We talked a lot about their dreams, young mothers in their community, relationships with boys and more. Besides we taught them how to do practical things for girls and future moms.
Through out these years I invested in many different
programs (reading with children in their homes, educational lessons for young
mothers, camps with children, weekends with adolescents, clothes and boots
distributions, …) in which these children and their families as well as me
personally have learned a lot.
5 years have passed and I am still here :)! I met my husband here and in 2014 we got married and we have two babies who fill our hearts! With two little children at home, I can not invest 100% in my work in Ogra, but I try as much as the situation at home allows me, to invest in these people.
David, Tobias, Salome, Nicole
Knowing that a change in a community does not come
overnight, because it takes work and investing for many years, I am motivated
to go further with them! And with the help of the Lord I am convinced we will
see many miracles and small changes in the next years!
I currently work with Niss and two other missionaries with 1-3 grade children, who we help with the homework and try to recover the shortcomings they have. I really like this practical investment for their future, and enjoy together with them every little success they can experience .
I can not wait to see what the Rroma community will look like in Ogra in the next 10 years!
Nicole Triff – Switzerland Missionary – Prevention of Abandonment
We are enjoying the nice weather at our weekly after-school program in Reghin. It is fun to be able to run around and bond with the kids when they first arrive, before we move on to lesson and organized game time. Recently, we watched an animated version of the story of Jim Elliot. After which we talked about why someone would do what he did, his desire to tell others about God, and about how through God’s love, his wife was able to forgive the tribesmen who killed her husband.
We are also
continuing with our memory verse challenge. There will be a new verse every
three weeks, and whoever knows the verse by heart at the end of that time will
receive a small prize. Right now, we are working on Deuteronomy 6:4-6:
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.”
Last Friday we played games to try and help the kids learn the verse. A few kids already have it after one week, and most are still working on it.
Thank you for your continuing support through prayers, may God continue to bless these children and the work that we do there.
Livada’s ministry at the baby hospital continues. Highlights tend to come with cute expressions or delighted smiles or laughs as the children experience life. It’s the little things, whether that be learning to roll over, clap hands, stand, or, for the older children, just getting out of their cots and being able to run around a room.
It’s also the bigger things, like celebrating birthdays. Last month we had a joint celebration for 2 children’s first birthday, Roxi and Stelian. Of course, like any 1 year old, they didn’t really understand what was going on, but we put the kids in better clothes, had a cake and sang happy birthday anyway
We have had numbers fluctuate from 7 in February, up to 13 a couple
of weeks ago, before several children went home again. Several newborns meant
that the little babies room filled up, with 1 born each month : December,
January, February & March.
It’s such a pleasure and a privilege to work with these kids, whether they are with us for a short time, or long term. Even when they can be difficult, we love them whole heartedly, and rejoice with them as we see their progress.
This spring, the Casa Juliana homestead has expanded to include 10 chickens. The kids and Remi worked to build a new and improved chicken coop last summer and fall, and have been waiting all winter for our spring chicks to arrive.
Having chickens in the yard is great as it provides an opportunity for the kids to learn responsibility, and having outdoor tasks can also be therapeutic for them in a way. The Juliana kids help with feeding the chickens and giving them water, but collecting the eggs is their favorite part. In fact, the hardest thing so far about keeping chickens in the yard is convincing the kids they don’t need to go check for eggs every ten minutes.
Another reason for having chickens in the backyard is of course for the very practical purpose of providing eggs. A family of eight can eat a lot of eggs in a week! Additionally, the opportunity to sell extra eggs to neighbors can provide an important lesson in entrepreneurship and money management for the kids. We’re grateful for our supporters who help us to sustain these types of initiatives and to provide a holistic approach of healing for our kids.
Emily Rodenbach Derta – US missionary/ Casa Juliana House Mom
For the second semester of this school year, we’ve been able to expand our afterschool programs at Ogra in order to give the kids more consistency. This semester, we’re working with around 20 kids from 1st-3rd grade. Each class comes for an hour of homework help, math practice, and reading exercises three days a week. We’ve also started working through memorizing the multiplication tables with the 2nd and 3rd graders by turning it into a competition – whoever knows all the multiplication tables the best by the end of the semester will receive a really cool prize!
Adelina, Emilia, Yasmina and Rafael 2nd graders at the school in Ogra
Working at these afterschool programs at Ogra has its ups and downs. Some days, it’s really exciting to watch these kids finally understand how to do a math problem; and other days, it’s discouraging to see how far behind some of the kids are in school. Our hope is that in our little investment in these children’s education now, they will have the chance to create a better future for themselves. Each one of these kids has a different story, but each one is valued by their Heavenly Father, and we want to help them use the brains the Lord has given them for good. Please pray for patience, wisdom, and love for us as we pour into these kids, and that the Lord will continually provide people in these children’s lives who will encourage and help them go further in their education.
Allyson Lim – US missionary – Prevention of Abandonment
aren’t about the size of the party, it’s about how special they feel on their
A child is going to remember who was there, not what you spent on them. They outgrow toys and outfits, but they never outgrow time and love.
This is what we
wanted to do with the children from our foster families. To spend quality and valuable time with them,
and let them know they are important, loved and not forgotten. Making them feel
extremely loved and important, doesn’t cost a penny…
We are grateful to be
able to create lasting memories with our kids, and grateful for those who made all
this possible by giving and investing in the kingdom of God!
