Romeo and Andreea Newsletter: November 2020
Greetings from Liebling, Romania on a sunny morning.
We have said goodbye to summer and autumn is here. The children started school here in the middle of September, it is different for them here. Luca and David start at 8am and finish at different times depending on their timetable with the latest being 2pm but there is no lunch break just mini breaks between lessons. Emma and Anna are in Gradanita (kindergarten) and go from 8am to noon, Filip will start next September. School has just gone “on-line” for the next 2 weeks!
We have made connections with a number of people in the village and held our first Bible Study in our home 2 weeks ago and had six non-Christian young men join us with some other Christian friends, (4 of the young lads are on the sofa), the other 2 lads are from the village Ciacova,16km away. Please pray for them as we continue to witness to them.
Poverty is a real issue here in the very rural small villages with little chance of paid employment for many. What employment there is in such areas is often “as and when” and not enough to support many families. The benefit system here is also very, very meagre; by comparison if you are on benefits in the UK you are RICH!! We have connected with another 2 Christian couples from Timisoara, “our city”, who are also focused on sharing the gospel and helping people practically. Together we went to a village a distance away and took food to some families who really struggle. We also shared the gospel with them and prayed together.
One Sunday a few weeks ago after Church we went to Parcul Copiilor (Childrens’ Park) in Timisoara with a single Mum and her two boys for the children to play, here they were listening to the story of Gideon.
On another Sunday afternoon it was possible for some of the children from two of the families we had taken food to, to join us and have a fun afternoon playing in the park.
Two weeks ago 0n Sunday evening we went to the village of Ciacova, 16 km from us. Down an unmade track and we arrived at a lamppost to meet a group of families that have very little. We took clothing and food to distribute to them and then shared the Gospel and prayed together, and then prayed for individuals if they wanted.
There is one family in particular that we want to help—Mum, Dad and 5 children in one bedroom 2m x 2.5m, and then an add on 1m x 2.5m that serves for everything else. They do not have electricity, the only light they have is from a phone which a kind neighbour charges for them. Water has to be carried from the stand pipe 10m away. In the dark it is precarious when wet and muddy as there is no actual path and plenty of potholes. Dad has made a start on the foundation for a new house and gathered a few bricks. He does not have a full time job, just work as and when available on a daily basis (which is often the case in the villages).
Left: Water tap with house at the back behind the tree; centre: Side view, the white wall is the bedroom, the part to the right is the add-on room; right: the bedroom, two beds for the for the family of 7, the youngest is actually asleep on the bed
Left and centre: The add-on “everything else” room, showing plastic sheeting as door to bedroom! In the villages everyone cooks on bottled gas (the gas bottle next to bedroom in picture); right: Romeo standing in the foundations that Dad has started on for the new building, talking to him about his hopes
Both parents are very quiet people, they do not drink or anything, they believe in Jesus and are bringing their children up to know him, it was touching to see two of them just put their hands together and pray, repeating the phrases, without being told to. They want to be able to hold weekly Bible Studies for their neighbours to hear the Gospel, which Romeo will lead. We have told them we will do what we can to help them build their new house, providing labour and some materials. Romeo has drawn up rough plans giving them 3 bedrooms, an all-purpose room with kitchen at one end and a room for a bathroom when/if they can afford to have their own water supply. Heating will be by wood burner in the winter which is the norm in the villages. If anyone would like to donate anything towards this specific project please contact Wendy either via Facebook Messenger or email using email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. She will be keeping full monetary accounts for it.
Due to covid-19 impacting all our lives back in March, we had to revise our plans for our last 6 months before moving back to Romania to take the Gospel to our fellow Romanians there. The pandemic left me without an income and high overheads. We had a house in Romania that needed some alterations ready for us to live in, but once completed we would be able to save on rent we were paying in the UK of £550 as well as council tax. So, hard as it was I came and worked long hours on the building for 6 weeks so that I could then bring Andreea and the children to join me. As you will remember we then travelled by road as a family at the end of May. Wendy then joined us to be involved in our mission at the end of August.
The pandemic also meant we were not able to do any fundraising before leaving. Some of you will know that our move to Romania had been “on the cards” for some years. During this time we had been putting savings aside, some of which we had lodged with Elim Missions and other savings we held in a joint account. This has allowed us to get established as a family here. Wendy is completely self-financing living on her savings and private pension until she becomes a state pensioner next year. If anyone would like to support us at all financially you can do this using the link below.
That we all stay healthy and covid free.
For David and Luca with school. David completed nursery and 2 years full time school and Luca completed all his primary education to the end of year 6 in the UK. The system is very different here!
For the family of 7 in Ciacova that their basic needs will be met over the winter months. The days are short and the weather is cold, casual work is very limited as well. We are providing them with some basic food items each fortnight but it will not be enough on its own.
For continued opportunities to witness as we go about our daily lives.
Romeo and Andreea
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