It is always such an encouragement to have volunteers join us in loving these precious babies and children! We recently had a team of 7 from Virginia, and what a blessing they were to us and the little ones we serve, and how special for Kayla to have her parents here! From taking care of babies in the hospital, helping with Kids Club and After School, sorting donations and preparing bundles of clothes to be given out, helping us move our changing room, and building a storage shed for our donations, they served with all their hearts. Thank you, Virginia team!!!
What an honor and privilege to spend just over a week in Brasov with FFR! We knew how much our daughter, long term volunteer Kayla Christophel, loved her role both in the hospital and as the hostess for Better Than a Hostel, and knew how much she loved being able to love on the babies. But before this trip, we hadn’t seen or experienced seeing her and the other long term volunteers in action! We were blessed to see what a wonderful hostess Kayla was and completely enjoyed all that she was able to introduce us to in the beautiful city and surrounding country!!
The hearts of both Steffi and the long term staff modeled nothing other than the heart of The Father, loved unconditionally and endlessly, and were full of joy! To see the selfless giving and surrender of their own personal desires to be the hands and feet (and arms full of cuddles, hugs, smiles and laughter) of Jesus and say “yes” to His call to serve was precious to see!!
Our experience with FFR was beautiful to be a part of! They run the hospital shifts smoothly and our time there was well planned, as we were able to spend time with different little ones on the different floors, and were able to help with the donation center sorting as well. The hospital staff were pleasant, and it was good to see that most of the staff cared for the children well!
THE BABIES- oh, THE BABIES!! Our time loving the babies in the hospital was sweet and hard, all at the same time! To see their smiling faces when we walked in and to hear them call the long term staff mama was a joy, but then we had to say goodbye at the end of the shift to crying faces and reaching arms who did not want us to leave- and that broke our hearts to the core!!! What precious, precious children they all are; they have grabbed onto a part of our hearts that we will never get back!!
Part of our team also had the privilege of going out to Budila, a small Roma village about 30 minutes outside of Brasov, and being a part of the after school program FFR runs. It was beautiful to see how much everyone loved Steffi and how thoroughly she and the FFR team has committed to being the hands and feet of Jesus in that community! The time there was very impactful for our team, and most voiced their wish to go back and spend more time out in Budila on a future trip.
In spite of many obstacles, we were able to build a storage shed for the many boxes of donations FFR receives. We pray blessings upon it, that it may be filled over and over as FFR meets the needs of the community there!
I highly encourage and recommend anyone who has the chance to go and spend time with FFR, but my suggestion would be to spend more than one week there, because one week was simply was not enough time! Our team is forever grateful for the impact on our hearts and lives this week had in each of us, and pray that the Father pours out His blessing and favor over all of the efforts and ministries FFR is led in!!! We love you all very much! ~ Kris Christophel
Below are comments from each of our team:
The founders and volunteers of Firm Foundations Romania are a beautiful picture of Isaiah 1:17 (NLT) “Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans…” I am humbled by their selflessness in their giving to and the serving of “the least of these”. ~ Linda Davis
Tears are the best expression of what my heart experienced. Firm Foundation’s is pouring out God’s love to the children of Brasov. ~ Julie Branner
Ministering alongside FFR was a very meaningful and encouraging experience! I gained so much perspective of the Father’s heart through loving on the precious children, and really felt my heart growing in bond with His! ~ Katrina Lambert
The Romania trip summarized in a sentence would be that trip was one of the most impactful experiences in my life in areas of physical, mental, and spiritual growth and seeing the Father’s heart thru children, staff, and my friends on church team. ~ Kris Miller
I was blessed to see the heart to love and care for these children in all the long term staff. God’s love is evident in your lives, and will continue to impact each life you touch! ~ Doug Christophel
I feel blessed that I was able to go to Romania and work with FFR STAFF, get to love on the children, and see all the exciting plans they are doing for the people there. I pray for each one to continue to follow in Gods will for their lives THANK YOU FOR ALL YOU DO. BLESSINGS ~ Pam Aldrich