The Dezna Outreach Centre, Romania, is currently being renovated and reopened by the Smiles Foundation whose eye specialist team from the USA met the needs of 200 people. Once complete, the centre will help bring God’s love by helping sight loss and disability support.
Sergiu and Ramona Bradean, reside in Constanta, in the eastern part of Romania by the Black Sea. Sergiu is the senior pastor of Golgotha Baptist Church. He says, “My goal is to make the church feel like a family and to concentrate in bringing other people to Christ and into the family of the church.” The area is very ethnically and religiously diverse. Please pray for the Bradean family in their ministry, that many people come and join the church family.
Many mothers find themselves rejected by their families and homeless when they decide to keep the baby of an unwanted pregnancy. Since early March, ECM workers in Timisoara, Romania, have rented a house to shelter and counsel mothers and babies at risk. They’ve already received requests regarding two mothers in a crisis situation. Please pray for all the different steps that they are taking to receive the authorisation to start their activity, so that many mothers with babies can have a secure environment to stand back from their immediate circumstances and get the help they need.
A Roma church in Romania, is being encouraged to start Bible studies using translated materials in their Romani language. The church already prays in Romani, but studies the Bible in the national language. Please pray for the people to be touched and transformed by the Scriptures in their mother tongue. Pray for the pastor to continue to support this idea.
OM EAST is currently working on a new booklet to support ministries reaching out to women working in prostitution. When finished, it will be produced in Czech and Romanian, with other Central and Eastern European languages to follow. The booklet shares the testimony of a woman who turned to God for help as her life was falling apart. It’s a story of how God saved her, gave her hope and a new life. Stories like these play an important part in reaching out to women in red-light areas. Sarah* working in this ministry area sums up her hopes for the impact that these booklets will have: “May they tell each woman that they are not forgotten and that the Almighty God loves them and longs to help them.” *Name changed
OM EAST has produced a new booklet that brings a message of hope to women working in prostitution. The booklet, Carrie, shares the true story of a young woman who ended up as a strip dancer and how she found freedom from this damaging existence. A Christian organisation helped Carrie leave this form of slavery and rebuild her life; while receiving practical support and counselling, she was told about Jesus for the first time. Carrie discovered His power to heal, restore and renew. Through faith in Christ she found new hope. As Carrie’s story is a powerful means of speaking into the lives of women who can identify with her past, pray that the new booklet, also being printed in a number of other Central and Eastern European languages, will be widely used for women enslaved in this exploitation.
Currently around 40% of all pregnancies in Romania end with an abortion. The Esther Foundation provides a place where women with unwanted pregnancies can come for advice and help. Some are rejected by their families and find themselves homeless when they decide to keep their babies. Other women have suffered physical, sexual or psychological abuse. Over 95% of the clients in crisis with unwanted pregnancies change their minds after their first counselling session, committing to keep their baby and do the best they can for their future child, helped by the Foundation. Give thanks that so for over 1,200 children have been saved from abortions as a result of this ministry.
It is estimated that over 2 million Roma (Gypsies) live in Romania: the largest population of any European country. The majority of them live in abject poverty and face daily discrimination. However, upon hearing that Jesus was an outcast too and that His love for them is unconditional, Gypsies are often attracted to the Gospel and willing to accept Jesus as Lord. Pray for the work of OM Romania in providing aid, literature and planting churches amongst the Roma people.
There are vulnerable children in every society and throughout Europe there are children living in insecure and dangerous family situations, in danger of falling victim to violent abuse, being exposed to drugs and alcohol or even ending up on the streets. In the Romanian capital, Bucharest, there are an estimated 1,500 homeless children. Around 30% of these are consistently under the influence of solvents and another 25% are classed as occasional solvent-abusers. Pray for Romania International Children’s Foundation as it works to find foster placements for children in safe family environments. Particularly pray for the successful promotion of family-based placements rather than institutional care and for funding to develop foster-carer training.
An ancient land with a complex history, Romania has only existed as a state for less than a hundred years, and yet within that time it has seen many changes. During the communist years the Church was under constant persecution from the authorities yet grew and prospered spiritually, even though many of its members were impoverished materially. Today, the Orthodox Church dominates the spiritual landscape with evangelical Christianity still viewed as a sect, especially in the villages. Having joined the European Union in 2007, there are now vast and rapid changes being brought to every sector of society. Coupled with spiritual need, Romania will now have to deal with the ‘god’ of affluence.
Population: 19,511,000 (2015)
Official languages: Romanian
GDP (PPP) per capita: $23,957 (2017 est.)
Life expectancy: 75 years
Religions: 87% Eastern Orthodox, 6% Catholic, 5% Protestant, 2% other religions