Trip October 2018

Autumn in Rebricea

Luca and I (Orazio) were in Rebricea from the 12th to the 14th of October. It was a quick trip to catch up with our young guests and reorganise our activities after the summer break. The last 10 months have been very intense for everyone, especially for those at the farm, who’ve had to triple their efforts to not only look after our 6 guests, but also the regular activities we carry out as a Christian organisation. Discouragement and external attacks often make this very difficult. However, we know that with God, nothing is impossible. The weather in Rebricea is still favourable, allowing us to save a bit of money on the wood that has such a significant impact on the running costs of the farm every year. The siblings can still enjoy outdoor games, bike rides and the riches that nature offers in this poorest of areas. As usual, these kids bring us so much joy: we understand that we’ve received a great gift from the Lord as well as a great task, looking after their little lives and their souls. Here in Romania the schools restarted a month ago, and unfortunately the first learning difficulties are becoming apparent. However, we can’t blame these little ones too much. Their ability to study is very relative, and very much influenced by their recent past, in which concentration and schoolwork were certainly not considered among the priorities. We definitely can’t say that they’re not willing to help out with the daily jobs on the farm, but often old attitudes and habits emerge that only patience, time and God’s intervention can change. On Sunday morning, after taking part in the service at the church in Negrești where by now we feel so at home, we went to visit the village of Pădureni. Whenever we make this journey, we can’t ignore the desolation of these places. It takes more than 40 minutes to cover only 13 km in dry conditions, with mud and snow the journey becomes even more complicated. Every time the scene is the same: women and droves of children who come to the church on Sundays to hear a message of encouragement and hope, joyfully sing Christian songs, and receive some food gifts at the end of the service. There are no men at all. We recognise many of the faces of the kids and women that are there. Their smiles are sweet, filling us with compassion and love that drives out our fatigue and makes us realise what’s worth living for: helping those in need, loving others… At the end of this trip, we return home knowing that it won’t be the earthly difficulties, fatigue, discouragement, bureaucratic complications or lack of funds that will stop us from doing what the Lord has called us to do. We know that this work is his, and he will put us in a position to push on. God bless you. Orazio  (Translation by Renée Schalks)

Goodbye from the Stroi family!