The children have few adults in their family who look out for them. They are afraid of their father and of their paternal grandfather, who lives nearby and dislikes them. Their paternal grandmother lives in the same village and will sometimes cook for them, but she doesn’t want to take on any further responsibility for them.
It was particularly difficult for the children when schools closed because of the pandemic. They couldn’t access online school, like many children living in poverty in Romania, and being shut off from the school community intensified their everyday struggles.
Then in the summer of 2020, Georgiana decided to leave home and go and live with a boy in another village.
“What happened was that over the summer her aunt came home for a visit but didn’t stay long,” Paula said. Soon afterwards, the aunt posted pictures on social media of her with her new boyfriend, which made Georgiana’s father very angry.
Georgiana’s father took out his anger on his eldest daughter –and it seemed to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, with Georgiana packing her bags afterwards. “She loves her siblings very much, and she comes home as often as she can to visit them and run errands for them,” Paula said. “But I think she wanted to have some calmness; she wants to be seen, loved and cared for. It seems as though she’s had enough of being a mother when she herself needs one.
Georgiana and her siblings are all enrolled on Mission Without Border’s child sponsorship programme, and Paula is the staff member who runs the Soup Kitchen for the sponsored children in the village. Here they receive help with their homework, a hot meal, Bible lessons, and “fun time” to play together.
Great efforts were made to keep the Soup Kitchen and Christian Input classes open as much as possible throughout the pandemic, when all the restrictions due to Covid-19 were introduced. Mission Without Border’s staff and volunteers wanted to make sure that children like Georgiana and her siblings, who have no other support, could still find a place where they can forget their painful circumstances and be loved and valued for who they are. And with Christmas approaching, the children are growing more and more excited, hoping that their Christmas wishes will be fulfilled.
Nicolae and Gabriel would love to have wristwatches, Kevin really wants to have a Lightning McQueen car and Maria has set her heart on a stroller with a baby doll.
All of the children are welcomed and loved by the Mission Without Border’s staff and they are always eager to take part in all the activities, eat good meals, and get some help with their homework. Soup Kitchen also provides a place for them to get their clothes washed. Through Mission Without Borders, the children receive regular material support including clothes, shoes, furniture for their home, and the opportunity to go to summer camp.
And this Christmas –thanks to the generous Mission Without Borders supporters –not only will the children receive gifts, but they will also be given a Operation Christmas Love (OCL) Box. Filled with both healthy food and treats.
The children’s father said, “My mother will make some specialties for us using this food you’ve given us. A big thank you to all the sponsors and we wish them health and a happy new year with lots of joy”.
Although Georgiana and her siblings face an unknown future, Paula and the other Mission Without Border’s staff rest in the knowledge that God has already provided for them and has good plans for their lives.
As the children come together to celebrate Christmas, the Saviour whose birth they are celebrating has promised them, “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” (John 14:18).
In Him they have a heavenly father, a family, and a home forever.