REPORT 2021 STAR OF HOPE ROMANIA – photos and text Star of Hope Romania
First of all, let us thank you for the love and support that offer to the children in need! God bless you all!
Here is a list of accomplishments for some of 2021
In this time of the pandemic, with many restrictions and mental pressure, without the Bible and God, we would not have been able to move forward. That is why evangelistic meetings for parents, Alpha Courses, Bible lessons for children are our way of carrying the good news of the gospel further, online or face-to-face.
AT DIMACHENI, we are organizing monthly meetings for parents where they learn and hear about God’s word. There the people are extremely poor people with hard lives, and most of them don’t know how to write or read, but they learned the songs by heart. And their children – whom no one gave a chance to – learn to sing Christian songs and sing them to their parents at home.
TWICE A MONTH ONLINE BIBLE CLASSES for up to 70 parents from all our Centers (Suceava, Dorohoi, Botosani, Iasi, Dimacheni, Barlad, Murgeni, Republic of Moldova)
Once a month, Lennart Eriksson from Star of Hope Sweden and Swedish pastors participate in these online biblical studies. Lately, Professor Mircea Vatamaniuc participates also at the meetings and talk about how to overcome FEAR with the HELP of the Word of God. We read together from the Bible, we discuss the true meaning of the verses, and we pray together. Parents share their life experiences, and they always say they need God in their life more and more. They also ask us for Biblical studies face to face, at the Centers! Blessed be the Lord!
VERY GOOD NEWS from DIMĂCHENI CENTER
Sergiu (17 years old), an ex beneficiary from the Dimacheni Center got baptized and it was a blessed moment for him and his family.
Sergiu has two more brothers and an older sister. They were raised only by their mother because their father died when Sergiu was only 2 months old. They all live in a house in Corlăteni commune (Botoșani), in difficult conditions. In 2016, Sergiu was enrolled in the program of the Afterschool Star of Hope Dimăcheni Center (Botoșani). He was in the Via class and, although he was incredibly young, the boy came to the Center every day, after school hours, walking 6 km back and forth, regardless of the weather outside. He does not have a table at home to prepare his lessons and the roof of the house is broken.
This boy’s mother works during the day in the village to have food for the children and out of their poverty, she helps others more troubled than them. Thus, his mother makes food, and Sergiu goes to those people to take them. He was very hardworking and extremely focused on his stuff. After finishing his homework, he helped his younger colleagues and explained their lessons, our colleagues having another thirty-two children with whom they did the lessons at the same time. In time, Sergiu, a child, had become our basic man. Sergiu really liked geography and even participated in 3 county competitions, being an Olympian in geography.
Today, Sergiu is a high school student in the 10th grade and continues to come, as a volunteer, to the Star of Hope Center and help the children with their homework. Sergiu is determined to learn, no matter how difficult, and to become a gendarme or a police officer. Sergiu also has a big dream, he wants to have a fitness room in addition to work and, from the money earned, to continue to help poor people and children without material possibilities not to drop out of school. Until then, Sergiu needs clothes, shoes, supplies.
AT IASI STAR OF HOPE CENTER
We organized weekly meetings for mothers who got children with disabilities when we discuss emotional and spiritual issues, we find together and read biblical verses that could help their daily life. At one of these meetings, Elena Padurariu (she is orthodox and has a 33-year-old boy with Down Syndrome) told us that after every such meeting she goes back home with more power to face life and that she is so much changed.
ALSO IN IASI, on 15 May, we paid and sent two families that got children in our therapy program to the FATHER SCHOOL/DAY FAMILY – Pintilii and Ciobanu family. These families went through exceedingly difficult times, they even talked about divorce, but with the help of God and Biblical Studies they manage to stay together and united as a good family. It was such a fantastic opportunity for them to live such a blessed time among other families, to learn, and pray together! Thank you, God!
ROMANIA DOROHOI Star of Hope Center
Thanks to the support provided by you, the recovery therapy programs have helped the children to make visible progress, some of them are now integrated into school and in society.
The pandemic period was such an unwanted test for us because our children with disabilities (as autism, Down syndrome, microcephaly, paralysis, etc) need permanent supervision and lots of therapy sessions with specialists. It was more difficult because of the physical distancing on the one hand, and the wearing of a mask on the other hand. But most children come to the Center and participate in activities. Although they must stay at distance, they are happy because the center is the only place where they forget about loneliness, they find refuge and they receive a specialized therapy and recovery program.
But even for the children’s parents, it was extremely difficult, some of them ended up facing depression… So, we have worked with them also and thus they managed to overcome these extremely difficult moments. At the end of the school year, it was an indescribable joy for us because children with disabilities were able to finish school.
