Wow – what a day!
This morning we visited a refuge run by a truly inspirational Christian family for outcasts from Romanian society who have been abandoned by their families and the State. Some of the people in the refuge have mental health issues, some have had their legs amputated as a result of frostbite, or even worse, had their legs eaten by rats, some have terminal illnesses and some have just been abandoned by their families for a multitude of reasons. The have nothing, no money, only the clothes they are wearing, no food and, sometimes, even no identity.
These people, who are in these appalling situations, have been taken in by this amazing family who have opened up their home to enable them to live in safety and with love and security. The family run the home with no support from the State and are totally dependent on God’s provision which they have received in abundance for the past 8 years.
Walking around the refuge, which included the mentally and physically disabled men and women, we were initially shocked and saddened but they were so happy to see us. With the help of a translator we all managed to talk to them which they were enthusiastic to do and many of them just wanted to hug us. Although the conditions were basic we remembered that it was so much better than what they had been used to and they were genuinely happy to be there. None of the doors are locked and no-one leaves. It was apparent that they are family for one another and this was important for us to see.
The couple who run the refuge are truly inspirational. Their passion and faith was clear to see and they have given a home to so many who would have been dead without their support. They have 123 people in their refuge which they run with just 12 people.
This was an emotional morning for us but also so encouraging as we could see God working in so many ways and we left with a feeling of despair, hope and admiration
Here are some pictures of our visit and some of the people we met.
Next we stopped for lunch in a lovely spot in the Romanian countryside with Glynis running off to the woods for a wee.
The rest of the afternoon was spent in Felix Spa (a tourist spot) and the local town to Charis, Oradea. This was suppose to be a sightseeing and shopping trip but, after our emotional morning, we just sat in a cafe and walked around the 2 towns in a bit of a daze. This meant there was little damage to our wallets and we did see some lovely old, pre-communist buildings which are gradually being renovated.
In the evening, after a lovely curry, we learned more about Daniel’s Christian life under Communist rule. This involved worshiping in an underground church, called The Lord’s Army, where he and his family endured persecution and the risk of imprisonment, for worship Jesus and follow their faith.
Following this emotional day the frivolity of the previous days was subdued. We are all a bit drained and tired but have been inspired and awed by our experiences.
Tomorrow we are travelling back to the Gypsy church in Tinca to paint and to spend some time with the teenagers and families there.