Mrs. Trandafir was weak from hunger and trying to nurse a newborn when Doina Martin (Coordinator of RCE’s Poverty Prevention Program) first met the family a few years ago. Three small children huddled around their mother and stared at Doina with the kind of fear and uncertainty that is born of poverty, dirt, and darkness. The two-room dwelling had a dirt floor. There was a small wood stove with a hot plate serving as ‘kitchen’ and single source of heat. There was no running water. The father was not working. All the children were at risk.
The first thing Doina did was go to the grocery store.
Filling hungry bellies is easy. Solving the root problems of poverty and hunger takes time, patience, strategy, resources – and more patience. Doina and RCE’s poverty prevention team have committed to providing all of these things and in time things have changed dramatically for this Roma family.
Enlisting the local church and American partners (three US teams helped build the family a real house with indoor plumbing, a small kitchen, bedrooms), Doina put together the building blocks of change, which included the not-always-willing support of the father. The children started attending the weekly Bible Club RCE started in the village (in partnership with Child Evangelism Fellowship) where the Trandafir kids join fifty other children to hear the Gospel and make friends in the community
The oldest boy, Laurentiu, was failing in school. RCE teachers, counselors, and psychologists consulted and assisted and now, with the help of a tutor, he is keeping up with his peers. Laurentiu has a fierce desire to learn and is thriving in his new, more ordered life.
The family is also benefitting from the alternative Christmas gift program. (Thank you for your gifts!) They have a ‘Christmas goat and Christmas chickens’ – the milk and eggs save them money and add nutrition to an inadequate diet. Seeds are in the ground in the small plot of land next to their new house.
The family is still poor. Mrs. Trandafir has mental health problems. But they are not starving; they are living in dignity and with hope for the future – and now they have clean house!
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And, mark your calendars now for RCE’s fall event on October 21st! Come hear stories of mercy and grace from the man who makes mercy happen for so many, Mr. Ovidiu Martin, (General Manager), and hear great music from the ‘Petrean Family Singers’.
The Petrean family is a Love House family who adopted Gigi and Paula from Darius House. Paula and Gigi are now a very loved part of this large, musically gifted, and dynamic Christian family.