Romania 198       Romania 196             

I went on a missions trip to Romania over Spring break, and while we were there our team visited the Cighid Memorial Cemetery. Cighid was an orphanage for special needs children during the communist regime of Nicolas Ceausescu. Instead of caring for the children, the staff severely abused and neglected the children turning the place into a death trap. Each child was only given 1 piece of bread, a bowl of thin gruel, and water a day, and the older and stronger children often stole food from the younger and weaker children leaving them starving. 123 children died there, mainly of starvation, in three years between 1987 and 1990 when communism fell. In 1995 Dutch and German people and the staff of Cighid today, which is now a home for special needs adults, many of which are the surviving children of the communist era, built a memorial to honor the children who died. The memorial lists the names of all the children who died, and their ages. The most common age was 3 years old. White crosses for the children stand behind the memorial over the mass grave that the children’s bodies were thrown into. Surrounding the cemetery a fence made of the crib bars from the orphanage is set up. Our team laid flowers at the cemetery to honor the children who died. It was a very sobering place but a beautiful memorial. It reveals the need to protect children against such abuses, and the horrific deeds of Ceausescu’s regime. It also brings to mind God blessings to me in putting me in a loving family, and brings to mind the importance of each child to God. The children whose names are on the memorial are all known to God, and with him, and he also knows all the children who have died without a name all over the world through other abuses, and before birth through abortion. -Sarah Guthrie