101 Lives

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“When I met Claudiu he wouldn’t stop screaming,” Nelu Balog recounted to the guests at RCE’s fall event. “I carried him outside in my arms, put his head on my shoulder and began to sing Amazing Grace. His little body finally relaxed in my arms and he quieted. I knew then that God was calling us to take this little boy into our family. ”

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Nelu and Nicoleta Balog had a busy life. He pastored four small churches while she taught at the local high school. They had three fine, almost grown, children and they knew they wanted to share what they had with one of Romania’s many abandoned children. A good friend told them about RCE and they quickly made plans to visit the campus in Arad where they met two little boys, Darius and Claudiu.  The boys, not brothers, were little more than toddlers and had only recently arrived at RCE.

Claudiu had been abandoned at the maternity hospital and then bounced through state institutions before arriving at Darius House. 

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Darius’ mother was young and homeless when he was born. She tried to take care of her son but finally left him (with a little food and clothes) in the dirty stairwell of a block of flats. He was one year old.

After meeting the boys, Nelu and Nicoleta left RCE that day knowing that God had called them to take not one, but two orphans, into their family.

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Nicoleta explained how hard it was in the beginning. Claudiu continued to scream much of the time - especially during the night. They put the boys near them so she could reach out and touch him, comforting him through his night terrors. Gradually, over the last 3 years, Claudiu has come to know that he is safe and loved. He laughs and plays with his brother and attends kindergarten with him. He still only has a few understandable words but talks a mile-a-minute in his own vernacular. They are working with him and praying that one day Claudiu will be able to talk.

Darius could only say a few words when he arrived in the Balog family – including the words for me (YoYo) and Bob (him/or baby). The nicknames stuck. New names. New boys. New family.  Today Darius is verbal and able to keep up with his class. He no longer fears abandonment and assures everyone who visits the family, “This is my house. I live here.”

The evening concluded with a cake to celebrate twenty-five years of making mercy happen.   There were 101 candles on the cake, not for years but for lives! One candle for every abandoned child placed in a family through the faithfulness and good efforts of Mihai and Carmen Bocsa (RCE Placement Directors), and by the grace of God who loves the ‘widow and the orphan’.

YoYo & Bob, two of the 101 children, enjoyed ‘helping’ carry the cake.

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Thank you for your prayers and support. We are well on our way to reaching our financial goal for the evening.

You can help us make that goal with an on-line gift

or by mail to: RCE 21058 Unison Road. Middleburg. VA 20117

Take a few minutes to view RCE’s new film ‘making mercy happen’ and celebrate with us all that God has done in our midst. Thanks for your part!

Christopher McLaughlin

Christopher enjoys a great glass of juice, eating grains that he has never heard of, and seeing how much spinach he can sneak into his children's smoothies.They let him know when he goes too far. He also spends his days wandering the food blogosphere as he does his work for Plan to Eat. He likes to share what he finds, and tips about how to better use Plan to Eat, here on the Plan to Eat blog.