Every few weeks in this space, one of RCE's directors or board members will share the heart and philosophy behind the ministry. This week's post is by Mary Ann Bell, a co-founder of RCE who serves as Executive Director.
C.S. Lewis paints a picture in The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe of a frozen landscape where it is “always winter and never Christmas.” Then Aslan comes and “the trees shook off their robes of snow. Shafts of delicious sunlight struck down onto the forest floor and overhead you could see blue sky between the tree tops.”
“This is no thaw,” the dwarf remarked, “This is Spring!”
Romania had its own long winter of communism with a very wicked dictator who ruled with an iron fist. This was followed by decades of corrupt and often inept “democratic” governments. Today there are pockets of a thaw but it is hardly spring in Romania, especially for the poor and oppressed, the widow and the orphan.
However, if you look closely, you can see the Gospel at work in and around the city of Arad bringing shafts of delicious sunlight and very blue sky to poor families and to children who have endured abandonment, neglect, and abuse at the hands of those who were meant to protect and nourish them.
These shafts of sunlight are brought by brave men and women who are unashamed of the Gospel and are committed to loving and serving the God of all compassion. Each RCE Love House family (a Romanian family that takes an orphan with disabilities into their family for life through adoption or permanent placement) is a point of sunlight.
In time, this biblical truth has dawned on my too-often pragmatic heart and soul: that the broken and oppressed of this world have more to teach us, more to give us than we have to give them. Sitting in the humble home of a Romanian family that has chosen to take a very disabled (often disturbed) child into their family for life and watching the pride and joy they take in this cherished child is to see the face of God. Sharing in a beautifully prepared meal with them that is offered out of limited means in gratitude to us - for bringing this beloved son or daughter into their lives - is to taste and see that God is good and that His love endures in a place where the weak things of this world do confound the wise.
Photo credit: Future/Past Visual Adventures