Ok, blog readers, friends, family, business associates...I am putting out a bold request.
Each month the Romania Forget-Me-Not Ministries mission team meets to plan for the next trip over to Tinca, Romania. I've posted about the trip last year when I went. Here is a brief synopsis and update:
- Forget-Me-Not Ministries was founded by Indiana-native, Rachel Ross, to essentially love and educate the Roma (gypsy) culture in Romania. Her heart was moved at a young age by the orphanage atrocities she saw on TV and started her journey with her own mission trip simply to love on babies that didn't get any human touch. That ministry has grown into a full-time life in Tinca, Romania where she shelters, trains, feeds, and basically loves a group of kids from the gypsy village. Her heart's mission is to change this high addiction, abusive, oppressed culture - one child, one generation at a time.
- Teams like ours (we're the favorite since we have a Mexican dinner night - Rach's favorite :-) ), come to alleviate some pressure for the full-timers. We help around the center as well as go into the village to continue to build relationships and provide some basic needs like food, clothing, and soap. Imagine your local homeless shelter packed to the brim with folks who have nothing...only the gypsy's have no means of charitable support. The Romanians consider them less than dogs. Rachel's heart and consistency in the area is starting to soften some hearts that are in her local church in Oreada.
- Just in the two years I have been involved, the kids at the center have grown dramatically! Alex, for example, was brought to Rachel when he was 2-3 years old. He has down syndrome, and couldn't even roll over by himself at first. With Rachel and the care of others that have hearts to care, Alex can not only roll over, sit up, stand...he WALKED AND CLIMBED up to slide down the slide!!!! Without his leg braces!!! Abel, 10 years old now, has learned a LOT of English and is learning what "trades" are so that he can be marketable when he is of age to get an official job.
- Not just the kids - but Rachel is bringing in some of the women from the village to learn skills that can afford them to sell handmade items. This allows them to help take care of family needs when the husband disappears or she needs to leave with the kids in an emergency. Rachel pays them in tangible goods like food so the husband won't try to resell for alcohol.
So. My bold request. This year because of financial transitions and time constraints, I do not have the money to go on the trip. And I've waited till last minute to ask for help, I know. However, if you'd like to help out here are the best ways:
- PRAY...prayer is strong and extremely important. Pray for good health and guidance and open doors, and full bags of supplies.
- DONATE...items. We need all kinds of stuff like mini soaps, toothbrushes, toothpaste, band aids. The plan is to include a lesson on hygiene and a life skill each day, and of course enough money to get all the supplies there in baggage fees. AND...this is crucial...we need BOY costumes. Poor Samuel last year got suckered into dressing like Dolly Parton in all the princess dresses the girls got as presents from sponsors. PLEASE, I'm begging on this one...superhero costumes! Samuel will make a great Batman! He already knows the theme song (wonder who taught him that...lol).
- SPONSOR...me for the trip or a child regularly. Since I have nothing set aside, I am starting from scratch. The trip total would be $2,400 - two week trip, Euro is currency, food and lodging is included, etc. Please contact me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org. To sponsor a child regularly, like Alex, just go to Forget-Me-Not Ministries site.
That's my bold request. Thank you for reading all the way to here!
Grace & Peace y'all!