The radiance of Christ

This is Becca Adams' second guest post (find her first post here). Becca and her physical therapist colleagues, including board member Marti Carroll, recently returned from a trip to Romania.

As I reflect on my second trip to Romania, I have a simple, recurring thought--

That the promises of God are not far-off, unrealistic, or ethereal stuff. The Kingdom of God is reality.  

God works and speaks undeniably, powerfully and beautifully through the lives of those who look to Him and trust Him fully. And His Kingdom is more real and infinitely better than any other kingdom we try to operate in.

I saw this simple truth in the village of Obarsia. We had a heavenly day of taking part in a community picnic with homemade EVERYTHING brought up to the crest of many rolling hills by a blanketed horse and his cart. Can you imagine? Deeper than the joy of beholding the majestic scenery was the joy of watching loads of children roll down the hill, sneak extra donuts, swap stories of milking cows and exploring their new rural life.

These kids have come out of broken, traumatic histories of being abandoned or abused, of being tossed around different orphanages and separated from their siblings. God worked through RCE and Christian families in this village who were inspired by each other’s decisions to adopt, many after already raising families of their own. A beautiful domino effect of adoptions unfolded. He brought these kids into a safe and ‘spacious place; He rescued them because He delighted in them. (Psalm 18:19). This village is radiant, filled with His presence and light.

Radiance is a promise of God. We have direct access to the source, and so we are bearers of His light; we can shine brightly in our daily rhythms by looking to Him and relying on His strength. Seek His face always (Psalm 105:4). Those who look to the Lord are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame (Psalm 34:5). And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18).

I think of Flori and Sebi who care for the young men in the semi-independent living center in Pecica. It’s a daily work of loving on, delighting in, disciplining, and bringing a family dynamic to the lives of boys who bear the marks of childhood trauma. It’s not glamorous. I would imagine it’s often lonely and exhausting. But it is a radiant life, fueled by the light of the Lord. They look at the Lord and so reflect His glory. It’s a daily, steady, full eye-contact kind of gaze—not swayed by temptations to look elsewhere.


I think of the focus group discussions we held on disability and healthcare with caregivers connected to RCE’s Poverty Prevention Program. I was moved by their beautiful vulnerability in sharing.

Some interesting themes emerged. First, how the strong affects of communism still linger in society’s views, even permeating into the medical professions. The belief that people with disabilities are irrecoverable, lacking potential for full life and unworthy of dignity.  They shared about the regular caregiver stresses combined with the disillusionment with a medical system that dismisses their loved ones and a social context that discludes them.  And yet, a theme of collective hope arose. The stories of RCE and the stories of these caregivers intertwined to display a radiant Different Way that stands in stark contrast to the dark, oppressive system these children were born into. RCE and these caregivers go to great lengths to care for the disabled simply because they look to the Lord and are empowered to reflect His perspective.  

I am so very encouraged by the radiant Body of Christ seen through RCE. It so well reflects the very fullness of God, who “fills everything in every way.” (Ephesians 1:23)

A birthday party!

We had an awesome birthday party last week! Let me tell you the story.

The Morar family lives near RCE’s campus, and they come daily to enjoy the new playground. The family doesn't own any property, and they live in a temporary group home. They don't have water or electricity. RCE helped the mother buy a generator for electricity and she does laundry twice a week in the washing machine at Amy’s House. Both parents are illiterate and unable to assist with school work, so RCE also supports the oldest girl’s education by providing an after-school tutoring program.

The family has 4 children,  David (17 years old), Dalina (10 years old), Andreea (8 years old) and Timeea (2 years old).

The girls have become friends with several children from the Darius Houses. Last week was Timeea's birthday and she invited three children from the Darius Houses to her party. A friend made her cake, and RCE brought themed table cloths, napkins and cups. There were balloons and confetti and lots of toys. The children enjoyed the time together and had so much fun playing. And the cake was delicious!

Thanks for running for their lives!

The day was just right.  The runners were ready. The 5K Race got off to great start and came to a predictable end when John Riker crossed the finish line first - winning the 5K race for the third year in a row.  Thank you, John, for running for the lives of special needs orphans in Romania.

There were young runners (and riders).

More mature runners.

Serious runners.

And not so serious runners.

Emilian RAN for all the children at Darius House who are still praying for a family of their own, and then helped welcome others across the finish line.

Many families from Ambleside School (VA) took part in the afternoon Walk-a-Thon. One mother wrote, "RCE's Run For Their Lives event provided a wonderful opportunity for our children to take their own initiative to bring life to others. They went door-to-door telling neighbors about the beautiful work of RCE and explained their own commitment to help by riding their bikes in the event and donating from their own piggy banks.”

