We asked our new guests to briefly write about their impressions about their trip to Romania and about the days spent on the farm where they participated in various activities.
Antonio Santoro: May 6-9, 2022
My impression of the trip with Bethesda is positive and spiritually motivating at the same time. Seeing gatherings of many children, reciting Bible verses and singing touched my heart. Seeing the genuineness and spontaneity in their eyes moved me. If I consider their social status, their homes that are not the most comfortable, immersed in a hilly area that can be reached via a dirt road, they show the reality of their daily life. Certainly the Lord will guide those who care for them in the knowledge of Jesus. The same is true for Nicu and Mihaela’s family who manage the farm. For me it was an experience that I would do again. I conclude by saying that “working in the field” is worth more than a thousand words.
Grazia Decorato: May 12-17, 2022
My experience in Romania was lovely, unique and blessed at the same time.
These places are different from the ones I usually go to, and obviously with different people. I left home with some doubts and preconceptions, but they went away immediately upon arrival at the farm. I was greeted with kisses and hugs by the Stroi family, allowing me to experience a family atmosphere right away. I noticed the care with which Nicu and Mihaela take care of the farm, a place I believe is blessed by the Lord.
The children are polite and have a sense of responsibility which is not so common in Italy. They have a way of treating you that makes you feel at home: now I understand my brother-in-law when he tells me that the farm is his second home and family.
I spent time with Mihaela. She told me about the children’s past and how they live now. I also had the opportunity to cook and, to my great surprise, I found that Nicu appreciated my cooking.
On Sunday we went to church in Negreste and Padureni: I appreciated the kindness of Vasile and Mia, and I had a unique experience in that church, a little one in the middle of nowhere.
The church was full of children who recited verses by heart: one child in particular made an impression on me because he wanted to be the one to speak, showing that he knew I don’t know how many verses by heart! We brought sweets and fruit juice to the children, which they really appreciated. Here I met Maria, who took me to visit her small home made up of two little rooms, clean and full of carpets with drawings of Jesus. I was very impressed by Maria, her eyes and her gaze, grateful to God for what she has.
In those five days spent in Romania, I experienced unique moments and saw a different reality: situations in which loving one’s neighbor is put before everything. So I came to understand that the Lord is blessing the farm and the Bethesda association.
Heartfelt thanks to everyone but above all I thank the Lord for giving me the opportunity to make this journey.
A busy May in Rebricea
May was a really intense month for us, especially aimed at helping refugees fleeing the war that has afflicted neighboring Ukraine for months, without forgetting the growing needs coming from Romanian families, which, with the Ukrainian crisis, are leading them into increasingly disadvantaged conditions.
With regard to aid to Ukraine, Bethesda has continued to follow, not without difficulty, all the requests for help that have come to us.
We are experiencing the greatest difficulties in sending aid to Ukraine. The bureaucracy, the dangers, and unfortunately the corruption (at the borders) have significantly slowed down these operations.
But we are still satisfied to have been able to deliver other goods: such as medicine, clothes and food, which were purchased directly in Romania and Moldova, thanks to the generous donations received by our association for this purpose.
Hospitality on the farm is also always quite difficult, as the refugees often prefer to stay in larger cities where they can be more independent logistically. However, we are always ready to offer the resources we have.
May was also the month of visitors, old and new. But above all we had the privilege of having with us Claudia Pignatelli, a missionary with over forty years of experience in various areas of the world. Claudia is president of WEC Italy and made ten days of her very limited time available to visit the specific area in which we work. During her stay on the farm in Rebricea, she was able to visit various evangelical churches, organize meetings with young people, women, children, but above all she visited refugees who were hosted by evangelical Christian groups in nearby Moldava.
Denis Zlatan, our partner in the work in the area, together with the Stroi’s coordinated all the activities carried out by Claudia in this period and assisted by two Bethesda partners (Emanuele Sansone and David Ferrante) who traveled to Romania twice already.
During their stay they had an opportunity to better illustrate to our special guest some of Bethesda’s projects in the area and to look at any future developments of the group. Surely the Lord is preparing something great and useful for promoting His work.
The needs are so many, and as if that were not enough, the war has increased the prices of basic necessities, therefore our ability to help has also been very limited.
The prices of gasoline, wood and food are growing day by day.
We would like to be able to continue to support all families with the most needs and also to continue organizing activities on the farm. We would like to continue helping homeless families to build/complete their home (as we did with Antonica); we would like to be able to help children who have no economic means to study; we would like to always see many children flocking to the Saturday Kids’ Club on the farm and be able to give them the much desired piece of pizza and above all share the hope of the Gospel.
We are planning a summer camp from August 1-5 with many children. This moment is essential for the children of the villages and for us, because it is the only time we can stay together with them and better understand any family problems. This is how we met our 6 Fandarac children.
We ask you to help us. To pray for us, because we cannot be discouraged before all these obstacles that seem to block the mission to which God has called us.
We are confident that God will provide for every need and we are sure that He will use you for this purpose.