By: J. Roberts
As a result of previous visits to an orphanage here in Romania I had learned that once an orphan reached the age of 18 they had to leave and I was curious as to what happens next in their life’s journey. An invitation had been extended to me to minister in a facility provided through the foundation El-Sadai at which I would learn the answer to that question.
once an orphan reaches the age of 18 if they continue some form of formal education they may continue to live in the facility and be assisted with health needs. If not, he/she is simply put out of the orphanage to fend for themselves, or, as the saying goes, “sink or swim”. They have no family, no jobs, and no place to live. I praise God for not only revealing the need but also putting it up on someone’s heart to meet those very needs.
It was my privilege to share in a relaxed evening of music and ministry in this facility Wednesday night, March 9th, during which time I met some of the staff and several persons who are currently benefiting from their services.
The facility not only provides housing for these adult orphans but also assists them with finding jobs so they can be self-sustaining members of society. In addition they assist with Health Care needs providing basic health care, emergency medical treatment, and dental treatment. Friends of the foundation in Germany and a church in New Jersey assist with supplying clothing and hygiene items. The same people in Germany and some others in the United States assisted with the renovation of the building which serves as the facility to house those in need. The founder of the foundation is a Romanian woman who lives in the United States. There are just a few people and a couple of churches that assist them financially. It is important to note this is not a government-subsidized program. This work is supported financially primarily through Christian who believe in being the hands and feet of Christ.
There was a member of a local church who I had previously met in a prison service (he was also in the jail to minister) who has been giving guitar lessons to the residents at the facility. I shared a couple of songs as well as my testimony intertwined with the word of God and later they played some songs for me and I was very impressed with their skills on the guitars as well as other instruments of percussion (all donated). Even more impressive, however, were the smiles on their faces as they played. Music is an excellent outlet and can provide a possitive way to channel our energies. It is also very effective means by which we can share a message of hope and encouragement with others.
There was one married couple residing who were both deaf. I only know a few signs in sign language but, once I was told they were deaf, those few signs were sufficient enough for me to communicate; “Hi. How are you?” in their language. Their faces erupted in joyous excitement. They soon understood that I only knew a few signs and communication was difficult but they were so appreciative that I knew what little I did.
All of the residents seem to be very appreciative of the assistance that is being provided for them. Two ex-offenders (one that I remembered from the Oradea jail) who attended the informal service have also been assisted by this facility in finding much needed jobs. Borrowing, from I don’t know where, the phrase ” it’s a hand up – not a handout.”
Again I praise God for revealing a need and placing it within someone’s heart to do something about it. All that is needed to start such a project is a heart of compassion. May God stir within the hearts of his people everywhere to step up to the plate with hearts of compassion. Another borrowed quote (origin unknown); “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” And, quoting from James 1:27 (ESV) religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” There is no age limit mentioned in my copy of the scriptures. Also, James 2:14-17 (ESV) ” what good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also Faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
Please pray for these orphans who have grown up having no one to want them. It was made very clear how much God loves and wants them in his family and I truly believe this facility is demonstrating that He wants to care for them. Seeds were sown. Pray that God will water those seeds and bring a harvest of faith and hope in their lives.