The winter update on Rebricea and the siblings in our care
Winter has “finally” arrived in Rebricea. In recent years, it’s been more forgiving with decidedly mild temperatures of only a few degrees below zero. This year, however, it’s not taking any prisoners. A few days ago the temperature was around -16 degrees at night, and only a few degrees warmer during the day. The snow, and lots of it, has also come down and covered with its thick, white blanket the Romanian-Moldovan countryside, and with it, our Chedes Agape farm. The schools were closed for a few days, so our young guests (Luiza, Lorena, Denis, Iolena and Patricia) stayed at home. Our activities were also limited, as driving was very difficult and even dangerous. Unfortunately, our Fiat Scudo is definitely “dead”. It’s no longer reparable, so we urgently need a new vehicle. In the meantime, friends from the Negresti church family are helping us by letting us use their own vehicles. We thank them sincerely for this.
It’s now over a month since the siblings were entrusted to us by Romanian child protection. They’re starting to feel at home and, although the four oldest are sharing a room with four beds, they continue to be amazed at how big their new home is. Meanwhile, Mihaela has had her work cut out with the youngest (Patricia, 18 months). But would you believe it, she’s put on 2 kg over the last month! She’s very lively and just as hungry! This can only make us happy. Unfortunately, the older ones are having some difficulty with their schoolwork, given that their learning wasn’t being followed up recently. Mihaela has to be very vigilant when it comes to their schooling, and encourage them to study more, and more consistently. In their free time, as suggested by child protection, they help by cleaning and tidying the house (at least the part they’re living in) they share with the Stroi family.
Their final destination isn’t definite yet. There will be one last process involving all of the players in this sad affair, but for now, the children can stay in our custody. In the meantime, earthly justice has already been served, with the children’s uncle charged and jailed for the evil he did in the past and tried to do to the girls over a month ago. The next step of the process, on the other hand, will involve the parents for their lack of responsibility. But of course everything moves slowly. Because of the number of cases and their sensitivity, the institutions are limiting themselves for now to monitoring the situation of the five siblings, regularly visiting the farm and making sure their health and integration into their new family life is progressing well. We’re happy about this!
We recently needed to hire a new colleague, Dana, a mother of two from the Negresti church family who’s giving us a hand twice a week as a babysitter. Although Mihaela is a strong woman, it’s just not humanly possible for her to take care of all five of them for the whole week by herself, without neglecting her family. Speaking of Nicu and Crina, they’re playing their parts in this beautiful, novel situation, obviously without neglecting their commitments as farmer/maintenance (Nicu) and student (Crina), along with their existing commitments to “happy hour” on Saturdays (cancelled only once because of too much snow) and the distribution of food packages in Padureni. Due to the harsh temperatures, we also needed to buy more wood, partly because we’re having to heat areas of the farm that weren’t used previously but are now being used by our new young guests.
It’s not been easy to find wood at this time of year, particularly cheap wood, but thanks to God we succeeded. Also thanks to the generosity of our supporters, who understood the importance of this situation. In a few days, Luca and Giacomo will leave for the first Bethesda trip to Rebricea of 2018, and will spend a few days with the Stroi family and meet the new young guests. Obviously they’ll also be busy coordinating and managing the various activities we do regularly. Thank God the weather will be more forgiving for them: temperatures are rising, and should be about the Milan average for the time of year. God is good, and definitely knows that we’re not used to the Romanian cold! We ask you to continue praying for this situation, that God the just judge will bring justice, and give us the ability to manage every single practical, bureaucratic, logistic and above all spiritual aspect wisely. God bless you!