So, again, Happy Birthday sweet and precious kids!!
The kids have been back to school for over
a month now and our weekly program in Reghin is back in swing. We are currently
working our way through the end of the story of David. This past week we
created a new activity that we will do each week with the kids. We bought
little note books for them to write a weekly memory verse in from the program,
and even to take notes during the lesson if they so choose.
The verse for the next three weeks is:
“fear not, for I am with you; be not
dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I
will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
At the end of three weeks we will see how many of the kids have committed the verse to memory, and they will receive a special reward that has yet to be determined. Through doing this we are hoping to plant God’s truth into their minds in a way that will prove to be resilient and helpful for them.
Carter Green – Orphan Outreach Coordinator/US Missionary
In my 14
year of work at LOC Foundation I had the opportunity to work with all the
children from different departments with whom LOC worked with. I started in 2005 as a social mom for 10
children at Casa Ana, then continued as a mentor, living in an apartment with
three of the girls who grew up at Casa Ana, then as an independent life skills
teacher, educator and later in 2011 i started to work at a Pediatric Baby Hospital
where there were abandoned children. Seeing
the children abandoned there, knowing their needs and how abandonment affects
their physical, mental, emotional development, i wanted to know more, to learn
how to help them and to contribute to their recovery and development. I have had much support from the Foundation,
there have been therapists who taught me how to work with these children, I learned
how to evaluate their development and from where to start… an extraordinary
example was when I started working with a 3-year-old boy who had a lot of
trauma, and who did not know how to eat solid food (he was on a bottle with
1 year and
a half was needed to learn to eat solid food. This is where I learned patience
and perseverance, but the results were overstretched, because after 1 year and a
half, this boy was eating all kinds of food by himself, and was much happier
and fulfilled. Another example is a four-year-old boy with lots of trauma,
lying in his bed rocking back and forth and not being able to walk. He was
afraid all the time to put his feet on the ground… after one year of work, frustration,
screaming and crying on his part and
occasionally on my part too… he succeeded
to walk by himself, to climb all over the places and to go on the slide without
being afraid anymore. I could give
hundreds of examples of the children I worked with. My greatest joy was when I
was able to bring the children’s development as close as possible to their age,
when I saw their success as my success, and when I saw that my work over the
years bears fruit. I was blessed to work
and change the lives of some children in my 3 years of work there. We feel the greatest sense of joy not when we
accomplish something for ourselves, we fell the greatest sense of joy when we
help others accomplish a goal that matters to them!
I did not
know then what was the Lord preparing me for… In 2014 i moved to the Foster to Adopt
department. Seeing the abandoned children, and their need to grow up in a
family, I realized it was time to move to another stage, the stage where I can
start to search and offer families for this children. My work continues, today I work with foster
families, where we have 13 children in their care. Some of them became
adoptable and where adopted. There is no
greater joy seeing a child (who was abandoned, had a difficult background and
lots of trauma) happy, fulfilled, healed, and enjoying a normal, healthy life
within a family.
My work is
not just about children, it’s about families too, it’s not just about filling
some papers, visiting them from time to time, it’s about creating relationships,
being there in times of need, celebrate their successes and encouraging them in hard times. It’s not everything easy and smooth, but
together we learned to be grateful even in hard times, because we have each
quote says: “At the end of our days we’ll measure the success of our years not
by the places we went or the things we created, but in the people we loved and
the lives we changed”
I want my
daily work to have a positive impact in the lives of those with whom i work,
and leave a valuable and lasting legacy behind me. So,
this story is not about me, is about Him who is Faithful, about our wonderful
families, kids and the amazing opportunity to successfully live your life to
As we start this new year we are continuing in our work at the baby hospital with a few new changes and faces. We are very thankful to have a new member join us on staff with the cradle care ministry. She officially stepped into her role with the ministry at the beginning of February. We are grateful for God’s provision through this process.
Since December, we have welcomed two new little ones both of whom joined us shortly after being born.
Now our largest age group at the hospital are the little babies. What a precious group of little ones they are! Our older babies are continuing to grow, learn and make developmental milestones. They are learning to sit crawl and eat solid foods. It is such a joy to get to see them progress in positive ways. They will be walking before no time. Our toddlers at the hospital are doing well and are full of energy as usual! We are thankful for the opportunity to be serving these kids through this ministry.
„Life isn’t about getting and having, it’s about giving and being”
This quote always reminds me that no matter how much I have,
I will not be trully fulfilled unless I invest my time and energy into helping
others that are less fortunate than me. I believe this is what our volunteers
and staff felt this past January when we visited the children from the school
in the Ogra village to give each of them a pair of winter boots and wool socks.
We received a donation of winter boots and socks from Metro Ministries
We arrived there at 10:30 on a cold Monday morning, the
children were so excited to see us! They all wanted to help carrie the boxes. The
school in Ogra has 260 children that come from poor families, we as a foundation
are trying to support these children to go to school on a daily basis and the
lack of warm footwear during the snowy cold winters in Romania is an impediment
to that. The children were so excited to try and receive the boots and socks.
We want to thank Metro Ministries and our volunteers Damaris
Moldovan, Bianca Pacurar, Carmina Cordos si Claudia Roman from Economic High –School
in Targu-Mures, for joining our staff and dedicating their time and energy into
giving and being a there for these children in need.