First quarter 2024 update

Dear readers, supporters, friends, brothers and sisters in the faith,

Time flies by very quickly, especially when you are busy carrying out various projects at the same time in Italy and Romania. We would like to update you on what has been done in this first quarter of 2024. We will try to be concise, hoping to provoke in you a sense of gratitude and prayer to God for this work.

Winter campaign 23/24

As we have learned, the Romanian winter is longer than the Italian one and this year too, with the help of our partners in Romania and above all thanks to the generosity of the donors, we managed to distribute to several families in different villages in the districts of Vaslui and Bacău, hundreds of food packages, end-of-year gifts, specific aid for special situations.

Special thanks go to Denis Zlatan, his staff, Cornel Pascu and the Onești church and the continued support of the Stroi family.

Saturday Kids’ Club on the farm

As we stated in the previous newsletter, the Saturday Kids’ Club on the farm resumed at the end of January 2024. Thanks to support received from an Italian family for this specific project, Denis and Lavinia Zlatan, with other young leaders, are carrying out this important biweekly event for the children of the Rebricea area, where our farm is located. This project will end in June, but we hope to find funds to be able to continue with the project in the autumn.

Below is the project director’s report:

Last January 20th we started the Bible study with the children at the Chedes Agape farm in Rebricea and so far we have had six meetings. The children came from two different villages and we “collected” them thanks to the association’s van.

The last meeting was a celebration, because we rewarded the children who had come five times, answered the questions and learned the Bible verses by heart.

At the beginning there were not many children, but this was also due to the cold weather and the fact that the farm is not well heated. But now they come with joy and are happy to meet us. I hope that in the next meetings, with the arrival of spring, we will be able to go outside and play with them.

Our commitment is to give them spiritual support by teaching Bible stories and they are very willing to answer our questions and ask if something is not clear.

It’s a really nice way to get closer to these kids and help in their lives of poverty.

Thank you for your support.

God bless you,
Denis Zlatan

School support project

It is with joy and gratitude to the Lord that we would like to participate in this initiative proposed by a group of Christian school teachers who had it in their hearts to make their time, resources and skills available to serve the community of Rebricea and in particular to children of all ages who need educational support. We gave them, with great pleasure, the use of the farm premises and our van to be able to fulfil two needs: literacy and reaching the families in which these children live with the gospel.

We are grateful to God for having answered our prayers to be able to work in this specific field as well. Bringing literacy to this area is a first step towards emerging from poverty.

Description of the Rebricea after-school program by the project director Miriam Ciobanu:

The project is intended for early years and primary school children in Rebricea and the surrounding area and takes place every other Saturday.

The main purpose of this project is to share the Gospel with children. So far, at the beginning we have had a devotional time, about 30 minutes, with a short lesson intended to fix our eyes on the wonders created by God, His wonderful plan to save us, the importance of Jesus, etc., followed by a Bible verse, a Bible activity, prayer and worship.

After our devotional time, we usually divide them into the following groups:

Classes 0-2 (kindergarten)

Grades 3-7 (elementary)

Grade 8 (secondary school)

Each group has a tutor who supervises, encourages and pays attention to both the emotional and cognitive needs of each child. The tutor has the following responsibilities:

-for classes 0-2: the tutor teaches the children to read, write, count, solve simple mathematics operations, introduce themselves and express themselves. There are at least two cases of children who severely lack basic knowledge such as letters, numbers, knowing where they live and how old they are. We try to reach their families, who need support to continue what we started there. The most important work, however, is to encourage them to trust God in their daily struggles.

-for grades 3-7: the tutor checks homework and targets existing linguistic, artistic, literary (Romanian) and mathematical knowledge. Pupils benefit from differentiated instruction; ultimately, curiosity is stimulated for grades 3-5 and 6-7.

-for the eighth year: the tutor explains and ensures that the children fully understand every concept of mathematics, literature or grammar necessary for the national assessment exams. Together they work on the model exam papers and revise each topic.

At the end of the tutoring, the children are provided with sandwiches and treats. During the lunch break we socialize, as tutors, listen to the kids’ needs, encourage them in their life situations and provide a safe space.

From the first session on March 9, 2024 to the second on March 23, the number of children grew from 8 to 19. We started creating personalized cards with each child’s situation in order to be aware of their knowledge and emotional needs.

Our desire is for them to believe in Jesus as their personal Savior, understand God’s plan to save them and the fact that they are loved by Him. Every activity will be conducted only from this perspective, whether it is moments of worship, devotionals or tutoring.

Summer camps 2024

Again this year we want to have as many children as possible attend Christian summer camps!

In this regard, we are working on all the programs to be carried out, the topics to be covered and the immense logistics behind it. At the moment we have already set all the dates for the 8 camps and the chosen villages:

June 24-28 – Horns

⁠July 1-5 – Rebricea

July 15-20 – Lepsa (camp for child protection orphans)

⁠July 22-26 – Gârceni

August 5-9 – Berezeni

August 12-16 – Youth camp

August ⁠26-30 – Dănești / Emil Racoviță

September ⁠2-6 – Rosiesti / Vutcani

You will have more detailed information soon. Last year we managed to sponsor 240 children out of 400 in total. This year, God willing, we would like to cover 100% of the expenses.

From July 1-5, at the Rebricea camp, we from Bethesda will also be there together with two Italian families from Parma and a “special” guest who we will reveal to you as soon as possible. We will commit our energy to spend a week working for the Lord and bring these children joy and some relief in their difficult lives.

A distant friend

We have started a project to connect the children we usually meet in Romania and who are in situations of extreme poverty, with Italian children/young people from the evangelical churches we visit in Italy. It is a very nice project because it encourages our children to pray for other children and give small but significant weekly donations, to help their poorer peers to buy items for school, for their hygiene and everything that unfortunately they can’t buy. If you are interested in having your church participate, please contact us.

Necessities on the farm

Given last season’s drought and the related supply problems, we are asking for estimates to dig a new, deeper well, in order to have water independence for all the activities we carry out on the farm. In addition to this, we are also thinking about installing solar-thermal panels, in order to have low-cost hot water. We pray that we will have the resources available soon to complete this project.


It’s almost time to file your tax return. With the help of supporters and their donation of this contribution, we were able to help many families. For those who donate it costs nothing, but for us it is worth a lot! Therefore remember to put our tax code in the Association box when you file your tax return.

We want to ask you to pray that everything the Lord puts on our hearts can be put into an action to advance the missionary project for which we were called. We are excited, and as mentioned in the last newsletter, we see many people (especially Romanian brothers in faith) willing to use their energy, time and resources available to work with us for our God.

We thank you in advance for everything you constantly do for this work and for all the affection you show us and the Lord, for what He is doing in this country.

God bless you,

Orazio Gentile

Presidente – Bethesda Ama il Tuo Prossimo ETS.


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