The story of the five siblings from Pădureni has attracted lots of interest from the friends who follow us, so we thought we should give an update on our five young guests at the Chedes Agape farm. We can safely say that the children are settling well at the farm, and one thing’s for sure: the lives of Nicu, Mihaela and Crina have been turned upside down…!
Having Luiza (10), Lorena (9), Denis (8), Ionela (4) and Patricia (20 months) at the farm, especially over the winter and with the school still closed for the holidays, isn’t easy at all. Keeping them occupied, and teaching them almost from scratch, is no small task. Unfortunately, it’s proven necessary to teach them even basic behaviour and hygiene. Patricia, the youngest, is also the most difficult to handle, because she needs a lot of attention and care and is very lively. But she’s growing in front of our eyes and has a great appetite. She’s finally regained all the weight she lost after the days without food, though she’s still under medical supervision because of a residual health issue. The other siblings are fine, even if we did need to give them new haircuts because of lice. Unfortunately, lice are quite common among the children living in the rural villages. We’re going ahead with ticking all the boxes that need to be ticked when it comes to children: registering them at school, getting them identity documents, formalising our custody of them with the court, getting their health checked and more besides, to allow these children to have all their rights, and to allow us to work with them with total peace of mind and totally legally in the eyes of the Romanian authorities. We’re getting frequent visits from child protection, just because they want to protect these little ones as best as possible. Luigi (12), the oldest sibling, is still with his father. The authorities have given the father permission to see his children, and for him to bring Luigi to see his siblings, as long as he’s asked beforehand and is accompanied by one of the social workers. However, although he said he’d come to the farm, we’ve not seen him or heard anything more from him yet. The authorities’ case against him to take away his custody of Luigi as well is ongoing. We hope and pray that this will happen soon. The support from our side has to be total, because the Romanian government can unfortunately do very little to help, though we’re trying to find out if the children are entitled to some sort of state allowance. They need materials for school (books, notebooks, rucksacks, etc.), and clothing to get through the winter (coats, jumpers, trousers, socks, shoes, nappies, etc.), as they arrived at the farm dressed in rags. The youngest is the one who needs the most: a high chair, a car seat, a play pen and more besides. We at Bethesda are trying hard to make sure these children have everything they need, but as you can imagine we’ll also need the support of those friends who feel led by God to give for these children. It’s wonderful to have them with us for the next few years and to have taken them from the horror they were living in, and we pray that God will provide in a big way through those who feel led to be part of this great work. This is only the beginning, but looking to the future, we’re happy that these children will finally grow up in an environment in which they’ll be surrounded by love, the love of God first shown to us. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. Matthew 18:5 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. James 1:27