It’s hard to believe and to explain how it feels to actually be here beginning our experience here in Tarnaveni, Romania! I have been a sponge soaking up everything around me. The culture shock is….well, shocking, but it is such a privilege to be here!
Yesterday and today have been filled with meeting new people, jet lag, trying new foods, seeing new sights, and overall doing our best to begin to understand this country, the city of Tarnaveni, and what God is doing through the Buckner Romania organization.
We visited and got a tour of the Community Development Center (CDC) which is just outside the gypsy communities. We saw one apartment building which has hundreds of families living inside, often 10 or so people in one room, with no indoor plumbing. The government will not provide them electricity so they pay a willing neighbor who lets them run wires from their building.
Many of these people find metal around the chemical plant across the street and sell it to make money. There are many, many, children always around outside. Families can get child support money from the government so they have as many children as possible. I have felt a heaviness today, a burden, as I am seeing right in front of me the despair and hopelessness of these people.
Buckner Romania believes that they can break the cycle of poverty, unemployment, lack of education, etc. by educating the young children. Our leader Gabi says that the biggest problem with this gypsy population is their lack of hope. They often accept their living conditions and aren’t concerned with improving their lives and the lives of their children. The CDC has already changed many lives, and provided this hope to so many people since 2007 and I believe God has a lot more in the works for His children here in Tarnaveni.
I am honored to be a part of the incredible things that God is doing here, and I am thrilled to begin VBS day 1 tomorrow! Stay tuned!