ONE FAMILY, 3 CHILDREN WITH SEVERE DISABILITIES
Iliesi family testimonial
The children were always rejected by those around us, marginalized, we were not welcomed in kindergarten. On the street, everyone turned their heads after us, and we only went with our heads down. But one day a force raised our eyes to a poster where it was written Star of Hope Romania Foundation, “Down Syndrome”. We did not know much about Down Syndrome, but we realized it was something different, so were our children. From that day, as a mother, I can say that the meaning of our life has changed, our life has begun to be different, and we began to see life with different eyes.
When we entered the Star of Hope Dorohoi Center, our boys were 3 years old and 5 years old, the other one. There the boys started recovery therapy, there we participated in Support Groups for mothers and fathers in counseling sessions, we also participated at the Alpha and Beta Course. All these were heavenly for us! We received hope and strength to move forward. Even though I was going to the church, only at the Alpha and Beta Course did we begin to understand the power of the prayer, we understood what fellowship means, and how important is to accept that everything is in God’s Hand!
All these prepared us, because – after 14 years – our third child was born with the same disabilities as her older brothers. And we so much wanted her healthy and strong.
If it were not for Star of Hope Romania, we think we would have been in a very, very deep depression. Even the church did not support us as Star of Hope Romania did… Through the Alpha courses and the Support Groups, the specialists from the Center were emotional support and a permanent encouragement for us. The Star of Hope Romania was, and it is still a family for us because they feel the difficult moments we go through.
Here, at the Center, all parents are like brothers. They were with us when our little girl received the God Blessed at the church! They encouraged us, they called us every day to find out how we were doing and helped us to get through the shocks of life more easily. Thank you, Star of Hope, for existing in Romania! You are the ones who made possible the transformation and gave power and strength to many mothers and fathers! Star of Hope Romania saw value in our children, a value that no one has ever seen, and all of us, the parents of the children with disabilities, had the courage to look people into the eyes!” – Viorica and Mihai Ilieși, Dorohoi Star of Hope Center.
ROMANIA GENERAL SUPPORT
CELEBRATING THE INTERNATIONAL CHILD DAY
On 1st June we celebrated all the children with disabilities from all the Star of Hope Centers with joy, gifts, sweets, and surprises!
Iasi Star of Hope Center
On Friday, May 28, 2021, at 1 pm, at the headquarters of the Star of Hope Center in Iași, we organized the celebration of June 1st, The International Child Day, long-long awaited by children. The event was attended by children with disabilities, young volunteers, and parents.
It is difficult to describe in words how great the JOY of the children (but also of their parents) was! The parents, visibly moved, also sang together with their children, although they tried to film with their phones! It was obvious that the children and parents needed so much a reunion face to face after such a long pandemic period!
At the end of the holiday, the children were simply overwhelmed by the surprises prepared especially for them.
ROMA PEOPLE HELP
IN DIMACHENI, till now, from the beginning of this year, thanks to your generous support, 85 needy families received material help – clothes, shoes, food, disinfectants. It was an extraordinary joy for these families and their children, especially now, in this very difficult period due to the pandemic, when many people have lost their jobs.
IN IASI, we helped a poor Christian Roma family – they have a 7 years old daughter with Down Syndrome, among other 13 children – with food, clothes, and money to earn for living developing a very small business with flowers. They live in the village of Slobozia, a distance of 30 km from Iasi, and come weekly with the girl to the Iasi Center, for recovery therapy.
IN MURGENI, we have helped Murui Brigadier (Roma Christian family) to develop a greenhouse. We helped them to buy a new foil (the last one was broken by the storm wind). Now the greenhouse is cultivated, and the family has started to gather from the harvest. Murgeni is an exceedingly small city from Vaslui County with a very poor population, with a huge rate of unemployment people because there are no jobs available for work.
COSMIN, THE BOY WITH JAW TUMOR
For the moment, Cosmin is still in Germany but he is no longer in the hospital. He must come back there in September, for other medical tests and MRI. On the 8th of August, his family celebrated the boy’s anniversary in their rented apartment. The boy’s mother is exhausted, with a broken heart but with a lot of faith in God. She feeds Cosmin every day by putting the food in the probe… The family asks for prayer support. Although it is in stage 4, the family believes in a miracle and hopes for healing… May God have Cosmin and his family under His protection!
CALL FOR PRAYER
We pray to the Lord to help us carry out the mission that He has put on each of our hearts and to be able to obtain the necessary funds for:
– school equipment supplies, clothing, footwear – for the beginning of the school year
– firewood in 3 Star of Hope Romania Centers for extremely poor children
We are grateful for the effort you make so that the lives of innocent poor children could be better. Thank you all for trusting us and for your warm and generous implication! May God protect you and fill your life and soul with light!
God bless you all!
With so much gratitude,
Aura si Adi Vatamaniuc, Camelia si Viorel Topala
Star of Hope Romania Foundation