Together they raised $550.00!   

Students at Washington Christian Academy (MD) were so touched by hearing about the ministry of RCE from Cristi, Emilian and Paul that they chose the ministry as their service project the following day and raised $4,744 to help build Sorin’s House!

We are very grateful for all our amazing business sponsors who once again enabled us to make mercy happen in Romania. Here they all are!

As we are nearing our RUN goal of $37,000, we want to say a huge THANKS to all of you. It's because of you that RCE can continue to bring the light of God’s love to the poor and oppressed in Romania and restore abandoned children with special needs to families for life!

A boy, a violin and a wheelbarrow

Every few weeks in this space, a board member or director shares about the heart or philosophy behind the ministry. Marti Carroll is a physical therapist who has been involved with RCE for nearly two decades.


I met 6 year old Florin (Flor-een) way back in 1999 on my very first trip to Romania. Back then he was one of many abandoned children living in a state orphanage in Arad.  A year later, RCE’s Darius House opened and Florin would leave the orphanage to live there with six other children who had special needs just like him.  I was on hand as Florin ate real food for the first time after years of orphanage mush. As a six year old he had never eaten a banana, something he moved around inside of his mouth for a long while before he felt it was safe to swallow. Later on, at the official opening of Darius House, I held Florin in my arms as he proudly displayed his eating abilities by attempting to ingest the microphone held by a Romanian TV station reporter who wanted an interview for the evening news.

March 2000, Florin in the state orphanage

March 2000, Florin in the state orphanage

On other trips, we worked together to refine his walking, improve his coordination and get him stronger. Florin had also started school. First at RCE’s Sunshine School for special needs children and eventually attending a school in the city.  At some point along the way, I heard Florin had taken up the violin.  Simply amazing, I thought…from state orphanage to violin lessons!  Having a few years of violin under my belt, I thought it might be fun to check in on my friend.  We spent a few minutes playing together before Florin dismissed me as well as my technique.  He did let me stay and listen to him play a few simple notes, trying desperately to show me the ‘right’ way to play the vioara (vio-ara).

November 2003 at Darius House

November 2003 at Darius House

Long since adopted into a family in Arad, I saw Florin many times over the years on my visits to Romania. He finished school, was living with his Darius House brother Ionica, and was proud to tell me that while he spent some time with his violin, he realized it wasn’t for him in the end.

August 2016, Florin hard at work helping to re-vamp the RCE campus

August 2016, Florin hard at work helping to re-vamp the RCE campus

Last August I saw Florin on RCE’s campus and realized he had become a man.  He toiled in the hot sun alongside other RCE folk who were taking down buildings so new ones could be put up.  As Florin pushed wheelbarrows full of building material back and forth, he looked strong, happy and was smiling and laughing, as always.  When we see one another, he always puts up his arms as if to play an invisible violin, his way of asking me if I would like to play with him again.  Florin is 21 now and he put down his violin twelve years ago, but that happy memory persists.  We can’t speak to one another with words, but can communicate in ways even more meaningful.  From orphanage to violin to wheelbarrow, a living miracle he is. 

Board member's perspective: Planting seeds

Every few weeks in this space, one of RCE's directors or board members will share about the ministry. This week's post is by Martha Mollard, a board member who visited Romania with her daughter around this time six years ago.

It was spring time six years ago when I received an email from my friend Deb Perry asking me to read the blog of a friend of hers. Marti was in Romania working as a physical therapist with the children RCE was helping. My daughter Jessie and I read about Marti’s experiences in Romania and talked about how neat it would be to go there one day.  A seed was planted.

About a month later, we received an email from Jim Perry about an upcoming parent-teen trip to Romania.  Being quite the introvert, I had never been interested in going on a mission trip, but since my daughter really wanted to go, I thought, “why not?” 

We traveled to Romania with seven parents and eight teenagers from our church, McLean Presbyterian.  It was an amazing week of learning about RCE. We met the Amy’s House boys, took the Darius House kids to the park, helped a family begin construction on their new home, and visited families that have adopted children through RCE or received assistance from the poverty prevention program. I had no idea the ministry was so far reaching! 

I witnessed lives that had been changed by the work of RCE: those who had been rescued into the Darius House, those who had been placed into families, and the many families who have been supported by the ministry. My heart was touched seeing God's grace at work through RCE and feeling that He was at work in me as I participated in the work in Romania.  My life had been changed too. 

God planted the seed with Marti’s blog and nourished it through the ministry of RCE.

I planted the seed in your hearts, and Apollos watered it, but it was God who made it grow.  It’s not important who does the planting or who does the watering. What’s important is that God makes the seed grow.

1 Corinthians 3:6-7